New supermarket not boulevard's first

Excitement about a proposed ShopRite on Admiral Wilson Boulevard is not the first supermarket sensation involving Camden's de facto main street.

In 1947, the grand opening of a Baltimore Market adjacent to the Sears store on the boulevard near downtown inspired a four-day celebration. The store, which later became a liquor market and was torn down in the 1990s, was dubbed the "Million Dollar Beauty."

"It was a very large store," recalls retired NJ Superior Court judge Richard Hyland, who grew up in the city's Parkside section.

Hyland notes that Camden then contained a number of supermarkets, including a Tiger store near Broadway and Atlantic avenue. But until the ShopRite opens in 2015, the Pathmark store on Mount Ephraim Avenue will remain the city's sole large, full-service supermarket.

Smaller independent or discount food stores are scattered citywide, but a major chain supermarket hasn't opened  in Camden since the 1960s.

Photo: Temple University Libraries, Urban Archives Collection