Ahold USA-owned supermarket chain Giant Food Stores celebrated its 90th birthday.
The supermarket banner, which operates nearly 200 stores under the Giant and Martin's Food Markets brands in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, marked its anniversary Friday morning at a store in its hometown of Carlisle, Pa. Customers at all the company's 200 stores will receive free slices of cake and free apple slices Friday.
"Since Giant-Martin's was founded in Carlisle on Oct. 4, 1923, our commitment to being a good neighbor has been unwavering," Giant-Carlisle president Rick Herring said. "We celebrate with and wish all our associates a happy 90th birthday."
During the time leading up to the anniversary, the company spent 90 days donating to local charitable organizations, including a $9,000 donation to Project SHARE, a local group that provides food and nutrition education assistance. In total, the company donated $81,000 to nine regional food banks.
"Our 90 days of giving enabled us to give back to our local communities and exemplified the enthusiastic and generous spirit of our associates, who we view as our best community ambassadors," Herring said.
David Javitch founded the chain in 1923 when he opened a two-man butcher shop called the Carlisle Meat Market. A decade later, Javitch purchased a store in Lewistown, Pa., and renamed it the Giant Shopping Food Center, introducing the new concept of dry goods and perishables under one roof. Growth continued, and the company purchased the Hagerstown, Md.-based Martin's chain in 1970. The Javitch family sold the company to Ahold in 1981.