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Stamford - Bye bye A&P, hello Fresh Market

Another great addition for Stamford....the A&P on High Ridge is closing in 10 days and by fall, we will have a Fresh Market. I FULLY welcome it! I hope it lives up to the Fresh Markets I've been to down south.

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/ci_12...

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  1. Anything has to be better! I've never been to a dumpier store like this one - I stopped shopping there about a year ago. In addition, there is ONE exit out of the dumpy parking lot - guess that won't change!

    1. Another Fresh Market is opening where Shaw's was in Westport. Latest word is it will be open in September. I've never been to one, but anything will be better than Shaw's!

      1. At least for this particular store, the article says it's still operated by A&P. I think they're renovating it to their A&P Fresh Market format.

        "Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., parent of A&P, Waldbaum's, Super Fresh, the Food Emporium, Food Basics USA, Pathmark and A&P Liquor, plans to reopen the store in September."

        Continue to be disappointed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RoleModel

          "The store, at slightly more than 20,000 square feet, will close May 25 for more than three months of renovations to become a Fresh Market. The supermarket will undergo changes similar to those done last year when the Food Emporium on West Putnam Avenue was transformed into an A&P Fresh Market, and an A&P store on East Putnam Avenue in Greenwich was unveiled as a Fresh Market.

          Like the Greenwich stores, the A&P in Stamford, which has been in place for 40 years, will undergo a complete transformation, offering a wider variety of fresh and prepared foods, as well as an expanded deli shop, floral shop and a bakery"

        2. We have one in Mt. Kisco and it is pretty much a regular old supermarket, but nicer, but, the meats are excellent.

          1. Oh wow....that is so disappointing. I know the Westport store is going to be a Fresh Market: http://www.thefreshmarket.com/index.html

            I didn't realize that A&P had a fresh market format. I totally misread the article.

            1. The Stamford A&P already charges at least a third more than any other store in town.

              Brace yourselves for even higher prices.

              8 Replies
              1. re: wookiedoodle

                based on greenwich stores, black shelving, weird lights, more fancy foods, less regular stuff. and, yes, more expensive. i think they want whole foods people to shop in their store. i won't go there anymore, as there are better regular supermarket options, and better fancy ones too. An expensive A&P, who thinks up this dumb stuff?

                1. re: CTgüera

                  I agree! Anyway, they can never compete with Whole Foods so they shouldn't even try!!

                  1. re: CTgüera

                    The Fresh Market in Pleasantville/Ossining, converted from A&P, has not produced a revolution in the food scene here. Have switched to local Stop & Shop mega store.

                    1. re: Nancy C

                      Missing some A&P items I can't find elsewhere in Stamford, I ventured up to the A&P Fresh market (formerly Food Emporium) in Bedford. It's...an A&P. Better lighting, cuter displays--more baskets and the like--but the same merchandise. I waited at the fish/fancy meat counter 5 minutes, yelling "Helloooo?" periodically, then asked a passing clerk for help. He advised me that the counter was closed--this at 5:15 on a Saturday. A "closed" sign would have been nice. The Bedford version is a smallish store and didn't have what I was looking for anyway. So, don't expect much.

                      1. re: MommaJ

                        The Mt. Kisco store is very nice and has excellent meats, although I never buy fish in a supermarket. It is what it is, it's still an A&P but it's clean and they have a good selection.

                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                          If you're going to Mt Kisco, why not go another mile up 117 and go to Shoprite, which is a much better supermarket.

                        2. re: MommaJ

                          the bedford store is dreadful. what might you need and it may be available in New Canaan or up at Scotts Corner Market just over the NY border.

                        3. re: Nancy C

                          Actually that store in Pleasantville used to be a Food Emporium. It WAS nicer than your normal A&P. They've converted most of the FE's into A&P (I don't care about the Fresh name, it's just another name for a crappy supermarket). They kept the Food Emporium in Yorktown because there is an A&P a few blocks away and they don't want to have to give up the FE location for fear of even more competition moving into town (along with Turco's, whose lease A&P actually owns , since it used to be an A&P).

                    2. We had such a conversion in Scarsdale. The store's a bit nicer, with more selections and often better produce, but on the whole it's still A&P. The point seems to be to more clearly differentiate the A&P "Fresh" properties as an upscale destination vis a vis the nearby Pathmark Stores the same company also owns and operates. You will find many overlapping inventory items are less expensive at Pathmark. More fussy condiments are available at Fresh. More lines of Hispanic specialties at Pathmark.Better beer choices at Fresh. etc.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: surman

                        A&P is, quite possibly, the worst supermarket I've ever stepped foot...Ridiculously high prices, poor management, unkept/empty shelves, and at least 4 "please excuse our pricing error in this week's circular" every week (apparently they don't employ editors at headquarters).

                        1. re: sixelagogo

                          I actually quite like our relatively small A&P in Croton. Very well run, decent enough produce, good selection of some "specialty" items for such a small store, generally friendly staff, and good cashier line management, at least at the times I go. I absolutely avoid the huge ones in Cortlandt Town Center and yorktown, and I was really surprised at the sad state of the small one in Shrub Oak when I visited last weekend when I was in the area. I think the management of the individual stores makes a big difference.

                      2. I wouldn't expect much change if there is an A&P Fresh Market. The A&P in Mamaroneck became and A&P Fresh Market a while back and it's the same crappy store it always was. It just got a face lift is all. Still a poor selection of food and the worst service ever. The registers are always understaffed in the busiest of times and a cashier once refused to bag my groceries because I had my own bags. I wouldn't have minded this so much if she hadn't told me she wasn't going to do it AFTER SHE RANG EVERYTHING UP. This meant I was desperately scrambling to bag my stuff while someone else's stuff was coming down the belt. The cashier completely ignored how that person's groceries were crushing mine. I sent a complaint form email and got no response.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Avalondaughter

                          Consumer reports recently rated supermarkets and had A&P, Walbaums and the other chains owned by the company at the bottom. All these comments just reinforces the ratings.

                          As far as Avonlondaughter, I had a similar eposode where the cashier refused to bag my stuff. Let me just say that "creating a scene" really worked--I'd be suprised if the cashier was not fired.

                          1. re: jayjay

                            Yes, A&P is really just rebranding, hoping no one will notice they still stink. Like Sugar Smacks became Smacks, Sugar Crisp became Golden Crisp (did Sugar Bear become Golden Bear? How Californian), and Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC. All these brands became much healthier when they shed those unwanted names.

                        2. The conversion of the Scarsdale A&P to "Fresh" included eliminating the live lobster tank from the seafood department.

                          1. Is this Fresh market from down south or the A&P one like in Greenwich, because I wasn't impressed with that at all?

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: nbermas

                              Don't know 'bout Down South, y'all. 'Round these parts we got A&P Fresh, which seems to be a euphemism for "recently renovated but still suboptimally smallish A&P supermarket."

                              The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company operates A&P Fresh and half a dozen other supermarket brands -- it recently acquired Pathmark -- along the eastern seaboard. See http://www.aptea.com/stores.asp.

                              The Fresh Market is a different company, with stores mostly in the Southeast and Midwest -- and "coming soon" to Westport, CT, and Hingham, MA. See http://www.thefreshmarket.com/stores/....

                              1. re: surman

                                There is a Fresh from downsouth defintely moving to Westport and I hope in Stamford it is the one from down south. Thanks I saw the website.

                                1. re: nbermas

                                  Its not the REAL Fresh Market, nbermas. Sadly I wish it was. The title of the original article was totally misleading (which was changed shortly after I complained). It's just a crappy A&P. No interest. You are correct in the Fresh Market coming to Westport. Thats the real deal.

                                  On the plus side, it appears we've got the works of a foundation down for the Fairway in the South End.

                                  1. re: amanda3571

                                    I went down the way yesterday, I hadn't been in a very long time and I was shocked by all the buildings being built, so who are they targeting to go that way and great about Fairway but how are there prices? I used to shop there years ago when I lived in NYC, what Hotel is going in down there? I would love to see something modern and eco friendly with not outrageous prices but I am sure I am wrong. Great organic restaurants would be great.

                                      1. re: stevel

                                        Look, no matter what, the A&P was a hole- a filthy disgusting and overpriced place. Renovation is a good thing and they can call it whatever they want. It happens to be a convenient location for some of us and it has been missed for that reason while it was closed.

                            2. So are you ready for a review? Of course the place was very crowded Friday, opening day, what with general curiosity and the 15% off everything coupons, but to their credit they had a lot of registers open and packers at all of them. On the plus side, it's all very clean and bright, the topmost shelves have been lowered so I could even easily reach stuff in the back, and I can't complain about the newly paved parking lot. On the minus side, it's very cramped, especially the produce section (horrible); the aisles are narrower, so two carts passing one another are a challenge (it felt like being back in a Manhattan supermarket); all the refrigerated stuff is behind doors, like frozen stuff is--pain in the neck to have to open and close each one to get milk, yogurt, orange juice, etc., and they pull open, instead of sliding, creating another aisle crowding issue; despite the narrower aisles, which suggest more space for products, there seems to be less room for each individual brand/flavor/style (maybe because they've added more varieties and a bit more upscale stuff), so it looks like they'll have to be diligent about restocking; the product mix has changed--this may be a plus for some, but for me it meant one item I used to have to get at Stop & Shop is now available at A&P, but 3 items I used to be able to get at A&P now require a trip to Stop & Shop.

                              Were the pluses worth having to learn a brand new layout? (I'd had the old one memorized for decades, seriously, and could direct shoppers better than the employees could.) Not really. So I'll give it a giant "Meh." So even though it's the closest market for me, and the parking is easy, if it still feels as cramped and difficult to navigate once the crowds have abated, I may spend more dollars at the dreaded Super Stop & Shop--about which I've been complaining all summer!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: MommaJ

                                That part of Stamford...near the Merritt... along with it's Long Ridge counterpart is just a giant retail & culinary wasteland, save for pancakes at Lakeside. Can't even find a good liquor store up there.

                                  1. re: stevel

                                    My favorite. 5 mins away from my house. But definitely not near Exits 34 and 35.

                                    1. re: CTburgerlover

                                      and with Plum Plums and Scotts you have the trifecta a few minutes away from casa jfood as well.

                                      1. re: jfood

                                        I live 2 minutes down the road from the Westport location, and I miss having Shaws (or any supermarket) so nearby.

                                        Water, nuts, ice cream, munchies......all out of reach now.

                                        I am so tired of driving ten minutes up the post road to S and S I can't tell you.

                              2. Visited the "new" store today. They jamed alot into the original space. The asles are very narrow and difficult to have two shopping carts pass. The decor is very nice with energy efficiency and direct lighting. The dark motif offset by the shelves is very pleasant. A&P has always been more expensive than Grade A and Stop&Shop - but they seem to have added a few more points of markup. Net - use it for convenience.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: rdr1

                                  They've recently slashed prices. Their produce much improved. The sweetest red bell pepper I've ever eaten. Not Fairway or Shoprite Commerce, but now an option for North Stamford

                                  1. re: louuuuu

                                    louuuuuu: So do you like the produce at Shoprite? other choices who do you think has the best for the price but need the lower price right now. Shoprite, Stop & Shgop, Palmers, Fresh, Whole Foods or mrs. Green's? I love fresh but the income level right now has been slashed but need to continue with the nutrional, fresh products that pretty much have been cut, butchered or whatever and in the store fairly immediately. HELP!!!! Thank you

                                    1. re: nbermas

                                      Day in day out Shoprite. Esp. Commerce Park since SandS across the street and can cherry pick any specials there. Fresh doesn't have variety and is cramped space... but asparagus this week is 99/lb. Pretty easy to compare circulars or on line. Produce Pete on Channel 4 Saturday mornings is informative on what's in season and how to pick quality.

                                      When Fairway opens on Canal St in the fall, game changes. Top quality, good pricing, jawdropping national and international selection .

                                      Good luck, Nbermas. Happy Days will be here again.