Tour: A&P Fresh - West New York, New Jersey

Continuing coverage from our Bergen-Hudson trip back in the Summer of 2019, picking up here with the former A&P Fresh in West New York, New Jersey. For those who aren't familiar with West New York, its a bustling city between North Bergen and Weehawken, however these days its hard to tell all of them apart. To this Pennsylvanian, it feels like one homogenized area that's full of high-end apartments on the Hudson River (like where this store is located at the Port Imperial development), charming older apartments, and a racially diverse population. Yes, it's quite the melting pot here. 

View of Port Imperial, 1995 (via Google Earth)
The Port Imperial development is a mix of retail, services, and luxurious housing that was completed in 2006 as an economic development project for the town of West New York. The site of Port Imperial was formerly a major industrial rail and ship junction, which was also a major landmark of the food industry, as the United Fruit Company, along with many other suppliers, would import crates upon crates of bananas and other exotic fruits well into the 1980s.

Other retailers at Port Imperial include Ben & Jerry's, Giannone Wine & Liquor, and Starbucks. So I think it's safe to say there isn't exactly competition down here at Port Imperial... unless you consider it to be another ACME (former Pathmark) just a few miles up the road in Edgewater.

At the time of writing this post, a year had passed since I visited this store. I simply cannot remember how this store was laid out. The apartment building appears to be in an O-shape from an aerial view on Google Maps, but I have a feeling that the first floor, where this supermarket is, is just a rectangle like any other. 

The decor (which appears to be original to the store here, considering the time it opened in the mid-2000s) is the Fresh 2.0 package, which was an extension of the A&P Fresh Market branding.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I am NOT a fan of drop ceilings. I think they're hideous. They always leak, crack, or dry-rot over time... oh wait? This one here in this store is being kept well?

That's rare.

Just after the Produce Department is the Cheese department! A&P started using this separate section in this Fresh format. I think that this is by far one of the smartest ideas in supermarket history. It promotes sales of low-volume, long shelf-life products that require little day-to-day maintenance, unlike a normal Deli.

Unlike other cheese departments nowadays, this early concept also has a service counter. While there was no attendant at the time to the right of the counter, it appears that they may do some sampling on the weekends.

Opposite to the cheese counter is the deli and to-go area, which is quite large, even by today's standards.

The other side of this area includes prepacked cold-cuts, a hot foods bar, and a salad bar.

Right after the deli/to-go area marks the beginning of the grocery aisles, which is only accessible if you walk through the produce and deli area.

The Meat and Seafood counters are along the back wall of the main section of the store, which has quite a decent selection. ACME has replaced the lighting throughout this store, sadly. It definitely looked better in the A&P days, when only spotlights were used to show off this decor.

Whenever I take photos of a store, believe it or not, I don't usually shop in it. I go around the perimeter, through the dairy aisle, and across the front to the exit, all within the course of a few minutes. However, whenever I'm about halfway through the store, I realize "oh, you should probably get a photo of at least one aisle." So yeah, here it is. Nothing interesting, especially in most modern supermarkets (even if it's an A&P) like this one.

I find grocery aisles themselves the most incredibly boring part of the store.

Before we enter the Dairy aisle, let's take a second to appreciate the amazing photography in this decor package. I think that this is definitely in my Top 5 A&P decor packages of all time. It's clean, simple, and most importantly, timeless. Since it was first used in an A&P nearly fifteen years ago, this decor hasn't aged a bit.

The store ends with the Dairy aisle, which is under an alcove.

I'm not sure there's a reason for this alcove here. When A&P was opening and remodeling stores at this time, they tried an open-feeling concept; meaning no drop-ceilings, alcoves, aisle toppers, etc.

While the decor appears to be one large piece per department, its actually split into about six sections.

The Pharmacy and Drugstore area are to the right after you exit the Dairy aisle, which is a nice touch. I never understood the purpose of having the Pharmacy separate from the Drugstore (meaning HABA as well)... it just creates disconnect (and a merchandising issue) between the departments.

This store wasn't terribly busy when I was here in the middle of the day, meaning they only have two of the eight checkouts open in total... not sure why the first few have tiny numbers. Likely because they were originally Express checkouts.

However, Checkout #8 appears to be disconnected completely. The candy racks are empty, bag wells cleaned out, and extra stock piled around it. (Also, while I did not see this in the store, apparently there is a second exit/checkout area that leads into the parking garage? I can't seem to figure out where it would fit in here. Next time I'm in this area I'll have to revisit it... it seems like a nice little Cafe/Checkout area.)

...and that wraps it up for the A&P Fresh in West New York.

Now onto something a little different...

Bonus Pictures...

The Port Imperial development has some amazing scenery. While I'm not pro-development or pro-apartment even, I can see the appeal of becoming a part of this community. You get excellent views, things to do in the neighborhood, and an easy commute to NYC.

It's very well kept. That's all I can say. I'm nearly in awe over these photos - still - a year later.

The ruins of the old pier, mentioned earlier in the article, can be seen here.

A&P Fresh of West New York

19-21 Avenue at Port Imperial
West New York, NJ 07093

A&P Fresh > ACME Markets


  1. From the Acme Style blog (I think that's where your photo of the rear registers is from), those first checkouts were original self-checkouts and had the words Express Yourself on the rest of the sign (along with the tiny numbers, probably just so an employee knew which one if someone requested help).

    The other question, of course, is if the front checkouts are 1-8, why are the ones at the rear door 12-14? Did 9, 10, and 11 take a vacation and forget to come back? ;)


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