When New Bedford-Area Food Shopping Meant a Visit to Almacs
My first supermarket memories have to be of A&P. There was an A&P, or Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, on Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford that I can recall going to with my mother in the 1960s when I was just a little tyke.
A&P had a conveyor system with metal rollers on which the clerk would place a wooden box containing your grocery purchase. Powered by a good shove, the wooden box would roll down the conveyer, through an opening in the wall, to the outside, where another clerk would collect your groceries and place them in your car.
A&P also had its own coffee brand and a grinder for grinding the beans. The aroma of freshly-ground A&P coffee may be the root of my coffee addiction.
The changing face of grocery shopping in Greater New Bedford has left us with only memories of supermarkets past.
The other major supermarket chain I recall from my youth is Almacs. The Providence, Rhode Island-based Almacs Supermarket dominated the Southern New England area for years.
GoLocalProv.com reported, "Almacs is considered the last Rhode Island-based grocery chain, and at its height, it had 43 locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts."
A number of those locations were on the SouthCoast.
I remember when Almacs was at Deane and Purchase Streets in New Bedford, where Sid Wainer & Son is today. On the other side of the train trestle to the east is where the original Arlan's Department Store was before moving to Hathaway Road where Price Rite is now.
Almacs had a store in the north end of New Bedford where Trucchi's is, a store in Fairhaven, which is now Festiva Buffet, and another located at the Stop & Shop Plaza on Faunce Corner Road in Dartmouth.
There were at least two Almacs Supermarkets in Fall River on President Avenue and Griffin Street.
Almacs opened in 1942 but competition led to the eventual demise of the company in 1995.