Local Business

Visit the “mom and pop” shops and the local watering holes of Avalon where countless memories were made.

Sprowles Fish Market (1924) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Sprowles Fish Market

Located at 3239 Third Avenue (now Ocean Drive), Sprowles Fish Market was owned and operated by Edward B. Sprowles from 1924 until his death in 1941. The store was then managed by Laura Armstrong and her husband Henry (then chief of the Avalon Police Department) as “Armstrong’s Market” until 1946, when Edward’s son, Everett, moved to Avalon and reclaimed the business.

Sprowles Food Market Fish Facts (1938) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

A promotional booklet from Sprowles Food Market. Donated by Julie Baraldi.

Armstrong's Market Fan (circa 1940) by Stead & Andes, Inc.The Avalon History Center

A promotional hand fan from Armstrong's Market - notice "Formerly Sprowles" in parentheses. Donated By Mark Farcas

Clarence and Amelia Gehringer (circa late 1940s) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Gehringer's Penny Candy Store

Beginning in 1929, Clarence and Amelia Gehringer (also known as “Pop” and “Mom”) operated two storefronts in Avalon. One of their shops was located at the newly-constructed Avalon Convention Hall, while the other was located on 8th Street. The Gehringer’s were famous for their 10¢ hot dogs and their root beer float, which was known to locals as the “Brown Cow.”

Avalon Convention Hall (1929) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

The Avalon Convention Hall, one of Gehringer's two locations until 1946.

Gehringer's Penny Candy Store (1920/1930) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Gehringer's location on 8th Street.

Mom and Pop Gehringer's former shop on 8th Street - now a private residence.

American Stores Co. (1930/1940) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

American Stores Co.

In 1926, Matthew and Letitia Mazza purchased an empty lot on the southwest corner of 21st Street and Dune Drive. The store they built on this lot became a branch of the American Stores Company (also known as ASCO) - a Philadelphia-based grocery chain that boasted almost 2,000 stores. Thirty years later, the building was sold to Robert T. Sullivan, becoming the first location of Sullivan’s Department Store. Today, Circle Pizza operates out of the former ASCO store.

Sullivan's Department Store (Circa late 1950s to early 60s) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Sullivan's first location at the former ASCO store.

The former American Store Co. location - now Circle Pizza.

Sullivan's Department Store (1991/1995) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Sullivan's Department Store

From 1957 to 1995, Sullivan’s Department Store was owned by Robert T. Sullivan. Under the management of his son Brian, then his daughter Barbara, Sullivan’s became a popular destination for locals and visitors alike – especially the lunch counter. After almost four decades in Avalon, Sullivan’s became Hand’s Department Store, which closed in 2005.

Sullivan's (1967) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Barbara and Brian Sullivan outside the store (circa 1967).

Sullivan's Luncheonette (1991/1995) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

The lunch counter at Sullivan's. Donated by Rose Wells.

Hand's Department Store (circa 2004) by UnknownThe Avalon History Center

Hand's Department Store. Donated by James Thatcher.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps