HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Do you create unique foods? Get great advice
TELL US

Top Tomato Superstore

j
jsfein Dec 28, 2008 05:28 PM

According to recent signage, this supermarket (?) is coming to the space in Freehold Township formerly occupied by Acme's in Mount's Corner Shopping Center at the intersection of Rt. 537 (Main Street) and Wemrock Road. Apparently, there is a Top Tomato Superstore in Brick. I don't know anything about the place and there appears to be no website. Anyone have any intelligence?

  1. j
    Jerzeegirl Apr 11, 2011 12:32 PM

    Well, the one in Holmdel certainly didn't last long. It closed yesterday. Here's a link with info.

    http://www.app.com/article/20110411/N...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jerzeegirl
      t
      Tay Apr 17, 2011 11:30 AM

      Not surprised at all. the Owners of Delicious Orchards must be rubbing their hands in delight. :-)

      -----
      Delicious Orchards
      State Route 34 S, Colts Neck, NJ 07722

      1. re: Tay
        b
        bakersma Apr 17, 2011 03:32 PM

        Not to mention the owners of Dearborn Farms just north of there on Rt 35 !

    2. HillJ Nov 27, 2009 12:40 PM

      While shopping at The Commons @ Holmdel, I noticed a sign in the window of the old Linens N Things that a Top Tomatoe is moving into that location.

      7 Replies
      1. re: HillJ
        c
        cantkick Nov 15, 2010 09:58 AM

        It's now opened. (Last Thursday I think.) Seems ok, but not really worth going out of your way. I bought a couple things there, then went north a block to Dearborne Farms. TT had a couple sales that were cheaper than DF, but in most cases were about the same or more. I'll watch the ads for loss leaders, but I'll stick with DF and DO for most things.

        1. re: cantkick
          HillJ Nov 15, 2010 11:41 AM

          cantkick, I was @ the TT/Holmdel on Sunday and generally disappointed. Super crowded that afternoon though. I'm going to try one day during the week to see if my opinion changes and as you mention keep an eye out for weekly specials since one of my clients is nearby.

          1. re: HillJ
            HillJ Nov 24, 2010 04:28 PM

            Finally made it to TT for more than a mere peek inside and my disappointed lingered aisle after aisle. I have no idea what a jewelry shop is doing dab smack in the middle of the store front but it was far more interesting than the hordes of people googling the free samples and the mis mash that apparently IS the charm of TT. I saw nothing unique or unavail. at any number of other stores nearby. I would prefer a small Italian deli with specialty foods, fresh pasta, great breads and cheeses over this ridiculous use of extra space..and the market is playing havoc with the parking lot area. The car lanes are too narrow for cart huts.

            1. re: HillJ
              c
              cantkick Nov 24, 2010 06:56 PM

              While not exactly what you're looking for, Dearborn Farms one light north will have most of that.

              1. re: cantkick
                HillJ Nov 27, 2010 02:14 PM

                I would prefer a small Italian deli with specialty foods, fresh pasta, great breads and cheeses
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                Thank you for the suggestion cantkick but I've just come from shopping @ Costco and Panera's bakery. I was delighted to find all of my needs met there in portions I would consider catering/entertaining guests sizes at even better prices.

                1. re: HillJ
                  c
                  cantkick Nov 28, 2010 03:24 AM

                  I can't disagree - if you need those sizes. They do have good products. However, if you have to throw some away because you don't use it all, the prices are not so great after all. For more pedestrian sizes, such as what a small family would eat within a week or so, DF or the delis on 35 farther south should be fine, and better than TT. (There are probably good ones farther north, but I'm not familiar with that stretch.)

                  1. re: cantkick
                    HillJ Nov 28, 2010 04:25 AM

                    True. I made the catering comment because TT has a large catering following and sells many items in large or 2 fer combinations. Party platters seem to be a TT tradition.

      2. shabbystorm Jun 9, 2009 12:46 PM

        Stopped here today for a Rotisserie Chicken, greens, and some Chocolate Rugelach, the flat ones, not the traditional ones, with the chocolate drizzled on top, yummy!

        Had a face to face with the Owner of Top Tomato Freehold, Peter, and his cousin, the store manager, I don't know her name, will call her, nice lady.

        I simply asked, what is the deal with the deli counter?
        The reason they did not have a take a number machine was that it never worked well in other store locations, NY, Florida, over the 30 years they have been in business.

        Without sounding like a parrot, he explained, people would take a number and walk away, then return to the counter at their leisure and expect service even though the number was already called. With the line system they currently have, at least people stay in one place.

        That being said, they are going to buy a take a number system and try it here in Freehold. Since this is the largest of all the stores, it may not solve the problem, because people can roam further, but they care about their customers, are listening, and will try to improve service.

        1. h
          howaboutit May 25, 2009 10:47 AM

          I went to the Freehold Top Tomato on May 17th. I bought a lot of the prepare foods to try. I even got a few desserts. (I will get back to this later).

          While walking around the produce looked horrible. EVERY pepper in every color was shriveling up. Not fresh at all. Fruit and veggies alike were bruised browning and just not fresh. How could you leave all those peppers there? For a store that recently opened that is pitiful.

          Now back to the foods. When home we all tried the many foods we got (from the bacon wrapped chicken to the chicekn parm to the Carrozza and more). Food was SALTY and HORRIBLE!. While salty the chicken had no taste to it. The cheese in the carrozza was so bland it had not taste to it. I will NEVER go there again. Yes the prices were good but if I want GOOD fresh Italian food I will go to Tucany's.

          On to the desserts. I got cannoli.. They fill them fresh,, ok let me amend that they HALF fill them. they only put enough cream to cover each end. The center is empty. That is CHEAP... I paid for a full cannoli not half one. They were pushing their biscotti... not good at all and when I asked for certain flavors they gave me what they felt like and not what I ordered..

          Now back to their produce.. I will stick to Delicious Orchards.

          I for one will never step foot in Top Tomato again.

          VERY DISPLEASED.....

          10 Replies
          1. re: howaboutit
            MishyPoo May 31, 2009 09:57 AM

            I live in Freehold Twp, just a min away from Top Tomato. I have visited the store on a very regular basis. Now that it has been open for quite a few weeks, I feel I can give a well rounded opinion of what Top Tomato is and what it offers.

            My biggest problem with TT is how they have their cold cut/ appetizing counter organised. It is the first counter on the right when you walk in, and there is no "Take a Number" system here. There is a sign hanging from their very high ceiling that says "Stand here to Order" or something to that effect. So, needless to say....EVERYBODY stands in that one spot and the line gets backed way up to the door. But, there is this manager man that I have come to call the Line Nazi, who is very neurotic about the line at this counter. He has, on quite a few occasions, physically taken carts and moved them forward and orders people to move up toward the back of the store. He once tried to grab my cart and moved it and I told him flat out, dont touch my cart! lol. I am an efficient person and I know how ot move up, and I do recognize the problem he is trying to fix. My second problem w/ this counter is that it is soooo high, it is difficult to communicate with the people working behind it and they often lose the person they are helping....most of which is due to this very poor "Stand here to Order" line issue they have LOL. Also, Ive seen people wander up to the counter and not get helped because that Stand here to Order sign is so far up on the ceiling, they miss it. Then they get mad because nobody is helping them. It is just a very strange and disorganised system.

            My second problem also has to do with the neurotic manager Line Nazi guy. Everytime I am there, he seems to follow me around the store. I am becoming quite paranoid like he thinks I am going to steal something? I dont know, but I do intend on confronting him if he does it again LOL. The last thing I would ever do is try to steal anything from TT, I have been one of their biggest supporters since before they arrived in Freehold Twp and I have even travelled to Brick to shop there. Besides, what the heck would I steal??? Meat??? not likely LOL.

            I do agree with a previous poster that the produce is low quality, but they do have great tomatoes at a very good price! I have noticed more recently that their prices are creeping up....for all items. I think for their Grand Opening they wanted to hook the customers w/ such low prices but now they are raising the prices bit by bit. I hope more customers are returning to FoodTown to shop.

            I did purchase fish at TT from their vendor and let it suffice to say...I will drive to Wegmans to get my fish as per usual.

            Mainly, I will be using TT for their meat selections, cold cuts and various produce, but not all produce. I do buy certain prepared foods from TT because my daughter likes certain things, such as chicken francaise, that I rarely cook. TT is not a gourmet food store but it is ok for what it really is, a glorified Salumaria. I cant imagine that anybody would purchase laundry detergent or such items there. Those aisles are a waste of space.

            This all being said, I am still happy they exist where they are, because sometimes I need an ingredient asap (an herb, a veg for some recipe that I overlooked) and it is so quick for me to run there to get it.

            xoox,
            Michelle

            1. re: MishyPoo
              s
              shesallthat Jun 1, 2009 02:43 PM

              I agree Mishy. I also live "one minute away" and have noticed that the first few weeks Foodtown was empty and their own prices went down a bit. I agree their deli system is just stupid and can't imagine what goes on during major holidays. How hard is it to put a number system up...somebody told me that they don't want a number system because they want it to feel like an old time pork store with no numbers. Oh well - it doesn't remind me of my old Brooklyn pork store at all. Anyway, I continue to go there for cold cuts, produce that is fresh looking and cheaper and the "brooklyn bread". But like you I still shop at Wegmans/Foodtown/Shoprite for most of what I need.

              1. re: shesallthat
                g
                gailelyson Jun 2, 2009 04:03 AM

                I also live a minute away(do we all live in Raintree?!). Anyway I stopped in after coming back from vacation, a few days after the Grand Opening. It was pretty crowded but not terrible. Let me say that I do not ever purchase deli or prepared foods so I went there primarily for produce. The prices were cheap, cheap. I bought red pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, some strawberries etc. All were almost rotted within days, especially the berries. I did go back and try again and the prices had been raised as high as anywhere else. The produce does sit out in the open so I would guess the shelf life is not great from picking to eating. I do however go there and purchase what I ned for that day. Yesterday prices were down again so they flucuate with the market as does anyother supermarket. I have not bought meat, it didn't look that good and I am a loyal Wegmans fish person. I looked at the cockles in the fish dept and honestly Wegmans was the cheaper. I will continue to stop in for produce, just not purchasing more than I need.

                1. re: gailelyson
                  y
                  yCf Jun 2, 2009 04:46 AM

                  I recently bought live crabs from their seafood dept.
                  It was $8 for a dozen which is cheaper than the Asian markets I frequent.

                  1. re: gailelyson
                    MishyPoo Jun 2, 2009 10:00 AM

                    I have seen fruits and produce in their bins rotting right before my eyes.
                    They have huge piles of canteloupe, for instance, and most were rotten.
                    I examine each piece of produce I want to purchase very closely.

                    xoxo,
                    Michelle

                    1. re: MishyPoo
                      b
                      BobbyEats Jun 2, 2009 10:45 AM

                      I agree with the not so positive comments regarding TT. I have gone to the one in Brick on Brick Blvd. a few times and found the produce not fresh. The "booklyn" bread is good though. Also big can of San Marzano tomatoes that are not DOP stamped.
                      A good alternative is Mulberry Street, across the street a few block down. More expensive, but quality meats and prepared dishes.

                      1. re: BobbyEats
                        Tapas52 Jun 2, 2009 10:49 AM

                        Another alternative is TUSCANY in Jackson NJ ..Prospect Plaza

                        1. re: Tapas52
                          b
                          BobbyEats Jun 2, 2009 11:27 AM

                          Thanks Tapas. Their website looks great. We go to Jackson Mills sometimes and will be sure to stop in.

                          1. re: BobbyEats
                            s
                            shesallthat Jun 4, 2009 03:56 PM

                            I went back for more coldcuts and the deli line was out of control. The deli nazi was not there and people tend to ignore the "line starts here" sign. Older people all cut in the line claiming they had "only thing to buy" - it was very annoying. I saw the rotted cantelopes that were selling for 75 cents each and even at that price I refused to buy such poor quality fruit that some actually had holes in them. What's up with this store...for those of you Brooklynites who know "86 Street" the prices there are very cheap and nothing is ever sold rotted or with holes in it. Potatoes were 69 cents a poiund and a lot of them were bruised. I don't get how they can get away with selling such poor quality produce. I have no problem traveling to Delicious Orchards and paying top dollar for top quality.

                            1. re: shesallthat
                              MishyPoo Jun 4, 2009 05:24 PM

                              I was there today around 3pm only to pick up some ginger and scallions, and the line nazi was in position, making sure everything was in order over at the deli counter. I think he must be getting paid quite a bit to spend the majority of his day guarding the control of that line. I think they should just get a darn nuber system! lol then that manager could pay attention to the rotten cantaloupes.

                              xoxo,
                              Michelle

            2. b
              bakersma May 10, 2009 02:54 PM

              Stopped to check out the new Freehold store earlier this afternoon about 2 PM or so. Store was busy but no problem getting a good parking space in front. Inside it wasn't crowded or hard to move around.....seems like they planned the store layout with a few relatively wide aisles and lots of room around the produce, etc. Speaking of the produce, it looked pretty decent and fairly priced. I did n't buy anything from the deli but while I was looking over all of the cases (great selection) the line seemed to move efficiently. The meat and fish counters were well stocked and the prices in those depts. seemed very competitive. I bought a couple of nice cucumbers, some yogurt cheese, and a couple of other items. Checkout line moved quickly and the cashier was friendly. Definitely will be going back again to shop there.

              4 Replies
              1. re: bakersma
                g
                Gold May 11, 2009 07:12 AM

                The produce is very cheap and that is where I will be buying mine. Boars Head cold cuts are also cheaper. Some of the kids don't know what is what...I aksed for sicilian salami and the kid had no idea what I was talking about but lucky for me "big Joe" did. The bakery cookies also are cheap but again you have to be careful. I asked for rainbow cookies and the kid gave me jelly cookies (I wasn't watching) and while they were tasty and cheap ($1.84 for half a pound) they weren't what I ordered. I went back and asked for "7 layer cookies" and got what I wanted. Again, much cheaper than a regular bakery and just as good. I would not go in there for regular grocery shopping...some things there are more expensive and I will still go to Shoprite/Foodtown...but for 69 cents a pound for potatoes and apples this week I think are 49 cents a pound...how can you not shop there.

                1. re: Gold
                  seal May 12, 2009 03:48 PM

                  Put me into the "meh" category. Not bad but not that great.

                  The prepared food was decent and relatively cheap, as were the two breads I tried. The one dessert we bought was not in any good bakery's league by any means.

                  The produce looked nice, but the melons were small and not very sweet.

                  This is far from a foodie destination.

                  1. re: seal
                    JessKidden May 13, 2009 02:25 AM

                    Yes, it struck me as more "Aldi's" than "gourmet". Lots of pre-packaged stuff (cookies, prepared foods), off-brands (lots of white bread and hot dog/hamburger rolls from a brand I've never heard of but no Martins Potato Rolls), etc. The produce's quality and look was of those (misnamed) "Farmers Markets" that have popped up in the area, usually in empty strip mall stores.

                    I was annoyed at the Deli counter- you couldn't see the meat for the most part, it's all kept against the wall, the glass "counter" itself was all prepared foods. One of the few meats on display were 4 nice roast beefs, perfectly "mostly red". I ordered a half pound and, as they sliced it, I looked around at the case. When my meat was ready, I noticed that the nice looking roast beef had never moved and asked about it. "Didn't I get that roast beef?" "Oh, no, that's just for display." "Well, *that's* what I ordered."

                    They showed me the roast mine was cut from, the very end, mostly brown. They did offer to get another RB (still not the "display" one- isn't that an expensive way to display meat? it didn't look like a prop.) but that one wasn't worth the wait, again, more brown than red. Also, to me, a "gourmet" deli means more than just a case full of Boarsheads products (I was spoiled, however, when I lived in Middlesex County, between European and Continental Provisions).

                    I came across quite a few things that weren't priced on the shelf, but that's more my bad luck, probably, combined with their newness. Still, it's annoying.

                    Great prices on some things, I agree. Whole bean coffees at $5.99 pound (altho' you had to weight and price it yourself, ala Wegman's produce), 3 artichokes for $1 (that's getting close to Castroville pricing), half and half for $1.49 qt (no 1/2 gallons, tho'). Even the lobster seemed cheap and, after checking the internet, their $6.99 was the same as some Maine "right on the docks" places are charging.

                    1. re: JessKidden
                      shabbystorm May 17, 2009 06:22 AM

                      I respect the Gourmet.

                      Always Consider myself a foodie based on the Wikipedia definition
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foodie

                      This may help those who post on the board as a hobby and for fun understand the uncompromising standards a Gourmet demands.

                      Agree Top Tomato is not a Gourmet destination like Dean and Deluca.

              2. JerzeyShore May 3, 2009 11:01 AM

                Just got back from this new store and well worth the trip from the shore area. GREAT - selection, prices and overall value. This new store is in a league of its own and nothing like the any of the prior Top Tomato stores. Sure to be a success in the Freehold area.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JerzeyShore
                  JerzeyShore Jun 2, 2009 11:05 AM

                  UPDATE - After a few more visits things have taken a real dive. I can see from the posters here that many are not happy with this Top Tomato and I can understand why. I guess I can default to my original comments in this thread which I made last December and January. Bottom line is that they are simply mediocre in terms of quality and pricing.

                2. shabbystorm Apr 30, 2009 05:22 PM

                  Worth the trip. Packed again today!
                  It is a full service market.
                  The fruits and vegetables are really CHEAP, less expensive than Englishtown market.
                  Had a very good spinach pie!
                  Rotisserie chicken also excellent.
                  Chatting with some Staten Island transplants while waiting on line, they were raving about their stuffed breads too!

                  1. j
                    jsfein Apr 29, 2009 04:01 PM

                    What a zoo on opening day!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jsfein
                      MishyPoo Apr 29, 2009 05:38 PM

                      I never saw that parking lot so crowded. I went in to check it out and I could barely move! Needless to say, I left fast! I dont like crowds or long lines LOL. Luckily I live only minutes away and will be there many times after all the Grand Opening bru haha dies down lol. BUT....it is a gorgeous store! They did a great job....and the specialty areas look FANTASTIC!

                      xoxo,
                      Michelle

                      1. re: MishyPoo
                        Tapas52 Apr 29, 2009 06:10 PM

                        What bad economy?....hahahah

                    2. shabbystorm Apr 20, 2009 12:19 PM

                      Passed by
                      Freehold store Sign
                      Opening Wed April 29th

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: shabbystorm
                        NJDolfan Apr 23, 2009 09:32 AM

                        Where is the Freehold location?

                        1. re: NJDolfan
                          JessKidden Apr 23, 2009 10:53 AM

                          Corner of 537 South (West Main St.) and Wemrock Rd., strip mall across the street from Moore's. Briefly an Acme.

                          Edit- Wait a second, the OP posted the address...DUH!

                          1. re: NJDolfan
                            r
                            Rev Tim Apr 23, 2009 10:55 AM

                            Right next to Raintree plaza, where Acme was.

                            1. re: Rev Tim
                              MishyPoo Apr 28, 2009 05:03 PM

                              Top Tomato is opening tomorrow, Wed the 29th!
                              I cant wait!!!!!

                              xoxo,
                              Michelle

                        2. t
                          Toucan Dec 31, 2008 04:15 PM

                          I work in Manalapan but I live in Staten Island and I shop at the Top Tomato in Great Kills almost weekly. The produce, meat and deli are fresher and half the price of Wegmans. They carry prepared meals and dairy products and of course bread fom Brooklyn. Although not as large as a supermarket I can be in out very quickly even on a Saturday. There are never less than 4 cashiers at any given time and are very quick. I agree they are pricey on other household goods but one can always go to a supermarket or wholesale club for those items on a monthly basis. They also have a fresh fish market called Top Fish inside but it is a seperate concession, also very good. I think this store will give the nearby Foodtown a run for the money.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Toucan
                            JerzeyShore Jan 1, 2009 07:31 AM

                            No doubt the SI store is a good place to shop which we discovered about 20 years ago.
                            We still go to Pastosa on Richmond Ave. and not the one in Manalapan because of the people and quality of product. I'm convinced that if you want Italian food or to dine out SI is the place to go. That said I still stand behind my comments above which are meant for the Brick store. Did not mean to imply they are bad, just simply OK.

                            1. re: JerzeyShore
                              Tapas52 Jan 5, 2009 07:54 PM

                              We just had a belated Xmas party with family tonight...all catered by Top Tomato in Brick. It was enjoyed by all.......Cold Antipasto, Eggplant Rollatini, Chicken Sorrentino, Paramount Bakery Bread, Pastries from Caputo's in Long Branch, assorted Fruits and Espresso......& some home made red wine! Top Tomato is a wonderful store give it a try.

                              1. re: Tapas52
                                MishyPoo Mar 23, 2009 05:08 PM

                                I go to the Brick Top Tomato because it has a really good meat selection at a great value. I am psyched that they are opening up right near my house in Freehold. They are not trying to be Wegmans, they have been around much longer than any of us have known Wegmans. I used to shop there over 20 yrs ago in Brooklyn NY when it was mainly a produce market.

                                xoxo,
                                Michelle

                          2. JerzeyShore Dec 28, 2008 10:35 PM

                            I have been to both the Hyland Blvd store on Staten Island and the store on Brick Blvd in Brick, NJ and they are both small but competent markets but not really worth a very long
                            drive to try the Top Tomato expeience. Mainly a limited selection of just average fruit and meat at a fair price. Groceries of any other sort are very limited and over priced.

                            Bottom line is they are simply a convenience store trying to compete with Wegmans but does not come close in either size, selection, price or even convenience. With their one or two chashiers you will feel like you are shopping in the 1950's. If you decide to go to brick wear a jacket or sweater as they keep the store temp so low you will freeze otherwize. I guess this is a tactic to add shelf life to their produce, which sits out in the open and takes up a good portion of the space in the store.

                            1. Bossa_Nova Dec 28, 2008 05:51 PM

                              Its a produce market with a pretty good butcher and also some baked goods. Carries some Italian specialties. Here the website:

                              http://www.toptomatosi.com/

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Bossa_Nova
                                Tapas52 Dec 28, 2008 06:14 PM

                                Originally a Staten Island market on Hyland Blvd & Forest ave locations.....they also now do some catering.

                              Show Hidden Posts