Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Food Bazaar - Bridgeport, CT


In case you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan of Food Bazaar. And so when I was driving through Bridgeport, CT, I had to stop at this store. At 61,000 square feet, it's one of their biggest. It was built as a Shaw's in 1997 but was a failure and closed soon after. In 2007, Bogopa (the parent company of Food Bazaar) announced they were taking over the location. The new store opened in 2010.

Above: Shaw's, date unknown. From YP.com.

From what I could see on my visit, this Food Bazaar is a huge success! The parking lot was jammed and the store was very busy. Almost every register was open.

I don't know what Shaw's layout would have been, but in Food Bazaar, you enter on the far right (under the glass section). The bakery is to your right, and produce is straight ahead. Along the right-side wall is the deli/prepared foods section, including a few tables to sit and eat in-store, with seafood in the back right corner.

The entrance is to the left in the above picture (which was actually supposed to show the baked goods on the shelf!).

We're looking from the front of the store (bakery) towards the back. The deli is where the drop ceiling comes out farther, next to the "hot food" sign; the seafood department is where the blue wall starts.

For an ethnic store, Food Bazaar runs some of the best bakery departments in the area. This is immediately when you walk in to your right.

Food Bazaar's produce departments are generally pretty great also. This is as good a time as any to mention my one biggest complaint about this store: the floor. It's a patchwork of at least a dozen different colors and textures around the store. And it's kind of old, so it's in pretty bad condition. Why not just scrape up the whole thing and leave it polished concrete?

The small café (clearly an afterthought, although the store does have hot food, sandwiches, and salad bar).

The deli is in the back right corner, with seafood to the left. The salad and hot food bars are not open on the weekends.

The seafood department consists of a service case running along the outside wall of the store, and an island where the "lobster" sign is. It's really huge.


Continuing along the back of the store, we see the meat department service counter. The packaged meat is actually in one of the aisles, and dairy is actually along the back wall where meat usually is.

As always, there is a huge international section, including the famous display in the first aisle. But this store's huge size allows for both sides of the first aisle to be stacks of packaged goods!

The above sign is over the packaged meat cases in the first or second grocery aisle. It's a great sign but I have to wonder, why here? By this point, you're not welcoming anyone, they've already come in!

Above, the gluten-free section in one of the grocery aisles.

Not a bad selection!

Dairy is along the back wall of the store. Tell me, WHY do you have to stack toilet paper on top of your dairy cases at all, but if you do have to, do you have to put it in front of your dairy sign?

An international aisle.

One of the freezer aisles toward the end of the store.

The last aisle is soda, snacks, and candy, which is a little strange. You almost always see dairy or frozen foods here.

These wall graphics make me wonder if this was ever non-food (like party supplies, paper products, etc.), but they also don't strike me as the type of decor Shaw's would put up.

I was at the store soon before Thanksgiving last year.

The natural/organic section in one aisle.

Before we head out, here's a look down the front end. The area to the right here with the shelving seems like it was built as a service department by Shaw's (maybe a pharmacy or bank branch?) The checkouts are past it to the right.

Unfortunately, I was taking pictures into the sun here, so they didn't come out so great. The Bridgeport Food Bazaar is nice but not really nice like their newer stores. Mostly it's big, and is a major option other than Stop & Shop and Price Rite for the very diverse city of Bridgeport. And it must have been a success as Bogopa recently took over the former Food World IGA and opened its first Farmers Market by Food Bazaar, focusing on the fresh departments.

Food Bazaar Supermarket

Open Daily 7AM-10:30PM
My Rating: ★★

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