Mrs. Sonia Diamond, z'l, passed away on the same Yahrzeit as her husband, Paul, z'l

About Paul & Sonia Diamond, z'l

By BJLife Newsroom

Posted on 01/05/15

Baltimore, MD - Jan. 5 - Paul and Sonia Diamond, z'l, typified an American dream. Emigrating from Europe after surviving the atrocities of the Holocaust - with a strong work ethic, strong convictions, and ten dollars in their pocket, the Diamonds – with Paul's brother Dave and Ruth Diamond and brother-in-law Ben and Deborah Schuster developed and expanded from running a dilapidated corner grocery store to owning and operating a dominant 48 store supermarket chain across the Mid-Atlantic region. According to a 1995 Food World Magazine Special Issue, "They often dressed funny and sometimes they were hard to understand, but no independent retailer made more of a mark in the Baltimore market in the 1970's and 1980’s than the owners of Food-A-Rama."

In 1978, Food-A-Rama opened Baltimore’s first warehouse-type supermarket in Eastpoint, Maryland, impacting the way other chains and independent supermarkets conduct their business. By responding rapidly to changing demographics, Food-A-Rama showed that local chains and independent supermarkets could compete with regional and national chains. Store banners consisted of Food-A-Rama, SUPER SUPER Food, Cost-Saver Food Warehouse, and Basics Food Warehouse stores.

The Diamonds and Schusters effectively demonstrated that merchandising according to the neighborhood market demand and providing superior customer service are keys to success. With the acquisition of fourteen Pantry Pride stores in 1981, Food-A-Rama moved into the number two spot with 16% market share in the Maryland region. In 1984, the company entered the Washington D.C. area with the acquisition of 12 Basics and Grand Union stores. In 1985, Food-A-Rama sold their 48 supermarket chain to Pennsylvania-based wholesaler - Super Rite Foods, and retained the stores' underlying real estate as its new base of activity.

Paul and Sonia Diamond shared their accomplishments with the community. They quietly helped new immigrants to start profitable businesses, loaning money without intent of being repaid, and provided jobs for thousands of individuals. They also gave generously of their money and time to charitable causes, and participated actively in numerous organizations.

They are sorely missed...