ShopRite of Rockaway
Owner: Irv Glass / Glass Gardens
Owner: Irv Glass / Glass Gardens
Previous Tenants: Two Guys > Ames
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 437 US-46, Rockaway, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
What were you doing in May of 2017? The 10th, to be exact? Good thing to reminisce on, to commemorate the beginning of 2022. Anyway, I know what I was doing -- writing my post on the ShopRite of Rockaway, NJ located just outside downtown Dover on route 46. In the summer of 2020, I returned to the area and stopped by the Rockaway ShopRite for lunch and to check out its remodel which is looking quite good. You might remember our tour of Linden not too long ago, and this store (being owned by Glass Gardens also) is quite similar -- just slightly older and in a mirror image. This store replaced an older store in town, which as I mentioned on that post, may itself have replaced a very old and small store, possibly even in downtown Rockaway.
You enter through a hallway that puts you past the liquor store, pharmacy, customer service, and Dunkin' Donuts inside.
Not much seems to have changed in the liquor store, but we see the updated decor right away.
Here's the entrance/exit hallway. The cafe has been moved up to this area, with floral next to it.
And produce is along the left side of the grand aisle here.
Remodeled produce here, with new fixtures and no more carpeted flooring! This decor package was designed by Broden Design Group from Denville, and although I like it it feels a little understated here. It's also possible the remodel was not quite finished at the time of my visit and there was still more decor that had yet to go up on the walls.
Deli and prepared foods line the right side of the grand aisle in an island. The grocery aisles are behind this island to the right. See what I mean about the decor here (and I think I said the same thing in Linden) that it's a bit monotone?
This "deli to go" section is approximately where the cafe used to be, I believe. Moving on, we have a large cheese island at the back of the grand aisle and bakery behind it. The design of this area is very good.
New shelving in the bakery department, and while I'll say that Glass Gardens has never had the greatest in-store baked breads, they've been really good at bringing in locally baked ones.
Not entirely sure why I took so many pictures here in the bakery, but I do like the design of it.
Up next is some more awesome decor and new fixtures in the meat department on the back wall.
The grocery aisles haven't really changed much in the renovation, though it does appear the flooring was replaced throughout.
Glass Gardens has always been very strong on ethnic and international foods, much more so than other ShopRite members, and this store is no exception. It draws a lot of its customers from the Hispanic populations of Rockaway and Dover.
As we get to the far end of the store, that's where we see the more significant changes. Notice that the bakery has been significantly increased in size as it took over some of what used to be the seafood department, which has now been moved to the back right corner of the store.
Interestingly enough, it looks like they kept the same case and just relocated and painted it. The drop ceiling was removed from this section, too -- I have to wonder why just here and not over the whole store.
Milk to the right of seafood, in the corner of the store. The ceiling and fixtures are looking really good in this area, although I'm honestly not sold on the decor or the flooring.
Was this area with the higher ceilings an expansion? What would they have expanded into? This summer 2020 visit was my first time back in the store since 2017, so I don't remember it vividly enough to tell whether it's larger than it used to be. My 2017 pictures show 22 aisles, not 26 which is what the store currently has, so I suppose it was expanded (unless the aisles were simply renumbered to include produce and so on, which is also possible).
Frozen in aisle 26 (looks like brand new cases here) and on one side of 27.
As much as I do think this sign is fun, I think it falls a little flat because it's so, well, flat. I would want it to be more three-dimensional and actually lit instead of just with a design that makes it look like a lit sign.
Frozen continues on the front wall of what I guess was the expansion, and then we move on to breads on the front wall of the original supermarket space...
And no fewer than 26 checkouts line the front wall of the store beyond the bread.
That wraps up our return to the ShopRite here in Rockaway, and tomorrow, we head straight into downtown Dover for two smaller stores over on The Independent Edition!