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Look Inside: Bhavani Food Farmers Market - Parlin, NJ

Bhavani Food Farmers Market
Owner: unknown
Opened: ca. 2016
Cooperative: none
Location: 1050 US-9, Parlin, NJ
Photographed: February 2021
Our final supermarket of the Old Bridge & Freehold group is Bhavani Food Farmers Market, an independent Indian grocery store here in the Sayre Woods Shopping Center. The mall also was previously home to Grand Union and ACME stores, our other posts of the day. The store appears to be in the range of 11,000 square feet.
I'm intrigued by the decor inside this store, which seems to be secondhand from a chain store. Don't get me wrong, it looks good in this space, but it doesn't look like it was made for this store. My gut (and every bright orange shopping cart in the place) tell me Bottom Dollar, but I've never actually been inside a Bottom Dollar. To be clear, I do actually mean that every shopping cart still has its Bottom Dollar Food handle intact.
The back of the first aisle is an enclosed refrigerator room to display about half of the produce, with the rest of produce in the first aisle. Refrigerated items line the back wall, with frozen foods in the last aisle. Like most (all?) Indian stores I've been to, there is no meat sold.
A look at one of the grocery aisles.
The decor elements here appear to be repainted from their original appearance. It also seems that those unusually-shaped panels were not designed to cover the departmental signage, so perhaps they were designed for a larger space.
More evidence of Bottom Dollar here in the last aisle, with the orange category marker for "entrees". Now my assumption is that this store purchased its carts, decor, and so on from a closed Bottom Dollar, but is it possible that Bottom Dollar very briefly occupied this space -- or even had plans to but had to cancel when the chain went under? I doubt they had a store this far north/east as their NJ locations were in the Philadelphia area, but I suppose it's possible. Anyway, make sure to check out our other two posts of the day here and here and up next, it's on to the next group to the north!


  1. The produce signage is definitely from Bottom Dollar:

    But the other stuff doesn't quite seem to match, at least not with what's in this video:

    Personally, the other signage reminds me a lot of Giant Eagle décor, with the shape and everything. I feel like I've seen it before, but you know we get those feelings a lot and they're not always correct, haha! I can't find any images of Giant Eagle décor from that specific era showing that they had any wall signage, though... looks like all of their departments had hanging signs, which basically rules them out. Oh well.

    Oh, and I also think you meant to say the former tenant was Grand Union, not ACME, at the top of one of today's Grocery Archaeology posts :)

    1. Ooh, interesting. Thank you for the links to the various sources, especially the video of the empty Bottom Dollar store! Almost looks like the lettering was removed from those oval signs and placed on some other sign frame, since I'm not sure I've ever seen those panels that are like puzzle pieces, for lack of a better way to describe them, and I don't know where they might have come from.

      Thanks for that correction, done!

    2. You're welcome! Wow, interesting point about the possibility that the letters are still from Bottom Dollar but just removed and placed on other signage. That opens up a whole new line of questions; where does this puzzle piece décor hail from and why was it so important to them that they reuse it and just stick different letters on top? Fascinating!


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