Watertown Neighborhood Grocery Stores – Aboud and Bahou on E. Main St
Another Watertown neighborhood grocery store serving the Northside was Aboud and Bahou Groceries on the corner of East Main and Mundy Streets. Initially operating with Stundy Aboud and Najiy Bahou in the 1950’s, it would be known as Aboud’s Market in 1962.
Like many of the neighborhood stores, it was a favorite destination amongst children who would buy their favorite candies and sodas. In some instances, Mr. Aboud would give payment of an RC Cola for the sweeping of his stairs.
The store would close in 1971 when Stundy, who served as 11th Ward Supervisor for a number of years, notified of his intentions of not running again due to his plans to move out of town. Stundy was very active within the community, particularly on the North Side, serving as President of the Starbuck-Lansing P.-T.A.; First Vice President of Cooper P.-T.A.; member of F. & A.M., North Side Improvement League, Elks, Italian-American Civic association and Trinity Episcopal Church; and chairman of the hospital and health committee.
Helen L. Bahou, who was the daughter of Samuel and Najiy Bahou and sister to Stundy Aboud and Victor Bahou, passed away on December 15, 2021 at the age of 94. Helen worked at the family store until its closing in 1971. Helen’s obituary can be read here.
Watertown Neighborhood Grocery Stores
According to the Watertown Daily Times, there were as many as 87 neighborhood grocery stores operating in the city back in 1907 (a list from 1908 can be found here.) While there will always be a place for chains – some of them serving up a number of fond memories themselves such as the much-beloved Mohican, there’s something about the neighborhood stores and their place within our communities, and particularly our childhood memories, that made them endearing.
Over the years, more and more large grocery stores infiltrated the area offering more competitive pricing, and larger varieties of goods. A&P, Weston, Super Duper, P&C and many others have come and gone through the years and while the neighborhood grocery stores are (very) few and far between, if you look around, you still might see a little mom and pop store… somewhere.
In an ever-evolving world, it’s the chain stores themselves who now face stiff competition from the likes of large conglomerates such as Sam’s Club and Walmart, or the likes of Amazon.com. While some of them may be able to boast even MORE offerings and DEEPER discounts, they’ll never aspire to be, and thusly never match, the quaintness of the old neighborhood grocery stores.
As one astute commenter, Lee Crandall, wrote on the You Haven’t Lived in Watertown, NY if— Facebook page,
In most American cities our zoning laws have put this type of store out of business. So now we miss out on the interaction with neighbors, drive miles to a big box store, get less exercise, and waste fossil fuels to get the stuff that used to be at the corner store.
A list of neighborhood grocery stores in Watertown over the years include the following below:
Academy St Market
Boora’s Soda Shop
Breen Avenue Market
Calendar’s Market on Factory
California Fruit Market
Clay Street Market
Cooper Street Market
Derrigo’s Fruit Stand
Gayle Street Market
General Store, Coffeen Street
Habeeb Bros. Red & White
Hickey’s Grocery Store
Holcomb Street Market
Johnnie’s Fruit Stand
LeRay Street Market
Meadow Street Market
Rocky’s Fruit Stand
Rutland St. Market
Sowans on State and High St.
Tony’s Fruit Stand
Interested in viewing other Watertown neighborhood grocery stores like Aboud & Bahou? Click here.