Vintage Greensboro Grocery Ads


Microfilm is a wonderful thing. I’m working on a volunteer project at the Greensboro library that involves digitizing portions of the archives of the local newspapers so they can be placed online. Of course, I’m finding lost of interesting stuff along the way, like the 1960 ad above for the High Point-based Big Bear chain, which is not to be confused with several other chains of the same name around the country.

And then, there’s this: the 1947grand opening ad from the famed A&P that began my obsession with odl supermarkets:


Memco, anyone? Through other research, I’ve determined that Lucky‘s Lady Lee branded items were sold in esat coast memco stores, at least during the 1970s. Memco came to Greensbor in 1980 and lasted less than three years. It was close to my house that I could actually walk there during high school; I bought most of my musc there or at the Peaches Records and Tape across the street.


And, last but not least, here’s a 1984 ad for A&P‘s Family Mart chain. It was in Family Mart that your humble host, at age 15, was illegally purchasing several six-packs of beer when he turned around to see his (not at all amused) mother standing in line behind him:


One thought on “Vintage Greensboro Grocery Ads

  1. John Sposato

    February 21, 2010 at 5:16pm

    Big Bear’s the closest thing to a store in my area on this site, as it was bought out by Penn Traffic, which also owned P&C, Bi-Lo/Riverside, and Quality until just weeks ago. Big Bear closed in 2004.
    We also used to have A&P in the days of yore. In the old days, up to 10 chains could be in any given region. Now just a handful, while in some small communities, you’re lucky to have the one.

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  2. Author


    February 21, 2010 at 5:33pm

    Actually, the Big Bear chain you’re thinking of is not related to the ones in the ad. There were at least four different Big Bear chains in the US, none of them related to each other in any way other than by having the same name: the Ohio chain (the one you’re thinking of), a chain of stores in North Carolina (the one this post discusses), one in Seattle, and one in San Diego.

    It was one of those common names that never got trademarked nationwide, so it was used by many different operations in different parts of the country. In fact, the NC chain changed its name to Food World in the 1970s, and I suspect they did so because they had visions (that never materialized) of moving northward into the area served by the Ohio chain.

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  3. steve brown

    April 26, 2010 at 12:02pm

    interested in any pictures of Brown’s grocery on merrit drive in Greensboro, NC. Store was owned by my family and closed in late 60’s, early 70’s. They ran 2 delivery trucks daily to delivery groceries to customer’s houses and even would put groceries in refrigerator. They did large credit business in mill village. Back then, people did not lock houses and if they did, my family would know where key was hidden. Fond memories. Store was started by my grandfather J. A. (Arnold) Brown. Thanks. Steve Brown

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