Skip to main content

Update: Universal Food Markets!


It's time for another look at the Universal Food Markets stores! The chain of stores has 10 locations under various names (Elizabeth x 2, Rahway, Newark, Orange, Hackensack x 2, Paterson x 2, Camden) of which 7 are Key Food-affiliated (the Hackensack Market in Hackensack and Super El Rey and Eagle Supermarket in Elizabeth are still not Key Food-affiliated). Newark, Orange, and Hackensack were previously Krasdale-affiliated. Newark was a Bravo, and Hackensack and Orange were CTowns. These days, those three are Key Food-affiliated Universal Food Markets joining older locations in Rahway, Paterson, and Camden.
While there hasn't been a lot changed in this store, we see new banners temporarily affixed on top of the Bravo logos outside. Inside, there hasn't been much of a change other than replacing the lighting -- a much-needed improvement.
This store is clean and well-stocked and seems to be a bit better-run than Orange, although it's quite small.
The fixtures were refurbished a little while ago, with doors added to the meat, deli, and dairy cases.
You can still see the Bravo rainbow hiding behind the new Universal signage, which (I sure hope) is temporary. Meanwhile, inside, the Bravo logo remains in a few places.


I've never liked this store too much, but I do think it's better than it used to be when it was a CTown. The lighting and flooring have been replaced, but the fixtures are in need of replacement and the store's facility just feels outdated. I found the produce and meat subpar and the selection is not particularly good. I also noticed that the prices here are not as good as other Key Food stores.
And while the new floor looks good, I also think this is the extent of the renovation, unfortunately not as extensive as Rahway. I think this store needs a lot more work it's probably not going to get.


We haven't seen this store yet, although I do have pictures of it as a CTown that I'll post eventually. Obviously, the outside is in much better shape than Orange, but we see a similar treatment with the CTown signage removed and replaced with a temporary Universal Food Markets banner.
Inside, Hackensack is definitely still a CTown, with lots of CTown signage and Krasdale-branded products. I'm sure eventually they'll transition over to Key Food stuff. Overall, I think the Universal stores are improving compared to how they were previously, but they're still not particularly good stores -- and I think it's increasingly clear the chain's other stores aren't getting the reinvention that Rahway had, and that I was really hoping for. We'll have to wait and see what happens over time!