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TOUR: Food World Supermarket - Bloomingdale, NJ

Food World Supermarket
Owner: Willy Patel
Opened: unknown
Cooperative: IGA
Location: 78 Main St, Bloomingdale, NJ
Photographed: August 2019
This very small store, which is in no way related to the New York chain of the same name, is located in the equally small town of Bloomingdale, located just off NJ-23 where we saw the Stop & Shop in Butler. Bloomingdale and this part of western Passaic County is decidedly less affluent than the southern and eastern parts of Passaic and Bergen Counties. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how large the store is, but I'd bet somewhere in the neighborhood of 6000 square feet. Also, it's actually a pitched-roof building, though the pitch is disguised and may actually encompass a neighboring storefront too. The facade was installed at some point around 2010, but even pre-renovation, it's near impossible to recognize the store as a former chain store. That's because it, in fact, wasn't. It was an early ShopRite, although I don't know the owner's name.
You enter opposite a very sparsely-stocked produce department, although the refrigerator cases look to be very new. Unlike most IGAs I've been to, this one does not run a circular.
New dairy cases line the right side wall of the store, with a very old floor pattern here. Deli is at the back of the first aisle.
Not sure whether that hot food counter to the right is ever open. Notice also that the back wall has an angled mirror, allowing one person at the front of the store to see across the whole thing. This is blocked in part by the meat department signage...
The mirror and this sign feel vaguely like an A&P, but it's more likely it's original to the ShopRite. (It's also possible these elements were brought in from a closed A&P or other chain store at a later date.)
Totally nondescript aisle markers don't give us many clues as to where they could be from. But check out that floor. I wonder if the grocery aisles were moved around at some point, since the pattern to the left here matches the pattern in the first aisle.
Brand-new freezer cases with more awkward flooring. I wish I'd paid closer attention to the flooring when I was in the store.
The grocery selection has all the basics, and the shelves are much better stocked than in the perishables selections.
One more look across the back wall with meat and deli.
A somewhat sparse nonfoods corner in the back of the store, with a separate mirror along this part. I had to be careful with the mirror when I was photographing because the store had me, a guy behind the deli counter, and a guy who I'd assume was the owner on a register, and that's it.
Two registers, a tiny office with an IGA logo, and a huge TV screen here on the front end. It had a State Farm ad at the time of this picture, but it was playing a regular TV show, not just commercials as some supermarket TV screens play. This is certainly a classic store and I'm glad it's held on as long as it has! Certainly not to be missed. Our next stop is going to be to the southeast in Pompton Plains right here on The Independent Edition!

Comments

  1. I had no clue this store was a former ShopRite! That makes it all the more interesting to me. I wonder when it changed hands?
    That mid-century meat sign is a real treat. I was absolutely shocked to see it the first time I went in here.
    It's a really charming store, in my opinion. Not sure if I'd want to do my main grocery trips there, but I occasionally stop in if I'm passing through the area and need a few things. I love little downtown grocery stores like this, and I know they're not super common in North Jersey these days.

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    1. It certainly is a great store! I just wish it had been kept up better and were better stocked. But certainly a great artifact of New Jersey past. I have to wonder whether there were previously other department signs around, because meat is the only department that's labeled. I'd love to see the other signs if they ever existed!

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    2. Okay, I got some input about this store. My dad's got a friend from Bloomingdale who grew up in town in the 70s, so I had him ask if he remembered this store ever being a ShopRite. He said it's been Food World as long as he could remember. Therefore, the latest it could've changed hands would be the very early 70s.
      You're probably right about the other departments having similar signage. I can almost picture signage for the produce department in my head.

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  2. I don't think this store lasted very long as a ShopRite. Having spent some time living in the area, everyone remembered it as Food World and despite its rundown appearance, had its many fans because of convenience (Bloomingdale has a lot of older residents as well as immigrants without cars, so being walkable was a plus for many). It was the late 00's when the strip mall received a new facade with clip art-looking store signs.

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    1. That makes sense, thank you for the history!

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