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'Lucky' Site For Village Marketplace?

More than six decades ago a downtown San Leandro store made retail history. Its site will soon house a retail and restaurant plaza that is supposed to give downtown a boost.


The year was 1947.

On the international scene, Arabs and Jews rejected a British proposal to divide Palestine.

In the United States, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi began broadcasting in Hollywood.

And in San Leandro, the first modern supermarket opened at 1550 East 14th Street.

Soon that downtown site, now a parking lot, will be the home of a retail and restaurant plaza known as the Village Marketplace

This new plaza , the industrial designer hired to give that pioneering Lucky store consumer appeal.

The San Leandro Lucky, which opened on May 15, 1947, earned a paragraph in the Wikipedia entry on the not-so-fortunate chain:

It featured a coffee shop and other conveniences. Also known as "Lucky #50", this store was managed for years by San Leandro native Anthony (Tony) Minniti. Mr. Minniti was known for his old-fashioned approach that emphasized customer service. Tony enjoyed having a personal rapport with many customers over the years, and maintained a highly profitable store during his tenure. After his retirement, the store's customer base (and profitability) declined over time. It was the last Lucky Store to be re-branded after the takeover by Albertsons. Due to dwindling profits, it later closed in 2005.

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Tom Abate June 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I'd love to know what was on the shelves of the Lucky in 1947 and if anyone remembers Tony Minniti. But thanks, David, for the historical correction and context.
Fran June 06, 2012 at 07:21 PM
No doubt, whatever it was, it was better then what's on Fresh & Easy Shelves, or most modern day markets.. lol. In other words food tasted like food.
David June 06, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Like this? http://pzrservices.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2008/08/16/1947_recipe_ad.jpg Main ingredient: The A&P "Jane Parker" Angel Food bar, i.e. pre-packaged "convenience" food. Topped with Reddi Whip (first available in 1947). Perhaps some Betty Crocker pre-packaged cake mix instead for your cake (1947)? Or perhaps Mac&Cheese (first sold in 1937). Maybe some frozen french fries (1946) as a side? Washed down with Nescafe instant coffee.
Paul Vargas June 07, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Probably bacalhau. =)
Fran June 07, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Yes, yum. At least there were no GMO's and everything was made here and not China:)


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