Shapiro's closing in Pikesville

November 07, 1990|By Meredith Schlow | Meredith Schlow,Evening Sun Staff

Shapiro's, the Pikesville-based supermarket that has graced the corner of Old Court and Reisterstown roads for over 30 years, is closing its doors this month.

President Harry Shapiro has sold his company's name and some of its equipment to Seven Mile Market, an all-kosher supermarket on Seven Mile Lane in Pikesville.

Founded in January of 1989, Seven Mile Market calls itself "the first all-kosher supermarket" in Baltimore. While Shapiro's was the first supermarket to offer a kosher meat department, not all of its canned goods are kosher.

Though Seven Mile Market has no plans to use the Shapiro name, Joshua Gutman, president, said the purchase would enable his company to "maximize our buying power and gain access to sources Shapiro's may have been utilizing." It also prevents other companies from using the Shapiro name.

Shapiro, 65, said he and his partner, Jerome Rudich, 67, plan to retire.

However, Shapiro has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity during a transitional phase in which Shapiro's customers will be encouraged to shop at Seven Mile Market.

The market plans to add cashiers and baggers and plans to hire "a number" of Shapiro's employees, according to a press release.

The Shapiro's building will be purchased by Staples, a Boston-based membership-discount office-supply store, according to Hirsh Goldberg, president of SmithMead & Goldberg. The Reisterstown Road store would be the company's first in Maryland. Staples, which was founded in 1986, has 70 stores nationwide.

Officials at Staples could not be reached for comment.

The news of the supermarket's closing saddened customers who have shopped at Shapiro's for years.

"It's a landmark," said Roslyn Feldberg, a Pikesville resident for over 20 years. "I just don't like them closing. You feel so bad. Here's something that you felt so attached to. It was something familiar."

Gilbert Lean who with his wife, Sylvia, has lived in Pikesville for 24 years, called Shapiro's "an institution."

Though Lean said Seven Mile Market is "nice clean place," he added that he doesn't think it will take the place of Shapiro's in the hearts of older shoppers.

"When we used to shop [at Shapiro's] around Passover time, you would not only shop, you would meet people there that you hadn't seen for months or maybe years."

"We grew up in there," he said.

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