Farmbria Food Center
Owner: Yun Il An
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 specializing in fresh produce and seafood. Produce is the first department, along the right side of the store. Meats line the back wall, with seafood and international on the front wall. Deli is in an island at the far end of the store.
The store looks to have been renovated at least once since it opened.
Frozen foods are at the far end of the store, with dairy and meat in the back. As you can see, some of these cases have been updated, while some are older.
The store has been expanded, but that major construction was probably done during the Pathmark days. That said, I would expect the current facade was added by Farmbria.
The deli is in an island, but this may have originally been the end of the store.
The aisle markers look to be quite new, and they're very nice. While the rest of the store is well maintained (despite its high volume), it's definitely showing its age in the decor.
International foods and seafood on the front wall. The seafood department was too busy to get a closer picture, but it's clearly one of the store's signature departments. Like the Food Bazaar stores, it features several rows of seafood on ice for self-service.
The front end is plenty spacious, if not the most modern. And I can't say I'm a huge fan of the white and yellow checkerboard ceiling. But either way, that rounds out our look inside the only grocery store in Cambria Heights! On to South Jamaica next.