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TOUR: Casa de Frutas - Perth Amboy, NJ

Casa de Frutas
Owner: Cheongeun Oh
Opened: 1995
Cooperative: none
Location: 177 Smith St, Perth Amboy, NJ
Photographed: June 2020
Let's get into today's store tour of the 5,000 square foot Casa de Frutas in downtown Perth Amboy! Now I've found listings for this business owned by Cheongeun Oh, but when I visited I was almost positive it's owned by Supremo (whose owner is Eddie Trujillo). It uses the same decor package, same storebrand, same promotional and informational signage (such as the "now hiring" posters), and same general fixtures, plus it's only about four blocks away from the Supremo here in Perth Amboy. While I'm not sure of that, I found it unusual that the store was otherwise so similar if it were totally unrelated. Let's head in and check it out.
Produce takes up approximately the front half of the store, with dairy on the left side wall, a large butcher on the back wall, and frozen on the right side wall. Interestingly enough, as we'll see, the Supremo here in Perth Amboy actually never got this decor package.
Produce decor and fixtures are identical to Supremo, and by the way, there's a beautiful selection here in a very small space. The store is very nicely laid out and not as cluttered or disorganized as we sometimes see in these small greengrocer-type shops.
Getting into the grocery aisles, we notice a difference from Supremo, with different shelving. Still nice flooring though!
The grocery selection tends to lean much farther into international (Central/South American) than most stores, likely because they have only a small space to display it.
Butcher Shoppe looking an awful lot like a Supremo. It's quite large though, meaning that this store likely does its largest business on produce and meat.
Frozen and nonfoods in the last aisle. Notice the Essential Everyday waffles in the freezer -- which is also the storebrand sold at Supremo. (The only other store in the immediate NJ-NY area to sell it was Western Beef, which as of fall 2020 had switched to IGA.)
One more look across the produce department in the front before we head out. Up next we'll be seeing the other greengrocer shop in downtown Perth Amboy, which is not nearly as nice as this one, unfortunately. Come back tomorrow to check it out!


  1. Essential Everyday comes from SuperValu, who supply many independent and small chain stores. There are a few places in south Jersey with it, including a Supremo in Pennsauken and Cousin's in Camden.

  2. Is it (perhaps) just that both this store and the other you linked to are not part of any particular "group"?

    Thus, they wouldn't necessarily have someone specifically designing for them (the way the more connected chains often do), and perhaps just buying décor that is available from the same company?

    1. Mike - yeah, Essential Everyday shows up in a lot of places but there aren't a whole lot of stores that carry it in NJ, especially northern NJ. Great Valu (I guess their only NJ location left is New Egypt) and America's Food Basket (which only had Clifton, now a SuperFresh) carry them.

      BillyGr - That is certainly possible. This decor package was developed by DY Design for Supremo, but it's come up in a few other stores, such as the Compare Foods (now GalaFresh) on St Marks in Brooklyn. I believe it's also been in a few assorted Associated and maybe Key Food stores too. It's just much more extensive decor-wise than we typically see in these smaller greengrocers. I'd be much more willing to agree that it's nothing but two independent grocers using similar programs if it weren't for the fact that there are so many similarities. Really, it's the decor, fixtures (except the grocery shelving), flooring, promotional signage, storebrand, price tags... I think they're too similar to be a coincidence, but I really couldn't say for sure.


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