Asian Food MarketsOwner:
Location: 10 Schalks Crossing Rd, Plainsboro, NJ
Photographed: February 2021
Welcome back to Plainsboro Plaza, where we're touring the Asian Food Markets in a former SuperFresh in a former SuperFresh in a former Caldor. Yeah, that's right -- this was a SuperFresh owned by A&P
from the early 2000s to 2013 (replacing an 80s store
in the same mall), then a Key Food-affiliated SuperFresh
owned by Kevin Kim in 2018 (February to October only), then the replacement for the older Asian Food Markets location across town which opened in August 2020.
Everything in the Asian Food Market today is brand-new, even these carts which I assume are likely refurbished but look very similar to the Food Bazaar carts.
Exterior photography suffered due to the bakery supply truck parked in front of the store, but we still get an idea. The exterior has been repainted since the SuperFresh days, but the interior has been totally transformed.
We now enter and exit on the right side of the storefront and then walk across the front of the store to the left side. The front section is a food court, which was still in progress at the time of my visit six months after opening. Bakery, prepared foods, seafood, and butcher line the left side of the store, with produce facing in the grand aisle. Packaged meats line the back wall, with frozen/dairy in the last aisle. As far as I could tell, absolutely nothing is left from either iteration of SuperFresh inside.
Here's a look at the vendors on the front wall, and the seating area opposite...
Which, as I mentioned, was not open yet at the time of my visit. I believe the registers used to be under this area of lower ceiling, or may have even been farther forward. AFM also flipped the layout of the store; the grand aisle used to be on the right side with frozen/dairy on the left side and deli/food court in the front left corner. Well, grand aisle is now on the left side with frozen/dairy on the right side.
I mentioned in the SuperFresh post that the store would succeed as a specifically Asian food market or a more traditional one, but the unsuccessful hybrid that the second SuperFresh attempted was very poorly executed. This store has pantry staples, but primarily Asian food items. It is worth noting though that this store has a much larger selection of mainstream American groceries than the other locations of this chain.
Looking down towards the back of the store with bakery and prepared foods on the left side wall. Notice how much busier the store is than the SuperFresh was.
Produce faces those service counters, and again, everything is brand-new.
AFM's own hot food counter is inside the store but close to the food court area. The store is very deep and not that wide, so the aisles are divided in half from front to back.
Not only do we get a sense here that the store is incredibly beautiful, but this was an unintentionally beautiful picture! The lighting came out great.
And I really love the panels along the top of the grocery shelving!
Here's a look at the seafood counter in the back of the grand aisle. Service butcher is behind it...
I don't believe any of the cases are left over from SuperFresh, either, which is logical since it seemed that many were not working anymore.
Here we can see that the store isn't very wide, but it's been opened up and feels spacious although less so than the previous SuperFresh. That's to be expected, but of course, there's a lot more to offer here than in SuperFresh.
As I mentioned, the grocery shelving has these beautiful panels along the top, which actually seem to be cut metal rather than just decals.
Dairy takes up the back right corner of the store, and then continues down the last aisle of the store on the outside wall.
Looking up towards the front of the store. This is unrecognizable as compared to the previous SuperFresh, but this is where they would've had produce and seafood. Looking really good today though!
And a look across the front end back towards the bakery. Notice that we exit on the side near the bakery, then walk back across the storefront to the exit on the dairy/frozen side.
One more look at the front end. This was a major upgrade for Asian Food Markets compared to their previous location in town, which we'll see tomorrow on Grocery Archaeology
along with a small grocer nearby here on The Independent Edition!
That's a really sharp-looking store. I'm not really a fan of warehouse-style shelving but somehow it works here.ReplyDelete
Yes it does look great here! Interesting that the shelves are all set at the same level down the entire aisle. Really keeps things looking neat. Plus the panels at the top are most likely hiding extra stock and boxes that can wind up looking really messy if out in the open.Delete
I think you're both right, that the sleek design overall makes the store look very good. I think also that this store really embraces its warehouse type appearance, but makes a few specific efforts to warm it up a little (the bright colors, the tree paneling, and so on). Great design!Delete