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TOUR: Giant Farmers Market - Waldwick, NJ

Giant Farmers Market
Owner: Sang Kim
Opened: 2018
Cooperative: none
Location: 19 Wyckoff Ave, Waldwick, NJ
Photographed: December 2020
The largest of three Giant Farmers Markets, the Waldwick location opened in 2018 in a former Stop & Shop which, in turn, replaced a Grand Union that closed in 2001. Acme Style actually captured the Stop & Shop just before it closed back in 2017, which you can see here.
At 22,000 square feet, the location is rather large for a perishables-focused operation like Giant Farmers Market. So much of the store is taken up by regular grocery aisles, although the selection is still fairly limited and there is no storebrand, except for a few Parade items in nonfoods that I saw. The produce department, which is in an expansion at the far left side of the store, seems to have been expanded from its original layout into the former grocery aisles and bakery department. Today, the left 1/4 of the store or so is produce, with sushi, bakery, deli, butcher, and seafood lining the back wall. A ridiculously tiny frozen foods section is tucked in the back corner, with dairy lining the right side wall of the store. A wide first grocery aisle features hot food, salad, soup, and olive bars as well as fresh bread, and the floral department is in the front right corner. So it's quite a wide range of stuff in here. I think Giant pulls it off better than Stop & Shop did.
There's certainly a no-frills feeling to the space, which is outfitted with simple polished concrete floors and decor that almost looks homemade. But the selection and pricing is there, and the quality seemed to be better than the not-so-wonderful Farmers Market Group stores I tend to visit more frequently (see here and here).
Along with a very large international selection in the produce throughout, there's a very impressive organic section here in the back corner. Again, something I don't see at the Farmers Market Group stores.
Each of the service departments (sushi, bakery, deli, meat, and seafood) is an outside business. Stores like this don't tend to run their own service departments. That means you pay for what you purchase at each counter at the counter itself instead of at the main register. This is the only Giant with a bakery.
Prepared foods bars running along the first grocery aisle. As we can see, there is basically nothing at all left over from Stop & Shop, but it's also a very basic setup. Not a lot of money went into the appearance of the space, which seems to translate into lower prices.
Looking along the back wall of the store, with the service counters behind the cheese case we see here. Now that I think about it, it's possible these island cases are left over from Stop & Shop, but it's hard to tell.
The decor is... not attractive. Maybe it's just the color of the walls, but I almost feel like they'd be better off with no decor at all. I love the wooden awning though.
But the service counters themselves are beautiful. That's quite the butcher! Seafood is up next...
I'll also point out that the few coolers in the back here are the only frozen foods cases. The rest of the wall is dairy. Why such a tiny selection?
Jumping into the grocery aisles for a pretty darn good selection. I'd say there are maybe six aisles in total. Like in the produce department, international and organic items are emphasized.
Solid nonfoods selection, too. And take a look at Acme Style's tour of the Stop & Shop... doesn't that decor somehow look older than the decor it replaced?
Dairy lines the outside of the last aisle. Floral takes up the front corner in front of the small office, which you can see with the window above.
And the front end was busy, but there were plenty of registers open.
Looking good here on the front ends with the flags making for a lively feeling! Still not sure about that mint green, though. Anyway, Stop & Shop likely closed this store without a replacement because they had an existing store in Wyckoff just two and a half miles to the west. Unfortunately I don't have a tour of that Stop & Shop, but I do have a tour of the much newer supermarket immediately next door to it, so head over to The Market Report tomorrow to check that out!


  1. It's such a bummer that S&S jumped ship with this store. I visited it about a year before it closed, and let me tell you, the classic GU decor was brilliant. I had a bunch of photos I'd taken of it, but unfortunately, I think I might've deleted them by mistake sometime in the 5 years since I took them.
    That late 90s GU decor is super nostalgic to me. I remember the S&S in Carlstadt had it when I was growing up in that area. I lived in East Rutherford, and while my parents did most of their shopping at the Food Basics in Wallington (later demolished to make way for the Wallington ShopRite), we'd visit this store if we needed something Basics didn't have. I have fond memories of the bricks around the pharmacy, the big fish statues over the fish coolers, and the butcher faces in the meat department (I actually had a nightmare about them when I was little!). It's a crime that S&S remodeled that store in favor of that awful beige and yellow decor. All I can say is, thank goodness the Foodtown in Lake Hiawatha is still intact, at least for now.

    1. I love all the Grand Union decor too, although that's likely just for the nostalgic factor. (A little odd... given that I never actually was in a Grand Union in business, but anyway...) And we're absolutely on the same page about the newer Stop & Shop decor. My big problem is that any Stop & Shop decor in the last 20 years or so is it's all one color (pretty much yellow or gray). Anything after the Super Stop & Shop-era decor of the late 90s/early 00s is just too boring.

      Lake Hiawatha is a favorite store of mine for sure. I live not too far away so I make trips up there every once in a while. Have you heard that LIDL is trying to purchase the property and demolish the Foodtown? I can't stand LIDL, by the way. Hopefully Foodtown will get to stay, one way or another. And as much as I love that decor as a supermarket enthusiast, I'm pretty sure that it's not going to be around for much longer, even if LIDL doesn't come in.

      Have you been to this new store? For me, it definitely had that Grand Union feeling outside, and it was still there a little bit inside. But I was mostly focused on what the new tenants are doing, since it's very different. I still enjoyed the store a lot, though.

    2. For me, my appreciation for GU comes from a combination of nostalgia for the Carlstadt store and a general fascination with retail I wasn't around to experience. Plus, in the case of their late 90s decor, I just appreciate it from a design standpoint. It's certainly memorable.
      I had no idea LIDL was trying to muscle in on Lake Hiawatha. I've never actually been to that store in person, so I guess I'd better make tracks there before LIDL gets their way with the property. I've never set foot in one of their stores, but I haven't heard many positive things about them...
      Despite the fact that I drive past it fairly often, I haven't actually stopped at this store, either. I'd always wondered if they'd saved anything from GU... needless to say, you saved me from the disappointment of walking in and realizing none of it had been saved. I will say, compared to the Giant in Oakland, it looks like they've got a bigger selection of groceries. I may stop by next time I'm in that neck of the woods just to see if they sell anything particularly unusual. The Oakland store carries a lot of oddball international groceries, so I wonder if that's the case here, too.

    3. Definitely check out Lake Hiawatha! They have three years left on their lease apparently, but LIDL seems to be making plans around that. This is also a store to check out if you're going by, and no, nothing is left from Grand Union pretty much. And I agree with that, this one is set up more like a traditional supermarket with more grocery aisles, and lots of international foods.

    4. Okay, I finally got around to checking out this store and Lake Hiawatha!
      I have to say, I think Giant's location in Oakland is nicer than this one. Not that this store is bad... I just like Oakland better. The layout is pretty odd - why is there only a single path from the produce area to the rest of the store? The removal of the customer service counter is a decision that really baffles me. It's a decent store, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss when it was Stop & Shop. Not only did S&S have all those GU remnants, but in my opinion, it was laid out better, too.
      Lake Hiawatha was a real treat to see in person. Almost everything still looks fantastic, especially in terms of the service departments. I didn't do a full shopping trip there, so I can't say how it stacks up for weekly shopping, but walking around was a lot of fun. The only area that's starting to show it's age is the frozen food aisles, with scraped floors and dirty cases. Still, I got a kick out of seeing it. Oh, and the range of shopping carts has expanded since you visited a few years ago. Not only are there Foodtown and Farmtastic branded carts, but the fleet now also features carts with branding from Walmart and ShopRite, plus a few with blank handles. It's a whole rainbow of carts up front!

    5. Glad you got to check out these stores! Interesting that Lake Hiawatha has a wider range of carts, the last time I was there (probably July 2020) they were 100% Farmtastic.


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