Friday, January 23, 2015

Acme – Paoli, Pennsylvania


Location: 39 Leopard Road, Paoli, PA

Time to take a break from the closings over the past few months and visit one of Acme's most deluxe locations! The 90's store you see here was a replacement for a store that dates back to 1954. The 50's model is in the same shopping center. We'll have a look at it down below. From what I can gather, this is a very late 90's store. All clues inside have it starting with the Chalkboard Market decor package and not the Red/White/Blue package. The interior has similarities to the Jenkintown store which was the very first store to have the Chalkboard Market decor. It also has a similar layout to the Lincroft store which still has the CM decor.  The Paoli Acme has since been given the sdeluxe Premium Fresh and Healthy remodel.

A relatively small sign for the front which appears to be original. For a size reference, check out the more commonly seen sign on the Somers Point store by clicking here. Sav-on looks to have never joined "ACME" at this location. A small version of the sign is over the right-side entrance of the store.

The building has some nice design touches that we're not used to seeing on these 90's models. The beige blocks help break up the red brick and the arched windows have added panes that I don't believe we've seen at another store. These windows are seen throughout the shopping center but with white panes instead of black.

A view of the window from inside the vestibule.

The entrance is configured differently than in a typical 90's store.

You won't see hardly a shopper in here. I was here first thing in the morning. So early in fact, the Pharmacy wasn't even open.

So we have the first versions of the PF&H decor here. Looks especially good with the ceiling being dark green, which I'm positive is a leftover from the Chalkboard Market decor. No grass along the cases.

A look along the left wall where the Salad Bar and Cheese Shop are located.

The department signs look great with the green background. I took tons of pictures of the interior so be prepared for an extensive tour. This isn't one of my favorite decor packages for Acme but it looks fantastic in this store. Certainly one of the best PF&H remodels.

A look at the Bakery which is located just right across from the entrance.

Nice upgrade with the baked goods displays. This is very similar to how Wegmans has been serving their donuts and pastries for years. Giant is doing something similar in their remodels as well. This is the only Acme I've seen this type of display in.

The Deli is just passed the Bakery...

A la Carte station to the rear. The Butcher Block is a little further back.

Pleasant seating area next to the Deli. One of the nicest I've seen. There was no expense sparred for Paoli's remodel.

Self-serve coffee to the left. The days of Starbucks in Acme are long gone now. Have to say, I've had the Buck County Coffee that Acme serves now and it's pretty good!

We've come around the corner to aisle 1. One thing still not upgraded... the Wild Harvest signage. Still looks good just doesn't match the new packaging.

I believe the "getting better" campaign is winding down. These photos were taken last May. Not sure if stores still have the signs up. The circulars new "fresh start, fresh savings" messaging.

New flooring throughout. Most PF&H remodels weren't so lucky.

It's funny, while I was walking around this store I just kept thinking... this is HOW every Acme should be! Insanely clean and well stocked. The store is very streamlined too. Not a lot of junky displays all over the place. The overall atmosphere is spectacular as far as supermarkets go.

The back corner and heading down the dairy aisle along the right side of the store...

Yep, it's early.

Some views of the front-end...

Heading out of the Pharmacy side. You can see the Sav-on sign on the awning.


Funny thing is, you can't get a good look at the front of the store on bing so we only have the sides and back.




It's certainly helpful that more satellite imagery is popping up from the 90's. Just wish it wasn't so crappy.


A look at the Paoli Shopping Center with the original Acme located in the upper left-hand corner. The building has evolved numerous times over the decades.

Location: 82 East Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 

Acme opened here on August 8, 1954. I believe the original Acme building is the center of this structure with additions happening to both sides. When I was here visiting, I thought the Acme was the right side of this building which is why you won't be seeing any photos of the left side. Doesn't matter terribly since there are absolutely no Acme clues remaining along the front or the sides.

Back in the 90's I used to drive by here occasionally. For some reason I never once stopped in. I would always think "I'll pop in next time". Before I knew it,  it was too late 'cause the store was gone. I was pretty mad at myself especially since the store had the Checkerboard Arch decor which you could easily see when passing by. Never noticed the replacement store as it can't be seen from the main road. Since starting Acme Style, I've hoping to track this place down. All those years later I couldn't remember exactly where this Acme was located. And as you can see here, you'd never guess it was an Acme with the way it looks today. It was only about a year ago that I pieced things together and realized THIS was that old Acme I used to drive by!

Notice the arched windows match the ones at the Acme.

Nothin' to see here. Everything's been redone.

Not even sure if this portion was ever part of the Acme. It may have been added after Acme left.

Tough figuring out anything along the back. We'll get some better clues from the historic aerial images.


The 50's Acme is in the center of the building you see here. The sides grew over the the years. They'll drop off as we head back in time down below.

Again... no front view available on bing.




Comparing this image with the one from 1999, it appears that the left side was expanded twice. I'm not sure if the section to the right was ever part of the Acme or if it was always separate stores.

Look at the crowds in '67!

This is as close of a look as we'll have of the original building. I would guess that the section on the right side is an addition but for the Acme or something else?


Acmes just don't get much nicer than the one here in Paoli!


  1. This store and the ridley acme are sister stores. Opened the same day in1999 I think February. Both started out with the chalk board decor. Ironically both were upgraded to pfh at the same time too. Before Wegmans opened it was usually in the top 3 stores in the company. In ridley their floral is where Paoli has their cheese shop and ridley doesn't have the Ala carte. The dairy and rx are a little different in those locations.

  2. This store is often referred to as the "flagship" Acme.

    Former President Judy Spires lives (lived?) nearby, and did all her shopping at this location.

  3. 2 things:
    Last time I was at this store, a couple years ago, there was grass on the cases. It appears to have been (tastefully) removed since then.
    Also, the original ACME was a very nice independent pharmacy between the opening of the new ACME and the arrival of PETCO, the Pharmacy closed in 2012 if I remember right, PETCO moving in late 2013.
    I don't live too far from this store... I should really go there more often.

    1. The section that's now Petco was originally built to be a Rite Aid, which would have put the independent out of business; due to Rite Aid's financial problems in 1999 the plans were cancelled and Paoli Pharmacy was able to move into that larger space until they closed.

  4. Dietz & Watson has been sending those Deli emblems to many stores that carry their products. A&P has been getting them too, and they are helping to liven up Pathmark's deli areas.

  5. I can tell you the "Getting Better" signs are still up in Clifton, even outside...I'm surprised they didn't take them down, and am also surprised that they don't have much else indicating their impending closure other than a couple of signs in the windows. Why they still have the old signs up while they're closing I don't know...

  6. How is that pronounced anyway? Is it PO-LEE, PAY-O-LEE or some other way?

    1. Pronounced Pay-ol-ee!
      I know that thanks to the many trips I have had to the hospital there! (Just kidding- well sort of)

  7. Going back to the bakery section for a bit...I noticed a similar setup to the Paoli Acme in the Saddle Brook A&P in New Jersey. I like it but at the same time I don't, simply because (at least in the A&P's case) it's not a very customer friendly system- I.e., there's boxes and no bags (and all the boxes are too damned big or too little, which sucks because all I ever get at an A&P bakery is a big cookie-still the best!). It is cool, though, for display purposes. Hope they do it better out in PA.

    1. It's the same thing at Wegmans... boxes only. Seems like such a waste for just one or two items. If you want to taste the best thing in the world, get a "Killer Brownie" at Wegmans. It's pretty unbelievable.

  8. Store has Quality Built decor now

  9. That is a beautiful shopping center. Especially by the Petco in the Old Acme