Special Report: SuperFresh - Old Bridge, NJ (2024)

SuperFresh
Opened: June 12, 2024

Owner:unknown

Previous Tenants:Food Fair > Drug Fair > Walgreens

Cooperative:Key Food Stores

Location:2617 CR-516, Old Bridge, NJ

Photographed:June 22, 2024

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Welcome to the latest SuperFresh! Dedicated readers will know I'm partial to the locations owned by Food World, such as the recently re-opened location in Roselle, but there are quite a few other SuperFresh owners who together own 27 locations in four states. SuperFresh, for anyone unfamiliar, is a banner of the Key Food Stores Co-Operative, a group of around 400 independent supermarkets in NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, PA, and FL. They're actually headquartered right here in Old Bridge, so it's not a surprise that they'd want a location close to home -- but I'm not totally sure who owns this store. The nearest Key Food store is the Tropical Supermarket in South River, which I am almost certain is unrelated to this store. Then six miles southeast isThe Food Emporium in Marlboro, whose owners may also own this SuperFresh, I'm not sure.

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Key Food certainly doesn't have the central Jersey density that they do in north Jersey (and, of course, they have ridiculous density in much of New York City), but it seems from stores like Marlboro and this one, plus the Food World-owned SuperFresh in Hopelawn about eight miles north, they're looking to increase their density. This building, located in the Browntown Shopping Center, was originally a Food Fair back in the 1950s. I'm not sure whether it ever became a Pantry Pride, but it did later become a Drug Fair and then a Walgreens, which around 2016 moved to an outparcel of the strip mall. In 2021, SuperFresh announced they'd be taking about 25,000 square feet of the former Walgreens and a small space next door. Renovations took nearly three years (I first saw the space in progress in 2022), and the store opened on June 12, 2024 holding its official grand opening on June 21. As we can see, it's really a beautiful store, and they've done a great job converting the former drugstore space into a full-service supermarket.

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The storefront next door is being prepared for a juice bar. It looks like there will be a counter and then a small seating area. Since this store is right next to a gym, it probably makes sense to have an amenity like that.

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It looks like the store has a combination of brand-new and secondhand fixtures, but some like these produce tables were built custom for this store. Produce and deli/bakery are in the first aisle, with the juice bar and floral in the front left corner. Meat lines the back wall with frozen/dairy on the far right side of the store. There's no service meat or seafood counter, although there is a butcher window in the back right corner of the store.

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I haven't seen this decor in any other store, and it's really nice. I, of course, wish the drop ceiling had been removed, but it looks good painted dark here.

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There's no in-store bakery, but baked goods are in this area (cakes and packaged deli items like sliced cheeses and prepared foods are in the cooler to the right) with fresh breads in the back. The deli is very extensive, and an impressive cheese island faces it.

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Here's the bread case in the back. This bread appears to all come in from local bakeries.

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And a look across the back wall, with meats at the back. The store is very pleasant and very easy to navigate, but it's definitely small. When a new Key Food store opens -- especially in an area where they haven't previously had a store -- they tend to tweak it little by little after a while, so I wouldn't be surprised if the product mix changes slightly over time here. They also adjust prices over time, as necessary. (I don't know for sure if Key Food is set up this way, but typically cooperatives of independent supermarkets have certain pricing tiers that the owner can choose based on competition, income level of the area, and so on.) Multiple reviews of the store so far mention the prices. I didn't pay enough attention to prices to know exactly where they fall, but I do generally expect independents to be priced higher than big-chain stores -- but sometimes they're just too high. I find the north Jersey SuperFresh stores I'm more familiar with to be competitive with any other supermarkets out there.

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Only seven aisles total, not including produce/grand aisle, so it's not a large store.

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The grocery aisles were definitely not 100% ready when I visited, with several empty spaces or areas filled with a few cans spaced out across a wide shelf. I'm surprised they didn't nail all that down before the official grand opening. Hopefully, it can be taken care of quickly.

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But despite the smaller size, the store is decidedly a complete supermarket. There's a lot here in a small space. For comparison, the amazing new ShopRite in Old Bridge is 75,000 square feet, or triple this store's size.

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I really do like this decor, though.

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There's no service butcher or seafood counter, but it looks like there is a window to the butcher shop in the back here. Seafood is all packaged or frozen. Like the store's lack of an in-store bakery, not too surprising given the small size.

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Full selection of paper and cleaning, but as we can expect from SuperFresh (or Key Food stores in general), there's almost no health and beauty. I have to assume that's even less important to stock here because of the Walgreens across the parking lot.

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In the second-to-last grocery aisle, there's a small refrigerator case with packaged cold cuts and other meats.

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Frozen foods cases (which look secondhand, but are in good condition) line the outside of the last aisle, with dairy facing.

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As we see, the store is spotless and I hope it stays that way. The aisles are plenty wide but there's not too much space.

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And looking towards the back of the store...

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There's one endcap with a little bit of HABA, but as I said, very little.

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And customer service is in the front right corner. As we see, it's a very attractive little store and I think there's a need for a smaller supermarket in this neighborhood rather than going out to route 9. Given that Key Food moved its headquarters out here to Old Bridge from Staten Island a couple years, ago, I wouldn't be surprised to see more SuperFresh locations in central Jersey, but we'll have to wait and see.

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In the meantime, don't forget today's other posts!

  • ShopRite - Livingston and Watchung, NJ
  • Sprouts Farmers Market - Aberdeen, NJ
  • SuperFresh - Old Bridge, NJ(this post)
  • Top Tomato - Old Bridge, NJ
  • Amazon Fresh - Eatontown, NJ
Special Report: SuperFresh - Old Bridge, NJ (2024)

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