Starting off the new year with a spectacular store! This 75,000 square foot Food Bazaar was originally a Pathmark in the lower-income, minority neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. When the Pathmark closed in 2012, Food Bazaar almost immediately stepped in and began to renovate the store for opening, as the neighborhood was perfect for them. But around the same time, the neighborhood started to gentrify -- fast. And so began Food Bazaar's venture into upscale international food retailing.
It's difficult to capture any of the store's departments in just one picture. Produce, being massive, is nearly impossible. But I can begin to describe the layout, which is significantly altered from the original Pathmark layout. You enter and immediately turn 90 degrees to the right for produce, seafood, and meat in the first/grand aisle. The cold cuts and then deli/bakery run along the back wall, with dairy on the far wall of the store. Checkouts run parallel to the front of the store, but between them and the front wall is a food court with multiple smaller restaurant storefronts and a seating area.
Until the Food Bazaar at the Bronx Terminal Market opens this spring, this is the largest Food Bazaar out there. The selection is absolutely incredible, but the prices are rather high for a Food Bazaar.
At the time of photography, this was all a display for Bajo el Sol ("Below the Sun"), Food Bazaar's storebrand of nuts and dried fruit. Food Bazaar now uses the Baro storebrand for these items.
Just a small corner of the vast organic selection this store has.
And lots of prepared produce as well.
Just sit back and enjoy the collection of raw sugar cane, dried shiitake mushrooms, apio, breadfruit, bok choy, and lots more.
Seafood on ice is located behind the produce department.
And behind that, a massive butcher. Food Bazaar has expanded the perishables to what I'd estimate is 1/3 of the store, clearly much more than Pathmark would have had.
Instead of being along a wall, packaged meats are in the floor area behind seafood and produce.
Through the doorway we enter the grocery section. Some really awesome signage directs people around this massive space.
You know how La Flor spices usually take up part of an endcap or something like that? Yep, you can expect that to be multiplied in size too...
You can see this store's layout is a little bit of a maze, as this walkway leads from the produce/seafood/meat room to the checkouts. The food court is in front of the checkouts.
Moving over to the back wall, we see the hot food bar at the deli/bakery department...
...and the beautiful bread counter...
Next to the bakery (beyond all the fresh bread) is the dairy department, with milk in the back corner of the store and dairy on the perimeter wall.
Due to the store's shape, the last few aisles are a little shorter and the side wall is angled.
Returning to the grocery aisles...
As usual, we find an enormous selection of Bob's Red Mill products.
The French section, of course:
And don't forget that American classic, Hellman's mayonnaise... oh wait, the package is printed in Polish:
A look at the many international aisles the store has to offer.
A creative adaptation of the standard logo for the international department.
We're going to do some wandering here at the far end of the store because, to be very honest, I don't remember most of the layout here.
But there is a beer section in the front corner.
Oh yeah, and a craft beer growler bar, just like every other supermarket in New York City.
And now for a look at the front end (which, remember, takes up only about 1/2 of the store's width):
The (holiday-themed, at the time of photography) food court was mostly not yet open for the day when I photographed in the morning. There is a Dunkin' Donuts, a pizzeria, a Korean/sushi place, and the corner you can see boarded up was a Peruvian restaurant but is now a Greek restaurant. Food Bazaar's own hot food bar leans towards Latin selections, so no great loss there.
And that about wraps up our tour of the largest Food Bazaar -- at least for the time being.