To the Editor:
With nostalgia sweeping into my mind around mealtime, I think of early "supermarkets" in Brazil.
First of all, we have Kroger, the granddaddy of all, research and eyewitnesses told me.
Kroger-Oakley was located in the building where Lynn's Pharmacy is now (not to be confused with A&P, which moved into it later).
My uncle (was 95 when he died) said this was in the 1920s-30s era.
There was a small radio station in the upper part of the building.
After a split from Oakleys, Kroger moved into the building directly across the street. This was on the southwest corner of Franklin Street and National Avenue, in a building that once housed Metz Lunch, and before that, Moore's Variety (torn down now, next to McCurdy's).
My grandma, Elizabeth Haeberle's cousin ran the first small Metz Lunch next to Kroger when located here about 1930-47.
Her name was Louise Schmidt Metz. I was told the Kroger grocery was very small. So around 1947 (about the time A&P moved into Lynn's building), Kroger moved into a building where the Goodwill now sits. This building burned in 1951.
Kroger put up the building, which now houses Goodwill, and before that, Western Auto.
And from the middle 1940s until the early 1950s, Kroger had a small store where the Palmer's Tavern was later (close to the Alabama Restaurant).
My dad, Henry Krampe, said he walked there to get items for mom and him in early years of marriage, approximately 1948 and after.
So before the small west-end Kroger burned, there were two Kroger groceries in Brazil, at one time.
When the "new" Kroger opened around 1952, it introduced frozen food items, and its trademark "Jean Allen" products.
It was located here (where Goodwill is now) from 1952-61.
At that time, Kroger moved to a new building on South Forest Avenue, with Hooks Drug Store.
It houses Page's IGA today.
I remember going into the grill at Hook's on Friday evening with my folks after grocery shopping. Hook's Grill had the best grilled cheese sandwiches anywhere.
I can still remember the buttery grill taste today.
In the mid-1970s, Kroger moved into the new shopping complex on East National Avenue. It has remodeled several times, but is still in the same building today.
Kroger has always been good for Brazil.
In Part II, I'll discuss The Standard A&P, and IGA in Brazil.
David Haeberle Krampe,