Monday, January 29, 2018

TOUR: Supremo Foods - Elizabeth, NJ

We're back in Elizabeth for yet another store here. Maybe you remember way back when I posted CitiGrocer, also in Elizabeth. CitiGrocer is owned by Supremo Foodmarket and is the newest Supremo. Ironically, the oldest Supremo is also here in Elizabeth, store #1 on Broad Street in Elizabeth. In this aerial photo from 1970, you can see a little of the old A&P on Broad Street in the bottom left corner. Notice how it faces Broad St; now the store faces the parking lot and Pearl St. A&P probably remodeled the store some time in the 1980s, and changed where its entrance was. A&P closed between 1993 and 1997, with Supremo opening in '97. In the beginning, I don't think Supremo did any substantial renovations, doing a somewhat major renovation ca. 2004 and another larger one ca. 2010.
This Google Maps street view from 2007 shows how the store previously looked...pretty depressing. The more recent renovation brought a much-needed redo of the entire plaza including repaving the parking lot.
The Union County Courthouse in the background makes the store conducive to great photos, especially when the sky is nice.
I doubt this sign is original from A&P, but I don't know.
The tall building in the background is the Union County Courthouse, which is strategically positioned to be visible from down Elizabeth Avenue, a cross street.
The store, which backs up to the Elizabeth River, also has a Supremo sign on the back.
Interesting that this sign doesn't use the regular Supremo branding, like what's on the front. Also interesting that the Supremo actually occupies the white part of the building, and the grey part is a Rite Aid.
Heading in, you find the same layout as in most Supremos and CitiGrocer. Produce is the first extra-wide aisle, with meat and seafood at the back of the first aisle; dairy along the back wall; frozen in the last aisle; deli in the front corner opposite the entrance.
You enter against the far wall. Security is to the right here and customer service is at the opposite end of the front-end.
Festive produce department!
The floors are also really nice. Like many smaller stores, the produce shelves have grocery and bulk shelving underneath.
Packaged meats are at the back of the produce aisle.
Looking from the end of produce towards butcher and seafood. Although this decor package was developed for Supremo, other stores use it including the Gala Fresh Farms on St. Marks Ave in Brooklyn.
Supremo is a local chain with a dozen locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They were previously a member of the White Rose cooperative, but in the White Rose bankruptcy of 2014 they split and became an independent operator. They use the Essential Everyday and Wild Harvest brands from Supervalu, and occasionally you'll find a random Krasdale or Parade product on the shelves.
The dark "wood" floors give the store a very warm feeling. Both of the other Supremos I've been to (Allentown and Irvington) have the same dark floors.
Very clean and clutter-free grocery aisles.
I love the effect of the "wood" flooring and the backlit awnings along the top of the shelving.
Two different shots of the same aisle on different days.
Looking back towards seafood and meat from dairy. I don't know how many, if any, of the store's fixtures are left over from A&P. I also have no idea what A&P's layout was.
There were a few random facings of Parade margarine mixed in with the Essential Everyday products here. Don't ask me why!
This alcove in the front corner contains the bread (no in-store bakery) and the deli. There used to be a hot food counter in the corner as well.
Standard deli counter, plus the Deli Plans that allow customers to buy in bulk to save money with a set plan. Supremo also offers Meat Plans, as do many other stores, particularly in lower-income areas.
Former hot food counter covered by soda displays.
While Supremo is typically known for its long lines, the store was not that busy the day I visited and the lines were moving quite well.
Really nice custom-designed checkout lights to match the decor on the walls.
As usual, there was a wide range of mismatched carts from various stores...
What drew me to Supremo this particular weekend was that they were doing a dollar sale, so that everything in the circular was $1 (each, per pound, per half-pound, for two, etc). Not a bad promotion, unless of course the item is worth $0.59 normally! It's a smart promotion especially for a target market on a budget, which Supremo's target often is. Regardless, Supremo isn't your stereotypical lower-end inner-city supermarket -- it looks and feels much more upscale than it "should" be. (And yes, I'm using should sarcastically there.)

Supremo Foodmarket

25 South Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ

Open Daily 7AM-10PM

supremofoods.com
908-351-3399
My Rating: 

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