|A & P Food Stores, South Broad St.|
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company began in 1859 as tea and coffee stores in New York City. By 1900 it had become the first grocery chain in the U.S. with nearly 200 stores. Continued growth through the first third of the 20th century led to $1 billion in sales in 16,000 stores in 1930.
The first A & P store in Brevard opened
on April 21, 1925 on Broad Street, next door to the Post Office. A second A & P opened on Main Street
beside the Waltermire (Aethelwold) Hotel.
For approximately 20 years both stores operated in downtown
|The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., East Main St.|
For many years Harry Sellers managed the
Broad Street store and A.E. “Whitey” York managed the Main Street store.
In the 1950s A & P fell
behind as new larger, modern supermarkets were being built by other
companies. Although the exact dates for
the closing of the Main St. and Broad St. A & P stores has not been located,
by 1954 there was one store located on Jordan St. behind the Aethelwold. Harry Sellers was the manager at that
|A & P Super Market on Jordan St.|
Early on a very cold Sunday morning on February 7, 1960 fire completely destroyed the Jordan Street A & P. The fire appeared to have been burning for several hours before being reported at 8:37 am when the front window was blown out. A large crowd gathered to watch the fire and reported canned goods exploding as they became overheated.
Reportedly the “worst blaze in history” for Brevard, two adjoining businesses, Owenby Brothers Amoco and United Radio and TV, were also heavily damaged. Both businesses relocated to Caldwell Street.
A & P temporarily relocated to the former Schulman builidng on East Main Street. In September 1960 A & P opened a new, modern supermarket on South Broad Street where Grover’s Office Supply is currently located.
The Brevard A & P closed for good in 1982. Today there are approximately 300 A & P Supermarkets located in the northeast United States.
|The new A & P on South Broad St.|
Photographs and information for this column
are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County
Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday)
to learn more about our history and see additional photographs. For more
information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected] or