Watertown Neighborhood Grocery Stores – Jim and Andy’s Grocery Coffeen Street
When it comes to very old Watertown neighborhood grocery stores, sometimes information can be scarce to non-existent. Such is the case for Jim and Andy’s Grocery store located on Coffeen Street near the Colonial Beacon Lighthouse gas station. It operated as such from the 1910’s and the “Jim” in question was James Locke whose family resided there.
By 1926, Jim and Andy’s was the location of Empire Grocery, the name apparently coming in association to the Empire Flats, formerly Premier and currently City View apartments, which the Grocery was abutted to as a 2.5 story structure.
In the late 40’s and 1950’s, the former location of Andy and Jim’s became home to another Watertown neighborhood grocery store: Graham’s Market. In the ensuing years, a number of small businesses would come and go until the zoning was modified to become a two-family duplex in 1975. It is unknown as to whether the place is still occupied or not as of 2021.
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 Jim and Andy’s? Click here.