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Showing posts from March, 2020

Coming Soon!

Our next group of neighborhoods is just to the west of what we saw in southern Jamaica. We're heading into what might be considered central Ozone Park, then into Howard Beach, a relatively isolated mostly residential neighborhood of southwestern Queens, and finally right over the border into Brooklyn for East New York!

TOUR: Farmboy Country Market - South Ozone Park, NY

Farmboy Country Market Owner: Jae Woo "Willie" Park Opened: 2001 Cooperative: Key Food Location: 127-20 Rockaway Blvd, South Ozone Park, Queens, NY Photographed: December 2018 Okay, so not a great first impression. But it gets better. This 13,000 square foot store opened in 2001 in what was probably some older chain supermarket and has operated as Farmboy Country Market since. Up until just before my visit, the store was a member of the White Rose (Met/Pioneer) cooperative and later General Trading (Fine Fare), then switched to Key Food in December 2018. This location was joined by a second Farmboy Country Market, later switched to the first Key Food-run Superfresh store, in Paterson, NJ. (It's possible that location has been sold, as it's no longer Farmboy branded.) I inadvertently visited the store while it was still under construction for a renovation completed in early 2019. The storefront is looking much better nowadays. The logo isn't. And while the storefront …

TOUR: Food World Supermarket - South Jamaica, NY

Food World Supermarket Owner: Harold Lee Opened: 2000 Cooperative: Key Food Location: 119-14 Sutphin Blvd, Queens, NY Photographed: December 2018 This 25,000 square foot store was built as a Big R Food Warehouse, as were the Food Bazaar locations on Manhattan Ave and Wyckoff Ave in Brooklyn (along with others we haven't covered). While Food Bazaar bought several Big R locations, Harold Lee's company Food Jungle Inc. bought this location in 2000. The chain has expanded with additional locations in Jamaica (north), Valley Stream, and Brooklyn, NY; and Bloomfield, Belleville, Roselle, Linden, and soon Hopelawn and Long Branch, NJ. A short-lived location in Garden City Park, NY has closed.
Although Food World is no longer the discount store environment of Big R, it does have a value warehouse feeling to it. Produce and seafood make up the first aisle, with meats on the back wall and cold cuts in the first aisle. As usual, frozen foods are in the second to last aisle with dairy in the …

Look Inside: Farmbria Food Center - Cambria Heights, NY

Farmbria Food Center Owner: Yun Il An Opened: 1984 Cooperative: Krasdale Location: 217-20 Linden Blvd, Cambria Heights, Queens, NY Photographed: December 2018 This sprawling (for Queens), 27,000 square foot grocery store is the only major supermarket in Cambria Heights. Originally built in the late 1960s as a Supermarkets General-owned ShopRite, it was converted to Pathmark in 1968. By approximately 1980, Pathmark had closed and was replaced by a store called something like Busy Bee Supermarket (I don't believe that's actually its name, but it's similar). It was affiliated with CTown Supermarkets and was the only African American-owned supermarket in New York City when it opened. By 1984, the property was taken over by An & Brothers, Inc., which runs under the banner Farmbria Food Center. Though the store is owned by Yun Il An, I do not believe there is any relation to the Food Bazaar founder Hwee Il An. Today, the store is a bustling Caribbean and Latin grocery store spec…

Coming Soon!

Our next stop is here in southern Jamaica! Much of eastern Queens is referred to colloquially as Jamaica, so to be more clear, we'll be hitting stores in Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, South Jamaica, and South Ozone Park. These primarily residential neighborhoods tend to be lower-income and predominantly African American and Latino. We'll see six stores in this region before continuing west! Check back tomorrow right here for our first store!

Snapshot: Food Farm Supermarket - Elmont, NY

Food Farm Supermarket Owner: Ronnie Shiekh Opened: 2017-2019 Cooperative: Associated Supermarket Group Location: 241-11 Linden Blvd, Elmont, NY Photographed: December 2018 I'm warning you, as we get into these next few Snapshots, get ready for some bad pictures. They were taken out of a car window by a bad cell phone camera at night. Anyway, this is our second Food Farm, the first being in Valley Stream. This Compare Foods-turned-Associated was sold in 2017 to Food Farm, which reopened it but closed less than two years later.
And, my friends, that is all. We have a full tour tomorrow on The Market Report, so definitely go check that out!

Look Inside: Food Farm Supermarket - Valley Stream, NY

Food Farm Supermarket Owner: Ronnie Shiekh Opened: 2015-2019 Cooperative: Associated Supermarket Group Location: 351 N Central Ave, Valley Stream, NY Photographed: December 2018 This store, opened in 2015, replaced a Desi Food Market in the same location. The Desi Food Market at 109-19 Liberty Ave in Woodhaven, Queens, also became a Food Farm, as did Associated stores at 241-11 Linden Blvd, Elmont, NY (in 2017), and 89-61 Francis Lewis Blvd, Queens Village (in 2015). This store was in somewhat poor repair, with some shelves sparse and a general feeling of dinginess around the building. The chain went under entirely in 2019, but a year prior they found themselves in hot water for an employee who threw frozen meat on a loading dock to separate it. The grocery selection is heavily Middle Eastern and South Asian. As yet, nothing has replaced this now-vacant 11,000 square foot space. There is another supermarket just half a mile north on N Central Ave, a beautiful newly renovated Key Food, whi…