Saturday, August 17, 2019

I Didn't Think This Would Be Necessary, But...

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Snapshot: Extra Supermarket - East Orange, NJ

Yesterday's post was from Maplewood, NJ, and the other supermarket in Maplewood is a location of the Extra Supermarket chain. Like the Maplewood location, the East Orange location was previously a ShopRite, but the East Orange store was the first one, opening in the late 1980s -- as the ShopRite it replaced, owned by Village Super Market, was consolidated with a few other East Orange stores into the existing Brick Church location in 1987.
The store's front end faces the side wall I believe, although I've never been inside. I'd like to go back and tour the interior sometime!
The store is located at 563 Central Ave, East Orange, NJ.

Photographed November 2018

Friday, August 16, 2019

Snapshot: Kings Food Markets - Maplewood, NJ

Right smack in the middle of the quaint downtown of Maplewood, NJ is a tiny, 8,000 square foot Kings Food Market. It's a beautifully maintained store, though, and packs a lot into a very small space.
Kings fascinates me because of the many very old stores they have and the fact that many of their stores were taken over from big chains (Finast, Stop & Shop, and Food Fair, among others). I wish there were a little more history visible in their locations, though. Oh, and I wish they'd lower all their prices by about 40%. This store is at 159 Maplewood Ave.

Photographed August 2018

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Snapshot: Grand Union (former) - Oakland, NJ

Continuing yesterday's theme of Grand Union by taking a look at a former Grand Union here in Oakland, NJ. The store has been subdivided between Staples (shown here) and the Oakland Giant Farmers Market, a very large farmers market/gourmet grocery store type thing that I would love to visit sometime but haven't gotten around to yet.
The Grand Union competed with a nearby A&P and a ShopRite. It's located at 350 Ramapo Valley Rd, Oakland, NJ.

Photographed July 2018

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Memorabilia: Grand Union Bakery Case!

While stopping in a small grocery store/deli for lunch near Wurtsboro, NY (I've tried and failed several times to locate the exact location), I was caught by this bakery case. I suspected, and later confirmed, that it was from a Grand Union. Again, if I could get the exact location of this stop I made, I might even be able to tell which GU it came from.
Another reason I want to locate this place is that the food and service were fantastic! We ordered (freshly-cooked) mozzarella sticks and for whatever reason the cheese leaked out of a few, which the worker apologized for before bringing us a second, new order of better mozzarella sticks for free. (There wasn't even all that much wrong with the first order!) I wish I could recommend this place but have been unable to find it.

Photographed May 2017

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Look Inside: Fresh Imperium Food Market - Landing, NJ

When new tenants took over Pathmark stores, some gutted the stores and remodeled them. Some made the existing decor their own with some strategic decals. Others did even less.
Fresh Emporium, owned by Bronx-based investor Neftali Medina, covered some of the Pathmark logos at their store here in Landing (we toured their other location in Jefferson a while ago). Once Key Food threatened to sue them over their use of the Fresh Emporium name, arguing it's too close to their banner The Food Emporium, Fresh Emporium made a quick switch to Fresh Imperium.
While I wish I had interior pictures from when the store was in business, I was stopped by a manager early in my tour who very nastily informed me photography was not allowed in the store, having me delete the pictures I took and leave my phone at the front office while I was in the store. It was very early in my photography, and I had no idea she didn't have the power to tell me any of that. (If that happened now, I'd laugh at her and walk out of the store. Probably take one more picture just to get on her nerves.)
After less than two years, the genuinely awful Fresh Imperium Food Market closed its doors here in Landing. (I visited one of Medina's stores in the Bronx, and it was quite mediocre. That's glowing praise as compared to these.) The Jefferson location has a nice facility with an excellent location, but Landing is a smaller, older, and less-extensively-renovated-by-Pathmark building that was previously a Grand Union.
While Jefferson got new carts, Landing got the same old Pathmark carts with Fresh Emporium decals. The carts still said Fresh Emporium at the time of my visit during the store's Imperium period, and only one sign inside had been replaced. Excuse me, only one Pathmark sign had received a Fresh Imperium decal over its Fresh Emporium decal.
I returned to the store in May of 2019 long after the store closed (February 2017), and the building looked like Fresh Imperium closed yesterday. It was awesome -- and there was no angry manager to yell at me.
I took a lot of pictures (maybe as my petty revenge) when I returned. Also because any abandoned supermarket is cool!
The empty light box to the left would have held Pathmark's pharmacy sign. The produce department is in the front right corner, with deli in the first aisle. Meat and seafood (which Fresh Emporium never used) are on the back wall with bakery (which Fresh Emporium also never opened) and dairy in the last aisle. Pharmacy (which Fresh Emporium, well, you know) was in the front left corner.
Covering the previous tenant's name with duct tape. Classy.
The good ol' Pathmark Community Bulletin Board!
The Grand Union light fixture is still in place on the ceiling! As you can see, all of the grocery shelving (and even freezer cases, look to the left) are still in place. The decor and aisle markers are even still up!
Manager's office to the right. Registers have been removed but everything else is in place. The produce department is behind the manager's office, to the right. To enter the store, you walk along the front end in front of the registers.
Other side of the manager's office. The darker floor area is where the produce area was. There was a bulk coffee bar to the left (the store's only cool feature) but we see some odd signage caused by a lazy attempt to cover the Fresh Emporium logo.
Looking into the produce department in the front corner. I'm assuming most of the layout is left from Grand Union because it sure is an odd layout for a Pathmark. And yes, the lottery machine is out of order.
Such a beautiful sign. Yeesh.
Pathmark! Almost.
The store is located at 175 Lakeside Blvd, Landing, NJ. Rumor has it Aldi is very interested in this location, although I'd personally love to see Weis Markets move in.

Photographed September 2016 and May 2019

Monday, August 12, 2019

Snapshot: Acme Markets (former) - Sparta, NJ

Didn't even realize that my planning lined up another former Acme for today, along with our snapshots from yesterday and the day before. I'm not going to provide an extensive history here, mostly because Acme Style already has done so much better than I ever could.
Anyhow, I have to agree with Acme Style's conclusion that the new facade is very nice and that it is a lot like the newer facade updates Acme is doing now. The store is located at 11 Center St.

Photographed May 2016

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Snapshot: Acme Markets (former) - Parsippany, NJ

Continuing our theme from yesterday of former Acme Markets locations, we are looking at another location in the Lake Hiawatha neighborhood of Parsippany. It's located directly across the street from the Foodtown (former Grand Union) which you can see coverage of here and here.
This 11,000 square foot store is significantly smaller than the 30,000 square foot Grand Union-turned-Foodtown across the street.

Photographed May 2019