Monday, June 04, 2018

TOUR: Jack's Foodtown - Caldwell, NJ

Way back before the blog began, we saw the brand-new Super Foodtown in Bloomfield. That store is owned by Jack Shakoor's company, Jack's Supermarkets, which also owns Foodtowns in Wayne and North Arlington, along with this store in Caldwell.

Jack's original store was this Caldwell location, which has been a Foodtown almost since Foodtown has existed. I'm a little fuzzy on dates here, but in the 1950s, this was Hy's Foodtown. Jack must have bought the store from Hy sometime after that, probably in the 1970s. Regardless, this store is definitely reminiscent of an old-fashioned small-town market.
This market is located in the heart of downtown Caldwell, a small town with some great restaurants. Jack's is my go-to stop after dinner, to pick up some groceries or for any other random merchandise I need. They have everything, even though the store is tiny.
The sign over the entrance claims that Jack's is "the friendliest supermarket around", which--at least in my experience--is not far from the truth. There is a manager here (Anthony, I think) who has been in the store, on the sales floor every time I've visited, whether at a peak shopping time or when the store is empty on Saturday night. He is always willing to help and actively involved in running the store.
Checkouts line the side wall, with an entrance/exit in the front and the back (where there is a private parking lot). Aisles run perpendicular to Bloomfield Ave, this major street here, with HABA lining the first aisle facing the checkouts. Produce is in the second aisle with beer and wine along the front wall near the entrance. Deli/bakery is on this side of the store at the back, with meats lining the back wall and dairy lining the front wall.
 The pictures mostly get better from here. This is inside the store (I guess around Halloween) looking towards the front entrance. The checkouts are angled towards the back entrance...
...and HABA lines the aisle facing checkouts. Again, we're looking towards the front wall here.
Here's the seasonal area in the front of the store, with a doorway leading into the rest of the store. The entrance is just to the left.
Looking along the front wall of the store. The little section to the left here used to be beer and wine, which has since been expanded into the produce aisle and this section is now seasonal.
The registers are...shall we say, not young. But they're in great condition for their age.
Potato chips line the side wall of the store.
 Customer service is near the back entrance, which is on the left side of this wall (the "free turkey" wall). The exit is behind the wall, to the right.
Here we see deli and bakery in the back near the rear entrance...
This store gets fresh bread and rolls from Teixeira's Bakery in Newark, a Portuguese bakery that makes some of the best rolls you can get around here. Even big-chain stores are starting to sell their products now.
The deli is very nice for a small store, and includes things like fresh soup (which you can see here) and prepared foods, plus some cheeses.
Produce lines the second aisle, which also has the liquor selection.
Once again, the selection is excellent for a smaller store, and even includes some organics and local products when they're in season.
Apples were in season when I visited, so many of these have local tags on them.
This store competes with a nearby Sunrise ShopRite Wines & Spirits store just up Bloomfield Ave. The second aisle is frozen foods...
Plus all the other nonfoods items that they hang above the cases. I swear, this store has everything. I needed a power strip one time, and they had it. Plug-in timer? Of course. Toys? Sure. I've been in huge superstores that didn't have the selection Jack's has.
One of Foodtown's new promotional signs that are very nice, and are standard throughout the whole chain.
As small and old-fashioned as this store is, it does offer online shopping!
Meat runs along the back wall, plus a small selection of packaged seafood.
Past meat, this wall goes out a little farther, making for some weird corners.
The last aisle has some more frozen cases (remember frozen from all the way across the store?) and the milk cases.
Looking towards the front wall of the store here.
Old signage above, new signage below. Dairy continues to run along the front wall of the store.
Here we're looking along the front wall towards the front entrance. The store continues through the many doorways and the checkouts are straight ahead.
Repeating this picture, because it gives an idea of the full circuit of our tour. We're at the opposite end of the store from the previous picture, looking towards where I was standing for the previous picture. Heading back outside...
Jack's sure isn't the flashiest supermarket, but it has everything it needs to, and then some. It's a great small-town supermarket with really nice people and a better-than-average selection.
(Looking towards the back parking lot. I thought this was a pretty cool shot.) And it certainly has plenty of history. So if you're ever in the area, definitely check it out.

Jack's Super Foodtown

370 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ
Open Daily 7AM-10PM
http://www.foodtown.com
(973) 323-2457
My Rating: (for what it is, it doesn't get much better than Jack's!)

4 comments:

  1. It's pretty cool reading about (and seeing pictures of!) these sorts of stores. Shopping is entirely different down my way, so this is a totally unfamiliar world to me. Such a small store that still manages to somehow carry most every grocery and non-grocery item you could need is intriguing!

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    1. Yes, the independent supermarkets rule here. The market leader in New Jersey is Wakefern/ShopRite, whose stores are all independently owned, and the market leader in New York City is Key Food, set up the same way. These local operators are more likely to run smaller but complete stores than big chains, although ShopRite remodels and replaces stores aggressively. I'm glad you like this, though, because I have plenty more similar stores on the way!

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  2. There are (at least I think) a small number of ShopRite stores in NJ that are part of the corporate subsidiary (ShopRite Stores, or SRS), but not very many. Most of those stores are the ones in NY State (pretty much anything outside of Westchester County or Long Island is part of SRS, much of it being from when they bought out former member Big V Supermarkets who was in bankruptcy at the time and threatening to leave Wakefern completely).

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    1. Right -- Montague, Clark, and Spotswood are SRS stores. I go to Clark relatively frequently, and I really like it, I think SRS runs excellent stores.

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