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TOUR: Exito Freshmarket - Long Branch, NJ

Exito Freshmarket
Owner: Gaurang Patel
Opened: ca. 2014
Cooperative: Krasdale
Location: 176 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ
Photographed: January 2021
We are here in downtown Long Branch for the 7400 square foot Exito Freshmarket! This store, previously a CTown and then an independent store called Grand National Supermarket, is on the eastern end of Broadway, a corridor that's being redeveloped. In fact, the block just to the east was planned for a mixed-use development that included a SuperFresh, but this project has since been canceled. The only other thing I'll mention about the location is that downtown Long Branch does still have some very cool art deco buildings along Broadway (including the New Jersey Repertory Company's theater, which is a small black-box theater run by very nice people, or so I'm told by a family member -- and frequent blog contributor -- in theater administration in northern NJ). Now let's focus on Exito!
The front wall of the store, as we'll see, is enclosed for maximum sales floor space, so the windows are filled with big pictures. I love that this supermarket stock photo has been customized with a Photoshopped Exito aisle marker! There's also a rear entrance to a parking lot...
We're going to head in through the front entrance, as it seems the general flow is enter in the front / leave in the back. Produce lines the left side of the store (if you're looking at it from the front) with meat and dairy on the right side wall, which is aisle 5. Frozen foods are in the front part of aisle 4, with registers on the back wall and service deli, seafood, and butcher on the front wall beyond them -- an interesting setup I don't believe I've seen elsewhere, but it certainly makes the most of the space they have.
Not a lot of space to move around inside the store, and it's clearly a popular place, but there's lots and lots of stock for such a small location. There's a nice selection of Latin and Caribbean foods, which is clearly the focus of the supermarket.
Here's the walkway that runs along the front wall of the store. Notice the indentation to the right here, which contains a stairway to the basement and, on the other side, the entrance to the apartments above, accessible from the sidewalk. There are three aisles (1, 4, and 5) that extend all the way to the front wall of the store, with 1 being produce (see above), 4 being frozen, and 5 being dairy.
It really looks like Exito gutted the space when they moved in, since the flooring and all the fixtures are beautifully new.
Very clean and nicely stocked aisles! We saw the same thing in Newark -- a small store that makes the most of its space, with a good selection of the basics.
Now that is a selection of tortillas! Beautifully organized in this nice shelving too. A few of the fixtures like this (including some of the produce bins, similar to what we saw in Newark) are actually custom-built into the walls, and it's quite cool.
Frozen foods are in the front part of aisle 4 (remember that walkway we saw earlier divides the store towards the front with the apartment entrance in front). Dairy lines the front wall in front of aisles 4 and 5, with the rest of the selection in the front part of aisle 5.
And if I turned around 180 degrees from that picture, we'd find the meat department lining the rest of the last aisle.
And as I mentioned, we round out the tour with the registers on the back wall with service butcher, deli, and seafood beyond them. It's maybe a little unconventional but a great way to pack in the service departments in an otherwise very small store.
Exito is the grocery store that anchors downtown Long Branch, but there is another one that many (most?) Long Branch residents shop at not too far away, about three-quarters of a mile to the south. Head over to The Market Report tomorrow to check it out!