Garden Farm Market
Owner: Ki Chung
Owner: Ki Chung
Location: 927 W Kelly St, Metuchen, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
This somewhat hidden store is located just off US-1 in Metuchen, a small borough to the west of Woodbridge Township. The 25,000 square foot store is tucked away in a residential neighborhood off of the main thoroughfare, and its location along with the appearance of the building makes me inclined to guess it was a roller rink originally -- not something we haven't seen before. Whatever it was, it almost definitely wasn't built as a grocery store.
This location is part of a local chain with additional stores in Newark, North Brunswick, and Morrisville, PA (and one that's since closed in Edison). Incidentally, we'll someday get out to Morrisville, PA, but that won't be for many more months. I've driven by this store dozens of times but never actually stopped in until the summer of 2020, when I beefed up a lot of my central NJ coverage.
Inside, the store is pretty cool. About half of the sales floor is produce displayed in long rows of wooden bins, with frozen foods and dairy on the back wall, groceries on the right side of the store, and seafood/deli on the right side of the store. It's my understanding that this store previously had a service deli, which it no longer does, but it does have packaged deli selections and a floral department in the front corner.
Though I'd love to see an exposed ceiling in this location -- especially with the arch roof -- I'll settle for these cool wooden structures running up and down the produce aisles.
And towards the back of the store, we have a pretty solid grocery selection along with dairy and frozen basics.
I'd say this store has more of a general grocery selection than similar greengrocer/produce market-type places.
Here we see dairy on the back wall. I'd assume some of the cases around the store were brought in secondhand (such as the refrigerated produce cases in the first aisle), but these look to be the same age as the store itself.
Looking up towards the front of the store. You can see the effect of the wooden structures -- it gives the otherwise somewhat bland aisles a more fun feeling.
Seafood takes up most of the side wall of the store (there's no meat department here). That's some very interesting decor on the wall up there -- I see three different decor packages (fresh, seafood, and FRESH FISH). I've never seen any of them before, but I'd imagine they're secondhand. Could one of them be an earlier ShopRite decor package, perhaps one that doesn't exist in any stores anymore?
It feels like one of these packaged deli cases (which are probably both secondhand) replaced a service deli counter, since I'm pretty sure this store used to have one. Floral is up next in the front corner...
And along the front wall in between floral and the registers is a section with additional grocery items. I'm not entirely sure how the products are organized, but I know bread is up here in the front.
And looking back out into the rest of the store...
You can see how the wooden awning structures approximately run along the grocery aisles and then along the walkway to checkout.
This picture has been eating away at my brain. Are there three registers here and register 1 is just missing its lane marker? Are there only two registers and your choice is #2 or #3? Is register 1 over at customer service, which I believe is on the front wall? No idea. Anyway, this is a pretty cool store and it feels like a good find tucked away back here in the residential neighborhood off the main highway. We're going to cross the highway, US-1, to see a former supermarket tomorrow on Grocery Archaeology!