Meat City Market
Opened: ca. 2017 (1980-2014 under previous ownership)
Location: 1334 W 7th St, Piscataway, NJ
Photographed: July 2020
It's always interesting to see the rivalry when two stores are located almost directly across the street from each other. In this case, Meat City is just 700 feet away from the Bravo Supermarket, but Meat City is in Piscataway and Bravo is in South Plainfield. Meat City had originally opened in 1980, then burned down in 2014. It seems that new owners took over following that, although I'm not entirely sure about that, and they rebuilt the store from the ground up over the following 2-3 years. Here's a look at what Meat City used to look like.
The new building and its landscaping look fantastic today. At 8900 square feet, I believe the new Meat City is slightly larger than the old store, and is more of a general supermarket. Before we head in, there's something to see outside...
All of the carts for the store, as is very common for independent stores like this, are secondhand -- but these came all the way from Indiana!
Marsh went under around the time this store opened, so it makes sense they would've taken over some carts from the bankrupt chain. Heading inside, though, we don't see much else that's secondhand -- the store really was brand-new when it opened a few years back, and is still looking pretty beautiful.
The store's small space is offset by its high ceilings and beautiful decor. The selection, as we see in a lot of these smaller stores, is impressive for the small space.
Customer service and health and beauty in the front corner of the store, next to the entrance.
I'm not entirely sure which design firm was responsible for this store, but it looks really good. The decor is simple but bold, and it looks pleasantly middle-of-the-road -- not too cheap for the very nice store, but not too fancy for the low priced nature of Meat City. And speaking of meat, the deli and butcher lines the back wall. There's also an entrance back here, for those coming in from the parking lot.
The "Meat City" tiling is a nice touch on the back wall there! The store was busy but not too crowded at the time of my visit, but it seems that they do a big business based on positive online reviews and the bountiful perishable choices that don't seem to have been scaled back years after opening.
Let's head into the grocery aisles, which really have a little of everything you could want.
Notice how tall the shelves are to maximize the product selection in a small space. A lot of stocking was going on at the time of my Friday afternoon visit, presumably to prepare for a weekend rush.
Nice international aisle here, too.
And heading into the last aisle, we find packaged seafood, frozen foods, and dairy. Ice cream is in an alcove on the front wall.
The decor, aisle markers, and category markers all work together really well. Whoever designed this store did a very good job.
Looks like the fixtures may be a mix of new and secondhand from when the store opened. Hard to tell for sure, though, since they're all in excellent condition.
And a look across the front end. Now, this store seems to be very successful and a great addition to the neighborhood. But the success of this store seems to come at the expense of its nearest competition, the Bravo just diagonally across the street. Check that store out here. And tomorrow, we're going to see a former supermarket about a mile and a quarter east, over in South Plainfield, on Grocery Archaeology!