Sunday, June 16, 2019

Look Inside: Antillana Meat Market - Fordham Manor

Yesterday we saw the Associated at 125 W Kingsbridge Rd, and today we're going a long, long distance away to 123 W Kingsbridge Rd.
Unlike the Associated, which is tiny but still a full supermarket, this Antillana really is primarily a butcher shop. It does, however, sell a pretty large selection of produce, some dairy/frozen, grocery basics, and deli products. They even run a weekly circular -- which is kind of remarkable for a two-aisle store. Antillana opened around 2016, suggesting that the switch to Associated from Pioneer might have coincided with this store's opening.
The word Antillana refers to a person or object from the West Indies, and comes from the same root as where we get the Greater and Lesser Antilles in English. In the Bronx, which has a very large West Indian and Caribbean population, there are multiple stores called Antillana, although few of them are related. We're going to see a second, unrelated, Antillana at Fordham Rd shortly.
If you click on the picture above to zoom in, you can see the Associated just down the block. Because of Antillana's extensive outdoor produce display, its produce selection might actually be larger than Associated's, although the store is even smaller.
This is clearly a high-volume store despite its small size. It was quite difficult to get pictures inside simply because there were so many people inside.
Antillana makes the most of its corner location by displaying produce all along both of its exterior walls. Here you can see that the store is quite narrow, but deep. And as I said, this exterior display makes their produce selection larger than Associated's.
You can't miss this giant sign on the corner of the building!
Here's a look at the produce and dairy departments on the side wall. This is the first aisle, and there is a single island to the left with grocery shelving, making two aisles. The deli and meat counters run along the other side wall...
And there you have it! That's how you fit produce, grocery, dairy, frozen, deli, and butcher in less than 2,000 square feet. We're going to move on down Kingsbridge Road for some more stores now, so come back tomorrow for a Streetside Sights & Scenes and a new store tour on Tuesday!

Photographed June 2018

Saturday, June 15, 2019

TOUR: Associated Supermarket - Fordham Manor

As you'll be able to tell from taking a look at the map below, we have a few major east-west thoroughfares we'll be tackling as we move through this group of stores. We've just hit the first, which is Kingsbridge Rd. A little later we'll see Fordham Rd, then 183rd St. Because we're making a circle, we're going down the left (west) side and coming back up the east side, we're going to hit each thoroughfare twice. That's how I walked it.
And maybe you'll recognize this exterior photo. It's the one that makes up the header for the blog!
It's a very, very small store that was clearly an amalgamation of several smaller storefronts, as you can see from the awnings. This grocery store was previously a Pioneer under the same owners, switching over to Associated around 2015.
You enter on the left side of the storefront. Produce lines the first aisle with dairy at the back on the side wall, meats along the back, and frozen foods partially in the first aisle and partially at the opposite end of the store, if I recall correctly. The deli is on the front wall and is tiny, as we'll see.
Very small produce department, but it's nicely organized, and the selection is decent for a tiny store. In reality this Associated isn't much larger than a bodega, with Google Maps setting the size somewhere around 3,000 square feet.
Nicely displayed and very fresh greens though, even if it is a small selection.
Dairy and some frozen foods fills up the rest of the first aisle.
Frozen foods at the back of the first aisle.
That first aisle kind of has almost everything you'd need -- produce, dairy, and frozen right there.
Meat case along the back wall. This is pretty much the whole width of the store. I don't remember how many aisles it is, but I'd guess no more than four or five.
Nonfoods, I think in the second-to-last aisle.
And heading around to the front wall of the store for a look at the small but complete deli, and the front-end before we head out...
It's a very complete store for a tiny place. Nicely organized, too. This might have to do with the competition: this Associated is at 125 W Kingsbridge Rd, and tomorrow's store is an Antillana Meat Market at 123 W Kingsbridge Rd -- there are two small storefronts between the two stores. Come back tomorrow to check out Antillana!

Associated Supermarkets

125 W Kingsbridge Rd, Bronx, NY
Open Mon-Sat 8AM-9PM, Sun 8AM-8PM
(718) 543-6996
Photographed June 2018

Friday, June 14, 2019

TOUR: CTown Supermarkets - Kingsbridge Heights

If you're wondering why this neighborhood is called Kingsbridge Heights, don't.
This CTown is looking much better than Wednesday's store, both on the inside and the outside. But especially the outside. By the way, this CTown is located on Sedgwick Avenue, which is pronounced Sej-wick. Does it bother anyone else that it's not spelled Sedgewick?
You enter on the left side of the storefront to deli immediately inside. Produce lines the first aisle with dairy in the back corner. Meats follow on the back wall and frozen in the last aisle.
As is very common in these smaller urban stores, part of the first aisle is split into produce.
The deli, which appears to be newly installed or newly renovated at least, is located immediately inside the entrance.
The hot food bar, which was not yet open for the day when I visited, is just in front of the deli counter.
Heading back over to produce, we see a nice display with a good variety in a small space.
Dairy continues in the back corner on the first aisle and along the back wall.
And dairy switches to meat about halfway across the back wall.
You've gotta love any supermarket that has a Goya department! It's even done in the same signage style as the rest of the store's department signage. The turquoise and purple, an interesting color combination, is repeated in the floor tile and was at the time (early 90s) the official color scheme of CTown.
Clean aisles and generally clutter-free, although I'm not a fan of the displays in front of the columns.
The side wall of the store has a slight indentation in the front part, making for some awkward corners and partial-aisles around this section. We also see some storebrand troubles...
365 Everyday Value is, of course, the Whole Foods Market storebrand.
Some additional meats and cold cuts on the side wall, in the back half. The front half extends one aisle's width farther out the side of the store and contains frozen foods.
The freezer cases, while clearly fairly old, look to be recently upgraded with new lighting and new cooler systems.
Quick look at the front-end before we head out. As you can see, this store isn't that large (it's deeper than it is wide, but it's not that wide or deep). Google Maps estimates the store's size at approximately 7,000 square feet. I also like the big industrial heaters around the store -- definitely a relic from the past! But it does seem that the owners of this location take care of the store a little better than the other CTown.

CTown Supermarkets

2891 Sedgwick Ave, Bronx, NY
Open Mon-Sat 8AM-8PM, Sun 9AM-6PM (very short hours, it seems to me)
(718) 548-1299
Photographed June 2018

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Streetside Sights & Scenes: Things Are Looking Up

The day I spent photographing these stores in the Bronx, the neighborhoods are so dense that I did it all on foot. Most of these stores don't have parking lots, and good luck finding street parking. That made for some...challenges.
There's only about about a net 120-ft elevation difference between the CTown on Broadway and the CTown on Sedgwick Ave, which we'll see tomorrow. But it becomes clear that this elevation change happens all at once. This staircase is located between Heath Ave and Kingsbridge Terr and, well, it made for some good exercise. So did the other staircase between Kingsbridge Terr and Sedgwick Ave. Come back tomorrow for the CTown!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

TOUR: CTown Supermarkets - Marble Hill

As I hinted at yesterday, we will be touring our first Bronx CTown today, which is located at the southern tip of the business district along Broadway. Believe it or not, this store is technically considered to be in Manhattan -- so yes, the northernmost building in Manhattan is actually in the Bronx. Read more about this almost-paradox here.
Today's CTown is visible at the bottom part of the left top strip, or the one straight above the 87 symbol. I have to say, it's not a particularly impressive location from the outside but the inside gets much better.
Because the storefront is not particularly visible, the side wall is covered with CTown promotional signage -- four signs, in fact.
The entrance faces Broadway, and you enter on the right side of the storefront. Produce and dairy line the double-wide first aisle, with meats on the back wall. The last aisle contains frozen and deli/hot food.
Not the most inviting on the front. But it looks much better inside...
I've heard that the store has since been remodeled (it's been a year since I visited), but I haven't seen pictures to confirm this.
Looking up towards the front of the store and the entrance. Yes, there is a can or two of tuna in this store.
Dairy and meat/cold cuts in the back corner, back of the first aisle. I was here in the morning, so they were still stocking. By the way, the Krasdale brand isn't always the best, but the premium orange juice and lemonades are fantastic. Very reasonably priced, too.
Very nicely stocked aisles, and pleasantly open (save for the stock cart, which they get a pass on because they were still stocking).
Aisle four getting a little cramped with columns and shelving around them, however.
Jumping over to the back wall looking towards the last aisle, and towards the first aisle...
The fixtures, like most of the store, is clearly on the older side but in very nice condition. It seems this store, at least once you get inside, is very well maintained.
Frozen foods on a little bit of an angle as we look towards the front wall of the store.
Deli, hot food, and baked goods in the front corner of the store. That about wraps up our CTown tour (by the way, I want one of those Krasdale clocks), and we're seeing another CTown on Friday!

CTown Supermarkets

5249 Broadway, Bronx, NY
Open Mon-Sat 8AM-9PM, Sun 8AM-7PM
(718) 562-9090
Photographed June 2018