Spag ends 68 years of family control with sale By Adam Gorlick, Associated Press, 10/9/2002 16:25 SHREWSBURY, Mass. (AP) Spag’s Supply Co., a central Massachusetts institution beloved by generations of bargain-hungry shoppers, is being sold to another locally owned discount retailer.

The sprawling Shrewsbury complex started by Anthony ‘’Spag’’ Borgatti in 1934 and still run by his family, will be sold to Building 19, a discount chain with 14 locations in New England, the companies announced Wednesday.

But the old and new owners, who have been friends for 30 years, said Spag’s would keep its character, and even part of its name, as the new ‘Spag’s 19.’

— Spag ends 68 years of family control with sale

From my early childhood growing up outside of Worcester, I was terrorized by the oversized novelity head of Tony “Spag” Borgatti that glowered, like a real-life Big Brother, from billboards all across town. My father often took me to Spags on some errand of domestic import that consistently eluded my apprehension.

The first impression of Spag’s is one of smell. The store has, or at least had then, a large lawn and garden section so the acrid smell of mulch and fertilizer assaults all new arrivals. Like a bad software project, the main building at Spag’s was continually under construction (in those days) to accommodate the ever-expanding inventory of housewares. Of course, the place was totally unnavigatable by the uninitiated — a regular Minoan maze.

It was the Home Depot of its day.

Alas, it appears the web site is offline.

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