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Fine Fare Stores
Shopping was a very different experience in the 1980s, and many stores we used to enjoy visiting have bitten the dust. The advertising was very different, too, as the TV ad above proves. It's the kind of toe curling advert that would make any feminist want to throw themselves off the nearest cliff. It is only cheese that is on offer here and the only men to be seen are wearing white coats and have their backs turned to the camera. I would imagine they're waiting to treat those women to a long session on the couch after the traumatic experience they've just had.

Notice how the women are all dressed in monotone clothing at the start of the ad, but at the end they are all wearing colourful attire. Did Fine Fare have a secret clothing department none of us knew about, I wonder?

Although the whole ad seems quite bizarre these days, in the 1980s it was perfectly acceptable. Actresses being asked to sing a cheesy slogan such as
"Fine Fare, it's fine by me" with a forced grin on their face was pretty much the norm, as was the portrayal of women which many would now regard as sexist. Indeed, it wasn't really seen as sexist because the role of women was still in a stage of metamorphosis, and it was still mostly females who actually did the main shop.

We used to have a Fine Fare in our village that I regularly visited back in the 70s and 80s. What I actually remember the most was the Yellow Pack budget range, which only goes to prove what a skinflint I am! The range started in 1980, apparently.

I remember during a school lunch break - this was sometime back in the early 1980s - opening my lunchbox to reveal a pack of yellow pack biscuits. I can't remember exactly what type they were, but they were definitely some kind of biscuit and tasted fine to me. My friend who was sat next to me then asked the question "why are they called yellow packs, why not call them blue packs?" Yes, well that's why it's always wise to think before you start asking dumb questions!

Fine Fare started out as a chain of convenience stores back in the 1950s and grew into a supermarket chain. The chain was bought out by the Dee Corporation in 1986 and many Fine Fare stores became Gateway and then Somerfield. The last remaining Fine Fare stores closed down in 1988.

What used to be the Fine Fare store in the village of Chipping Campden in the 80s (where I can no longer afford to live due to a combination of extortionate house prices and council tax rates) is now a Co-op.
Fine Fare supermarket in 1968
Fine Fare Supermarket in 1968 in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. This is a sharpened version of a  Creative Commons photo (c) Jack Hill
Gateway supermarket plastic bag
You may well have found your local Fine Fare store turning into Gateway after 1986
Peppermint Aero bar wrapper from 1981
You may well have bought a Peppermint Aero bar from Fine Fare - this wrapper is from 1981.