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Special Report: SuperFresh (future) - Highland Park, NJ

Opening: summer 2024
Owner: Howard Lee
Previous Tenants: Mayfair Foodtown (1970s-1995) > Edwards (1995-2001) > Stop & Shop (2001-2023)
Cooperative: Key Food Stores
Location: 424 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ
Photographed: May 8, 2024
Welcome back to Highland Park! The extremely outdated Stop & Shop of just 25,000 square feet closed in spring 2023 (see my past coverage here) and shortly thereafter, SuperFresh announced they'd be moving in. I stopped by to see how it's going, and the renovation is going to be very serious. I couldn't get any pictures inside, but I did get a little glimpse. The space has been cleared back to the studs, including ripping up the floor, tearing out the ceiling and lights, and demolishing all the interior walls. Some new interior walls have begun to be framed, but nothing's been enclosed yet. Electricians and HVAC workers were hard at work when I was there yesterday.
This SuperFresh will be owned by Food World, and we can get a rough idea of what the interior will look like from their other recent locations in Linden (opened 2019), Hopelawn (opened 2020), and Middlesex (opened 2023). Obviously, this space is smaller than any of those, but it'll be the same idea, I'm sure. Based on online help wanted ads, it looks like they're hiring people to dedicate to a kosher deli and prepared foods department (and possibly butcher). That's an interesting approach: there are a lot of people who keep kosher in Highland Park, but there's also a full kosher supermarket just up the street. The store's property is very attractive, tucked in on Raritan Avenue, the main street through Highland Park's downtown.
There are currently 43 Key Food-affiliated stores in New Jersey by my count. One -- the Food Universe in Passaic -- just opened last weekend and holds its official grand opening tomorrow. Several more are coming soon, including SuperFresh stores in Old Bridge (as of October it was mostly built-out and almost ready to open), Long Branch (which likely won't be open for several years), and the eternally "temporarily" closed Roselle, although that might actually reopen someday soon because some job listings were recently posted online for that store. Other Key Food stores are in progress in Hoboken and South Plainfield. And considering how things have been going, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot more Key Food stores in New Jersey. That's all for now, but see the massive new ShopRite in South Plainfield here, and today's regular post here!