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TOUR: The Food Emporium - Howard Beach, NY

If you can believe it, this store once looked like this. And until not too long ago, too. Purchased by Key Food Stores in the 2015-16 bankruptcy, this former Waldbaum's was taken over by the Almonte family and converted to Key Food in 2016. A total renovation both inside and outside finally finished in early fall 2019, coinciding with a rebranding to The Food Emporium.
While I don't know what Waldbaum's layout would have been, The Food Emporium begins with a spacious produce department, with deli on the left side and bakery in an island on the right side of the first aisle. Meat and seafood run along the back wall, with frozen in the second-to-last aisle and dairy in the last aisle. As we'll see, the Almontes did a beautiful job on the renovation and the store looks spectacular...
The 30,000 square foot store feels much larger than it is mostly because of the high ceilings and low displays, meaning the sightlines extend far in every direction.
Looking towards the front wall of the store. The decor is top-notch and unlike most other supermarkets (except the Superfresh in Linden, which is the only one coming to me right now, and which is also Key Food-affiliated).
Deli and hot foods are in the back left corner of the store.
And the deli, consistent with the population of much of Howard Beach, leans heavily Italian.
The display is gorgeous as well as the products in it. A similarly beautiful bakery department is located in an island just opposite deli.
Looking back up towards produce in the front of the store...
And a relatively small but still very attractive meat/seafood department finishes off the first aisle, on the back wall.
Here's a picture of this store's meat department when it was a Waldbaum's. A little change, no?
A look across the back wall.
Everything you see in the grocery aisles, from the lighting to the ceiling to the flooring to the shelving, is brand new.
All-new frozen and dairy cases. The decor in the dairy aisle is fantastic!
And concluding our tour with a shot of the very spacious front-end. The store certainly feels a lot bigger than its 30,000 square feet.

The Food Emporium

82-35 153rd Ave, Howard Beach, Queens, NY
Photographed December 2019


  1. Being honest, at some point through the various name changes, site re-locations and hiatuses, this blog sort of fell off my radar. But this popped up in my FB feed this morning, and I was like "oh yeah!". And I've got to be honest, I think all your work has paid off. The blog looks great, the branding is professional and modern, and the store tours are still interesting. This Food Emporium is a cool looking store, and a pretty dramatic remodel. Thanks for sticking with this, and if you're out in this weirdness, stay safe.

    1. Thank you, and it's great to hear from you! I get restless and always want to change the blog and so on, but I'm pretty happy with how it is now. Thanks for the comments on the blog branding!

      And yes, this particular store is gorgeous. A really outstanding example of a Waldbaum's conversion. I've been staying in and staying safe for the past several weeks, but I have literally hundreds of stores that I've photographed from back in May 2016 through early March 2020, so I'll be posting a lot more. I'm using a lot of the time I have at home to get ahead on writing.

      Thanks for reading and for reaching out!

  2. Absolutely beautiful store! Looks so much better than the previous Waldbaum's too, both inside and out. Such an improvement.

    1. This is one of the really spectacular ones. I have a lot of beautiful stores in the next few days but I think you're really going to like what I have for Tuesday and Wednesday!


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