March 25, 1965: Ford and Peckham to Construct Huge New Main St. Supermarket read the headlines to the Andover News.

       Herald Ford and Hollis Peckham today announce that they have made final arrangements for the purchase of six Main Street business places for the location and construction of a huge new supermarket.


       The razing of these buildings and construction of the new store will mark the biggest single change in the Main Street business section in modern Andover history.

       The Voorhees Billiard Parlor and adjoining garage last occupied by Mark Hyslip III were taken down first at the end of May.  This building used to be the Odd Fellows Hall. Next to come down was the Hann & Skinner building, which was formerly the Child’s Restaurant and a bakery followed by the Floyd C. Vars & Son Jewelry Store, formerly Chessman’s Drug Store, Lever’s Trading Post, which was formerly Tuttle’s Dept. Store, Vars Toy Shop, formerly Brundage’s Drug Store and then Kibbe’s Meat Market.

       A new colored Stran-Steel building will then be erected on this site with work to commence in the fall and the date of completion scheduled for early spring.

       The building will be of the latest design and equipped in ultramodern style.  It will be 50 feet wide and 122 feet long with a well-lighted, blacktopped parking lot 80 feet wide and 140 feet long bordering Main St.  This new parking lot will provide parking space for approximately 35 cars and will have an entrance and exit onto Main St.

       According to Mr. Ford and Mr. Peckham, the new building will be leased to one of the major super market groups operating in this area on a long term lease, and will bring local and area residents the latest and most modern marketing principles.  The two partners also stated that without the fine cooperation and foresight of the local businessmen involved, this ideal location could not have been utilized.  This could have forced the location of the supermarket and parking lot off Main St. or possibly even out of town.


       In a personal interview with Kenneth Vars, proprietor of the Floyd C. Vars & Son Jewelry Store, we were informed that his father purchased the building around 1899 from “Tip” Mourhess and that it has been in the Vars family since that time.

       Ken joined the business with his father in 1937 and then upon the death of Mr. Vars in 1949, assumed sole ownership and has continued to operate the store since then.

       “Kenny” told us that he is planning a gigantic sale in the near future at which he will sell all his merchandise at greatly reduced closeout prices.  This will include diamonds, watches, jewelry and sporting goods that are in stock at the present time.

       For his future plans, Mr. Vars says that upon the closing of his Jewelry Store, he will devote his full time to the operation of Vars Men’s & Boys Store at a nearby location on Main St., which he presently owns and operates.

       Robert Voorhees, proprietor of the Billiard Parlor, tells us that he will continue business for around two more months providing he can locate several pool and billiard tables, since his present ones are already sold.  He stated that he has been in business for many years and hope to resume operations at a different location in the near future.

       At the present time, no definite plans have been finalized concerning The Gift Box, which has been operated by the Vars Brothers for the past several years.  However, Wendell stated that he and Ken had several plans under consideration and that their decision would be announced in the near future.

       March 24, 1966:  We don’t know whether the frost is all gone out of the ground yet or not, but we do know that the ground is already broken!  We really aren’t trying to be funny, the ground has been broken down on Main St., for the new supermarket that is to be erected there.

       We were talking to Hollis the other day (of Ford and Peckham that is) and elicited the information that, barring unforeseen troubles, the building will probably be completed by July 1st or possibly sooner.

       April 14, 1966:  Well, we see that despite the miserable weather that we have been having, the steel work is springing up like a mushroom on the construction of the new supermarket that is being built on Main St. by the Ford and Peckham builders.

       In the description of the proposed building when we announced the original plans, it sounded as if it was going to be a good sized store, but when you actually see how immense it is going to be according to the plot that is being built on, then it begins to be something real and tangible!

       April 21, 1966:  The new Market Basket supermarket being built by Ford & Peckham builders takes form. With the steel all up, the back sidewall and the roof on, all of the underground plumbing and electric wiring completed, the concrete floor two thirds poured, it appears as if the June 1st deadline will be met and the store should be open to the public on or before July 1st.

       July 7, 1966:  It has been announced today by Market Basket representatives, that their new supermarket, located opposite the Post Office in Andover, will be stocked completely and open for business next Wednesday morning, July 13th at 8:00 A. M.

       Harry Maddren, Jr., who has been in charge of the Market Basket store here in Andover for the last year and a half, will be manager of the grocery and produce department, with Millard Smith in charge of the new modern meat department.

       According to Mr. Maddren, the new store will be open from 7:30 A. M., to 5:30 P. M., every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and on Thursday and Friday from 7:30 A. M. until 8 P. M.  He also stated that the new store is completely stocked with a wide variety of food supplies, fresh meat, and vegetables as well as other daily household needs.

       The new store will employ 5 fulltime employees and around 6 part-time help which will place several more people on the payroll.  It is built following a Colonial Design and is of modern construction, covering 120 square feet of area with ample parking for customers.


       Manager Harry Maddren was also happy to announce that free orchids will be given to all lady shoppers during the opening week; the Andover School Band will present a band concert in front of the new store Friday evening at 7:00 P. M., and door prizes will be given away Saturday night.  These prizes will consist of several valuable items which include an Underwood portable typewriter, and an antique wall clock and will be given away free without any obligation to the lucky winners.

       This new “Market Basket” took the place of the old “Market Basket” that stood on the corner of East Greenwood St. and Main St. in the Vars Block. It was originally the business of C. E. Brown, a local undertaker and furniture dealer.  He had opened his business there in 1907 and closed his business in March of 1929.  The Market Basket Co. of Olean, N.Y. took over this location and operated there from April 1929 till 1966 when the new store opened across from the Post Office.

       The Market Basket stayed in business until mid January 2001.  Then it was decided they didn’t want to be there any longer.  On May 21, 2001, Dawn Meyers Neidermaier opened the store as Maier’s Market and has been doing a wonderful business. 

       Fresh made donuts, salads, sandwiches, and dinners are served at the deli seven days a week.  We owe Dawn Neidermaier and Bill Ford many “Thanks” for keeping our Andover store open.