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.
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.