Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, September 4, 1994, pg. 6
With the closing of Foodland grocery store on Wednesday, August 24, we are reminded that a supermarket has been at this location since it opened on November 16, 1954--40 years ago. The year 1954 was a busy one in Albion as far as supermarkets went. Felpausch Foods opened one week later, November 23, on Duck Lake Road at the north city limits. Tom Makerís IGA opened December 15 on N. Clinton St. These supermarkets would eventually replace all of the little neighborhood grocery stores which were scattered across our community.
A & P came to Albion in 1921, and was located at 109 N. Superior St., in the far portion of the Parker-Kessler Block, todayís Knuth Furniture building. In 1928 they moved to 212 S. Superior St., where Caines Paint & Wallpaper is today. In 1934, A & P moved to 315 S. Superior St., on the NE corner of Superior at Erie, in the old Bullenís Big Busy Store location, present-day Sanders Furniture.
Manager of the new A & P supermarket on S. Eaton St. was John Kehoe. Assistant manager was Lewis Quick. Head checker was Jennie Okley. The new store boasted 12,000 square feet, with 92 parking spaces. A & P provided long-time career employment to several persons, who worked there for nearly 30 years. These included John Richardson (produce manager), Delores McDowell (cashier), Lillian Frank (cashier), Walter Heriff (assistant manager), and Heinz Pieske (meat manager).
When A & P built its new block-long store, they placed a driveway at the intersection of Eaton and Cass Sts. in which to enter. Because of the increased traffic, city officials put up a stop sign on Eaton St., making the intersection a four-way stop. Later during the 1960s that entranceway was abandoned, but some pillars were erected to keep cars from using it, and the cement entranceway to the street was allowed to stay. This can be observed today. Unfortunately, the stop signs were kept in place, and it wasnít until last year (1993) that they were finally removed as part of the rebricking project detour route.
John Kehoe successfully managed A & P for 28 years, until his "retirement" in 1975. During his tenure, additional space was added to the front of the building which allowed for expanded checker space and product shelves. It also resulted in a tighter/closer parking area.
Kehoe subsequently went over to the Blackís IGA on N. Clinton St., and managed that until the A & P decided to go out of businesss in Albion shortly thereafter in March, 1976. Final manager was Walter Brown. Kehoe then moved back into the old A & P building and opened Albion Foodland in 1976, in his old familiar stomping grounds.
With the closure of Foodland, Albion is without a supermarket in this major residential area near the downtown district. Who will be the next one to come along and try to make this store a profit-making venture, and reopen it for the citizens of Albion?
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a December, 1954 photograph of a brand spanking new A & P supermarket in Albion. Notice that the entranceway was at the front of the store, instead of on the side as it is today.
We present a November, 1954 photograph of the brand
spanking new A & P supermarket in Albion just as it was about to open.
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All text copyright, 2018 © all rights reserved Frank Passic