Friday, January 18, 2019

TOUR: City Fresh Market - Starrett City

Heading not far from the East New York Food Bazaar (not West New York Food Bazaar) to Starrett City, Brooklyn. The City Fresh Market here on Pennsylvania Ave is the only supermarket in Starrett City proper, although the Food Bazaar borders the development and there is an enormous 93,000-square-foot ShopRite just east in the Gateway Center. This City Fresh Market started life as a Waldbaums, and was later taken over by Associated Supermarkets, which in turn switched to City Fresh Market under the same ownership over the course of 2013-2015, including a major remodel. To my surprise, the store is under major renovations once again only five years later, although this is likely in response to Food Bazaar's entrance to the East New York market.
The portion just to the right, where the word supermarket is, was an expansion before the 2013 remodel. And to the left, over the white van, there was an Associated logo until very recently -- well after the store switched its name to City Fresh Market. Let's take a closer look at the vehicles parked here...
Hiresprint! Someone's getting a delivery of circulars.
City Fresh's delivery van with an advertisement for J'Martin -- bachata singer and owner of City Fresh/Cherry Valley supermarkets under his A&E Supermarket Group! (The third van is from The Easy Market, A&E's online-shopping division.)
Looks like a perfectly normal supermarket just operating like it does every day, right? Well, let's head in and check it out.
Oh. Uh, so I guess there's some serious work going on here, which I was totally unaware of until I stepped inside the store.
Virtually all of the produce department was closed off with these gigantic blue tarps, causing produce to be jammed into a corner. The way it used to be set up is produce would be straight ahead when you enter, with deli/bakery, prepared foods, juice bar, and a seating area to your right when you enter, and grocery aisles and checkouts to your left. The layout probably won't be significantly changed after the remodel. Although I'm not sure whether the remodel is done yet, I do know this area has become a bakery department. I had hoped to revisit the store in December, but did not get the chance to.
A look at what's to come in this island near the entrance. Wow!
Everything in the grand aisle here seemed to be operating at about 60%. Enough that you could do your food shopping here, but they might be missing some things.
No prepared foods, although that service will likely be restarted once the renovation finishes.
Deli counter along the side wall.
Juice bar and limited bakery counter in front of the seating area. There is lots of bottled water, though!
Nice greens! You can see where the decor was removed on the wall above, although nothing has been put back up yet.
Oops. The produce bin in the bottom left corner here has the Cherry Valley, not City Fresh logo!
"...and don't shop at Food Bazaar now that they are open," is the follow-up to this sign. As far as NYC urban supermarket chains go, I believe A&E (City Fresh and Cherry Valley) and Food Bazaar are pretty much tied for first place. They're both operators to watch out for, and while they don't always get everything right, they will get it as close as they possibly can. Both have also been getting significantly more upscale in recent years. A&E is slightly larger, with 27 stores + 1 coming soon to Food Bazaar's 24 + 1 coming soon.
Two things of note here. First, the decor that will be revealed behind the blue tarps! It's very trendy and very urban looking, although it is different from what we saw at the Williamsbridge Cherry Valley. Second, if you zoom in, the "Healthy Alternatives" sign above was made by Hiresprint.
Seafood is along the back wall, with more produce jammed in to this corner that used to contain the Wall of Values.
I don't think this area would normally be this cramped. Just out of frame is the blue-tarp area, so all the traffic in the first aisle would not usually have to pass through this narrow point. Meats continue along the back wall, but first...
A glimpse behind the tarps at one point where they were open! Gee, I wonder why they closed off this section. Shoppers are so picky, they'd probably complain about the holes in the floor or the wheelbarrows.
Meats in the back.
This is actually the old decor, although it looks quite similar to the new decor. It's possible the new decor was designed to blend in with what's already there.
The first grocery aisle also gives us a peek into what the store will be looking like in the future.
Again, here we see new decor above old decor (Your Neighborhood Marketplace is from the 2013 remodel).
Bulk foods, which are normally in produce, are moved to the snack aisle for the remodel, which actually makes a lot of sense.
Actually everything we see here is old decor except the hanging Beer sign.
The arches will be easily incorporated into the new decor, judging by the Williamsbridge Cherry Valley!
Aside from the redundancy, and aside from the redundancy, this is a really nice sign. If you go back up, you'll notice that the other side also says "Butcher Butcher"! Why not put Butcher on the top and Fresh Meats on the bottom on both sides? Regardless, this decor has not been touched, which likely means it won't be replaced.
Interesting peninsula for the butcher counter here. I guess it gives them more space to display products.
Even though it's a very large store, this City Fresh only has 10 aisles. Probably almost 1/3 of the sales floor is the grand aisle, though, and much of that is closed off for renovation.
This aisle looks great, but imagine what it would look like if all the freezer cases were replaced!
Believe it or not, this is actually the old decor. They'd be crazy to take this out -- this is what most stores are putting in!
Milk begins on the back wall and dairy continues down the last aisle.
I suppose this sign looks slightly dated, but it's not far from what Gala Foods just put into their Worcester store.
Beer up in the front near customer service, along with some strangely-placed freezer cases.
A look back across the front-end.
And a quick look at the arches, which interestingly enough are actually attached to the ceiling, not the floor! The space on this side of the arches is almost definitely being prepared for a seating area, thus removing the need for an additional set of registers over by the food court. That also frees up some more space in the grand aisle for whatever deluxe features they decide to add!

A&E is definitely a group to keep an eye on. Their recently-opened City Fresh Market in Harlem is smaller, but equally gorgeous, and we saw the Williamsbridge Cherry Valley earlier this week. Good luck to them with their new stores and the extensive remodel here!

City Fresh Market

1380 Pennsylvania Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Open Mon-Sat 6AM-11PM, Sun 7AM-10PM
http://www.mycityfreshmarket.com
(718) 642-1608
My Rating: 

3 comments:

  1. I comment on the supermarkets themselves a lot, but I'm not sure I've ever mentioned your writing. It's great, as usual :)

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    1. Thank you, Retail Retell! I've actually been working on trying to perfect my "blog voice" after taking a journalism class...but I'm not sure anything has actually changed!

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    2. You're welcome! Heh, "blog voice" :P I'm the same way - I act like I'm writing for a different audience in my blog posts as compared to my flickr descriptions. Even though I doubt that's actually the case!

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