Wednesday, June 19, 2019

TOUR: Antillana SuperFood - Fordham Heights

Heading straight south on University Ave from yesterday's Food Universe Marketplace to check out another store on the next business corridor south, Fordham Rd. This thoroughfare pretty much extends across all of the Bronx (although it becomes Pelham Parkway in the eastern half) and goes directly to the campus of Fordham University.
 This store, as far as I know, has no relation to the Antillana Meat Market we saw on Sunday. It is, however, part of a chain with other locations at 1339 Jerome Ave and 1791 Jerome Ave, both in the Bronx. I do not understand the affiliation with SuperFood Marketplace, a New Jersey-based store with locations in Elizabeth and Ridgefield.
Here's the approach to Antillana so that you can get a feel for Fordham Rd. The supermarket is on the corner and has the red awning.
Like so many of these urban supermarkets, the store is pieced together from multiple smaller storefronts, with the corner part apparently under renovation to be a restaurant owned by the supermarket. I love the billboard on the roof!
You enter approximately under the first A in Antillana to produce along the left wall (although most of the produce is displayed outside). Dairy and packaged meats continue in the first aisle, with the butcher on the back wall. Frozen foods line the last aisle and, if I'm not mistaken, there is a deli in the front corner.
As I said, most of the produce is displayed outside. And I don't seem to have gotten a picture of the interior produce cases, so this one from Google Maps will have to do. I did get a picture of the ubiquitous bulk case, do you remember how frequently we saw these in Hudson County?
Now we can start to get a good look at the store with this shot of the first aisle. The store, by the way, opened in about 2013 in a former furniture store. So all the fixtures, including the lighting and flooring, are quite new and generally in excellent shape. (Well okay, the floors kind of fall apart shortly but we'll get there.)
The store is also very nicely stocked with a nice selection in a very small space. The butcher counter, a big draw for Antillana, lines the back wall.
I'm thinking there are about 4-5 aisles here but I'm not remembering entirely. Something in that range.
Another clean, if very narrow, aisle. At least they don't clutter it up.
I have absolutely no idea what happened here in this aisle with flooring. Whatever did happen, it sure looks pretty bad compared to the rest of the supermarket.
Back to normal flooring for the last aisle, which includes frozen foods as pictured here.
Small deli in the front corner. I do love that these stores carry Boar's Head, which is by far the best deli brand.
HABA selection lining front wall, so they really make full use of the space they have. Here's the front end, looking from deli over to the produce. Also worth noting is that these owners actually opened a new-build store farther south, Extra Jumbo Marketplace at 1384 Nelson Ave in the Bronx, and it looks nice.

Antillana SuperFood Marketplace

124 W Fordham Rd, Bronx, NY

Open Daily 7AM-11PM
(718) 758-5174

Photographed June 2018

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Food Universe Marketplace - Kingsbridge Heights

Today's store tour is pretty quick but that's okay because it's a tiny store! Google Maps, in fact, puts a size estimate at just over 2,000 square feet.
We're at the corner of Kingsbridge and University, which we saw in a Streetside Sights & Scenes post yesterday. Let's check out this small supermarket, which was previously a Super Foods Supermarket (an independent store whose affiliation I'm not sure of) and later a Compare Foods before switching over to Key Food's Food Universe banner in early 2017. Compare Foods had done a renovation when they took over from Super Foods, so there was very little to do except replace the sign and awning when the affiliation changed to Food Universe.
Yep, it's small! But on the flip side, that means that almost the whole front wall is glass.
Despite the small size, we do have full produce, meat, dairy, frozen, grocery, and even deli departments! You enter to a tiny produce section, with frozen, dairy and meat on the left-side wall, and deli on the front wall in the corner.
Pretty snazzy digital display signs, too.
Immediately inside the entrance, we see a combination of nice custom Food Universe rugs and fancy flattened cardboard. Not unusual for small stores to put cardboard in the entrance area. We can also see some dry produce on the wall. All the produce is on this wall.
Nice new case but tiny selection. Heading down the first aisle we get right into grocery.
But let's hope that not too many other people are also interested in seeing the grocery section! These aisles are ridiculously narrow with really high shelving, but man do they pack in the selection.
Check out that cat food on the left! My ShopRite doesn't stock it that nicely. Also doesn't that seem like a disproportionately large pet food selection for the size of this store? Maybe it's a big seller.
If I'm not mistaken, this store has four aisles. I love those industrial heaters hanging from the ceiling! I wonder how long they've been there, and for that matter, how long this building has held a supermarket.
It's kind of an awkward space along the back wall here under the offices (it's unusual that they're in the back, not the front corner), but it really feels like this ought to be refrigerator cases, not just random shelving. It probably was, or it's possible this is closing off what used to be a butcher service counter.
Small frozen department in the back corner with dairy and meat along the rest of the last aisle.
The floor is clearly several tenants old, but it's in excellent shape. I actually don't mind the checkerboard and stripes that recur around the store, and it helps that the grocery aisles are solid white tile.
Deli, customer service, and HABA department all wrapped up into one here in the front corner, but it works! Tomorrow we have a slightly larger store (although not by a whole lot), but we'll be heading down University Ave to the corner of Fordham Rd.

Food Universe Marketplace

82 W Kingsbridge Rd, Bronx, NY
Open Mon-Sat 7:30AM-9:30PM, Sun 8AM-8:30PM
(718) 364-5318
Photographed June 2018

Monday, June 17, 2019

Streetside Sights & Scenes: Streetcorner Symphony*

*today's post is BYOS, or Bring Your Own Symphony. By the way, that title is a reference to the song by Rob Thomas.

Today's Streetside Sights & Scenes post is just an overview of what the beginning of the business district on Kingsbridge Rd looks like, looking east at the corner of University Ave, a pretty major north-south thoroughfare.
If you zoom in, you'll actually be able to see tomorrow's Food Universe with the blue awning almost directly in the center of the photo. Come back tomorrow to check out the interior!

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