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Showing posts from February, 2021

TOUR: El Ideal Supermarket - Passaic, NJ

El Ideal Supermarket Owner:  Belrminio Castillo Opened:  2014 under current ownership Cooperative:  Krasdale Foods Location:  269 Monroe St, Passaic, NJ Photographed:  July 2020 Heading just across the street from yesterday's El Especial to this smaller store which still has a large selection with a service seafood department too, which El Especial does not have. This exterior (including the awning and current color scheme) was installed in 2014 when the store appeared to change ownership. In the first room, which actually looks like an expansion, we find the service meat/seafood and deli counters. Produce lines the opposite wall. Moving into the main supermarket room, we find a nice condensed dairy-frozen department. Keep in mind that the store in total is only about 1500 square feet. Here we can see the pass-through to the perishables room to the left. We can see how nicely condensed the grocery selection is. This store is a bit more than

TOUR: El Especial Supermarket - Passaic, NJ

El Especial Supermarket Owner:  Jose Arias Opened:  1991 Cooperative:  Krasdale Foods Location:  278 Monroe St, Passaic, NJ Photographed:  July 2020 At just 4600 square feet, El Especial Supermarket is the smallest full supermarket in downtown Passaic. But it is indisputably a full supermarket, and a really good one at that. The independent store has been in business here since 1991, but the building is probably a former chain store. Very hard to tell though, as the awning disguises the past facade of the building. That said, the store today is looking fantastic. It's obvious the owners take great pride in this store. We enter on the left side of the store to a very large deli and butcher counter, with meats continuing down the first aisle. Frozen foods line the back wall, with dairy and produce in the last aisle. Let's head in! Inside we've got bright colors, great lighting, and a wonderful wooden awning structure. The flooring has a few differen

TOUR: Plaza Mexico - Passaic, NJ

Plaza Mexico Owner:  Jose de Roiguez Navarro Opened:  2010 Cooperative:  Retail Grocers Group Location:  297 Monroe St, Passaic, NJ Photographed:  July 2020 Just on the next block from yesterday's Vela-Ber Market is this 12,000 square foot Mexican supermarket. (On a side note, I spent most of the morning this day in downtown Passaic absolutely surrounded by wonderful Mexican and other Latin food. By the time lunch rolled around, I was down in the industrial section with no restaurants. So I had to settle for a mediocre bagel.) But let's tour this wonderful store! We enter on the right side to what's normally a restaurant/food court area, but which was very unfortunately closed temporarily for COVID... Dairy lines the rest of the first aisle, with meat on the back wall and produce over at the far end of the store. As we'll see, one of the nice features of this space is its very high ceilings and relatively low shelving, meaning we can see out acr

Look Inside: Vela-Ber Market - Passaic, NJ

Vela-Ber Market Owner:  Sofia Bermeo Opened:  2006 Cooperative:  none Location:  315 Monroe St, Passaic, NJ Photographed:  July 2020 Today's look inside is the first of four stores we're going to take a look at on Monroe Street, and the farthest west. This is on the corner of Central Avenue and Monroe Street. Vela-Ber takes up two storefronts, with produce, grocery, and dairy in the first and a large butcher shop in the second. While the selection is similar to Mira Fruit Farm , Vela-Ber does have a slightly smaller produce department and a meat department, which Mira does not. Vela-Ber is also a smaller store. But selection-wise, they don't mess around. Check out these three- and four-tiered produce cases! You'll find pretty much anything you're looking for here. A few grocery aisles at the back of the store. Here we see small dairy, cleaning products, and bulk foods selections in the back corner of the store. Finishing up with a lo

Look Inside: Mira Fruit Farm - Passaic, NJ

Mira Fruit Farm Owner:  Joon Ki Opened:  unknown Cooperative:  Retail Grocers Group Location:  757 Main Ave, Passaic, NJ Photographed:  July 2020 Today's Look Inside is at the north end of the main downtown portion of Main Avenue in Passaic. The 3500 square foot store appears to be the second location of a store with locations at Journal Square , West Side , and most recently, Greenville , all in Jersey City. My pictures here at the Passaic location came out a bit disappointing, but the store was excellent. We have produce lining either side of the store, with the register right in the center and grocery to the left side of the register and a large produce selection to the right of the register. Amazing that the ceiling has stayed intact after clearly so many years. The store looks great though, with the nice dark ceiling and a fantastic fresh selection. Single serve drinks on the back wall. Large dry produce selection on the other side. Notice th