Big Apple Food Markets

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Crepehanger

Big Apple Food Markets

Post by Crepehanger » 20 Jun 2006 17:41

Is anybody familiar with this chain? I remember they were around in the 1970s in both Columbus, Georgia and Macon, Georgia--probably were around other places as well. A google search only resulted in a Big Apple Food Store in New Hampshire and Maine, and I doubt they are the same.

Edric Floyd
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Post by Edric Floyd » 20 Jun 2006 23:29

I remember reading a 1960's telephone directory for Warner Robins, Ga where a Big Apple (or Red Apple) market in the 1700 block of Watson Blvd.

The location has been a furnature store during my 12 years living here.

I have no idea what locations in Macon or any archeticecture style that may be distinctive of this chain. I have researched most of the Big Star/Colonial, Kroger, A&P, Winn-Dixie and Piggly Wiggly locations in Macon/Warner Robins. But never found much on the Apple stores other than the listing for the one in Warner Robins.

When I have some free time, I will look again.

krogerclerk
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Post by krogerclerk » 21 Jun 2006 00:01

Very possibly these were either part of the Alterman's chain of Big Apple/Food Giant stores of Atlanta or independents supplied by Alterman Brothers wholesale operation, two different companies same family.
Alterman Brothers became the Atlanta division of SuperValu in 1978 or 1979 while a partnership of Delhaize and SuperValu acquired the retail operations as Super Discount Supermarkets, which was dissolved in 2000.

Alterman's became the largest wholesale and retail grocery in Georgia during the 1960's. Big Apple dates to at least the 1950's while Food Giant emerged in the 1970's as a discount supermarket, no stamps, etc. and during the 1980's Food Giant became the primary banner while Big Apple was briefly resurrected as the warehouse banner on a couple of Atlanta locations. SDS rolled out CUB Foods in the Atlanta market and began closing the unionized Food Giant and Big Apple stores, most opening as SuperValu supplied indy's. Due to the union status, eventually the CUB stores were unionized and SDS was kept separate from Delhaize's other southern chain, FoodTown/Food Lion.

The last Food Giant stores closed around 1989, with Grand Union purchasing about 6 locations to either reopen as Big Star(downtown Roswell and Akers Mill in Cobb) or to close to competition as in Cumming, Alpharetta, and Stone Mountain Gwinnett. The last three were divested with the A&P purchase of Big Star in the early 90's and briefly operated as Winn-Dixie Marketplaces.

Alterman's has operated many of the Kmart Foods in Georgia and nieghboring states during the 60's and early 70's and most became Food Giant. By the 1970's Big Apple had surpassed Colonial as the Atlanta areas leading grocer. I know BA and FG locations were in Athens, LaGrange, West Point, Carrollton, Cedartown, Griffin, Rome, Calhoun, Cartersville, Covington, and Dalton, but I don't know about Macon and Columbus, I suspect they may have been short lived in those markets.

Accordingly, both Alterman's and Colonial were absorbed by outside corporations around the same time and by the mid-80's both Big Star under Grand Union and Big Apple/ Food Giant were well on the way to being slowly divested. The elimination of Food Giant gave Big Star a few more years of market traction and Big Star would enable A&P to hold on to an Atlanta operation until the end of the 90's.

rich
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Post by rich » 21 Jun 2006 06:48

The Alterman name is still around--is it just a trade name for Super Valu? You see it on delivery sized trucks in Atlanta.

The Aleterman operation extended into South Carolina by the 70s, so it seems likely that they would have expanded from Atlanta in other directions, probably along the interststaes or other major highways. Alterman was an early developer of "super stores" and had a lot of stores with what they called "general merchandise" departments.

There are a number of liquor stores, some with "Giant" as part of their name at major intersections or as outparcels at major plazas (like Toco Hills). They have similar architecture (mansard roofs, expansive amounts of glass esp. in the fronts). I've wondered if those were former Food Giants.

The Cub stores wer pretty uncompetitive, in their last years--a careful but not overly obsessive shopper could do better at Kroger or Publix and the perishables were weak. Surprisingly poor selections, given the sizes of the stores.

Edric Floyd
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Post by Edric Floyd » 21 Jun 2006 07:07

This is interesting and may explain a few stores I never really thought about.

Before I moved to Georgia in 1994 I was traveling along Bankhead highway in Atlanta where I saw an old K-Mart that had food store attached that was called 'GIANT FOODS" (exact wording).

I have not been to Bankhead HWY in a decade. I don't even know if the K-Mart is still there since K-Mart closed a lot of stores in the ATL area in recent years.

I moved to Warner Robins shortly after that Atlanta trip and there was a 'GIANT FOODS" store on North Davis Drive. the same lettering and front facade as the one on Bankhead in Atlanta. The store was old and dirty but has since remodeled the exterior and cleaned the interior. This store is in a low income area and the prices are very high but this store is still in operation. I have no idea about the ownership and never cared enough about the store to find out.

On their shopping bags, they used to list other stores in the chain. They were in Warner Robins, Byron, Zebulon and Barnesville. The Zebulon store was closed many years ago. The Byron store is that towns only grocery store (10 miles away from my home) and the Warner Robins store is a busy neighborhood store and the only one in that section of town.

There are stores in Fort Valley and Griffin called FOOD DEPOT. The sinage of these stores appears that the word "depot" was changed. Possiby from "giant" to Depot? And these are stores that appeared to be in existance for a very long time.

IN Griffin, there was a former "Food Depot" in a shopping center that included a disocunt store that appeared to be closed for a very long time. A few miles away is a former Cub Foods now operating as a Food Depot AGAIN modifying the old Cub Foods sign to read Food Depot. And this store was divided with the Food Depot only using part of the building.

I'll be working in the Griffin area later this week and in Atlanta over the weekend. I will try to get photos of these locations.

Crepehanger

Thanks for the help everybody....

Post by Crepehanger » 21 Jun 2006 12:35

As far as locations, I did not look closely, but the reason I knew about them were from old 1970s editions of the Columbus and Macon newspapers. Their ads appeared, but I did not look closely at locations.

noseriously

Post by noseriously » 28 Jun 2006 21:46

There was a Food Giant in Macon on Rivoli Rd. It then was a Bi Lo and then a Food World. There was a FG in Columbus as well but not sure where. There was also one in Opelika and Phoenix City Alabama.

I stocked in a couple of BA stores in Atlanta.

Edric Floyd
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Post by Edric Floyd » 29 Jun 2006 01:30

noseriously wrote:There was a Food Giant in Macon on Rivoli Rd. It then was a Bi Lo and then a Food World. There was a FG in Columbus as well but not sure where. There was also one in Opelika and Phoenix City Alabama.

I stocked in a couple of BA stores in Atlanta.
Rivoli Crossing Shopping center. That location closed as a Piggly Wiggly in the early 1990's. (Piggly Wiggly Southern+Food world+Brunos+Bi-LO=Ahold?) Makes sense! And the interior of the store was simular to that of Food World stores.

The location is now a STEIN MART.

EDEW
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Re: Big Apple Food Markets

Post by EDEW » 23 Jun 2009 13:03

Big Apple did in fact operate stores in Macon, Georgia
Based on the Macon Telegraph ads, there were 5 store locations over the years

1) 124 third street (Currently macon occupational heath) 1950-1970's

2.) 2965 houston avenue (currently pk's supermarket) 1950-1970's

3.) Westgate Mall Based on review of macon telegraph ads for the westgate mall opening in september of 1961, Big apple was a original tenant in this mall on the north end (possibly later replaced by piggly wiggly).

4.) Rivoli Crossing Shopping center (was originally food giant, then changed to big apple warehouse before closing in 1988. was a piggly wiggly from 1989 until 1993.

5. Market Square shopping center in East Macon (same as #4, except that it was a foodmax until 2000, then was a big lots.)

Big Apple/Food Giant had a fairly long history in Georgia, and can be ranked as an innovator in grocery.

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