32 Conwell Street

Alvin Ross's "A&P," from the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

Alvin Ross’s “A&P,” from the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

32 Conwell Street (1987), from the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

32 Conwell Street (1987), from the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

“The attractive Colonial-style exterior and ultra-modern, air conditioned interior … have been skillfully blended to provide … all of today’s merchandising facilities,” The Advocate reported in 1958 on the opening of this A&P, the town’s first true supermarket. Sometimes, Mary Souza, proprietor of Mary Spaghetti’s, would make her celebrated kale soup with an ingredient so secret she dared not disclose it: frozen kale. The A&P allowed her to pay for it in the office, rather than at a cashier. Then, a clerk would sneak it to her car out back. Happily fed, the town was none the wiser. The store closed in the 1980s and stood abandoned more than a decade before being razed to make way for the Old Ann Page Way development.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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