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It's Time for our Spring Break!

Happy spring! You know what that means, we'll be on our spring break until May 20th. In the meantime, check out some memorabilia with new posts every day on Grocery Archaeology ! After that, it's on to Massachusetts with regular posting this summer!

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  The smallest state in the union has only 105 supermarkets (for reference, that's less than half of the number of supermarkets in Manhattan alone). But we're going to be taking a look at a few of them, even though my coverage isn't too extensive. There's still a lot of fun things to see here! We'll be spending about two weeks in the Bay State, moving from north to south through Burrillville, North Smithfield, Smithfield, North Scituate, then a few stops in Providence (but of course nowhere near a full tour of all the stores in Providence), with two final stops in the Newport area in Portsmouth and Tiverton. Like Connecticut, Rhode Island has quite a few independent stores that are really fun to visit. In fact, we won't be seeing any big-chain supermarkets here in Rhode Island (but rest assured, there are plenty of Stop & Shops and Shaw's). We're starting with our first store tomorrow here on The Independent Edition in Burrillville!

TOUR: Putnam Supermarket - Putnam, CT

Putnam Supermarket Owner: Jay Sinha Opened:  2010 under current ownership; unknown previously Cooperative:  none Location:  162 Providence St, Putnam, CT Photographed:  September 25, 2020 Welcome to Putnam, Connecticut! The quaint town of 10,000 people is such a quintessential small town that it's been used as the setting for Hallmark movies (which frequently feature Hartford, Providence, and Worcester -- all of which are within about 40 miles away -- as the big bad city). There are two supermarkets in the downtown area, plus a Stop & Shop about two miles outside of town. One of the two is the longtime independent Putnam Supermarket, not a member of any cooperative but supplied by New Hampshire's C&S Wholesale Grocers (which originated in Worcester, by the way). I haven't been able to place when the store opened, and Historic Aerials isn't much help either, showing that it was constructed some time between 1934 and 1970. If I had to guess, it would be a 1960s-

Coming Soon!

Moving right along to our next stops along the southern part of New England! My density is not wonderful in this region, since it's kind of too far for me to get to from my home in New Jersey and it's kind of too far for me when I lived in central Massachusetts, too. But nevertheless, we have around two weeks' worth of stuff to see from Hartford and some northern and eastern suburbs, then a look at the quaint town of Putnam in the northeastern corner of Connecticut. When we're finished with this, it'll be on to Rhode Island. Let's start in Hartford with a store tour right on The Market Report on Monday!

TOUR: Gnazzo's Food Center - Plainville, CT

Gnazzo's Food Center Owner: Kenny Gnazzo Opened:  1934 previously; ca. late 1980s in present building Cooperative:  IGA Location:  73 East St, Plainville, CT Photographed:  fall 2020 Contributor:  Lars D. Welcome to Gnazzo's Food Center! This Plainville institution has been in business since 1934, but relocated to its current building in the late 1980s. The building is around 18,000 square feet. I can't offer too much of a layout description because I've never actually been here and these pictures are coming to us courtesy of our contributor Lars D., but it looks like produce and dairy are on the right side of the store with meats on the back. It looks like deli and bakery are on the far left side in the last aisle, with frozen in the front left corner. It looks to me like the store probably hasn't gotten a renovation since it opened in the late 80s. The deli and bakery area across the store might have gotten some work, and some of the fixtures may have been painte

TOUR: LaBonne's Market - Watertown, CT

LaBonne's Market Owner: Bob LaBonne Opened: unknown Cooperative:  IGA Location:  639 Straits Tpk, Watertown, CT Photographed:  July 9, 2021 We've seen some excellent independents around Connecticut so far, and today's tour is no exception. The four-store LaBonne's Market chain runs higher-end but complete supermarkets with lots of specialty items but not crazy high prices. Like so many other stores in this area, they are IGA-affiliated and supplied by Bozzuto's -- whose home base is in Cheshire, just about ten miles from this store. We enter the 30,000 square foot store on the left side to produce in the left part of the grand aisle. It opens up to prepared foods up next, with a sushi island in the middle of the grand aisle and the rest at the back. The salad bar we see here was closed not permanently, but due to the coronavirus when I visited. The deli is at the back of the grand aisle with meat and seafood taking up the rest of the back wall. Dairy and frozen ar