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TOUR: CTown Supermarkets - Jamaica Estates, NY

We're in for a treat today. This store has been a CTown for many years, though it was definitely a big chain store before that. It offers a fascinating combination of traditional groceries, Middle Eastern and South Asian foods, Latin and Caribbean foods, and organic and specialty items. Quite a bit for being just 7800 square feet.
We can see what the exterior used to look like here. It's hard to pinpoint when the renovations both inside and outside happened, but I would guess around 2010. We'll head inside in a moment, to see the bones of a very familiar CTown store format with updated decor and fixtures.
While CTown stores are independently owned, we do see some standardized decor among the store locations, such as the decor this location previously had. From what I can tell, here's some notes on the CTown (and later, Bravo) decor packages. All the dates are complete estimates.

Anyway, this store originally had the 1980s decor and store format, the basic structures of which we can still very much recognize in this store.
Like the beautiful lit indented ceiling! The hanging signs and lettering on the walls is clearly of a different design from any of those CTown decor packages, but still looks good with the 1980s-style lit ceiling.
Deli-bakery-hot food-butcher are in a small corner immediately to the left of the entrance. Produce expands behind it with meats on the right side, on the side of the grocery aisles. Dairy lines the back wall of the store with frozen in the third aisle, oddly leaving the last aisle with nonfoods.
Jamaica to the east is more densely Hispanic and Caribbean, which is noticeably reflected in the selection here. Meanwhile, Jamaica Estates (to the north) is significantly more affluent, causing this store and our upcoming Ideal Food Basket to focus more extensively on organic and specialty products. The doors visible straight ahead here lead to the meat room and behind the deli-bakery counter.
Dairy with some very nice new fixtures on the back wall.
Frozen in some beautiful new cases is in the third aisle (the first produce/meat aisle is not numbered). There are eight aisles in all, including produce.
I don't know that I've ever seen nonfoods in the last aisle like this. I highly doubt that's the original layout of the store, especially given the soffit over the shelving. I would bet the left wall here would have originally been frozen.
The front end is under a bit of a drop ceiling with some more cool lighting fixtures. Great flooring too!
This CTown is a great store! Nicely laid out, good selection, excellent product mix reflecting everyone's needs. Also a great store is the Ideal Food Basket just east on Hillside Avenue that we're going to see next!

CTown Supermarkets

169-15 Hillside Ave, Jamaica Estates, NY
Photographed December 2019


  1. The idea of having one side wall aisle be non foods (paper items particularly, but also possibly cleaning and/or pet items on the other side) seemed to be common in Pathmark stores (usually whichever side had the corner as a separated pharmacy). These were the Pathmark stores that also had produce straight ahead of one entry (with these non foods aisles and pharmacy to the left or right, depending on which end of the store it was).

    That's really the only major store chain I can think of having that.

    1. You're right, and if I'm not mistaken, some Wegmans have that as well. It's just very unusual in these small store locations to have nonfoods and not some refrigerator or freezer fixture on that wall.


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