Skip to main content

TOUR: Ideal Food Basket - Baldwin, NY

Today we're going to see a fantastic example of a conversion of a Blockbuster video to a beautiful supermarket. The 15,000 square foot supermarket also took a neighboring storefront, which has been converted to an eat-in area. The side wall of the store is covered in a very nice, countryside-feeling mural.
Though the store was not rebuilt, it was extensively renovated. Produce lines the side wall, with seafood and meat on the back wall. Fairly standard layout, with service seafood at the back of the first aisle and service meat at the back of the last aisle. Frozen in second-to-last aisle, with dairy in the last aisle. Deli/bakery is at the front of the last aisle, with the back of the store's deli counter being a large hot food bar facing a seating area with a separate entrance.
Heading in, we see that the decor is the same as the City Supermarkets in Newark and Irvington, as well as the Extra Supermarket on Avon Ave in Newark, which will be coming to the blog someday.
The store really is beautiful, and nicely stocked. A very complete supermarket in a relatively compact space.
I don't know whether it's a coincidence or not, but the store's layout is also nearly identical to the Irvington and Extra-Avon locations. Those share an owner (Mitchell Lopez), but I'm pretty sure this store has a different owner (Andres Ferreira).
I am a big fan of this decor and I think it's rather well-executed here. The oversized swirl graphics and bright colors give the store a playful feeling.
Not spacious but an extensive selection.
International aisle.
Dairy lines the last aisle. We have a lot of yellow here, I wish dairy were a different color.
Frozen meats at the back of the last aisle.
I'd bet these freezer cases are secondhand from somewhere else, but I couldn't tell you where. For a store that only opened in 2015, they look a little on the older side.
And now for a look at the deli/bakery department.
You can see that the deli department goes through to the other side, and under the "Bakery" sign there's a walkway through. We'll go to the other side in a second to see the Ideal Express Deli.
Inventive use of the decor around the emergency lights. And I have to say, I'm not sure this particular sign works too well (the black on dark green is hard to read, and the letter spacing and sizing is a little wacky). Now to head outside and around to the prepared foods section...
This 1700 square foot space was not part of the original Blockbuster Video, but acts as an expansion. Where you see the picture of the sandwich in the window straight ahead is behind the deli service counter, which forms a peninsula. The right side, which faces into the supermarket, is the deli/bakery counter. The left side, which faces into the cafe, is a prepared foods bar.
Though it is accessible to the supermarket, the prepared foods section is very separate, which makes for a peaceful meal. It's beautiful, too.
Quite an interesting idea, and rare to see in a store that doesn't have a larger food court area (like a Village Food Garden or the like). I was very impressed with this Ideal but it has tough competition right around the corner. The former "Big N' Cheap" grocery store has been converted to a very different GalaFresh Farms about 200 yards away. We'll be seeing that up next!

Ideal Food Basket

856 Merrick Rd, Baldwin, NY
Photographed December 2018