Monday, July 30, 2018

New Western Beef Locations!

Western Beef just announced some major changes to come over the next two years!
  • Five brand-new Western Beef or Western Beef Market locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan...
  • Two new Western Beef Market locations to replace existing Junior's Food Outlet locations in Brooklyn...
  • Three store renovations, in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Boca Raton (FL), coming just after the grand reopening of their location in Elmont, NY.
See the upcoming changes for yourself at!

Snapshot: 1940s Supermarket? Carrboro, NC

For today's Snapshot, we're moving literally two doors down from Friday's Surplus Sid's, from 309 to 305 E Main St.
This location is the center star. Image from Google Maps.
This building struck me as a 1940s supermarket, similar in style to the former Acme in Union we saw a while ago.
Today it is an Advance Auto Parts store, and it previously operated as a CarQuest Auto Parts.
For some reason this reminds me of an early Kroger. Based on absolutely nothing, of course, except a minimal knowledge of Kroger's current operations.
Even the windows along the side of the store look like a supermarket's.
From here especially, doesn't that look like it could be a grocery store? Can anyone confirm this, or is there anyone else out there who also thinks this is a former grocery store?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Snapshot: 1920s Supermarket? Carrboro, NC

About a month ago, we were down in Carrboro, NC looking at the Weaver Street cooperative food store. I took photos of a few other buildings in town that seemed like former grocery stores to me, but other than my impressions, I have no reason to believe they ever were.
This location is the top right star. Image from Google Maps.
This particular building looked to me like a 1920s-era food store, maybe a general store. It's almost definitely a 1920s-era building.
The building with the white facade is reminiscent of grocery/general stores of the 1920s, don't you think? Especially with the higher center section on the facade. The awning is also the right style, although obviously replaced.
The building, which is located at 309 E Main St, is now Surplus Sid's, a junk military surplus, antique, and general merchandise store. Inside, it's hard to tell what it may have been in the past.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Memorabilia: Pathmark Again!

A few weeks ago, we saw the label of a Pathmark white vinegar bottle. Now we're going to see another Pathmark product from probably a little earlier, between 2000 and 2005.
This is the front panel of a box of cotton balls. I'm not so sure about that picture of the cotton balls in the bottom right corner -- last time I checked, that's not exactly what cotton balls look like!

Monday, July 23, 2018

TOUR: Eagle Supermarket, Roselle, NJ

Last summer, we saw the Eagle Supermarket of Elizabeth, NJ. The owners of that store opened a new Eagle Supermarket in Roselle in 2008 and sold the original location in Elizabeth, but the new owners decided to keep the name.
Here in Roselle, it's hard to tell exactly what the building was previously. I doubt it was a new-build store, but it was at least extensively renovated. It's a tiny building!

This store is on St. Georges Ave (St. George Ave, according to some), in a stretch that historically has not been the greatest neighborhood. The area has picked up, though, and this 10-year-old supermarket is indicative of the general trend of revitalization along this corridor. Except, come on, can't they get a new M?
You enter on the right to dairy in the first aisle and frozen foods along the back wall. Meat, produce, and deli are actually in a separate room to the left. I came here after visiting the SuperFresh in Roselle, and it felt like this store had more shoppers than SuperFresh!
The first aisle, with dairy to the right. It continues along the back wall.
The flooring is interesting. Rather than the usual white vinyl tile, this store uses tiles that actually have depth, like you might put in your kitchen. The lighting is updated LED.
Looking back up to the front wall.
Looking along the back wall. On the other side of the wall you see straight ahead is the meat/produce room.
The store is so small that the aisle markers don't even list the products in each aisle.
I was impressed that the store's prices weren't crazily inflated because of the store's convenience. In fact, several items were actually cheaper here than what I had just paid at SuperFresh.
Back corner of the store, looking towards meat/produce. Turn around to look back to dairy...
 As is frequently the case with these small stores, there is a large selection of nonfood items for sale, which must be very handy if you live in the neighborhood.
Customer service in the front corner. It's amazing the store even had a customer service counter given its size! I think there are three registers.
Just to the right of customer service is the doorway into "Deli-Meat Product", the last word of which I think is supposed to be produce, since that's the other department located in this side room.
Although it doesn't look like it here, I can tell you this butcher counter was packed. The deli is tiny! Produce is in the back of this room.
Small supermarkets like this are much better, as I've said before, for a neighborhood than a similarly-sized store like a 7-11 or a Wawa because they have significant selections of fresh products, especially produce and meat.
It didn't occur to me that this mirror is a window to the manager's office until after I took this picture. Luckily, no one was in the office on this Sunday afternoon.

My theory is that this building was previously an auto shop. This section of St. George is full of car dealers, shops, and car washes, so it would fit in nicely. It would also explain the two rooms -- where grocery, dairy, and frozen are would have been the repair bays, and the meat and produce room would have been the office. Can anyone confirm this?

Eagle Supermarket

1427 St George Ave, Roselle, NJ
Open Daily 8AM-9PM
(908) 620-1317
My Rating:

Saturday, July 21, 2018

TOUR: B-Town Market Fresh - Elizabeth, NJ

We're back again in Elizabeth, NJ for a look at another brand-new supermarket. This one, B-Town Market Fresh (not sure what the B stands for), is affiliated with Allegiance Retail Services and therefore uses the Foodtown circular and storebrand.
This store, which is located in the North Elizabeth section, is the first new supermarket to open in Elizabeth since the embarrassment known as Supermarkets Plus (which was, however, beautiful to begin with). Unlike Supermarkets Plus, however, this store's owner has not had three of their stores "mysteriously" burn down.
The B-Town Market Fresh joins three existing Market Fresh locations in the Hudson Valley of New York, which you can see on their website. I don't think they share an owner, though, as the owner was actually in-store on my visit. This 22,000-square-foot store is in a promising location -- a vibrant neighborhood consisting primarily of Latino and Haitian immigrants -- and has a beautiful facility.
You enter to the deli/hot food area on the right side of the store. It looks like hot food either isn't ready to go yet, or isn't open on weekends. The rest of the supermarket continues behind this area (behind me in the above picture), with produce in the first aisle. Meat and seafood line the back wall, with dairy and frozen in the last aisle. Customer service is opposite the deli on the front wall.
Here's a look across the very spacious and bright front-end. This building was previously several smaller storefronts, so the layout is a little awkward in the front.
The produce department continues behind the deli. And while this may not be the best place to mention it, there was an impressive selection of NJ locally grown produce, including berries, greens, and corn. I doubt the mangos or plantains are locally grown.
Looking up towards the front of the store.
The facing aisle has packaged goods, while the outside wall has meat in the back and produce in the front.
Here you can see the front end with the windows ahead.
Packaged meats line the back half of the first aisle, with service butcher along the back wall.
A look at the butcher and seafood counter (on the far side) along the back wall. I wish they'd stuck with the green and yellow color scheme here instead of red, white, and blue. It looks much older than it is. Although I do like the signs along the back wall.
Like many supermarkets that are deeper than they are wide, Market Fresh's aisles are divided into two sections. We're looking from the center aisle towards the back of the store.
...and the same aisle, looking towards the front of the store.
The back of the last aisle contains the dairy section, while the front half of the aisle has freezer cases.
Five aisles in total including the produce/meat aisle, but because they're doubled up, it's actually more like ten.
Here's a look across the middle of the store back towards the produce aisle.
In the front section of the store where the checkouts are, looking back towards the grocery aisles.
Here's a look back across the front-end.

Market Fresh opened 07/06/18 but with very little publicity. They weren't even on Google Maps until well after that. And finally, the location is now listed on the Market Fresh website. Hopefully the word gets out.

A note about parking -- the store advertises free parking in rear on the storefront, although I had trouble finding the lot. There's a few different lots, although the only one that wasn't locked up had a big NO PARKING ANY TIME sign on the fence. The owner told me that that lot is actually open for Market Fresh (although I'd still be hesitant to park there until there's a clearer sign), but she also said that Market Fresh will have its own private lot on the side in the future. For now, you're best off with street parking, which is not hard to find in the neighborhood.

B-Town Market Fresh

333 N Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ
Open Mon-Sat 8AM-8PM, Sun 9AM-6PM
(908) 662-2200
My Rating: