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Special Report: Food Bazaar Supermarket - Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY

Food Bazaar Supermarket
Owner: Spencer An
Opened: January 2023
Previous Tenants: Foodtown > Edwards > Stop & Shop (2001-2023)
Cooperative: none
Location: 1009 Flatbush Ave, Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY
Photographed: March 7, 2023
Welcome to the newest Food Bazaar! The approximately 60,000 square foot Flatbush Food Bazaar was built as a Melmarkets Foodtown, which in turn sold to Edwards in the 1990s and the store was then converted to Stop & Shop around 2000-01. As we'll see on the inside, very little was changed at that time, and even less since then. Food Bazaar closed the store overnight for their transition, but this transition seemed a bit more hectic than the transition at similar stores like Red Hook, which also closed only overnight. I visited about a month and a half after Food Bazaar opened, and the store is very much still a work in progress although it's feeling more like a Food Bazaar.
One thing that I was not familiar with: these carts in the entrance. Typically, carts in Food Bazaar stores are black with dark green handles that say BOGOPA (the name of the parent company). These may be secondhand Stop & Shop carts, but I'm not sure. Oh, and a side note: this store, like Douglaston, actually has parking on the roof.
Inside, we see that the bones of the store are still Stop & Shop, but we're beginning to see some Food Bazaar touches. Probably the first and most obvious is the Welcome to Food Bazaar wall at the entrance, which greets us at the beginning of the produce department. The store is oriented angled 90 degrees to the street, so it faces Flatbush Ave although its entrance is on Tilden Ave, the cross street. The produce department is on the right side with deli, seafood, and meat on the back wall, dairy/frozen at the far left, and bakery in the front left corner.
The produce department has a combination of old and new fixtures, with the black refrigerator cases and wooden tables here being new, but other refrigerators and tables older (which you can see below). Obviously, the decor/signage (most notably the hanging wooden structures) are new, but when the store opened, note that it still had its Edwards decor in the produce department and a few other places.
We see assorted fixtures still left from Stop & Shop, which will likely all be changed out over time. Plus, it's likely that the old white tile will be removed in favor of polished concrete, and it's likely the ceiling will be painted dark brown or black. Both of those will help the store look more like a Food Bazaar.
On the back wall, notice that the Food Bazaar wooden "wall" is actually just hung in front of the existing Edwards decor structures, which are slightly visible in the Facebook post. Also, as the decor was actively being installed at the time of my visit, all of these signs which will eventually be backlit like Douglaston were not yet turned on.
Notice that the (very old-looking) Edwards deli cases are still in place. At the very least, I assume Food Bazaar will paint them, but I expect them to replace these service cases with a low self-service case and move the sliced-to-order deli meats and cheeses to an upright case behind the service counter.
We see an expansion of the Stop & Shop seafood counter (although I'm not positive whether this Stop & Shop had a service seafood counter when it closed). The Stop & Shop seemed to be in pretty rough shape, but it does look like Food Bazaar is making some much-needed investments in the store. Hopefully, that includes replacing a lot of the outdated fixtures which have yet to be replaced.
But the decor replacement was in full swing when I visited, with these guys installing the meat signage over the butcher window. You can see here that the Food Bazaar decor is basically being built on top of the old Edwards decor.
In the first aisle, which Stop & Shop may have also had as a sale department, we see the usual Special Deals section. Notice that everything is in shelving rather than stacked as we've seen elsewhere. Is Food Bazaar ending their tradition of giant stacks of canned goods and boxes?
Notice the older style of aisle markers here, matching what Elizabeth has (opened 2016) than Harlem (opened 2022). In fact, part of me wonders if these aisle markers were brought in secondhand from another renovated Food Bazaar. For example, depending on how extensive the renovation at Bridgeport was, and the aisle markers were replaced, that store would be giving up a full set of aisle markers of this style. Or maybe they were made new for this store, it's hard to tell.
Here we can see that the Food Bazaar decor is being installed kind of around the existing Edwards decor. I really hope, though, that the ceiling and floor are addressed, plus of course the fixtures. We can see that the older white refrigerator here really doesn't match.
There's clearly a lot more work to be done here, though. The aisle labeled with International signage instead displays Snapple and Crystal Light. Since the International signage is clearly new, I assume it was installed anticipating a full store reset that would put international foods here.
It looks like Stop & Shop had updated the freezer aisles relatively recently. We can also see here that the lighting looks to be in the process of being replaced -- the horizontal bars here are the old Stop & Shop lights, and the tubes running up and down the aisles appear to be new.
Stop & Shop signage remains in the frozen foods department. I assume soon enough there will be snowflakes hanging from the ceiling here, or something like that at least.
And I assume it's not long before dairy looks less like a slightly painted Stop & Shop and more like this. (That's at Bronx Terminal Market.)
Looking towards the back of the store. It still feels a lot like a Stop & Shop, and that's not a good thing.
The bakery department appears to have had a few changes here and there, such as a new cake service case seen here (at least it really doesn't match the rest of the fixtures, although kind of none of the fixtures match , and I believe they're all left over from Stop & Shop).
Based on what I've seen at other Food Bazaars, these individual tables will be removed and replaced with multiple longer rows of shelving. We can also see some new Food Bazaar light fixtures hanging below the overhand, but the frame structure is left over from Edwards. On the front-end, Food Bazaar is reusing most of the Edwards/Stop & Shop fixtures and so on, but making it their own...
If you notice, they're actually building their pallet ceiling structure around the existing Edwards-era overhang, which they've painted brown. Looking good. The Edwards lane markers are still in use here, which I assume will be changed out soon enough. At the time of my visit, the self-checkouts were still there but not in use, with pallets of products blocking the entrance to the area.
I am excited to see the changes that happen here, and I hope it starts to look just as good as the other Food Bazaars -- and less like a Stop & Shop. We do have another Special Report today, though, just west of the city at American Dream!