Saturday, February 25, 2017

No surprise here . . .

. . . but still a shame.

Fresh Emporium in Landing Closes for Good

The reason this is important is it's the first A&P bankruptcy takeover to close for business (without plans for a replacement store by the same owners, like Fine Fare in Belleville - read the comments). I knew it would be either one of the Fresh Imperiums, The Food Emporium in Garwood, or Superfresh Edison (which both seem to be hanging on somehow).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Atlantic Supermarket - Hyattsville, MD

Another Ethnic Superstore

Atlantic Supermarket, Hyattsville, MD

You'll notice I've been featuring a lot of ethnic stores lately. Expect that to continue! I've noticed the smaller, ethnic, and urban stores are significantly underrepresented in online supermarket blogging and coverage.

This particular store, in Hyattsville, MD, a Washington, DC suburb, has gotten attention because it is a former Giant-MD store with the majority of its decor intact. It's also a pretty great ethnic supermarket.

One interesting thing to take into account before touring the store is the demographics of Washington, DC as compared to those of its suburbs. Generally speaking, in the New York City area, the urban areas are the more ethnically diverse and lower-income, while the suburbs are higher-income and less diverse. The exact opposite is true in Washington, DC, meaning that the city stores are primarily extremely boring Safeways, Giants, and Whole Foods. The immediate suburbs, however, have much more interesting and diverse supermarket options.

As a Giant, this store had gates around the entire front walkway area to keep the carts in that part and prevent them from being taken into the parking lot. Atlantic has cut out the gates in certain parts to allow carts to be taken into the lot. As is expected, the selection of carts is rather random here, although the majority are actually real Atlantic Supermarket carts.

You enter to the far right in the picture above. Immediately you make a right turn to enter the large produce department.
The produce runs along the front wall and part of the right-side wall, with additional cases and displays in the middle. This store seems to focus heavily on quantity . . .
. . . and size . . .
The above photo shows the entrance (far left) looking along the front end (just past the big displays). In the middle (near the post) I believe there is a counter selling maybe electronics. There is more general merchandise along the front-end and in the far corner.

The first aisle is dairy with items on sale on the left and in the center. We are looking towards the back of the store in the above photo.

The remaining fresh departments are along the back wall. If I remember correctly, they go: seafood, hot food, packaged meat, meat service, and then an area where Giant would have had a deli (Atlantic does not have a deli).

There was a very nice hot food department, featuring both Latin American and Asian foods, reflecting the area's population.

Giant's deli would have been to the left above.

The sign remains, but the area was filled with random merchandise on sale.

The last aisle has frozen foods on one side. We're looking towards the front of the store here.

Up in the front corner there is a strange area that Atlantic has closed off and is just using for storage of boxes and other junk. It looks horrible. I'm not entirely sure what Giant would have had here (maybe just more grocery aisles). You can also tell the age of the decor by looking at these pictures on the walls; a simple paint job and new pictures would really liven up the appearance of the store.

Like many other ethnic supermarkets, there is a very substantial non-food selection, but virtually no HABA. I don't know why this is the case just about everywhere!

It's really hard to see in this picture, but this is actually an old Winn-Dixie aisle marker. You can see a better picture of one at Albertsons Florida Blog by clicking here. All of the aisle markers are actually old W-D signs, who knows where they're from!

Heading out, we pass through a fairly standard front-end (looking towards the produce department). Here we can see more of the merchandise offered along the front-end:
This is as much HABA as they sell. The entire front-end is also not used; the area behind the last few registers is closed off.

Although this store is interesting for its history, it's also a pretty good ethnic supermarket. I just wish it were a little bit cleaner and less cluttered.

Atlantic Supermarket

7901 New Hampshire Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20783
Open Daily 7AM-9:30PM
English Version (it's not the greatest translation)
(301) 439-7005
My Rating: ★★

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Associated Group Stores

As promised long ago, here's a list of every single store affiliated with the Associated Group of NYC that I could find. As always, feel free to comment or email me with any additions, changes, or suggestions!



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fine Fare - Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA

Here's two articles I found interesting about an unassuming Fine Fare Supermarket in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. It seems the store has closed, making the photos all the more interesting.

In Search of the Girard
What is That?! A Look Inside Girard Theater

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Kenilworth Fresh Market - Kenilworth, NJ

A Corner Store with Just About Everything

Kenilworth Fresh Market, Kenilworth, NJ

Despite the name, the Kenilworth Fresh Market is not a large, upscale supermarket. Instead, it's a neighborhood grocery store in the suburban town of Kenilworth, NJ, on Kenilworth Blvd (aka Boulevard). It was formerly called ExpresSupermarket.

It does not appear that this property or building was ever any other supermarket historically. It seems that ExpresSupermarket was previously one or two smaller storefronts. There is a parking lot behind the store, and street parking in front.

The view from Kenilworth Blvd:

The view from the parking lot:

They seemed to be using a fairly random assortment of carts, as is expected for a store like this. Most were pretty well disguised, but this one was from the former-A&P-now-Acme right up the street.

Now for a quick tour. The aisles run parallel to Kenilworth Blvd with a few checkouts running perpendicular. The front wall of the store (to the left below) is grocery shelving; the wall straight ahead in the picture is frozen and dairy. In the back there is a small "grand aisle" with produce, meat, and a tiny deli.

The floor is pretty nice, although the shelves could be better stocked.

Here we're looking towards the checkouts. Kenilworth Blvd is to my right.

The grand aisle (if you can call it that) in the back. The deli is straight ahead and meats are along the back wall; the rear entrance is to the right above.

The storebrand is Krasdale:

. . . but they're not about to reject a perfectly good product from Key Food either:

Quick look at some materials from Google Maps. . .
 An unidentifiable store in 2007.
 ExpresSupermarket in 2013.
Kenilworth Fresh Market in 2016.

Kenilworth Fresh Market

480 Kenilworth Blvd, Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Call for hours

My Rating: ★★

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

ShopRite - Millburn, NJ

NOT a former Centennial A&P

ShopRite, Millburn, NJ

If you're even moderately interested in supermarkets, you've probably heard the claim somewhere that the Millburn, NJ ShopRite is a former A&P Centennial model. I think it's been sufficiently established that it's not. It is, however, a former Good Deal supermarket run by Sam Aidekman, an original Wakefern member.* It was bought by its current owner (Village Super Market of Springfield, NJ) around 1976 - not sure exactly where I got that year - when it was completely renovated. It may have been renovated once more since then but certainly no more than that.

* For anyone who doesn't know, the name "Wakefern" is made up of the original members' last names. They are:
W = Louis Weiss
A = Alex & Sam Aidekman
K = David Kesselman
E = Nothing, but makes it easier to pronounce
FERN = David Fern

The wall facing Main St. is completely blank. It's often assumed that it was originally covered in windows when it was an A&P. Although it was never an A&P, it's possible the front-end originally ran along the street. Today, however, the aisles run parallel to Main St and the checkouts are along the parking lot. (UPDATE: This has been confirmed by a photo submitted by the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society. See here.)

The entrance is actually on the far end of the store from Main St.

You can see in the above picture the store has an arched roof. It's an interesting feature. As usual, I would prefer that it was exposed, but there is a drop ceiling inside. Before we head in, let's take a look at Village's . . . er . . . eclectic . . . collection of shopping carts.
Notice the at least three types visible in the above pictures:
1) Red plastic, metal frame, new logo printed in black.
2) Red plastic, metal frame, new logo on white decal over old logo.
3) Grey plastic, metal frame, new logo printed in white.

Village Super Market has also been known to use any combination of the following carts as well:
4) Black plastic, metal frame, new logo printed in yellow.
5) Red metal, metal frame, old-fashioned white SHOP RITE on red handle.
6) Grey metal, metal frame, new white ShopRite lettering on red handle.
7-8) Grey metal, metal frame, new white ShopRite lettering on black handle. These come in two sizes.
9-10) Black metal, metal frame, new black ShopRite lettering on yellow handle. These come in two sizes.
11) Grey metal, double-decker, new white ShopRite lettering on red handle.
12) Black metal, double-decker, new black ShopRite lettering on red handle.
13) Dark green plastic, metal frame, new logo printed in white.
14) Dark green plastic, metal frame, former Kings carts with Kings logo spray-painted out in black.
15) Blue plastic, metal frame, former Pathmark carts with Pathmark logo intact but new blue handle with new black ShopRite lettering.

That's 15 different kinds just off the top of my head!

When you enter the Millburn ShopRite, you make a 180-degree turn to your right immediately, as you enter towards the checkouts. On your right (along the front wall) are the small customer service, deli, and seafood departments. (I'm surprised the store even has service seafood, although there is no bakery.) Produce follows, with meat and dairy along the back wall.

 In the above picture, we're standing in front of the seafood counter looking towards the back wall.

An overview of the produce department. The banners along the back wall were added some time around 2005 to freshen up the store, along with a new paint job. Otherwise, this store has the same decor package as the now-closed Morris Plains and Union stores, as well as the currently-operating Watchung store. Village Super Market used this decor package in the late 70s and early 80s. The "village"-inspired pictures on the banners were officially part of the decor package we see here and here. (I hope to, sometime in the future, create a whole directory of Village's decor packages, from around 1975 on.)

In the above picture we're standing in produce looking towards seafood, deli, and customer service (from left to right), with the entrance just off-camera to the right. I unfortunately could not get any more close-ups of the service counters because there were virtually no customers in the store but LOTS of employees.

Here we're looking along the back wall towards dairy from produce.

Meats run along most of the back wall.

A little farther down there is a section of dairy.

Here is the last aisle with dairy along the far wall. These dairy cases are probably original.

There are 15 aisles total. The wall to the left is the front wall facing the parking lot, and the checkouts are directly behind me. Main St is straight ahead here.

Nothing much to see in the aisles. Standard floor, standard shelving. The shelves have probably been here since opening day in 1976. Notice the large selection of HABA, despite the size and lack of an in-store pharmacy.

Let's check out some aerial views.

 Historic Aerials
Virtually nothing has changed over time.
1979 (soon after Village took over)
Nothing in 1954.

If you're interested in supermarket history, make sure to check out the Millburn ShopRite. It's a little on the dingy side but full of historical artifacts! Given that Millburn is one of the highest-income towns in the state, I'm quite surprised this store hasn't been kept up better than it has.


220 Main St, Millburn, NJ 07041
Open Mon-Fri 7AM-9PM; Sat 7AM-8PM; Sun 7AM-7PM

My Rating: ★★