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Morabito residence and supermarket at 533 Robbins
Avenue. There was an underground passage between these two buildings.
History of the building at 533 Robbins
April 1926–Park’s Pharmacy was purchased from H.T.
Calvin by brothers Frank and Robert Fowler
who brought in Paul Elder one year later. This pharmacy
was located at 533 Robbins Avenue.
former Park’s Pharmacy building at 533 Robbins would become
in succession The Robbins Avenue Meat Market, Robbins Avenue Super
Market-Morabito’s Market in 1949, then Ward’s Costume
The top brick front fell apart during a windstorm,
March 2019, and revealed the old Fowler Drugs sign on the wood
beneath the bricks.
Super Market Sets Grand Opening
Niles Daily Times Thursday 10.20.1949
Niles shoppers will have a new happy hunting
ground tomorrow when John and Sam Morabito swing wide the doors
of their enlarged and remodeled Robbins Avenue food market for
its grand opening as the Robbins Super Market.
The store, which bears little remblance to the
place of business the Morabito’s customers knew before the
brothers began remodeling last May, is one of the largest, most
modern and attractive grocery stores in town.
In addition to a complete line of Golden Dawn
food merchandise and a fully stocked meat department operated
by Bud Williams, the new store will feature a large counter
of notions, quick–gifts, art accessories, patent medicines
and light hardware for the kitchen.
Hours of the store are 8am to 8pm daily except for Sunday and
holidays when the hours are 8am to noon. From 4-8pm Friday, each
customer will be given a souvenir of the grand opening day.
The Morabito brothers, Sam and John,
bought the store from their sister, Mary Razzano, at the time
of her marriage two years ago. The remodeled business utilizes
space in the building previously occupied by the Fowler Drug Store.
The building has been lengthened 40 feet to give a one room store
space of 40 by 100 feet.
No less than 640 feet of fluorescent tube in
four triple-tube tiers, the length of the building, to illuminate
the store. The entire of the backend of the store is covered by
a mirror 40 feet by 5 feet which makes the big room seem even
bigger. A special pride of the proprietors is their imported Italian
food department, supplemented by the largest macaroni display
in Trumbull County. A 30-foot refrigerator rack will keep vegetables
fresh, while Bud Williams’ meats will be glorified in 40
feet of new cases.
of the store, in addition to the three entrepreneurs, include
Angie and Margie Morabito, Mrs.
Albert Dunlap, Sarah Mollica, Betty Ault, and Danny Engler.
The Morabitos give much of the credit for the attractive arrangement
of the store to their brother, Buster Morabito proprietor
of Adrian Beauty Salon in Youngstown, who engineered the floor
Sam Morabito, who with his brother John is the
proud owner of the new Robbins Avenue Market, was a barber until
1941, having operated a shave-and-a-haircut business of his own
on Church Street. He was born and raised in Niles and attended
school here. In 1941, he gave up his barbershop, scissors and
clippers forever to join his sister, Mary, in her grocery business
which he and his brother subsequently bought from her.
Sam likes merchandising better than barbering,
he says, “it’s longer hours in this business.”
John Morabito, co-proprietor of the enlarged and remodeled Robbins
Super Market, got his first training in business as a street huckster
of fruit. Born in Niles and a former student of Niles schools,
he was associated with his father’s fruit business until
the beginning of WWII.
During the war, he served for four and a half
years in the field artillery with the Eighth Division, spending
much of the time overseas in the European theater. His brother
‘Buster’ was in the same outfit. After his discharge,
John went to work for his sister, Mary, at the Robbins Market
and with his brother bought the store from her two years ago.
Bud Williams is the boss man and master mind
of the meat counter at the new Robbins Super Market. Like the
Morabito brothers, in whose store he operates his independent
meat business, he is a native of Niles and has had a long experience
at his craft.
He became interested in meat cutting while still a schoolboy,
and subsequently worked at various stores in Niles, Youngstown
and Cleveland. He opened his first butcher shop of his own on
Robbins Avenue in 1929 and has been operating in the Robbins Market
Sisters Margaret, left, and Angeline Morabito
are shown in their almost-empty store which will be closing in
a few weeks.
When Sam Morabito died in 1989 and John in 1991,
the two sisters were left to run the store. “It’s
just too hard now with just the two of us,” Marge said.
“it came to a point that if one of us ever gets sick what
are we going to do? We have to give it up.”
Although the store will stay open for several
more weeks to sell out the remaining stock, both Marge and Angie
say they now have accepted the closing and have made their plans.
“I’ll miss it,” Angie said, “It’s
always been a part of our lives. But, I’ll stay busy. I
want to make crafts and travel a little.”
Marge said, “her dream is to play the piano
again. I took piano lessons for three years in junior high school.
But I couldn’t practice because I was always told–‘Go
to the store and help your sister.’ Now I’m going
to buy a piano and play again, you know, for my own enjoyment.”