More than a Market

Rome’s/J&M Grocery Content Block 1


On a pie-shaped wedge of land at the intersection of Intervale Avenue and Archibald Street stands a building approaching its hundredth anniversary as a neighborhood market. Two incarnations of the market made the dream of independence and economic security a reality for two families. The Romes were among the hundreds of Lithuanian Jews who fled religious and economic discrimination to settle in Burlington from the 1880s to the 1930s. The families of John L. McLaurin II and Mildred Riley McLaurin left the South as part of the Great Migration of African Americans (1915-1970) to escape racial discrimination and lack of economic opportunity. John and Mildred met and married in New York City and moved to Burlington in the early 1960s. In 1975, they purchased Rome’s Groceries and renamed it J & M Groceries. Their daughter Judy, who returned to Burlington after thirty-six years, continues to serve the neighborhood.