Owner: Antonio Seabra
Opened: ca. 2000
Previous Tenants: ACME Markets (1954-?) > Foodtown (open by 1979) > Pioneer Supermarkets (open by 1997)
Location: 1132 Liberty Ave, Hillside, NJ
Photographed: July and November 2020
Our next stop outside Elizabeth is the Seabra Foods in Hillside! Now, I just want to start with my personal experience with this store. Most of my family is from Elizabeth, and some of them still live there. I previously lived in Union but have moved to the northwest now. But nearly every time I come to Elizabeth, sometimes as frequently as twice a week, I come in on Morris Avenue. Somehow, I never realized that this store is less than half a mile north of Morris Avenue. I knew it was there, but what threw me off is that the road that intersects with Morris Avenue is called Salem Road (in Union), but just about a quarter of a mile north it becomes Liberty Avenue at the Hillside border. So having made almost weekly trips to Elizabeth for over 10 years, I finally turned the steering wheel just a little bit to stop by this store in July of 2020. And I was very surprised and impressed to find that the approximately 10,500 square foot store had been expanded to over 15,000 with an interior renovation. It's looking great! Though, obviously, not as impressive as the flagship store, but we'll see some similarities. All of these pictures are from July except the two marked November.
Produce has been expanded to a wider portion of the first and second aisles, with packaged meat and dairy in the rest of the first aisle. Service butcher and seafood line the back wall, with frozen foods in the last aisle. The expansion, which only is about half the depth of the rest of the store, has customer service on the front wall, a few short aisles in the middle, cheese and more dairy on the left side wall, and bakery/deli/prepared foods on the back wall.
Above picture from the November revisit showing the beautiful new decor installed!
Flooring left over from pre-remodel (it's since been replaced), but we can see where the first grocery aisle was removed to expand produce, with the lighter white tile. The renovation also included removing the drop ceiling and painting the exposed ceiling black. The fixtures we see here are all new, but we'll see a mix of old and new fixtures throughout.
Packaged meat and about half of the dairy selection in the first aisle. These cases are newly installed as well.
A center aisle divides the grocery aisles in half. We can see older grocery shelving here but newer endcaps. And while the flooring is older, the ceiling has been raised and exposed in the renovation.
A newly renovated meat and seafood department lines the back wall. I believe the deli was also here previously. No decor installed just yet, but the tile backsplash is all new.
November 2020 photo showing decor and new flooring installed along the back wall. The new flooring extends throughout the whole store.
Notice that this whole area is under a lower drop ceiling which was not exposed. We can see that the flooring was very much in need of replacement! And the glass room to the left here is a walk-in cooler for salt fish.
Nonfoods in the second to last aisle, and frozen in the last aisle.
It's amazing how much better the store looks without the drop ceiling and with new fixtures! You can see what this aisle used to look like here.
The expansion continues off of the last aisle, and it's obviously much nicer than the rest of the store. Deli and bakery line the back wall of the expansion room...
I love these islands with the coffee and prepared foods! Beautiful design. There's a lot of different wood textures going on here, but they all work together very nicely. The design isn't confusing or busy at all.
Cheese and then additional dairy lines the outside wall of this expansion. It seems that the space in front, near the windows, was being prepared for a cafe but at the time of my visit just had pallets of rice and other bulk groceries stacked there.
And the grocery aisles in the expansion run side-to-side instead of front to back like the rest of the aisles.
Looking out into the main store from the expansion. You can see how the original store was very narrow.
The front end is looking great with a lot of light coming in from those big windows!
A look at the grocery aisles. Again, the endcaps are new but the shelving is older.
Very compact front-end, which is nice because the store is so small. You definitely get the feeling they make the most of the space they have! P.S. the bakery is amazing. Oh yeah, and it's also great at tomorrow's store, which is also run by the Seabras (but a different branch of the family). Head over to The Independent Edition tomorrow to check it out!