Sanitary Market

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This article is about the Birmingham grocery store. For the one in Ensley, see Ensley Sanitary Market.
Exterior of the Sanitary Market in 1939
Interior of the Sanitary Market in the 1930s

The Sanitary Market was a grocery store in downtown Birmingham from 1917 to after 1971.

The store was founded by H. M. Norris and a "number of business men" who appointed Charles Green to manage the store. It opened on September 1, 1917 at 2105 2nd Avenue North. In the mid-1920s it moved a block west to 2025 or 2029 2nd Avenue to make way for construction of the Florentine Building.

The market displayed freshly killed fowl and rabbits in the front windows next to huge bunches of bananas. Inside were display tables and piles of crates with produce and other cuts of meat offered a number of vendors. Shelves on the side walls stocked a limited selection of canned and preserved foods. Perhaps belying the name of the store, the interior was remembered for its strong bouquet of food odors stirred by ceiling fans and for the presence of fine sawdust covering the floors.

The corporation was re-organized in 1966 by Joe Bruno, Frank Ippolito and Paschal Vacca.

Jimmy Norris was a long-time owner of the Sanitary Market. Blanche Norris was the last proprietor before the store closed in the early 1970s.