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Special Report: Foodtown - Bushwick North, Brooklyn, NY

Foodtown of Noll Street
Owner: Shady Widdi
Opened: January 12, 2024
Previous Tenants: none
Cooperative: Allegiance Retail Services
Location: 54 Noll St, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Photographed: January 22, 2024
I mentioned in our recent post about the Morton Williams on the Upper West Side that Allegiance has been on a roll lately. The roll apparently started around when Brigido's in Rhode Island joined Allegiance, marking their entrance to the state. The Foodtown in Astoria opened in a former Rite Aid in the late summer, then in December, a Foodtown opened in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. January was a big month for the cooperative, too, with Bloomingdale Supermarket opening on January 5, the Foodtown of Noll Street opening on January 12, and the Morton Williams opening on January 26. Up next, a Foodtown is scheduled to open in the spring in a former Rite Aid in Brooklyn Heights. After a long time of store closures and things kind of standing still for Allegiance, it's good to see that they seem to be serious about expansion again. And the expansion they're doing consists of really well-executed stores. Let's check out the Noll Street Foodtown!
The store is just 15,000 square feet, but feels much larger. We enter on the left side of the storefront to the first room, which has produce in most of the space but also beverages, HABA, customer service, and the registers at the front. At the back of what we might consider the grand aisle is a large deli, bakery, cheese, and prepared foods department. There's then a second large rectangular room behind and to the right of the grand aisle, with grocery aisles running side to side. Beer and bulk foods are on the front, with dairy on the right side and on the left side, an extension of the deli department, bread, meat, and seafood. Frozen foods are in the last aisle, which is on the back wall.
The store's design is exquisite, with beautiful lighting in all the departments, really interesting signage, and amazing props like these trees that make up the back of the produce department. This store is on the ground floor of a brand-new building, so it was newly built.
Looking up towards the front. The registers are on the front wall. The deli and prepared foods area is behind the produce department, at the back of the grand aisle...
Here on the back wall, from left to right, there's a produce butcher that they call the Chop Shop for cut produce, a case for presliced deli meats, the service deli, a sushi counter, and a massive cheese counter. Prepared foods, baked goods, and salads are in islands opposite the counters.
While I think this is probably the nicest of the owner Shady Widdi's three stores, the other two (in Park Slope and Propsect Heights) don't look too shabby either. These are all relatively popular, relatively expensive neighborhoods of Brooklyn but there's also lots of competition. This store is located on a pretty quiet street, so it's slightly farther from the other supermarkets, but a quarter of a mile (or about four and a half blocks) south is a brand-new Food Bazaar.
There's no in-store bakery, but NY Brooklyn Bread is brought in fresh. In Brooklyn terms, the bakery is quite far away, but not for anywhere else in the country -- it's just seven miles south.
Opposite this is the cheese department. We can see here that the store is split into the main supermarket area, to the right below, and the grand aisle area, to the left below.
The first aisle in the main supermarket has beer and bulk foods...
Dairy then lines the rest of the right-side wall of the store. Of course, everything in this store is brand-new, but my visit to the Prospect Heights Foodtown would suggest that the store will remain just as spotless. That store is not quite as fancy as this one, but for a store that's been in business for around 40 years, it still looks as good as new.
The store has a pretty mainstream selection, with a lot of the basics and a fair number of natural, organic, and specialty items.
Here's the left side of the main supermarket room, looking towards frozen foods (the blue) at the back of the store.
Allegiance seems to really nail the merchandising in these smaller stores, with a very large selection in the small space. We've seen the tricks in Bloomingdale and the Morton Williams, with each item not getting more than one or two rows.
There's a second Foodtown in Bushwick, a little over 3/4 of a mile south on Broadway. That store was an Associated that opened in 1977 and then converted to Foodtown in 2017. We'll see many of these stores when we come back to NYC for real, but that is a very well-run store that appears to be under the same ownership as the surprisingly poorly-run Brooklyn Harvest Market stores.
Around the corner, we have the small but complete service seafood and meat counters, with packaged items across from them. Again, the design of this area is spectacular, as is the whole store.
Packaged meats on the far left side of the store.
Paper and cleaning are in the far back of the store, but HABA is in the front near the registers.
And the gorgeous frozen foods aisle is at the far back of the store.
Here's another look up towards the front of the store from the back aisle...
And jumping up into the front corner of the store, we have a look at customer service and the health and beauty area...
That's all for this Foodtown, a beautiful addition to northern Bushwick and to the Allegiance store roster! We have more to see in Bushwick today, too, which you can check out here. Tomorrow we have another special report over on The Independent Edition!


  1. Replies
    1. Agreed! This owner, named Shady Widdi, has three stores (this one, Park Slope, and Prospect Heights, all in Brooklyn). I was just at the Park Slope one a few days ago and it's incredible -- it's barely 4,000 square feet but absolutely packed, floor to ceiling, with an amazing selection of merchandise. The other thing that amazed me was how much all of the staff was on the ball -- two managers and two cashiers that I encountered (there are only three registers), and all of them were GREAT. Where else do you see a manager run over to a cash register to help a customer unload the heavy items from their cart (without anyone asking), while also talking about how he was going to try to order the product that customer wanted?! That's incredible service and that seems to be standard for their three stores.

      And you can see from these pictures how this store is 15,000 square feet but has more selection than so many 50,000 square foot suburban stores. In the Park Slope store, there's a deli counter with a two-tier display behind glass. The top shelf was cheese and lunchmeat, and the bottom shelf was prepared foods and composed salads. Underneath the glass display case was a self-serve refrigerator with prepared foods that are packaged, and somehow, on top of the deli display was a shelf for cured meats and also a sushi bar?! Even here in New York City, that's pretty crazy for a store of like 3800 square feet.


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