Americans have been buying their food from grocery stores as we now know them for 99 years — but that tradition is changing.
One sign of the times: The great Atlantic & Pacific Tea supermarket chain, known as A&P, filed for bankruptcy last July for the second time this decade. The chain includes A&P, Best Cellars, Pathmark, Superfresh and Waldbaum’s.
It’s not that people don’t want to buy what’s available in stores like the A&P — they want to buy what they need from different sources like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Fairway or specialty health food stores. And when possible, customers are buying “local” from farm stands and other non-traditional sources that supply artisanal and organic food choices.
George Francis Gilman (1826-1901) founded The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.