Day Old Stores

by Bill Newman

Every city had its share of day old food stores. Back in the 30's foods were not made with all the chemical preservatives we have today and as a result most baked goods had to be sold the day it was made. The second day of its life it was for sale in the day old store. The later in the day you shopped the smaller the selection was but the lower the price was.

I had two favorite places to shop for day old goods. The first was at 143 Prince St. in Newark and was owned by Dugan's Bakery. Dugan's was famous for pies and spice cakes among fifty other items worth dying for. As soon as I entered the shop I headed for the pie section to look for a cherry pie, if I found one the day was a success no matter what else happened. Next I would search out the spice cakes. Filling a grocery bag with goodies could cost as much as .40¢ and involved a forty-five minute walk to and from Dugan's. I only went there once a month with my mother to help her carry things she bought in other stores.

Drake's day old store was located on Lyons Avenue in Irvington and was a part of the building in which the baking was done, as a result the building could be smelled before in was seen.

I would ride my bicycle to Drakes and was allowed to make all the choices as long as I did not spend more than .25¢. This amount was more than sufficient to fill the grocery bag. As you can see Drakes prices were lower than Dugan's.

Some stores today carry Drakes baked goods or items that look very similar. Sometimes in a supermarket I'll see a package of two cupcakes that are selling for .50¢. I think back to the days when there were three cupcakes to a package and the package sold for .05¢. If the package was a day old the price would be three packages for .05¢. What would the youth of today think seeing those prices?


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