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TOUR: Boyer's Food Markets - Ashland, PA

Boyer's Food Markets
Owner: Dean Walker
Opened: 1998
Previous Tenants: ACME Markets (1959-1995) > Insalaco's (1995-1998)
Location: 150 E Centre St, Ashland, PA
Photographed: November 29, 2019
Here we are in Ashland, PA, a town of 2400 towards the western side of the Coal Region. We're nearing the end of our circuit around the lower Coal Region area, with just three more towns to stop by after this one. At 18,000 square feet, this is a small supermarket but definitely a complete one -- and complete with some key supermarket history.
As some may be able to tell from the exterior (there are a lot of clues remaining), this store was built in 1959 as an ACME. In the 1970s, it was remodeled with a minor upgrade -- adding just part of the Super Saver awning (see the whole thing in Middlesex, for instance). The interior was also remodeled in the 1970s. The store closed in 1995 before becoming an Insalaco's for a few years, then a Boyer's in 1998. I believe at the time Boyer's was affiliated with Great Valu Markets, but split off a few years later.
In a layout completely remaining from ACME -- probably with most of the same fixtures and flooring, too -- we enter on the left side of the storefront and then walk across the front of the store in front of the registers to bakery and produce in the front right corner. I don't believe there's an in-store bakery, but they might bring product in from another location.
And we can see the ACME remnants already. The flooring may or may not be, I'm not totally sure. But it still has that classic ACME look!
A look across the front end of the store.
I'm not totally sure how many of the fixtures are left over from ACME. I wouldn't be surprised if all or most of the grocery shelving is, and it looks like some of the refrigeration may be.
But wait, we can't leave the produce department just yet. Remember we talked about the 1970s decor on the Berger's post? Well, this store has clear remnants from the ACME decor, just painted white.
The decor, of course, has been updated around the store, but the bones are still ACME.
In fact, the more I look at these pictures, the less I think has been left from ACME. Anyone recognize this flooring? I'm thinking Boyer's may have installed new flooring and some new fixtures when they moved in.
It's likely the salad bar and hot food bar to the left here was installed by Boyer's, but the deli department is in the same place it would've been for ACME.
Anyone have any idea what the inside of an Insalaco's would have looked like? Would they just have left whatever was there from the previous tenant?
A look at the meat department on the back wall.
The grocery aisles are cramped, but like most of the Boyer's I visited, they pack a lot in the small space.
I'm almost positive these freezers are left over from ACME, but I'm less certain about the flooring.
The last aisle has frozen and dairy.
And the front-end has been updated with new checkout lane markers, but the rest is largely original.
And customer service is certainly in exactly the same spot as it would have been in the ACME days.
That's all for this Boyer's, but it's not the last Boyer's in a former ACME we'll see.
In fact, we have another one coming right up tomorrow. Come back to check it out!


  1. From what I remember, the vast majority of the Acme to Insalaco conversions changed hardly anything decor-wise, with most of the Insalaco stores closing or being sold off with the Acme decor almost entirely in-tact. The only Acme I recall that got any heavy amount of attention during the Penn Traffic days was the Wyoming store, which was upgraded to what a new-build Insalacos would have looked and felt like inside, but that appears to be a rare exception.

    As for the floors, I don't recall Insalaco's ever using a gray/brown tile pattern, especially in the mid-1990's. Orange and white tiles would have matched Insalaco's decor at the time, however, I'd be surprised if Penn Traffic replaced the floors in this store considering how little anything else was changed.

    1. So in that case, it's most likely that the flooring is either left over from ACME (unlikely since I don't recognize this flooring as matching any ACME decor package I am familiar with) or installed by Boyer's. Thanks for the history here!

    2. I never understood the 'shirt' logo Boyer's uses, it just doesn't seem to fit a grocery operator.

    3. Agreed -- they pair it with the "red shirt service" tagline, but it doesn't exactly make sense.


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