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Special Report: Asian Food Markets - East Brunswick, NJ

Asian Food Markets
Owner: Jon Chen
Opened: April 18, 2024
Cooperative: none
 275 NJ-18, East Brunswick, NJ
Photographed: April 19, 2024
Asian Food Markets has brought us some very attractive new stores lately, as we've toured locations in Plainsboro and Staten Island (along with older locations in Piscataway, Marlboro, and Jersey City). The store is around 30,000 square feet, and located in a former Asian grocer called Hong Kong Supermarket. I'm not positive what the space was originally.
We enter to a food court that was still under construction when I visited, much like Plainsboro. You turn right to enter the main supermarket with produce on the right side, seafood and meat on the back wall, dairy/frozen on the far left, and bakery in the front left corner.
The store is attractive and modern from the start, although that's an awfully prominent restrooms sign. (The restrooms were spotless on the second day in business.)
Inside, the store is similarly modern and beautiful, although it's not surprising for its second day in business.
This was very much a soft opening and the store wasn't 100% ready to go, although it was most of the way there. There were a few empty shelves and a few things unlabeled or still in progress, but it's very professional in its operations, just like the other locations.
The days of Asian supermarkets taking secondhand stores other supermarkets closed is definitely ending, at least in this area. Asian Food Markets and other stores like H Mart definitely prove that. Many of their stores were previously other chain supermarkets, but the Asian supermarkets have extensively customized them.
The decor isn't too complicated, but really nice and matches the supermarket nicely. The fixtures all look brand-new.
I actually wonder if they re-poured the concrete for this floor -- it's in remarkably good shape for this building, which dates back to the 1960s. It looks like this building originally may have been a small mall or something, it doesn't look like a typical strip mall in Historic Aerials.
Because the store is deeper than it is wide, the aisles are divided front to back. It's particularly attractive here with beautiful aisle markers and really good Asian Food branding.
Bulk rice gets its own department in the back right corner!
And looking back up towards the front of the produce department...
Seafood and meat is mostly in service counters on the back wall, but a freezer runs in front of them and an upright case of packaged meat separates this area from the grocery aisles.
The seafood counter is bountiful and well-displayed.
The meat counter is a bit small, but still there. I'm surprised how many big chain supermarkets don't have service meat counters -- many of them because they don't cut their meat in-store.
The grocery aisles are really, really nice too. I love this shelving.
I would say this is on par with the nicest stores of H Mart or 99 Ranch or any chain like that.
The dairy cases in the back-right corner is a standard setup, but most of these cases are filled with tofu, not milk. The last aisle has refrigerated and frozen foods.
I assume the various ceiling heights are left over from whatever the original use of this space was.
The bakery department hadn't been fully set up yet, but there is a space for refrigerated baked goods in the front and rows of baked pastries on the wooden tables next to that. It looks like there's no service counter, but there is an in-store bakery.
And a look across the front-end, which is spacious and attractive. I would say I like this decor package and the store's overall design better than a lot of big chain supermarkets. The beautiful flooring and fixtures help, too. But change out some of the graphics and maybe the font on the department signs, and you'd have a decor package much more attractive than what ACME or Stop & Shop are using.
I loved this store and I hope it catches on... once people know it exists! Check out the other news from today here!


  1. This shopping center used to have a Crazy Eddie, EyeLab and a mens suit store, but I can't remember what this exact spot was. There was also a mini mall in the back with an entrance between Crazy Eddie and Eyelab. The only thing that I remember from the mall was a DMV.

    1. I seem to be thinking that this plaza also had one of the R Us brands at one point? But not certain if it was where this is or elsewhere in that plaza.

      I know Toys R Us was the next plaza up 18 (the one just before the Edgeboro Road jughandle, along with an Edwards and a number of other stores), but this would have been maybe Kids R Us, or Babies R Us?

      Then, they moved both of their stores (probably after the did away with the Kids branding) down 18 to the site that used to be a non-chain toy store, and built new space there for them.

    2. Thanks for the details here!


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