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A & P: The Story of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (NJ) (Images of America) Paperback – October 6, 2002
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Reading this book gives a warm and tingly feeling that a supermarket operator can provide the best possible fresh food at value pricing, helping the farmer get top dollar during depressed economic times, eliminating the middleman, and bring low prices to the far corners of the U.S.
From its birth in 1859 to today, A&P, while still operating ;in 9 states and the District of Columbia,from Louisiana to Connecticut, has its roots firmly embedded in innovation and quality. So many of us have enjoyed Eight O'clock coffee with our A&P Spanish Bar cake. So many of us have eaten fine A&P products as a child or had our Mother serve us Sunnyfield cereals, fresh Sunnybrook butter on Jane Parker toasted bread, spread with Ann Page fine jellies and presereves.
With over 4,000 supermarkets spanning America, it forever changed the landscape of America in a positive way. The Colonial stores of the 1960's have been recycled into some of the best looking post offices and service businesses today.
This book recounts that and many more episodes from a fine company that lives on today with fresh thinking.
This book, part of the "Images of America" series, covers the famous "A&P", once the largest food retailer in the world. It's a pictorial story of a company that, like Sears Robuck of the same era, offered the customer a high quality product at a reasonable price - unlike today's "Wallie World" which offers the customer abysmal quality products for an equally low price.
There are a great many photos of the company's founding and early years and a good many from the era of A&P's decline and fall. However, there are relatively few from the glory days of the company from the 50's to the early 70's when my father worked for them. This seems odd to me since there is certainly more pictorial material to choose from during this time period than the early days and, after all, this was the period of A&P's greatest expansion and market share.
If you are looking for images of the founding days and formative years, this might interest you. However, for me, this book left out a large part of the story. Only three-stars.
I was really hoping for more of a focus on the stores themselves, their products, and the ephemera associated with it. This one isn't a purchase - see if your library has a copy to flip through.