Other than a quick trip inside the Acme grocery store in Ortley Plaza in Seaside Heights in about 2018, I haven’t been to any other Acmes in many years. I think there was one in Rahway on Elizabeth Avenue back when I was a kid, but that may have been an A&P, one of their big rivals back then.

So to me it feels like Acme is nostalgia. They once were the number one supermarket chain in the Delaware Valley, but by 2013 had fallen to third place.

While Acme locations have been closing there are still plenty around. At present, there are 162 Acme stores altogether with 47 of them in New Jersey. However, it was just announced that number is dropping next month to 161 and 46 respectively.

The ACME in Middlesex is slated to permanently close on February 3 according to NJ.com. No specific reason was given for the closure, although last year the chain lost their location in Morris Plains over lack of agreement on a lease extension. That location had been there for forty years.

The chain has a very long history. Here’s an ad from 44 years ago, in 1977. Just look at these snazzy blue jackets!

And the chain has been around a lot longer than that. Acme has been with us for over 130 years. Two Irish immigrants, Robert Crawford and Samuel Robinson, launched the first store in South Philadelphia in 1891. From there the chain grew throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Connecticut. Not sure when those blue jackets came along though.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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