By Alyse Horn
For at least four generations, there has been a market at 1327 Arch St; over time the name has changed, but the location has remained dedicated to providing Allegheny City Central with groceries and other necessities throughout the transfers of ownership.
Owner Mike Mitchell said not much has changed since he took over in 2014. His market carries the essentials while also maintaining a focus on selling products from local food providers and community members.
Brunton Dairy, BreadWorks, and Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream are a few brands that Pittsburgher’s may recognize. Mitchell said the market will soon be stocking pepperoni rolls by Northsider Katt Schuler, and Mitchell encourages locals to stop in and talk to him if they have food or other products that might be suitable for ACM’s shelves.
The shop’s deli is open daily and uses Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, and BreadWorks bread for sandwiches. Mitchell said the shop will sometimes do catering for larger orders, like Steelers parties or for board meetings, although many people just stop in to grab a sandwich for lunch or dinner.
“We are absolutely fundamental to the neighborhood,” John Gates, an employee at ACM, said.
Gates said the market is where locals can stop in to get the staples and also feel comfortable enough sending their kids to take care of the grocery list.
“I get children so short they can barely see over the counter, and they bring in a $10 bill and a note that says what items they need to get,” Gates said.
“We’re pretty old school,” Mitchell joked.
It’s also one of those places that neighborhood dogs will stop at on a walk, hoping its owner will go in to grab a dog bone from the bowl that Mitchell keeps on the front counter for the pooches in the area.
“If you’re having a bad day and maybe arrive here in not the best of moods, between the kids and the dogs, we got it,” Gates said.
Right now, Mitchell said business is slow because of the weather, but he is seeing it start to pick up again. Soon the streets will be filled with Randyland and Mattress Factory visitors, and more children rushing into the market for an afternoon ice cream.
“When the weather gets better it’s a different world in here,” Mitchell said.
Store Manager Tony Craig said he loves working at ACM and that Mitchell is one of the nicest people he has worked for, which may or may not be saying a lot considering Craig has worked in show business, but that’s something visitors will have to ask him about the next time they stop by the market.
Hours are Monday- Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Local Marketplace Section is supported by PNC Community Development Banking with funding from the PNC Foundation.