Sunday, June 30, 2019

Snapshot: V&J Mini Market - Fordham Heights

Today's Snapshot is not a supermarket, but more like a bodega. It's still one that caught my eye, though, as I was heading east on 183rd St from the Pioneer we saw yesterday.
This store, whose storefront is under construction and previously looked like this, is remarkable because the awning we can see in the street view (just a month before I visited) was installed right on top of past signage which had just been painted over. And very few stores nowadays in New York City still use the term Superette, but it's quite common in other areas (like I'm in Massachusetts now, and you see Superettes very frequently). This one is located at 51 E 183rd St, Bronx, NY.

Photographed June 2018

Saturday, June 29, 2019

TOUR: Pioneer Supermarket - Fordham Heights South

Quick note before we start today's post. I missed it at the time, but yesterday's Snapshot was actually The Market Report's 600th post! Thank you for reading as always, and if you have any feedback or just want to talk supermarkets, feel free to leave a comment here or email me at zachary@marketreportblog.com!

Today's store tour is the first of two Pioneer Supermarkets we're going to see in this neighborhood, located just at the corner of 183rd St and Jerome Ave, a major north-south corridor that parallels University Ave.
This store has been a Pioneer for many years, at least about 15, but likely longer. However, as we'll see, it's also been pretty recently renovated.
Hmm. Seems like maybe they could've found a better place to put that Pioneer logo. Like, you know, a foot lower. Anyway, the store's located just under the 183rd St subway station.
Okay, that's better. You can see the recent renovation, with the new awning and sign, and big new windows. I love these huge panel windows.
We enter to a nice dual-wide produce department. Customer service/manager's offices are located in the front corner at the front of the first aisle, with meats on the back wall and frozen/dairy on the side wall opposite. Bakery and deli are in the front corner opposite the entrance.
Beautiful produce display here! They make the most of their single-tier display. As we'll see, a lot of effort is put into the presentation across the store here. Likely because we're just three blocks from Food Universe and one from Bronx Marketplace.
Nice floor here, and I also like the fake brick around the courtesy counter. The pineapples across the top of the produce case are also a nice touch.
Jumping over to the other side of the produce display. And while I do like the tall grocery shelving, making for maximum dry goods selection in a small space, you can see that makes it hard for some customers, such as this woman who I just happened to catch reaching for a product on the top shelf.
Back corner, looking towards the back wall. There is a slight indentation in this back corner, as we see here, and I'm assuming it's probably a small storage space and elevators to the basement.
Meat cases with what appear to be new cases along the back wall. The grocery shelving also appears to be quite new. The renovation seems to have happened in 2014, so I'd place all the fixtures at that time. The aisle markers, fake brick, and flooring probably date to the same time, but as we'll see, some of the decor appears to be from a previous renovation.
I like the two-tone floor pattern here.
As we have seen previously, the aisles can get a little narrow where we have some posts. I like how they carried over the brick texture to these too.
Check out how beautifully stocked that is!
We do see a lot of really nicely stocked shelves around this store. As I said previously, I think these three stores so close together keep them all on their best behavior.
Looking along the back wall back towards produce in the first aisle.

We have dairy on the side wall of the store and frozen facing. The freezer cases appear to be a little on the older side, but they're in nice condition.
As I mentioned, this decor sure looks older than 2014. Maybe it's not, I can't entirely tell. If I remember correctly, produce does not have a sign, but meat, dairy, deli, and bakery do.
The bakery case (there's no in-store bakery) faces into the store, while the deli faces towards the checkout.
And a look across the front-end, with what appear to be new registers and definitely new hanging signs with the checkout numbers. This Pioneer is quite nice, and after a quick Snapshot tomorrow, we're going to continue our streak of very nice stores with a CTown, a Bravo, and this owner's other Pioneer on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday respectively. Lots more to see, come back soon!

Pioneer Supermarkets

2285 Jerome Ave, Bronx, NY
Open Mon-Sat 8AM-9PM, Sun 8AM-7PM
pioneersupermarkets.com
(718) 584-0326
Photographed June 2018

Friday, June 28, 2019

Snapshot: California Fruit & Vegetables - Fordham Heights

Just across the street from Bronx Marketplace is a small greengrocer called Something California Fruit & Vegetables. Unfortunately, I am utterly unable to make out the first word.
From a Google Maps street view, we can get a better view of the name. Nongra California?
Like many of these small greengrocers, the store appears to be basically a convenience store with a selection of fresh produce. I always prefer when stores do sell fresh produce, even when they're small like this, because more access to fresh produce in a neighborhood is always good. Plus, it forces Bronx Marketplace, Food Universe, and Pioneer (which we'll tour tomorrow) to step up their own produce offerings. This three-block stretch of 183rd St is definitely an example of intense competition meaning better offerings for the customer! This greengrocer is located at 14 W 183rd St, Bronx, NY.

Photographed June 2018

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Snapshot: Morton Williams - Lincoln Square

Interrupting our Bronx tour for a quick look at a store that appears to have just opened. Morton Williams at 15 West End Ave, Manhattan, NY opened at the beginning of the month after being under construction for a long time. At over 20,000 square feet, the store is actually one of the larger supermarkets in the area, and possibly one of the larger stores in all of Manhattan.
The Market Report contributor Gari brings us this picture of the store just before it opened. It's located about two blocks south of an existing Western Beef supermarket (which I've visited but unfortunately not photographed). Clearly the two are going for very different target markets, as Western Beef focuses on cheap and fresh perishables, while Morton Williams is a more upscale positioning. I am personally not a fan of Morton Williams, and I love the quirkiness of Western Beef. But I definitely see how both stores can coexist so close together.

Tomorrow we have another new Bronx post! And in a little more than two weeks, we'll actually be touring a Morton Williams in the Bronx.

Photographed May 2019

Snapshot: Bronx Marketplace - Fordham Heights

Today's Snapshot is a store that really confuses me. Soon before my visit in June 2018, a row of small storefronts on the corner of W 183rd St and Davidson Ave (the next block east from Lindo Supermarket) was combined into one larger property, preparing to open as the Bronx Marketplace at the time of my visit.
What confuses me is this: the store appeared to be almost ready to open, fully equipped with its Bronx Marketplace sign, when I passed by. But a photo posted to Google Maps shows the store with no sign but a temporary banner. So the sign was removed before or immediately after the store opened? And a review from substantially after the store opened makes a reference to it being under "other management" -- like new management? Already, so soon after the store opened? I don't get it, but it looks like they have a nice building!
It's a pretty nice sign too, I have to wonder why it was removed. Unless, for instance, it was put up without permit approval.
As you can see, they have a nice corner spot but it's also just a block off the main road (Jerome Ave), which has a Pioneer right under the subway station that you can see just to the right above. We're going to tour the Pioneer on Saturday. This store is located at 19 W 183rd St, Bronx, NY and I wish them luck in this very competitive market!

Photographed June 2018

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Snapshot: Lindo Supermarket - Fordham Heights

As I mentioned previously, 183rd St has a lot of grocery stores. However, some are quite small. This particular one can't possibly have more than three aisles, but it's been a food store for several decades at least.
I have no idea what the selections might be like inside, but it must be quite small. I don't know whether there is meat, deli, or produce, but they can't conceivably fit much.
Lindo Supermarket is located at 35 W 183rd St, Bronx, NY.

Photographed June 2018

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

TOUR: Food Universe Marketplace - Fordham Heights South

Perhaps you remember Friday's Food Universe Marketplace. We're heading about a quarter of a mile south of that store for a second Food Universe owned by the same folks, and also brand-new. This one, however, was previously a Bravo and before that, an Associated.
The storefront was not extensively redone when the switch to Food Universe was made, but it was definitely freshened up. (And can we all take a moment to recognize that Food Universe is one of the few NYC banners that doesn't use the buzzword fresh in any way, in their name or slogan or anything?) For an overview of the storefront, which is looking great, check out this Google Maps street view. Sorry, that link won't work on mobile for whatever reason.
The entrance is at the far side of the storefront, but here we can see the all-new windows, digital display signs, and window graphics that were all put in for the transition to Food Universe.
These stores both offer free delivery, like many supermarkets in the Bronx, and they have what looks to be a brand-new van that the two stores probably share. 183rd St is easier for parking than University Ave, so it looks like the van sticks around this store and can easily drive the quarter mile to the other store for deliveries there. I love this picture, it was a lucky good shot, and it is quintessential New York City...
Now let's head into the store. Deli/hot food (like the other Food Universe, they seem to do a very brisk business on the prepared foods and even offer take-out delivery of hot meals) is immediately inside the entrance, but this time on the right. Produce lines the first aisle with meats on the back wall and frozen/dairy in the last aisle. Customer service is on the front wall opposite the entrance, which happens to back up to the window decals we just saw.
We'll see a lot of really nice touches throughout this store, such as the real charred wood lining the front of this hot food counter. The deli runs along the side (facing into the produce department).
Here's a look across the front-end from the entrance. Lots of really cool brick and wood accents!
And while I am partial to the floors we saw at the other Food Universe, the other touches make this store just as attractive if not more so.
Check out those wood panels in the top left! I do like the aisle markers, but the fact that they're printed directly onto a panel seems like an invitation for either wrong signs in the future or handwritten corrections taped on top.
Looking up towards packaged produce and security on the front end. And if you look carefully, you can notice they actually put the Key Food logo on the deli screens instead of the Food Universe logo. Not a big deal, they're the same company, but still a slight branding inconsistency.
I do love stores with black or dark ceilings. It really brings out the color in the products.
Very spacious produce department actually, for a relatively small store (Google Maps puts it in the 10,000 square foot range). Fantastic decor and merchandising!
A look at the meat department along the back wall. Notice that all the walls are covered in this charred wood. You can also see where two buildings were combined to make one large supermarket, as the ceiling gets lower over that section. I do wish the exposed black ceiling continued across the whole store, but I'll take what I can get!
Again, a beautifully stocked grocery department.
The butcher department, interestingly enough, is on the end of the back wall completely opposite produce (so that it's at the back of the last aisle instead of the first, where it normally is). The last aisle is made up of frozen and dairy cases.
You can also see the customer service counter in the front of the store. These cases all appear to be brand new.
Exposed ceiling returns along the front end, along with some really cool wood and brick accents. Nicely done on the renovation, Food Universe! Stores are looking great. Now the rest of the week, actually, will be made up of stores we see continuing east on 183rd Street from this store.

Food Universe Marketplace

60 W 183rd St, Bronx, NY
Open Mon-Sat 8AM-8:30PM, Sun 8AM-6:30PM
keyfood.com
(718) 367-5006
Photographed June 2018