One of downtown Baltimore’s better known and patronized food markets was Schreiber Brothers, on Eutaw Street, near the Howard Street department stores. Shoppers often used this grocery store and meat market to add to their purchases from the adjacent Lexington Market. When Lexington Market burned in 1949, Schreiber’s business temporarily increased.
A reader, Ted Lingelbach, wrote: “I can remember my mother took me downtown to see the damage the morning after the old wooden Lexington Market burned down.”
There were other neighborhood stores in Baltimore; many were strategically close to the city-owned markets. There was Shur Fine in the 500 block of Gay St. above the old Belair Market. Curiously, there was an A&P store within the old North Avenue Market confines.
Other stores were neighborhood-based, like Pappas grocery at 5415 Harford Road, Hamilton, and 803 Washington Blvd. Pigtown.
Baltimoreans were loyal to city market vendors such as the Smelkinson family’s butter and egg stall in the Belair Market’s north shed.
Waverly, the North Baltimore neighborhood that now has a flourishing Saturday farmers’ market, had numerous small grocers. Mary Lacey recalled her family’s market at 3326 Greenmount Ave. She wrote that the business began its life as a saloon, but changed about 1920. Her uncle cut meats and wrapped them in paper for the servants of nearby families.
“Except for a few water bottles from Chattolanee Springs in wooden crates stamped J P LACEY, my memories are all that I have left of this,” she wrote. Chattolanee Springs is in Baltimore County near Stevenson; its bottled water was thought to impart healing properties.