And Now You Know: Aronson Grocery closes after 45 years

Published 8:09 am Saturday, November 14, 2020

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Mike Louviere
And Now You Know

The Orange Leader edition for June 1, 1939 told of the closing of a longtime Orange business. “Aronson’s Grocery closed arrangements here yesterday for the sale of its complete stock and all fixtures. Today for the first time in 45 years Orange people cannot buy groceries from an Aronson store,” reported the Leader.

M.B. Aronson opened the M.B. Aronson Grocery Store on Front Street on November 5, 1894. A year after he opened the store, he was joined by his brother Goodman Aronson and under the name Aronson and Brothers moved to the Swinford block on Fourth Street. As the business grew, other family members joined. Sons of the founders joined and received early job and business training.

In 1906, Aronson and Brothers bought out the L. Miller store on the corner of Fourth and Front Streets. The business remained at that location for the remainder of their years in operation.

In 1918, Joe Aronson, the third brother joined the firm and bought out the half interest of M.B. Aronson. Goodman Aronson sold out his half interest to Leon L. Block in 1922 and moved to Dallas.

Joe Aronson followed the business example set by his older brothers in making the business a success.

M.B. Aronson bought out the H.W. Pruter Grocery Company in 1918 when he sold his interest in Aronson Brothers. He moved to his own building and began the M.B. Aronson Grocery Company which he operated until 1928 when he leased his building to the J.C. Penny Company.

A fourth Aronson brother, Aaron, became connected with the business for several years.

The fifth Aronson brother, Felix, resided in New York. There was a sister, Eva, who visited Orange in 1898 from her home in Lithuania. Eventually she relocated to Jonesboro, South Africa.

Through the difficult depression years, Aronson kept up the Aronson tradition of doing business. An opportunity in another city led to the decision to sell and end the years of the Aronson grocery business in Orange.

Joe Aronson said the decision to sell out was a difficult one, but they will be locating to the city where their son Aaron lived. Mrs. Aronson’s mother also lived there. They felt the advantages of the new opportunity outweighed the desire to remain in business in Orange.

M.B. Aronson and Goodman Aronson were helping Mr. and Mrs. Joe Aronson in winding up the firm’s business. The Aronsons were going to remain in Orange several weeks closing accounts and making arrangements to sell or lease their home on the corner of Fourth and Orange Streets.

With the closing of the Aronson store, Orange’s longest operating grocery business ended. Other stores would come and go over the years, but none stayed in business as long as the Aronson brothers stores.

“And now you know.”