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Elm Farm Foods Records

 Collection
Identifier: I-552

Scope and Content Note

The records of Elm Farm Foods contain materials describing the major operations of the Elm Farm Supermarkets and affiliated organizations and institutions, which were also comprised of the Winer family financial holdings. The bulk of these documents depict the financial activities and accounting procedures of these various affiliates, focusing primarily on funds, investments, and shareholders. Paid notes and stock certificates are also available for many trusts and corporations. The collection also includes administrative documents, such as correspondence and memoranda, concerned with the management of real estate, retail operations, and personnel. Legal documents describe the formation and dissolution of several organizations. Information about Elm Farm retail operations is specifically described in reports, publications, photographs, and ephemera associated with the supermarkets the company owned.

Some folders contain restricted materials; these records cannot be accessed without permission from the archivist.

Dates

  • undated, 1894-2011

Creator

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for researcher use. Please contact us to request access or to make an appointment to view this collection at jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Use Restrictions

There may be some restrictions on the use of this collection. For more information contact jhcreference@nehgs.org.

Historical Note

On Salem Street, in Boston’s North End neighborhood, Morris Winer operated a single small store specializing in fresh dairy products. Established initially as M. Winer Company in 1895, business operations expanded to include several self-service stores, though it continued to focus primarily on dairy and delicatessen. The company was incorporated under Commonwealth of Massachusetts laws as Elm Farm Foods Company on March 29, 1928. During the 1940s, the company shifted its operations from small service stores to large supermarkets. These changes prompted the Company’s purchase of United Markets Inc., in 1949, and J.B. Blood Company, in 1954.

In addition to these acquisitions, the company’s development also included a vigorous construction program. The year 1955 saw the introduction of Eastern Massachusetts’ first trading stamp promotional program when Elm Farm Foods Company purchased the eastern New England S&H Green Stamp franchise. In the 1960s, the company was the fifth largest retail food chain in New England. The company’s affiliations with real estate developers also contributed to its steady growth, as prime retail locations supported high sales. The company’s primary focus shifted to wholesale distribution and services in 1963, and as a result, it sold most of its retail locations. Distribution goods included meats, produce, frozen foods, dairy, and nonfoods. The Winer family’s operations continued to expand through the 1970s and 1980s as a number of limited partnerships, trusts, and corporations were formed in affiliation with their wholesale warehouse real estate development. Continued development of the Winer holdings included the reorganization and dissolution of many partnerships and real estate holdings.

References

  1. Material from the collection.

Chronology

1895
Company founded as M. Winer Company in the North End, Boston
March 29, 1928
M. Winer Company incorporated as Elm Farm Foods Company
1941
Elm Farm Foods Company opens its first supermarket
1949
Purchase of United Markets, Inc., including Uphams Corner Market
1954
Land purchased in Brighton, MA, construction of warehouse
Purchase of J.B. Blood Company
1955
Elm Farm Foods Company begins to use trading stamps as promotional devices, acquires S&H Green Stamps franchise
1963
Elm Farm Foods Company begins to sell retail locations in order to primarily operate as a wholesale food distributor

Extent

10 linear feet (8 document boxes, 1 OS box, 2 portraits)

Abstract

Elm Farm Foods was first established as M. Winer Company in 1895 in the North End of Boston. The expansion of this single small store in the next several decades preluded the rise and development of Elm Farm Supermarkets in the region, followed by the company’s shift from retail to wholesale. Winer family holdings have also included various affiliated trusts and corporations managing many aspects of the company’s business and real estate. The bulk of these documents depict the financial activities and accounting procedures of these company affiliates, focusing primarily on funds, investments, and shareholders. The collection also includes administrative documents, such as correspondence and memoranda, concerned with the management of real estate, retail operations, and personnel.

Physical Location

Located in Boston, Mass.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Joel Kane and David Wanger of Marathon Realty in 2013. Morris Winer Dairy pint sour cream jar purchased by Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center in 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by Kora Walsh, 2014

Creator

Title
Guide to the Elm Farm Foods Records, I-552
Author
Processed by Kora Welsh
Date
2014

Repository Details

Part of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society Repository

Contact:
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston MA 02116 United States
617-226-1245