Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Catonsville Grocery Stores Remembered
All of this snow-panic food shopping has brought back some terrific grocery store memories for me. The old Catonsville, MD of my childhood boasted of four grocery stores on Frederick Road. They included the A & P by Newburg Avenue, the Acme near Egges Lane, the Food Fair next to the Midway Bar and Heidelbach’s which is now the Plymouth Wallpaper store. But the A & P was our favorite because they hired some of the cutest boys for baggers and cashiers. We loved to find an excuse to shop for our mothers just so we could legitimately see who was working that day. The other feature I remember about the A & P was the meat department. We always rang the bell at the meat counter and a lady would appear after sliding back the mirrored window. It was the only time I remember seeing ladies wearing pants at work in those days. The women, it was explained to me, did not wear skirts because the meat room was very cold. Heidelbach’s store was fabulous but shopping there was reserved for very special occasions. Their homemade mayonnaise was outrageously tasty among many other items. It was an authentic old-fashioned grocery store.The home of Mr. and Mrs. Heidelbach was located two doors down the street from us and on summer days they would often hand out treats to the children from their side door. The days of the neighborhood merchant are pretty much nonexistent, but now I treasure these thoughts especially during an unusually snowy winter.