Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Memorabilia: Pathmark White Vinegar Label

Back in the good old days, before A&P, the Pathmark brand was known as a good alternative to name brands. Then America's Choice came in and no one seemed to like it very much.
This is the label from a bottle of Pathmark white vinegar probably sold not too long before the A&P acquisition. I don't have an exact date on it, but my guess would be about 2005. Unfortunately, I never had the bottle, just the label.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Revisit: SuperFresh - Fairview, NJ

Coming back to this store in Fairview, NJ. I visited for the first time over the summer of 2016, when it first opened as a Key Food Marketplace. In May 2017, we saw a full tour of the store, plus some pictures from Facebook of it as a SuperFresh. I decided to go back in April 2018 to see if anything really had changed. As we'll see, some things had.
First and most importantly, a real sign has been installed on the awning. The carts have gotten...stranger, since my cart was a Winn-Dixie cart with full logos and even a store directory.
Entering, we find that the grand aisle looks mostly the same. The promotional Food Basics signs with Key Food stickers have been replaced with real SuperFresh signs. In the grand aisle, at least.
The produce here is excellent, and cheap. The nearby Food Bazaar's produce is just excellent.
The seafood department looks virtually the same as well. It's nice to see that it has not been downsized. The sushi counter and juice bar are gone, however.
Two things to notice here...first, SuperFresh has painted the walls. Yellow. Interesting choice. But get this - somewhere in that process, they actually replaced the missing letter a in the word meats! There are, however, still no meats here.
Yellow dairy along the back wall. Coffin cases here have been taken out in favor of bulk international items, including rice -- a staple in both Latin and Asian cuisine. The section under the "dairy and eggs" sign does not, of course, have any eggs. They are in the butcher shop.
The aisle markers still proudly display the Key Food Marketplace logo, though.
As do the promotional signs in the (otherwise impressive) international aisle.
Frozen foods has also become yellow, although the butcher shop in the back remains orange.

Monday, June 18, 2018

TOUR: Food Depot - Newark, NJ

One of the most often-cited examples of successful efforts to bring supermarkets into food deserts of New Jersey is the Food Depot in Newark. This store opened as a new-build, 31,000 square foot facility in Newark's Central Ward in 2012. The following video from PBS gives a pretty good look at the background of the store during its grand opening.
And for an idea of what the property looked like before Food Depot came, check out this street view from Google Maps.
Future Food Depot Supermarket, 75B 1st St, Newark, NJ.
Google Maps street view from 2007.

When I visited in the fall of 2017, I was happy to find a large, clean, and full-service supermarket. It hasn't really fallen apart since the opening.
Food Depot is a member of AIM (Association of Independent Merchants) within Krasdale.
They do have a cool LED animated sign on the street!
There are two entrances. The main one here, closer to First St, leads to produce, deli/hot food, and a new bakery. The one on the other sides puts you out into the frozen/dairy section and a new pharmacy.
With security like this... Anyway, you enter here, immediately next to the security desk.
The produce department is spacious and well-stocked, with a very high ceiling.
Looking back up towards the entrance. The deli is in the corner right next to the entrance, but it's not open to the sales floor. It might be a separate business, so it's only accessible from the exit.
Looking along the exit hallway where the deli/hot food area is. Here we're looking towards the exit.
Looking back into the store. It was a Friday night when I visited, so there were a lot of crates and boxes around, preparing for the weekend rush.
Great hot food bar, though, even at night. I got a huge portion of rice, chicken, vegetables, and plantains for $5.99 -- two full meals...

 The deli department is just past the hot food bar. They share a separate register and entrance/exit, so you can run in to just grab a sandwich or some lunch. There's also a seating area opposite the service counter.
Looking across the front-end.
Let's head back to the produce department and continue around the store.

Large, bright graphics. The decor is great because it's a mixture of value (the big pictures, the stencil font) and a more upscale feel (the dark colors, the lighting).
A selection of produce like this in Newark's Central Ward is a big deal.
Meat and seafood continue along the back wall, with a service butcher and seafood counter at the far end.
Frozen seafood and meats continue in the back corner.
Looking along the back wall to produce. Unlike many other inner-city independent supermarkets, Food Depot is really full-service. There's not much they won't have here.
The second-to-last aisle is frozen foods, and the last aisle is dairy, with some more frozen foods along the front wall.
Looking towards the back of the store from the front wall.
It was not actually this dark--the phone camera messes with the lighting. The previous photo is more accurate.
Looking towards the back of the store down the last aisle.
As you can see, the ceiling is angled in some parts of the store. Overall, the ceilings are quite high, making it very difficult to get shots of the decor and the merchandise. The front wall is to the right here.
The customer service counter is to the left here, with pharmacy past it to the left, and floral and bakery along the front wall. Notice that the "Thank You for Shopping With Us" is in the same font as Kings' decor!
Customer service in the front corner opposite produce.
The wall of rice, again much darker than it was in person. And if you're in need of any beans...
How's 25 pounds? These have to be for restaurants or fast-food places, right? Is anyone actually buying 25 pounds of dry beans for their household?
The grocery selection was a little limited, but obviously the store focuses on fresh goods. There was still a good selection of any groceries you'd need generally.
Looking along the (very impressive) front-end...
...from the frozen and dairy side, and...
...from the deli/produce side. There is space that multiple smaller businesses have rented along the front wall, including a florist, a cell-phone store, and a bakery. Food Depot also operates a pharmacy on the far side, where there is also an entrance/exit.
If you ever come to this store, try the tres leches cake and the mini donuts from the bakery. They're delicious.
One last look down the hallway that forms the dairy/frozen side entrance and exit, with the pharmacy on the right and deli straight ahead. The front wall of the store is to the left.
Food Depot is a must-see if you're ever in the area. It's a beautiful store and furthermore, exactly what the neighborhood needed. And their format must be working, because in 2015 the same owners opened another, smaller Food Depot in neighboring Kearny, NJ.

Food Depot Supermarket

75B 1st St, Newark, NJ 07107
Open Daily 7AM-10PM
(973) 350-0202
My Rating: