Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Room With The Finast View

Here’s an idyllic view of the model 1957 kitchen. Everything is perfect - the gleaming, modern dishwasher, the sleek metal cabinetry and Formica, the diamond-pattern curtains – right down to the pink Telechron clock on the wall.

The table and counters are laden with the finest Finast foods – proud house brand of First National Stores, the late, great New England (and select other regions) supermarket chain. In later years the stores themselves would be emblazoned with the Finast name.

Now walk over to the sink, throw open the curtains, and lo, there it stands in plain sight – the distinguished edifice from whence these culinary treasures came.

“A mocked-up scene!” you insist.

Well, of course. But we can dream, can’t we?


  1. Sharp-eyed viewers of the classic film "Shaft" will notice a Finast Supermarkets semi-trailer in the background of one scene.

  2. Sure it's faked, but come on: with a view like that, the house must be in the parking lot...which let's face it, no one wants to be in.

  3. Beautifully composed, if a bit contrived. Very 1950s.

  4. Oh, we can dream alright. The supermarket being that close to home? Sounds fantastic.

    I thought our kitchen was retro; courtesy of our white-painted wooden cabinets, it shouts "mid-'80s!" (At least our linoleum floor is from 2003.) But it's assuredly not 1957 in there, ;-)

  5. It must be really nice to transport yourself to 1957, have a gleaming kitchen (with a pink clock no less!) and be able to walk two feet to the nearest Finast when the kids pour the last of the orange juice on the floor.

  6. And the institution that made it all possible, right out the window.

  7. Oh, all of these vintage groceries in one place - it must be Nirvana! :D

  8. I'm sure you mean "finest view".

  9. Geoff – Great, now every time I see a picture of a First National store, I’ll have Isaac Hayes’ music playing in my head! ;)

    PS3D – With a view like that it’d be worth it, don’t you think? And no grass to mow!

    Steve – No doubt a product of its time, but one of the nicer examples I think.

    Nightdragon – I still can’t believe that 1985 was 25 years ago! The fifties shouldn’t be much further back than that. :)

    Didi – Definitely convenient. And you know the kids are going to do exactly that!

    Anonymous – And for that, they deserve our undying gratitude.

    Mel – Nirvana, or our version of it at least! :)

    Randy – The “Finast” misspelling is completely intentional in this case. :) Somehow, First National Stores derived that as a nickname. My Dad, who grew up in Rhode Island in the 40’s and 50’s, still refers to it as “The First National”, though.

  10. How to get "Finast"? FIrst NAtional STate. FINAST. Get it?

  11. Finast was for FIrst NAtional STores. I grew up with them and I believe the one in the photo is (or was) just down the street from where I am sitting now. It looks like the Melrose, Mass. store with the clock tower. The store is completely redone and the tower is gone, it is currently a Johnnie's Foodmaster.

  12. I grew up with Finast in New York, it's so cool to know that others remember it as I did as a kid. My first job was with them in westchester county, N Y until they became Edwards.