Memories of The Sharon Shoppe and its predecessors

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The Sharon Shoppe operated under two other aliases and other owners before these c1970 photos, including The Sharon Shop and Sharon Sweet Shop.

Recently, Shirley Kolarovik Donato shared some vintage photos of the very much-missed Sharon Shoppe that her parents owned in the 1970s.

So is this Riverton history?

Of course!

The images related to Riverton’s history don’t have to be a century old to be of interest. The good ol’ days of one generation are almost unrelatable ancient history to another. If an antique is something that is at least 100 years old, then maybe these 50-year-old photos can be considered vintage.

From my recollection, on any given school day, the squirming backsides of a capacity crowd of children would be occupying those stools and tables at lunchtime.

RPS Staff 1973-1974

Adults usually headed to a no-kids zone in the back room where an always ebullient Hannah patiently jotted down orders and served everyone. If I concentrate, I think I can hear Miss Jacobsen and Mrs. Kloos talking in the back room. Mabel’s usual was a grilled cheese sandwich made with a single piece of cheese and Boost.

1905 Sanborn Ins Map, sheet 3 detail 412-414 Main St labeled

The building occupied by the Sharon Shoppe previously housed a dry goods store called Mrs. Alfred Smith’s Store from about 1905-1946.

Riverton Hardware, 414 Main, The New Era, April 25, 1946, p4

A March 1946 news item mentioned that Mr. Hamelman would open a hardware and paint store on the premises.

And so he did, as evidenced by this optimistic April 25, 1946 opening announcement ad. A glowing May 2 ad followed the next week and bragged of “gratifying results.”

The New Era, Aug 22, 1946, p3

Local papers do not hint at what became of the new hardware store, but just three months later, in August 1946, The Sharon Sweet Shop opened under the ownership of Charlotte Riddle.

Sharon’s Sweet Shop menu, The New Era, April 1, 1948, p4

Two months later, without explanation, the name Harry E. Riddle replaced the proprietor’s name, and ads ran almost every week for a few years.

I could go for that BLT and a cup of coffee about now.

The New Era, Nov 3, 1949, p7

The New Era announced in 1949 that ownership changed to Bus and Carl McAllister, a pair of Riverton brothers and PHS grads who became active in the business affairs of Palmyra and Riverton for many years.

The record does not show much for the years leading up to ownership by the Kolaroviks (we have precious few local newspapers from the 1950s-1960s).

Sharon Shoppe help-wanted, Courier-Post, 31 Jan 1967, p29

Considering that this January 1967 help-wanted ad now calls the luncheonette The Sharon Shoppe instead of the former Sharon Sweet Shop, is that a hint that maybe they started earlier than 1970?

What do you recall of the Sharon Shoppe (or Sharon Shop or Sharon Sweet Shop)?

Gotta ask… The pages of out-of-print hometown newspapers and even the throw-away free advertisement circulars such as The Little Paper and The Positive Press serve as primary source material for the person researching local history. Please contact us if you have old photos, postcards, ephemera, advertising collectibles, and such that you can donate, or let us scan them. -JMc, Ed.

PS: Thank you to Bill Moore for brokering this deal to get Shirley to locate and send in these photos of the family business.

May 17, 2023: This just in from Shirley Kolarovik Donato…

I found some more old photos of the Sharon Shop from 1969 with the former plate glass windows and the Breyers Ice Cream sign. They are probably from before my family purchased it.

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Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

7 thoughts on “Memories of The Sharon Shoppe and its predecessors”

  1. In the mid to late 50s Sharon’s Sweet Shop was own by Helen. I don’t remember her last name. I was there 2,3,4 times a day during the summer months. So much so, she put me to work as a soda jerk in the evenings. My main job was dipping ice cream for cones and making milk shakes for the little leaguers who came in after their games.

  2. Sadly I can’t say that I remember going into the Sharon Shoppe, but thanks for posting that 1973-74 RPS photo! That year was my kindergarten year, and there are so many people I recognize in there who became very important to me over the subsequent 8 years. At least two of my teachers are missing, though.

  3. Excellent post, John! Sounds like Mabel and I were in agreement on the important issues in life…grilled cheese should have ONE slice of cheese! How great would it be if Riverton still had a vintage luncheonette and soda fountain!? If I ever win the MegaMillions jackpot, I’m rebuilding the Lyceum and the Sharon Shoppe!

  4. I remember the Sharon Shoppe as a kid. Also remember the Woolworth 5 and 10 just a doors down from Klipples. Would go there with my mom to buy fabric…lol…Im that old now.

  5. I’d love to see an annotated version of that RPS photo! Is that Mrs. McC and Mrs. Ragomo in the second row, on the right? I recognize Mr. Hashagen at the back-left, and I think that’s Mr. Fava next to him. Is that Mr. Cosgrove with the beard?

  6. I can remember going to the Sharon Shop for dinner with my father and siblings when my mother gave birth to my sister Janice in 1963. We walked there from our home on Lippincott Ave. Great memories. Thanks.

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