While today's supermarket landscape is generally dominated by chains like Albertsons, Walmart, and Kroger, it wasn't always this way. Once upon a time, a grocery store could be owned by just one or two people (usually people named "mom and pop"), and could survive without being a billion-dollar conglomerate.
In the interest of forcing some poor teenager to clean up our tears on aisle six, we tasked our writers to wax nostalgic about the great regional grocery chains of yore. Some have since gone to the big can return in the sky. But most some still exist as they always have, as if suspended in the discount jell-o mold of time. Read on our shameless nostalgia, and share yours in the comments aisle.
1 location in San Francisco, CA
"Take one look at Cal-Mart on California Street’s old-school, since-1952 signage and you know those walls have stories. For many years, I lived six blocks away, and as part of my weekly ritual would walk there and get everything I ever needed, plus at least four things I didn’t. Aside from the daily necessities a grocery store needs to have, Cal-Mart had other secret shops inside, which actually aren’t even affiliated with the store, but just live in the space. Antonelli’s butcher shop, for instance, is fantastic and right inside their doors. As is a Sweet Things bakery.