A & P Food Store

A & P Food Store - 19 N Main - 03-02-2013

Did you know what the A & P in the A & P Food Store stood for? I didn’t either, but Terri Foley, who did The Missourian’s Lost and Saved column did all the work for me.

Here’s her information:

In 1941, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. constructed the building at 19 N. Spanish St. in Cape Girardeau to house the A&P Super-Market. Grand opening of the new store was held Oct. 14 of the same year. At that time, the store was the largest A&P store between St. Louis and Memphis, Tenn. With the opening of the new store, the company closed its other operations in town at 28 N. Main St. and 817 Broadway.

C.A. Juden was commissioned to build the new one-story brick building, measuring 70 feet by 150 feet. On the southeast corner was a three-story tower that featured interior lights and a large circular neon sign. Across the upper facade of the building was a 35-foot neon sign. The store featured a large package cheese and dairy department and a 50-foot meat case and counter. The store stocked more than 2,500 varieties of grocery items.

It was the first of the A&P stores in Missouri to have a collected group of fluorescent lights. There were five check-out stands. As cashiers checked out a customer, a receipt was printed with each item purchased and the cost. Customers could pay a penny for shopping bags.

Our family shopped there, but I think we went to Child’s on Broadway more often. I liked that store better because Mother would park me at the comic book rack just as you came in the store. I didn’t care how long she shopped as long as I had comics to read.

19 Replies to “A & P Food Store”

  1. I was browsing in the antique store that occupies the building recently. When did it cease to be a grocery store? Seems like I remember it, but maybe it was before my time?

  2. When I was a kid in the late 1940’s, the thing that impressed me the most about the A@P store when I’d go there with my mom to shop was the automatic door opener. It was my first experience with one and I used to go in and out of the store several times just to see it work until my mom yelled at me to stop.

  3. i think all kids played with those automatic dorr openers..LOL! that side room that is closest to city hall was the waiting room for small rate cab and yellow cab. they had dialess wall phones that connected directly to the dispatcher for both those cab companies. there is an old A and P store near my home in st.louis,on monganford street. A&P must have built a lot of them,cuz this building is identical to the one on spanish street in cape.i too loved to walk down the isle that had the coffee grinder. vandeven’s was a cool supermarket too


  5. So the logo name A&P came from the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. So see if the researchers can tell us when “Tea” lost its importance in their identity – or why “Great” wasn’t represented in their logo name. They should have been GA&PTC or GA&P at least – or better yet GAP. Just think about how history might have been different…

    1. I remember going to “The A&P” as a small child with my mom. It seemed huge. I also remember “The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co” painted on the wall facing us in your picture. In my memory the paint was fading. Wikipedia has some info about the evolution of the company. Apparently it started as a tea and coffee store in 1859. It grew to be the “Walmart” of it’s day.

    2. Cory a reply to questions I was involved with The Company During the 1980’s & 90’s. A&P started in the Tea Business quicking moving into Coffee then other food or drinkable items. It is a tea emporium that by nature became full line Grocery,then added Dairy & Meats(aka.Combanation Store),then Full line SuperMarket as the supermarket craze gripped America during the late 1930’s.
      A&P was just slang to Company insiders until it made since as a accepted marketing Label for early house brands in the Tea Stores and later on A&P Grocery Stores when the “Economy Stores” The Company experiment which became the Model Store Lay out. Mass Nation-Wide Retail as we know now comes into existice.
      On NewsPaper Stock Quotes A&P Formal Lettering was all aways GtAtPc and on the rolling ticker GAP. Offical Company Documents would often use GAP,A&P and make heavy use of the words “The Company” so not to wear out The Great A&P Tea Co,GAP or A&P during longer Memos and Letters too and within “the Company”
      Hopes this shines alittle light on The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company.

  6. I worked at A&P around 1960 until football season started. Mr Richards (my class of 1962 classmate Karen’s father) was the manager and Harold Sanders was the assistant manager at that time. Mr Trickey was in the meat department and Mr Ernie Bess worked in produce. My favorite checker was a lady who I think was named Darlene. I don’t remember any others. I sacked groceries and carried them to the customer’s car. Additionally I stocked the shelves. I remember I made $1.09 an hour which I thought was terrific.
    I talked to Harold Kerr, class of 1957 and he told me he worked there too. We determined that he had left there by the time I went to work there.
    I will never forget a lady that lived on Independence Street across from the store exit to that street. I would carry her groceries to her home and she would tip me 25 cents. I thought that was cool!

  7. I probably spent more hours than anyone in front of Child’s IGA comic rack, living as I did directly across Broadway and up the hill on Sunset Court. Amazing that Walker himself, or manager Gene S. put up with the tattered copies. Or with the dirty soft drink bottles we turned in for .02 deposit.

  8. I also remember those automatic doors. Somrthing to see for us young kids back in the 60’s. Smelling the coffee and waiting for either Yellow Cab or Small Rate Cab to come pick us up. Anyone remember Flo the cab driver?

  9. I do remember the A&P being out on William Street. We used to call it “Apples & Peaches”. It was next to Flaming Pit restaurant and near Biederman’s furniture store.

  10. A&P also provided Plaid Stamps. I remember my dad keeping the books of stamps and later redeeming them at the redemption store across the street from the grocery store.

  11. Just like Bill Stone I worked at A&P. I well remember those staff members that he mentioned. Charlie Clore also worked there when I did. I graduated from Central in 1954 (age 16) and went to SEMO for one year and my English professor (Ms Reid) told me I was too young to be in college… so I joined the Navy shortly after turning 17. I was discharged in September 1957 and came home to go to college. I immediately got a job at A & P as a stock clerk and eventually worked up to checker….. I worked there until I graduated from SEMO in 1960. A great place to work and plenty of good memories about customers. The work also did inspire me to go on and get my college education. It paid for my tuition and such and allowed a local boy to complete college without a big debt facing me after graduation. “Precious memories” about Cape……

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