99 Ranch Market
Owner: Roger Chen
Owner: Roger Chen
Previous Tenants: Pathmark
Location: 420 Grand St, Downtown, Jersey City, NJ
Photographed: December 2020
Not too long ago, downtown Jersey City had three big-name chain supermarkets: a Pathmark, a ShopRite, and an A&P. The ShopRite remains (for now, although it's slated to be replaced by a residential development), the A&P became an ACME, and the Pathmark is now this 99 Ranch Market. This is one of three Pathmarks that 99 Ranch, a Taiwanese supermarket chain, acquired in New Jersey. Another is in Hackensack, which we will not be visiting, but we will be seeing the Edison location. The California-based chain is expanding its presence on the east coast, with those three stores, a former Big Y World Class Market in Quincy, MA (and let me tell you, that Big Y was just depressing before, as of a summer 2019 visit), and a recently-announced store in Westbury, NY, on Long Island.
The 48,000 square foot Old Colony Square Pathmark was one of two in Jersey City, the other being on 440 at Droyer's Point. That store is practically untouched since the day Pathmark moved out, but as we'll see here, only the exterior remains from Pathmark.
We enter to a beautifully renovated produce department at the left side of the store. Seafood and meat line the back wall, with frozen foods in aisles 8-9 and dairy in aisle 10. Aisle 19, the last aisle, has refrigerated prepared foods and the prepared foods department, with a cafe in the front corner. The bakery is in an island on the front end, with a few outside food vendors on the front wall.
A look at the service departments across the back wall. As I said, basically nothing is left over from Pathmark. Not even the tile backsplash behind the service counter, which is a usual suspect. The ceiling might be left over, but it also looks pretty new. The Pathmark flooring has been removed to expose the concrete floor, which was painted and polished.
The majority of the grocery selection is imported Asian groceries, although there are also sections of more standard grocery staples and some Latin and Caribbean items throughout too.
Frozen and dairy are approximately in the middle of the store. All of the cases we see are new.
It's a little odd to have the dairy department tucked away into a middle aisle like this, but H Mart does the same thing.
The service butcher takes up the back corner of the store, with packaged meats on either side and eggs in the last aisle.
Looking down the last aisle to the food court in the front.
Asian Kitchen on the side wall, with ramen (an outside vendor) on the front wall.
Facing ramen is the bakery in an island. Cakes and other refrigerated desserts face ramen, the front wall of the store, with pastries on the side and bread, cookies, and everything else facing into the store. The bakery here, by the way, is excellent.
The rest of the bakery island has some Latin and Caribbean items, as well as pasta and sauce. I'm fairly certain, by the way, that 99 Ranch uses Best Yet products for storebrand items.
And the front end continues on the other side of the bakery island...
That wraps up our look at the 99 Ranch in downtown Jersey City! We'll be seeing the Edison location a little later. For now, we're heading about half a mile northeast into the heart of downtown to see a smaller supermarket here on The Market Report tomorrow!