Location: 331 US-46, Great Meadows, Independence, NJ
Photographed: December 2018
In 2015, I met someone who lives on a farm out here in Liberty, a sprawling 12-square-mile township with fewer than 3000 residents. Naturally, we talked about grocery stores. He told me that since he lived on a farm, he didn't have to do a lot of grocery shopping and would make a trip to the ShopRite in Mansfield, roughly seven miles as the crow flies but farther on the actual roads, about once a month. But when he needed something, he'd just go to Nykun's Store on 46. He kept saying that they have everything
in this tiny little store. Well, that name stuck with me (and I wrote it down), so that more than three years later, when my father and I were headed out towards the Coal Region of Pennsylvania, we had to stop by and see for ourselves. And now you all will, too, because you wouldn't believe it if you didn't actually see it. First of all, check out that wonderful exterior, from the fact that it's obviously built into a house to the A-Treat sign (a famous eastern PA/Lehigh Valley soda). The store appears to be under 3000 square feet, just three aisles, but they pack in grocery, hardware, dairy, frozen, deli, butcher, produce, and even in-store bakery. I mentioned I was with my father, who I occasionally drag with me to grocery store visits, and he was blown away by this store. It's not often that he finds a store so memorable. For me, of course, every last supermarket is memorable. (Hmm, that's not true. But anyway.)
As we can see here in the first aisle, there's a little bit of everything on the shelves, just like he told me about this store. They use Best Yet storebrand items, by the way.
Check out that spice rack by the entrance!
And, of course, the hardware department. Everything you could need for your farm!
Dairy and beverages in the back of the store. As we see, it's not, um, spacious.
We find deli and butcher cases by the front of the store, and all of the fresh stuff very obviously comes from local farmers and producers, except for a few staples, obviously.
I don't usually focus so much on taking pictures of products and specific displays, but based on the store's size, it's nearly impossible to get pictures of the store as a whole! And hidden away on the side of the deli is a rack full of beautiful fresh-baked breads, rolls, and bagels (all of which are delicious, by the way)...
What a place! I actually stopped by once again over the summer of 2021 to pick up a few things (including bread and bagels) and was just as impressed by the store as I was the first time. Well, thanks to my informant for the recommendation on the grocery store stop! Before we move south through the rest of Hunterdon and Warren, we are first going to head out on 46 to Belvidere, right at the NJ-PA border, for two stores -- one former supermarket over on Grocery Archaeology
, and the town's remaining supermarket here on The Independent Edition!
I live 10 minutes away over on Marble Hill, so we're on a first-name basis with Bob Nykun and we know a lot of the people behind the counter, we see people we know shopping there, etc. But yeah, it's always interesting to note how much stuff they can stuff in there, and how much non-food merchandise they have and occasionally change out.ReplyDelete
There's also a whole other section in the back devoted mostly to liquor and greeting cards -- it's open to the public, it's accessible via the same door as the employees use to get to the back kitchen. I've been in there a few times, it looks like they had a bar set up a long time ago and don't use it anymore.
There was a bar in use until the mid 89s. I was fortune ough to have worked at Nykun’s in high school. Bob and his family are great people. Oh, if he doesn’t have it, Bob cm usually get it ordered for you.Delete
That's awsome -- thank you both for sharing!Delete