Friday, February 10, 2012

Former Acme — Madison, NJ

Location: 6 Main Street, Madison, NJ

After traveling out to the former Acme in Chatham, I headed 2 miles west on Main Street to the former Acme of Madison. Opened in November 1953. Virtually nothing remains today that would indicate an Acme ever having been here. We'll also be taking a look at some other interesting food stores in Madison. 

Must have been nice having the basement exposed in the back. Deliveries here didn't have to go down just to come back up again. 

Not much to see here over the years... 




Two other stores in Madison warranted a mention since they both have interesting architectual characteristics... 

First up is the Madison Stop and Shop. Located at 133 Main Street and also located sort of underneath another building. Very strange set up here. The S&S appears to have started out as another grocery store, smaller in size to what's seen here today. Probably began as an Edwards. The construction company there in the back had existed here before the store was built but did not have any buildings of its own. Guess they decided since a store was being built down below, they'd put some buildings on top of it. 

According the the historic aerial images, the whole contraption was erected sometime between 1987 and 1995. In 2002 it had yet to be expanded into it's current Stop and Shop form.

And now onto 222 Main Street...

The Madison Whole Foods. A realatively small store in comparison to others in the chain. May have begun its healthy life as a Wild Oats like the one in Montclair. That location is even smaller. Check out the barrel roof portion of the building. That section began as an A&P. The ceiling inside is now exposed making for an interesting atmosphere in the store.


Big addition add by 1987. Was this still an A&P at this point? Did the expansion and remodel contribute to the closing of the Chatham Acme located a mile away? Hmmmm...


  1. Acme Style,
    So glad you used the Chatham photo! It's ironic that the Acme that closed so many years ago looked so much better on the outside than the Kings! Too bad they didn't maintain the quality inside, but they (Acme) were just determined to leave northern New Jersey... like you said, Chatham is an affluent town that would have supported a small store serving quality, I.E. the Kings.
    I always thought that Kings had an odd look to it and then I found out that the original Kings store on that site burned down, not sure what year, but they really went low budget when they rebuilt and I think it was a bad idea to relocate it near the street...

    I never realized Acme had a store in Madison at that location; I've been in that Atlanta bread so many times... did it close before the Foodtown opened in the mid to late 80's I wonder?
    The way that Stop & Shop started was... the lumber company sold the front land for retail development, and actually, Grand Union was supposed to build a store on that site, but they swapped locations with Mayfair Foodtown at the time for their Berkeley Heights site. Mayfair Foodtown had a store in Berkely Hts where the Kings is now, and next door was an abandoned A&P location with a strip mall which the Foodtown was going to relocate in, but instead, they built the Foodtown in Madison and GU went into the old A&P site in Berkely hts. Grand Union had a store back in the 60's where the Staples is now in Madison and I guess they decided to sack plans to re-enter and try Berkely Hts. which I think was a mistake.
    The Foodtown operated 'til about '94 or '95 and then became an Edwards when they took over, but it wasn't expanded 'til Stop & Shop name change took place shortly after... it is a weird configuration having the lumber yard operating behind it!

    Oh, one other note: the store after the A&P was a Fresh Fields before Whole Foods bought them out and changed the name.

  2. Not sure how accurate this is, but I heard the Madison Acme closed when the Chatham store opened in 1966.

  3. I believe the official closing date for Chatham was January 9, 1990.

    The A&P in Madison closed in 1998 and they did significantly expand the store in the very late 1980's.

    The Stop and Shop was originally a Mayfair Foodtown and it opened in 1990 or 1991. In 1996, when Mayfair sold all of there stores to Stop & Shop, it became an Edwards, until the fall of 2000 when all of the Edwards stores were rebranded to the Stop & Shop banner. The store was expanded to include the former Jaegar Lumber that was next store, sometime during its Edwards/Stop & Shop days.

    From what I have heard, the Madison Acme did close upon the opening of the Chatham store in 1966, or may have hung on for a very short time after the initial opening.

  4. Just one more note....the Montclair Whole Foods was also Fresh Fields until about 2000 or 2001. Before that, it was a Consumers Distributing....ever since I was a kid.
    Wild Oats was never this far East until much later.

    1. And before Consumers Distributing, Jay, that Montclair building was Food Fair; the latter vacated the location after building a large new store nearby in Verona. BTW, Verona was also home to a pitched-roof Acme (now DeCozen Chrysler) until the mid-80s.

  5. that acme building in madison was a mid 70's and one of nj's first wawas. didn't last