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TOUR: Hurley's Fresh Market - Towanda, PA

Hurley's Fresh Market
Owner: Robert Hurley
Opened: 2005
Cooperative: IGA
 387 York Ave, Towanda, PA
Photographed: August 17, 2022
We're returning to the Hurley's IGA in Towanda, 15 miles south of the New York border, which we first saw in 2019 with a drive-by picture from August 2018. Four years later, I'm back to tour the 17,000 square foot store. It, of course, was built in the 1960s as an A&P Centennial but I'm not sure exactly when A&P closed. Hurley's opened in 2005, and I'm not sure if there was another tenant between Hurley's and A&P. It looks like Hurley's did a pretty large renovation around 2011.
Now I am wondering when A&P closed. Some of the produce category markers look very, very similar to the 1990s A&P Food Market signage. It's possible that this is simply a coincidence, but it's also possible A&P lasted here into the 90s and left this sign and others like it behind.
Produce is in the front right corner of the store, with bakery and deli at the back of the first aisle. Meat is on the back wall, with frozen foods in the second-to-last aisle and dairy on the far left side of the store.
Some of the category and department signage is also very similar to A&P Fresh 1.0 styled signs, but I'm willing to bet that's just a coincidence. There's no way that this store was still an A&P into the Fresh Market era because, by 2000, A&P had closed or rebranded all of its Pennsylvania stores, but it's possible that until just before that, this store was still being run by A&P out of a New York division.
Like the Dushore location, some of the fixtures here are updated but some are older.
This store is supplied by Bozzuto's from Cheshire, CT, with IGA and Seven Farms branded items.
Frozen foods cases might be from Hurley's opening, or could be slightly older. It's possible A&P originally had frozen foods right up the middle of the store.
And dairy in the last aisle! Notice that one strip of the grooved board on the right side. Is that evidence of the A&P Food Market-era decor or fixtures? Here's a look at a store with that type of board throughout.
Now I will say this store generally seemed to be alright, save for some noticeable empty spaces on the shelves. But the big problem? One register open with a line going up the aisle. It looks like people might use this store more as a convenience store, especially since we see these people mostly don't have carts and are purchasing just a few items. There's a Tops just to the east of Towanda that is just over 50,000 square feet, which is likely where many people in town shop for larger orders.
That is all for north central PA! Before we can move into the northeastern corner of the state, we need to check out some stores to the west of here. Come back tomorrow to see what's coming up next!


  1. Good question on how long A&P was there. They did keep some odd stores in places where most had closed far longer (like northern NY up till the 2000 range, and the one in Margaretville even longer).

    So, it wouldn't be difficult for a smaller town to be one that stuck around down there in PA either (it isn't far off really from some NY areas), and the size certainly wouldn't have been an issue as they still had Centennial store(s) open till their final bankruptcy in 2015 (Newark, DE being one off the top of my head).

  2. A&P had about a half dozen stores in upper PA that were part of the NJ North Division and run as A&P's until the 2000s.

    They also had about 10 or so stores in upstate NY run as A&P's well into the 2000's as well. The most interesting of which was Tannersville NY in the Catskills near Hunter Mountain Ski area. It was small probably less than 7,000 square feet. It closed when Grand Union built a 24,000 square foot or so store down the street. another great old A&P was in Red Hook, NY that is now a CVS I believe. It was in business into the early 2000s or so. It too was small at less than 10,000 square feet. It had checkout counters with no belt conveyors on them and ran with the old NCR 2125 stand alone (non scanning) cash registers up until almost if not until the time it closed. These stores in peripheral areas mad a lot of money for the company and they never re-invested in them and ran them until they just about quite literally ran into the ground.

    1. Seems it may have been a bit sooner than that. The last one around Albany (in a small town called Wynantskill) closed in April 1997.
      I know that Grand Union had to be fairly new in Tannersville (as it is the only other one I ever saw with that green design, besides ours in Valatie, which was definitely built in the late 1990's - probably since by that time they weren't opening too many new stores). Since GU went into bankruptcy in 2001, seems those stores would have been a couple years earlier (say 1997 or 1998 timeframe), so that may be a better guess on when those A&P stores closed (though maybe it was in 2000, along with the few stores up north, like Saranac and Tupper Lake)?

      Red Hook was a CVS, though I haven't been through there lately, but web maps look like it is now north of the diner, so maybe they built a new store where the IGA used to be (or took over that building after that closed up)? Thinking it was probably a bit larger space (as you note, that CVS was on the small side).

    2. Thank you for all of this history! I love reading about these old supermarkets that, against all odds, made it until very recently.

      BillyGr, you're right -- CVS built a new store where the IGA was in Red Hook, and the A&P building is definitely still standing:

      The new CVS is around 5,000 square feet larger.

  3. Yep - I finally happened to get a chance to go down that way a week ago Sunday and see what they had done. There is something else in the A&P building, but forget what it was.


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