Owner: Richard Saker / Saker Supermarkets
Owner: Richard Saker / Saker Supermarkets
Opened: 2015 under current ownership, 1925 previously
Cooperative: Wakefern Food Corp.
Location: 2170 NJ-35, Holmdel, NJ
Photographed: January 2021
We are here in Holmdel to tour its one and only grocery store, Dearborn Market! (Holmdel also previously had an A&P, which we're taking a look at today on Grocery Archaeology.) The 21,000 square foot gourmet grocery store and garden center -- not including an outdoor greenhouse space, by the way -- was purchased in 2015 from its former owners by the owners of Saker ShopRites, whose Hazlet store we saw just over a mile west a few days ago. This is widely rumored to be in response to Wegmans indicating interest in the property, and their plan was said to be to demolish the existing building and use the nearly 1 million square foot (or approximately 23 acre) property for a newly-built Wegmans supermarket. Of course, this would hurt the nearby Saker ShopRites, but Saker -- instead of just holding on to the property -- has developed the store located on the property, even bringing in Dearborn Market-branded gourmet items to their existing stores and expanding the selections in this specialty supermarket.
The store consists of three main rooms, each visible in the above picture. First is the original 14,000 square foot building, which today features produce in the front left corner, grocery aisles in the back, dairy on the back and right side walls, bakery in an expansion out the back wall, and cheese in an island in the front right corner. The second grocery room, off to the right, features meat, seafood, and deli. The store then finishes out with 11,000 square feet of greenhouse space for the garden center. Let's head in!
My visit six years after the Sakers took over shows that most of the fixtures seem to have been replaced since they moved in. Notice that most of the produce displays are equivalent to what we see in Hazlet.
The space is given some local charm by the large pictures of Dearborn Farms on the back wall. A very nice touch!
An overview of the main room of the store. As we can see, produce takes up about half of the space in this main room, with a few short grocery aisles featuring mostly gourmet products at the other end.
And here we're looking into the grocery aisles from the front-end, to see again the pictures on the back wall. Dairy is located under that area...
Notice the availability of Wholesome Pantry (a Wakefern brand) on the left, but overall there are very few Wakefern products on the shelves. It seems Saker hasn't changed the product mix, at least in dry goods.
The grocery aisles have a few of the basics (see Lay's potato chips) but again, mostly more gourmet and specialized products. Notice the wide range of Stonewall Kitchen gourmet baking items on the left.
In an expansion out of the back wall, we find a beautiful bakery department that feels more like an independent bake shop than a supermarket bakery department...
It helps, too, that this is in a separate room from the main supermarket.
Check out those breads! I'll stand by my belief that the best breads in the United States come from New Jersey. Three years of living in Massachusetts have only confirmed that.
Giant cheese island on the far end of the main room here, with the rest of dairy lining the side wall of the main room. There's also a service cheese counter at the front of this island, facing the checkouts. In the front corner, we can also walk through a walkway into the deli/butcher room, with a sandwich counter on the other side of the dairy wall we can see here. The service deli counter lines the back wall of that room, with seafood and butcher on the right side wall.
Sandwiches here are the only service prepared food counter, although there is a wide range of store-made prepared packaged foods to take home. Unlike the Saker ShopRites, there's little emphasis here on foods to eat in-store since there's no cafe.
Absolutely beautiful deli counter on the back wall here. Seafood is up next on the back wall, with a large butcher on the side wall.
(We can also see the greenhouse outside the windows behind the butcher counter here.)
Packaged meats and prepared foods take up the rest of the front half of this separate room. Now heading back into the main room for a look at the front-end...
That's all for this store -- certainly a nice adaptation of a longtime area favorite! Make sure to hop over to Grocery Archaeology to see the former A&P also here in Holmdel today linked above, and tomorrow, we're heading east to Middletown for two more stores -- the former store on Grocery Archaeology, and the current store on The Market Report!