Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Look Inside: Davis IGA - Kent, CT

Heading about 20 miles west of Litchfield to Kent, which is right near the New York state border. It's a small town with a very nice downtown. And one supermarket. Well okay, it also has a gourmet market we're going to see tomorrow. But for now, we'll just take a look at the friendly neighborhood IGA...
The Davis IGA is a very small but very nice market that really looks to be full-service. Having been both here and the Stop & Shop in Litchfield, I would really rather shop here.
I got a very strong NYC-area feeling from this store, likely because this is a popular vacation area for many NYC folks. But this store very much feels compact like a Key Food in Brooklyn might. It even has the same look on the inside, if a little more rustic.
Regardless, if you focus on the decor, it's really not far from the Key Food Marketplace in Bay Ridge. Anyhow, this store isn't located in Bay Ridge, it's at 27 Kent Green Blvd in Kent, CT.

Photographed June 2018 (at least that's what my computer says, although I'm pretty sure it was May)

Monday, April 29, 2019

TOUR: Stop & Shop - Litchfield, CT

To kick off our Connecticut week, we are checking out a brand-new store -- that is, one that has never before appeared here on The Market Report or on Flickr, as well as one that's actually very newly built. Opened in June 2017, this location in the Litchfield Village Green replaced an older store just west on US-202 which itself may have been an older Grand Union.
I photographed the store at night, then returned a few days later for an additional exterior photo. All of the interior photos were taken at night, so we'll be seeing very few customers and low stock in most departments.
This exterior store model is quite attractive. However, it's strangely one-sided, and it gives the appearance that the store was expanded (when, in fact, it was built this way). Marking a departure from many earlier models, there is only one entrance and exit, both on this side of the storefront. You enter to the right and encounter bakery in the front corner with prepared foods and deli lining the right side of the store. Meat and seafood line the back wall, with frozen and dairy on the far side of the store with liquor in the front corner opposite the entrance. Although the store is newly built, it's just over 35,000 square feet, about 10,000 larger than the older store. And though it's not huge, the store certainly feels very spacious.
The color scheme here is top-notch. I love the dark floor and ceiling, and the lighting really accentuates the colors in the products. As we head along the perimeter of the store, we see the service departments...
For me, this decor package really breaks down when it comes to the department signage. This signage is incredibly bland, and ought to be lit to draw your eye to it. Consider the effect with Food Bazaar's decor -- dark colors but lit signage. (That picture is from the Fairview location.) The problem is, many stores didn't get the deluxe facility upgrades, such as the floor and ceiling, and only got the boring signage, including one store coming soon to the blog. We can compare this big-time decor flop with the newer package, which is better.
The selection of artisan breads was nice here, if a little cleaned out at night, but you can't really blame them for that.
The next department along the side wall is the prepared foods department, followed by the deli in the back corner. Again, we have some puzzling decor choices, such as the drop ceiling over the prep areas without any soffit -- do I really need to see what's above the drop ceiling when I'm ordering my deli meat? Why even have a drop ceiling at all?
The fixtures, however, are first-rate, especially the lighting within the shelves.
The produce department is quite attractive as well, and I can't really say I have any complaints with it, although this is largely due to the fact that there isn't really any decor in it either.
It is, however, spacious and nicely displayed.
A look down the front-end from produce. Now heading to the back of the store, where strangely enough meat and seafood are combined into one fairly small service counter.
The folks at SuperFresh Food World wouldn't be too impressed with this meat and seafood display, especially in a newly-built store. (The cases are empty because I visited at night. The store's service meat and seafood department is fully functional at other times.)
Sounds good. But is anyone actually going to read this, much less buy these items? I'd rather see this as more of a decor element that's repeated in other forms around the store.
Packaged meat continues along the back wall of the store.
Heading over to the grocery aisles, we find disappointingly 1980s-looking shelving. Especially in this shot, the store is starting to look more like Big Jim's Discount Grocery Warehouse than a new build Stop & Shop. To be fair, in person, the store felt more upscale somehow.
These aisle markers are, interestingly enough, nearly identical to the previous decor package's. Just different colors.
Nonfood aisle showing category markers. Just as exciting as the department signage.
Dairy begins on the back wall and continues down the last aisle. The second to last aisle is frozen foods, which appears to have different category markers.
Now for a quick look at the front end before we head out...
If I remember correctly, this corner had a small liquor department. This store does not have a pharmacy.
While this store is certainly very nice, and it somehow feels upscale in person, there are certain decor choices that just make me scratch my head. I am glad that Stop & Shop has moved on from this decor package, for sure!

Stop & Shop

55 Village Green Dr, Litchfield, CT
Open Daily 7AM-11PM
(860) 393-4051
Photographed June 2018

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Snapshot: Former Food Fair - Bloomfield, NJ

Heading back up to Bloomfield, NJ for today's post of a former supermarket. This store started as a Food Fair, then became a Mayfair Foodtown-turned-Edwards, and is currently a 99c & Discount Depot. (This chain had another location in Elizabeth in a former A&P, which is coming soon to the blog.)
 Yes, the original arches are still intact! I love it!
For a more detailed description of the store's history and better pictures, check out Styertowne on Flickr over here. It's located at 12 Arlington Ave, Bloomfield, NJ.

Come back tomorrow for Connecticut week!

Photographed June 2016

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Memorabilia: Compare Foods!

Well. Today's post was supposed to be a Snapshot at the Bristol Selecto Supermarket in Bristol, PA, but I don't believe I saved the photos when I removed them from Flickr. It doesn't matter, they weren't very good pictures. In fact, you should still check the store out on Google Maps here, here, and here, to see a relatively intact (if horribly mutilated) A&P-turned-SuperFresh centennial model with SuperFresh decor still mostly original.

Anyway, here's some old bags from Compare Foods instead!
Oh yes, by the way, I've never been to either Compare Foods store in Bridgeport. This bag came from the Worcester location. All three are now Gala Foods.
Ah, here we go. Slightly better, although I still really can't tell what most of that in the cart is. For instance, what's that big lump sticking out on the top left? "I think maybe it's supposed to be a giant, mutilated loaf of bread," said fellow supermarket blogger Retail Retell.

Anyway, the store now uses Gala Foods bags. Which makes sense. Because it's, you know, a Gala Foods. Crazy how that works.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Coming Soon!

Next week is...
It's going to be a short week, though -- only Monday through Friday. We have regular programming on Sunday the 28th and Saturday the 4th. But watch out for store tours on Monday and Friday, then assorted Snapshots and a Look Inside rounding out the week's content. So come back on Monday for a brand-new store tour!

Snapshot: Superfood Marketplace - Elizabeth, NJ

Let's cross the Newark Bay (don't swim across, I don't want to know what it's polluted with) from Bayonne yesterday to Elizabeth today. Matter of fact, we're going to be on the southeastern end of Elizabeth to see the Superfood Marketplace at the port. So we'll actually be closer to Staten Island than Bayonne. Anyway, here we go.
Superfood opened to much fanfare in 2012 as it was the first new supermarket in the port (that is, for people not familiar with the area, the neighborhood of Elizabethport, which is relatively isolated from the rest of the city). Previously there had been a Fine Fare Supermarket at 75 Broadway but other than that, the area did not have any supermarkets (chain or independent) for many years. Except, I guess, a very small supermarket on the north end of the neighborhood, Universal-owned Super El Rey at 80 3rd St. Superfood opened locations in Allentown and Middlesex, which have since been spun off to Superfood Fresh (owned by Twin City); the chain now includes this store, Eagle Supermarket in Roselle, and a new Superfood Marketplace in Ridgefield where Ridgefield Market previously was.
The location in Allentown was previously a Valley Farm Market. Valley Farm's other remaining location, in Bethlehem, is coming soon to The Market Report! If I had to guess, the other carts visible here were from a ShopRite.
The store, although it's only about 10,000 square feet, includes a full produce department, butcher, deli, grocery selection, frozen and dairy department, and even a hot food bar and a seating area.
Superfood Marketplace is located at 50 1st St, Elizabeth, NJ.

Photographed April 2016

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Snapshot: Bayonne Fresh Market - Bayonne, NJ

I told you there would be some random posts. Now we're jumping back to good ol' Bayonne, NJ, to check out this store that started as the Fei Da Asian Market back in 2012 but later became the Bayonne Fresh Market by 2016. Interestingly, Bayonne's population is only about 8% Asian, which makes me wonder about the wisdom of opening an Asian Market there -- especially since it's a hard-to-access peninsula and therefore has limited capacity to draw customers from surrounding towns. The Bayonne Fresh Market today appears to specialize in seafood and doesn't appear to be a full supermarket.
Notice that "Bayonne Fresh" is in a different font from "Market." This is because the "market" is left over from Fei Da.
I get a very similar feeling from this store as I do the Despensa del Ahorro in Elizabeth, although I haven't actually been inside either one. This store is located at 1033 Broadway in Bayonne, just south of the Aqui Market at Garfield Ave.

Photographed June 2018

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Snapshot: Food Lion - Inwood, WV

Apologies for the random content lately! I have a few weeks' worth of random posts to finish up, and three more themed weeks, before we move on to a brand-new group of stores starting June 1. This store is one I snapped coming back from Virginia.
Not much to say about this store, I guess. It's at 4803 Gerrardstown Rd in Inwood, WV.

Photographed March 2018

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Look Inside: Best Market - Holmdel, NJ

Today's post is brought to us by Market Report contributor Steve! We're heading down to Holmdel, NJ, an inland town at the very northern tip of the Jersey Shore. Holmdel was also the location of a now-closed A&P Fresh Market, which Acme Style covered here. This store is, at this time, still a Best Market (in fact, the only Best Market in New Jersey), although Lidl's recent acquisition of the chain means that it will soon be converted to the no-frills discount format of Lidl.
I still question the wisdom of the Lidl-Best Market purchase, as the stores' formats are so radically different. Best Market focuses on huge selections of produce and deli products, while Lidl has a very small produce department and no deli. We'll just have to wait and see how this one plays out. Although I went to this store myself long ago, I did not photograph it. But our contributor brings something new to The Market Report...an internal panorama!
Click on the image to expand it and see the details. This Best Market is located at 2130 NJ-35 in Holmdel.

Photographed July 2016

Monday, April 22, 2019

TOUR: Kikos Supermarket - Fairview, NJ

Perhaps you recall seeing the Food Bazaar in Fairview back in December 2016. No? Well then, refresh your memory here. Just four blocks south of the Food Bazaar is a much smaller supermarket, Kikos Supermarket, which is owned by independent grocer Felix Beltran. Previously, he and his family had owned CTown Supermarkets in West New York and Clifton (in the Styertowne Plaza where CVS is now) along with a few others. Meanwhile, the La Placita Supermarket* in Union City was previously a Kikos. Today, it appears that this location in Fairview is the only store owned by the Beltran family; it was previously a Fine Fare that closed in 2000.

*A note on that post. I had written that the original Kikos was here in Fairview and the Kikos II was in Union City. I actually had that reversed.
For an idea of the layout, you enter to the right on the front wall. Produce is in the front right corner with checkouts to the left. Dairy continues along the first aisle with butcher and deli in an alcove in the back. Frozen lines the last aisle.
There is a very cramped parking lot just to the left of the store. The store also offers delivery in its, ahem, unique van.
The carts were from the A&P (which became Food Bazaar) just down the street; Food Bazaar opened with all-new carts. Let's head inside...
Small produce island in the front with additional cases continuing up the first wall.
Here's a look across the front of the store from produce.
The front of the store is also home to the wine and liquor department, which is also pretty small. Nicely stocked, though.
I particularly like the price signs (not, clearly, the orange Fine Fare one you can see in the top corner).
The store is a great older building, complete with things like the pressed tin ceiling (which does not appear to be a reproduction).
Additional liquor and dairy line the first aisle.
Towards the back of the store, there is an alcove containing meat and deli. Again, it's quite cramped, but the selections are nice.
Not so sure about that decor, though.
Meats, a specialty of the store, line the wall on the right side of the store, continuing from produce. The deli is located about halfway across the back of the store in the meat alcove as well.
This alcove is quite small, but they make the most of the space here with an island displaying deli products and meat cases along all the walls.
The Food Bazaar has an enormous meat department and a large selection of Latin dairy products as well, but I don't know to what extent this store's customer base has been impacted. The customers here seem very loyal, as it's a small family business. Food Bazaar in Fairview also tends to cater more to Asian customers than others do.
Heading back into the main part of the store, we find complete (if not spacious) grocery aisles with a heavy emphasis on Latin goods.
Looking along the back of the store.
Plenty of nonfoods as well, something that is generally cut in very small stores. Even Food Bazaar has only minimal nonfoods products.
Frozen lines the wall of the last aisle of the store. The cases, as well as the floor throughout, look to be newly updated.
More general merchandise and HABA in the front corner near the registers. Customer service is located on the front wall just to the left out of frame. There were some great old photos of the Beltran family's previous stores (including the CTown in Styertowne that's now long gone), but they were posted on the wall behind customer service, so there was really no way to get pictures without being noticed. Definitely worth checking out if you ever come to the area though!

Kikos Supermarket

321 Anderson Ave, Fairview, NJ
Open Daily 7AM-10PM
(201) 945-3160
Photographed March 2018