El Mercado de la Ocho
Owner: Cesar Aguirre
Cooperative: Retail Grocers Group
Location: 100 8th St, Passaic, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
Our final stop within the city limits of Passaic is this sprawling 20,000 square foot warehouse which makes up the largest Mexican supermarket in the city. (Read more about the city and this supermarket here, a great article.) This supermarket is a great resource for the imported foods, but its location a block south of the former ShopRite we saw yesterday makes it nearly impossible to just stumble across. So when people come here, they're coming here specifically for this store.
And speaking of the ShopRite... this cart corral is definitely from there!
Let's head in to the store! You go up a ramp to enter the store on the right side. A produce department takes up the front right quadrant of the store, with meat and deli on the back right wall. Packaged meat lines the back wall with grocery aisles in the back half of the store, with frozen and dairy on the far left side. The front left quadrant of the store is taken up by sale items and bulk foods. As we'll see, it doesn't look like this store is living up to its full potential, and I'd bet that's due to its location. It's still a very interesting place.
You enter to a sort of main walkway towards the back, with produce on both sides. This is to the right, looking at the right side wall of the store. Notice the refrigerator cases on the wall which are mostly empty.
Produce in the middle of the store too.
Bulk foods in the front corner.
Unfortunately, the man we see to the right here was the only other customer I saw in the store. Maybe there are certain times or days that it gets very busy here, though.
Continuing towards the back of the first aisle, we find candy, deli, and meat. Deli is on the side of the service counter, facing produce, with butcher lining the main front of the counter.
Very large butcher counter (with a nice little teddy bear!) at the back of the first aisle. Before we move on, let's head into the bathroom for a second...
I'm assuming this building was previously a warehouse or other industrial-type building, meaning this sign probably dates back many, many decades.
Meats lining the back wall.
Nonfoods in the second grocery aisle.
Dairy takes up the back part of the last aisle, with frozen in the front. This store opened about a year after the ShopRite closed, so I would assume some of the fixtures were brought in secondhand from there.
Looking back across the produce department from the opposite side of the store.
Sale items take up the front corner. The pharmacy in the front is not actually a pharmacy, but simply identifying the health and beauty department. That's all for Passaic, so up next we're going to head north along NJ-21 to Botany Village in Clifton for tomorrow's Look Inside back over on The Market Report!
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