Owner: Billy Rodriguez
Location: 870 Cypress Ave, Ridgewood, Queens, NY
Photographed: July 2018
In 2017, the conversion of the former Fleur de Lis Caterers Ballroom into Billy's Marketplace was completed. The former catering hall became a supermarket just shy of 20,000 square feet with a coffee shop, beer bar, bakery, and seafood department. Soon thereafter, the store's positioning was altered slightly, angling less upscale. The store added a CTown affiliation, beginning to use the CTown circular with lower prices on mainstream grocery items instead of more specialty items. The seafood department was closed, and the grocery selection was modified to angle more mainstream. I visited the store after this transition was complete, and it's an interesting combination between upscale and mainstream. I'm not sure just how successful it is, but it's good to see that the owners of this store are modifying their selections based on what shoppers are looking for.
It's hard to tell whether that's been successful though. The store, at the time of my visit, was empty. The parking lot just up the street was empty except for my car and this delivery van. The store hardly had any customers while Food Bazaar about a quarter of a mile away was packed. As we'll see, some of the shelves were also very poorly stocked.
It is a nice van though!
Now back to the store. You enter to produce, with the coffee bar on the left and the beer bar on the right. Deli/bakery is at the back of the first aisle, dairy on the back wall, and frozen/meat at the far end. The front corner, where many stores have deli, used to be a seafood counter but is now empty.
I'm assuming WR is for William (Billy) Rodriguez, the store's owner.
Immediately inside the entrance is this coffee counter. A very nice feature but not a very heavily used one, it seems!
Beer bar visible only behind a big pickup truck!
A pretty cool touch immediately inside the entrance!
Produce is opposite the beer bar in the first aisle.
Packaged beer is behind the beer bar on the right side wall. A lot of beer here! I wonder if that makes up a large part of the store's business.
Hot food bar towards the back of the first aisle.
The deli is branded Fleur de Lis Caterers, a reference to the property's previous tenant.
Produce in the first aisle, with bakery next to deli. We find the bread case looking rather empty at midday on a Saturday...
And dairy continues along the back wall. Big fan of the old Ridgewood pictures on the walls, especially the Bohack supermarket!
The store also makes an effort to feel local with the aisles named as local street names. A nice touch, with the listing of what's actually in the aisle in the middle.
Looking back towards the deli department...
I like the wood texture on the walls a lot!
I do hope this store manages to bring in more customers, it's beautiful! I think it has to do with the product mix and the pricing. If I were the owners, I would've eliminated the Billy's Marketplace branding entirely, as CTown is a very well-known brand name in New York City and can attract customers from both the higher and lower end segments.
Frozen foods in the second-to-last aisle.
Butcher on the side wall at the back of the store. In the cold cuts section, we do see some more shelves that are rather sparse...
It looks good, since there is no empty space, and I commend the store for that. But at the same time, this suggests the product mix isn't quite right and these items aren't moving so there's no reason to order more. I hope they've fixed these kinks in the program.
Simply Organic spices right next to Krasdale!
Unfortunately, the Fishermans Cove is no more.
Next to seafood on the front wall is bottled beverages...
And checkouts along the last half of the front wall. Billy's Marketplace is a beautiful store, but clearly the formula isn't coming out quite right for this neighborhood. I hope things have improved since my visit!