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Showing posts from August, 2018

Snapshot: House of Meats - Tampa, FL

Literally next door to Huracan Supermarket is the House of Meats at 502 E Sligh Ave.
This store, whose target market is presumably not vegetarians, looks to be slightly larger than Huracan and is similarly a Latin-centered store, although it appears to have a much heavier emphasis on the meat and seafood and sell less grocery.
Interstate 275 passes right by the side of this store, explaining the large sign sticking out from behind the store.
Once again, we see signs in both English and Spanish. I don't think the business's name is any less silly in Spanish.
And really, is anyone going to be driving by on the interstate, see the sign, and say "Oh yeah, I should stop and pick up some meats"? Not exactly an impulse-buy item!
House of Meats doesn't seem overly popular, but then Huracan was pretty empty too. Probably an off-time for grocery shopping. There's not too many other markets in the immediate area, but there is a Save-A-Lot just north of here at 8320 N F…

Snapshot: Huracan Supermarket - Tampa, FL

Given, as I mentioned in the Bravo post, the recent hurricane season here in Florida, it would stand to reason that this supermarket (whose name means hurricane) would not be so popular. In fact, it's a very heavily-used market.
I snapped a few pictures of this store as I drove by, hoping to return for a full tour. However, that unfortunately never happened.
It's tempting to label this as a Centennial-style A&P. However, although all the elements are there, the proportions are all wrong. Plus, the building is too shallow. The A&P Centennials went far back.
"Feria", as visible on the sign to the left of the entrance, means in this context market or farmer's market. Thanks to Google Maps, we can take a quick look inside, although I'm not sure of the layout here.


If you zoom in to the sign on the right, you can see it actually advertises the "diary" department. Oops!


The butcher shop appears to be in a separate room. Reminds me a lot of the Hu…

TOUR: Bravo 7733 - Tampa, FL

Although multiple New Jersey and New York-based grocery chains opened or considered opening outposts in Florida (including ShopRite!), the only one that maintains a significant presence is Bravo. Bravo is run by White Plains, NY-based Krasdale Foods and was created in 1999 to target Hispanic populations of New York City.
 The Bravo we're looking at today is the farther-west one.
In my experience, Bravo stores (and its sister chain C-Town) have always been reliably good -- usually clean, well-stocked, and reasonably-priced. I was, therefore, quite disappointed in this Bravo, which was overall rather depressing.
 This beautiful monument sign sets the tone very well for the rest of the store. Seriously, though, I visited Florida at Christmas of 2017, just a few months after the devastating 2017 hurricane season. Although Tampa did not see particularly extensive damage, it's possible damages like this sign were caused by the high winds.
Let's start on the outside. This Bravo …

8 Dark Secrets about Supermarkets -- and why they're really not that dark or secret

There is, and probably always will be, those wannabe exposé pieces about how your city's mayor is trying to kill you, or about how all car manufacturers actually want you to live in outer space. I don't know why they bother me so much when they're about supermarkets, but here goes.

Healthyway recently published an article entitled "8 Dark Secrets Nobody Told You About Food at the Supermarket". Check it out. Are you shocked, disappointed, outraged, and planning to go yell at your local supermarket's manager?

Take a deep breath. Let's look at these claims closely.

1. Big cart, big money. Sure they do. But they can also provide endless frustration for customers. If a supermarket is cramped to begin with, having oversized (or even normal sized) shopping carts can cause frequent collisions and difficulty navigating the aisles. This leads to angry customers, and an angry customer is probably not a return customer.

Sure shopping carts have increased in size since …

Snapshot: Former Grand Union - Summit, NJ

This is the last of the NJ stores before we head down to Tampa, FL tomorrow!
This store is a former Grand Union located at 29 Deforest Ave in Summit, NJ. CVS has been here for decades, although I'm not certain of an exact closing date for GU.
Summit, which currently has no supermarkets, is home to several specialty markets and several former supermarkets, in addition to this one.
Arenas Farmers Market - 1 Ashwood AveThe Meat House (upscale butcher/deli) - 321 Springfield AveFormer Summit Food Market - 423 Springfield AveFormer ShopRite - probably 40 Park AveFormer A&P - 23 Summit Ave

Snapshot: Former Farmtastic Market - Whippany, NJ

This particular location, in the Whippany section of Hanover Township, seems to be a pretty bad spot for a supermarket. Whippany is most famous for the Whippany Railway Museum, which is definitely worth a visit. Here's a little history, the way I understand it...(not to say the way it actually happened):
1950s: Centennial-style A&P built on the property.1960s: Foodtown takes over A&P.Late 1970s: New Foodtown built next door to the existing Centennial building.Late 1990s/Early 2000s: Foodtown sold to Pathmark. Centennial building next door becomes a drugstore.2011: Pathmark closes.May 9, 2014: Allegiance-affiliated Farmtastic Supermarket opens, owned by Roberto Laracca.Approximately summer 2015: Farmtastic closes.2018: Owners of Pine Plaza announce major facade renovation to take place over the course of a few years. How does that sound? That's probably reasonably close to what actually happened, but please, if you have corrections, let me know!
 One of the factors cont…