Sunday, October 22, 2017

Welcome Back Pathmark!

This Allegiance ad was posted on the Pathmark Alumni Facebook group. So get ready to start seeing Pathmark stores again! Interesting that they waited for a while rather than immediately starting calling stores Pathmark, as Key Food did with Superfresh and Food Emporium.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Snapshot: Only health food here...

...wink wink

What else is there to say? Courtesy of the Bridgeport, CT Food Bazaar.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Snapshot: America's Food Basket, Worcester, MA

In 2005, a group of independent Met Foods operators decided to split off from Met, then under the supervision of White Rose Foods, and form their own cooperative. This was probably the largest single blow to the Met Foods group, and the already-struggling cooperative started its quickly-increasing decline. The bankruptcy of White Rose put the vulnerable Met and Pioneer Supermarkets banners up for sale, and they were taken over by then-called Associated Food Holdings, today's Associated Supermarket Group.

The group of operators that split off in 2005 reorganized itself into the Neighborhood Supermarket Association, or NSA. This new group got the attention of Massachusetts-based Americas' Food Basket, a small chain of Hispanic-leaning supermarkets. Americas' Food Basket joined around 2007 and switched their stores to NSA Americas' Food Baskets. In 2012, however, NSA faced internal problems and reorganized its corporate division into today's America's Food Basket, borrowing the name of their largest member (save for the moved apostrophe, which interestingly enough switches the meaning from all of the Americas to just America -- as in the USA).

Almost all NSA Supermarkets were re-branded with AFB's new banner, Ideal Food Basket, and the NSA Americas' Food Basket stores became America's Food Basket stores. Some stores, still equipped with the NSA logo on the storefront, replaced it with a similar AFB logo. Today, AFB (whose corporate division uses a different logo from the stores of the same name) operates independent Ideal Food Baskets, Ideal Fresh Markets, Ideal Marketplaces, America's Food Baskets, SuperFi Emporiums, and others.

I'm still on the fence about AFB. I think it has promise but their performance has been severely lower than the grand proposals and promises made by the former CEO, Dan Cabassa. The new CEO, David Siegel, seems to be taking a more moderate approach.

The AFB chain of stores has recently made two store acquisitions, this location in Worcester, MA, which started as an Associated Supermarket that opened ca. 2014; and a former Compare Foods in Providence, RI which we saw on Flickr. As of earlier this summer, that store was still about 75% Compare Foods inside and out.

Man, that's an awful lot of text for a "snapshot". Oh well.
This tiny store has a tiny parking lot in front, most of which was taken up by two enormous storage containers which probably serve as the store's backroom!
Well, OK, that works. Notice that the sign originally actually said "Associated Supermercados" rather than the standard "Associated Supermarkets". This store joined a very large Compare Foods in downtown Worcester that is much older and also represented by the Associated Supermarket Group.

May Foods Corporation

Monday, October 16, 2017

TOUR: Aquí Market - Jersey City, NJ (2)

Jersey City, one of the largest cities in the state, has multiple different neighborhoods that all have very distinct personalities. A while back, we toured the Aquí Market on Sip Ave in Jersey City, which is in the Journal Square neighborhood, a cosmopolitan and very diverse section of the city. We're here for Aquí Market's other location, in the far-south part of Jersey City on the Bayonne border, a quieter, more suburban neighborhood. This store opened in the 1970s as an Acme.
Photo from Acme Style, courtesy of Rob Ascough.

The Acme closed in 2010 and was replaced soon after by a Super Fine Fare.
Photo from Acme Style

Fine Fare, as usual, didn't last. You can check out the interior of Acme and Fine Fare here on Acme Style. Soon after Fine Fare closed, Twin City Supermarket opened. Twin City is a local chain, and this store shared an owner with the Sip location and another store in Bridgewater, NJ. Circa 2015, that operating group decided to switch their stores to the new Aquí Market banner, while remaining in a part of the Twin City group. So although the store's name is different, they are still serviced by the Twin City warehouse in Elizabeth, NJ.

The facade was renovated by the landlord when Twin City was in business, and was redone once more by the owners when the switch to Aquí occurred. An interior renovation coincided with the rebrand also.
The wood (which is real, by the way), leaves, and stripe along the bottom were put up by Aquí.
Hmm. It's been almost ten years and the cart corrals still say Acme (almost)? Maybe it's time for some new cart returns.
The exterior is very nice. It looks a little more upscale, which fits the neighborhood. It's not very affluent but certainly not a poor neighborhood either. It's also interesting the neighborhood isn't that Hispanic, either.
Great old pictures, which we'll see throughout the store. You enter on the right...
You enter into the produce alcove, which extends to your right, and which Aquí has fitted with really nice fake wood floors. Aquí has extended the produce down the first aisle, while dairy runs along the right-side wall. Meat, seafood, and deli are at the back of the first aisle; meat continues along the back wall, and strangely enough, milk is in the far back corner (despite dairy being in the first aisle). Frozen foods run along the last aisle. Acme's bakery has been removed.
Very nice produce section with the floor and cases.
Looking back at the entrance, which is very Acme-like. The ceiling in the produce alcove is very low, but in the rest of the store, it's exceptionally high. I don't know how high or why it is, but it makes the store feel very open.
Overview of the produce alcove.
Here you can see the expansion of the produce department Aquí added, with dairy along the side wall. Again, great wall graphics.
Blurry picture of the dairy sign.
Customer service is in the front of the first aisle.
 All the flooring has been replaced by Aquí. Also notice how the aisle markers hang over the shelves, not the aisles!
It was pretty early in the morning when I visited, hence the empty store and boxes.
The meat/deli/seafood counter is very large and is rounded, as is the sign hanging over it, which is pretty cool.
Meats along the back wall.
 Surprisingly, the floor is actually great in this store. So many urban/ethnic stores have beat-up, old white vinyl tile in the whole store ... including the other Aquí Markets!
Here you can see how high the ceiling is. Acme Style said in the 2010 post about the Acme...
"Notice how high the ceilings are in this store. All the more reason to put some more exciting graphics and colors on the walls... in my opinion anyway."
Well, I can safely say Aquí did just that!
Frozen foods in the last aisle. No, there is no café in this store and I don't think there ever was. This front corner was Acme's bakery.
Awesome map of Bayonne (just blocks away from the store) on the wall in the last aisle.
Looking from the last aisle towards checkouts.
Once again, the flooring is all-new. However, I think the checkouts are left over from Acme.

This Aquí Market is definitely the nicer of the two I've been to, and I think it's their nicest store. I love the decor and the facility, but I don't know anything about prices or selection. Any input?

Aquí Market

2-16 Garfield Ave, Jersey City, NJ
My Rating: 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Snapshot: Price Chopper - Saugerties, NY

In the small Hudson Valley town of Saugerties, NY is this beautiful Price Chopper Super Center. It was probably a 1990s new-build store.
This is probably one of my better shots. The store inside is quite nice, although a little outdated. It definitely feels like a more old-fashioned store. And strangely enough, it's very large but it has no pharmacy. Maybe there was some problem in getting the permits for it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Look Inside: Passaic ShopRite

Kicking off a new feature here at NJ Supermarkets, the Look Inside. This is for stores that I have photographed the exterior of but didn't get enough pictures inside for a full tour. Sometimes it's because the store is just too small for a full tour. This time that's not the case!
The ShopRite of Passaic, NJ was opened in 1986 as a corporately-owned store under the company ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc., or SRS. It was taken over in 2005 by Rafael Cuellar, whose family had previously owned President Supermarket at 161 Jefferson St in Passaic, where the Compare Foods is today. In fact, the block alongside the Compare Foods is named Evelio Cuellar Square in honor of Rafael Cuellar's father. Cuellar is Wakefern's first and only Hispanic member.
While the whole store is very nice, I particularly liked the wood shelving in the bakery department. I believe this was installed in Cuellar's renovation.
Yes, the sign is supposed to be on an angle!

Monday, October 9, 2017

More Comings and Goings


  • I'm a little late on this one. The ribbon was officially cut on Gary's Market IGA at 7938 Dungan Rd in Philadelphia, PA on September 29, 2017. It was formerly the Holiday Market, run through the now-defunct Thriftway Shop n Bag cooperative. Under the same owners, Gary's is a member of IGA subgroup Retail Marketing Group, which does business as Your Local IGA.
  • Property records suggest that Western Beef may be opening a new location at 205 W. 230th St in the Bronx, on a site that currently holds several smaller businesses. While no official announcement has come from Western Beef, the Riverdale Press did publish an article with more information.
  • Lincoln Park residents Joanne and Marty Mulhearn have opened a new, independent fresh market called The Village Market in the Towaco section of Montville, NJ. With deli, prepared foods, meat, bakery, produce, cheese, and a salad bar, the market sounds more gourmet than mainstream. It's in a new development in the suburban-bordering-on-rural township in Morris County.


  • While there has been no official announcement yet, it's pretty clear that Olive Tree Marketplace in Denville, NJ is on its way out. The scenario seems strangely close to that of the Foodtown/Shop Fair of Howard Beach, which may be a future Food Bazaar. However, upon closer investigation, it's quite easily explained: Dave Shehadeh is an owner of Olive Tree and Fahmi Shehadeh was an owner at Foodtown/Shop Fair. Check out my Flickr page to see more.

Scroll down to see today's store tour, Gala Fresh Farms in Passaic, NJ!