Eight Defunct Grocery Chains You Remember
Before chains like Walmart, Publix, and Winn-Dixie dominated the grocery business, these names once anchored shopping centers and street corners throughout our cities.
Daylight Grocery Company, Inc.
Daylight Grocery employees in front of a store in Jacksonville in 1949. Courtesy of State Archives of Florida.
Established by Israel Edwards and David Lasarow, the first Daylight Grocery opened in Downtown Jacksonville at 19 Main Street in 1928. Despite being in the midst of the Great Depression, Daylight had expanded with a second location by 1931. By 1950, the grocery company grew into a 12-store regional chain, along with an office and warehouse along the Downtown Jacksonville waterfront. After decades of growth Daylight’s reach began to decline during the 1970s. By 1980, there were only four locations remaining. After nearly six decades of business, the last Daylight Grocery location at 1315 Kings Road in Jacksonville closed for good.
A 2012 interior image of a Dominick’s in Matteson, Illinois. Courtesy of Retaildesigner at Wikipedia.
Dominick’s was a Chicago area chain that dated back to a store founded by Sicilian immigrant Dominick DiMatteo in 1918. Dominick’s first supermarket was a 14,000-square-foot store that opened in 1950. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the chain was one of the first to experiment with all ceiling sales areas being exposed to structural elements such as piping and HVAC ducts. In 1998, the 116 store chain was acquired by Safeway, becoming a subsidiary of the grocery giant. On December 28, 2013, Safeway closed its remaining 83 Dominick’s locations. Out of 72 stores available for sale, Mariano’s Fresh Market acquired 11, Jewel-Osco purchased 10 and Whole Foods bought seven. The remaining stores were purchased by smaller individual buyers or remain vacant to this day.
Florida Choice Food and Drug
A closed Florida Choice store in Titusville, Florida. Courtesy of Hiveminer.com.
Florida Choice was a supermarket chain first established by Cincinnati, Ohio-based Kroger as SupeRx Food and Drugs in 1980. The first location was opened in the city of Indian Harbor Beach, Florida. Early locations were known for their distinctive rounded awning over the entryways. In 1983, the chain’s administrative offices were relocated from Melbourne to Maitland, Florida. When Kroger sold off its subsidiary SupeRX, the name of the Florida grocery stores was changed to Florida Choice. In 1987, the chain expanded with Kroger’s acquisitions of A&P’s Family Mart chain, bring the total number of Florida choice locations to 43. Unable to compete in Florida’s competitive grocery industry, Kroger sold stores in the western part of the state to Kash N’ Karry and Goodings in the central and eastern areas of the state in 1988.
Gooding’s Supermarkets, Inc.
The last Goodings location in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Courtesy of Hiveminer.com.
Gooding’s was an upscale Central Florida-based supermarket chain established by Jonathan Gooding in Maitland, Florida in 1964. It was the first in the area of offer 24-hour shopping, a bakery and delicatessen. The chain had expanded to 18 locations before it ran into financial difficulties in 1992. By 2000, most its stores had either been closed or sold to Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie. In 2005, the two location chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with $22 million in revenue and 175 employees in its food service and catering divisions. Today, Gooding’s operates one location catering to tourist in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.