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Feb 1, 2010 11:51 AM

aron's kissena farms

their website is up - the druit logo reminds me of pomegranate's logo.

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  1. Can't seem to find the website. Can you please help? Thanks.

    4 Replies
    1. re: glen3a ; been up for three weeks, though- nothing to click on, just the front page. Prices seem OK from the flyer I got in the pennysaver, but definitely not as competitive as Brooklyn. :(

      1. re: latke

        "definitely not as competitive as Brooklyn"
        how do you know? did you go already?
        grand opening is supposed to be 02/02

        1. re: Joe Berger

          I based this on the prices in the sale flyer- KRM and Mosiha's discount easily have better prices on these sale items.

          1. re: latke

            i think the general prices are better than brachs glatt. Parking is great. Once they get everything working (hopefully soon), it will be the best thing that ever happened in queens.

    2. Went there today. The sale stuff was priced great, but the rest of the stuff was only so-so. Same as Brach's and Supersol. But they have everything! and more! The problem was the place was beyond mobbed. One hour and 45 minutes on line to check out!

      3 Replies
      1. re: chu

        and you waited?! you're much more patient than I would be!

          1. re: chu

            Many shoppers weren't even Jewish. It is affecting Associates next door, let alone Brach's and Supersol. That universal appeal makes it verrry different than Pomegranate or Gourmet Glatt.
            It is a collaboration with the original Kissena Farms so it has all kinds of interesting produce. It just 'happens' to be kosher.

          2. I was there bright and early this morning at 8 o'clock. The place was a zoo! I bought a bunch of the sale stuff but didn't have time to really explore. Waited in line for about half an hour... I think the biggest problem was that not all the registers were open, plus many items were not in the scanner system. Also, the credit card machines couldn't swipe so they had to type in the numbers manually. I am sure that once things are more settled, the wait times will go down dramatically. I must say, it was really nice to have somewhere to park!

            1. I was pretty underwhelmed by the whole experience. Forget about the prices for a minute (which were also underwhelming). The layout of the store was awkward and disorganized. The lighting drab and depressing. The lack of music made shopping an eerie experience. It just didn't look finished and polished. They tried to do the Pomegranate thing with fresh breads, deli, fish and prepared packaged salads etc. But it just felt like it was all slapped together without the final touch and added effort. By 7 PM things still were being shelved. Product was everywhere. A few times items were misplaced. They have everything you would need under one roof and parking. But what a shame ... they just didn't go all the way.

              16 Replies
              1. re: qurlym

                I went today for the first time. Some thoughts . . .

                having parking is good, but there are no spots really close to the entrance. I was particularly dismayed to see no handicapped spaces anywhere near the entrance. This is a concern and will make it difficult for a particular relative of mine. The layout, as reported above, did seem odd. It was quite busy, but the aisles seemed pretty narrow even when weren't many people in them. Maybe they should have smaller carts, because it's almost impossible to get past someone else's cart in an aisle. I'm not so up on meat prices, but I did think what I saw looked pretty good. Chicken wings (esp. right before Super Bowl weekend) were 99 cents a pound. Cutlets (family pack-size) were only 2.99/lb, which is about the lowest I've ever seen with the Queens Vaad hechsher. (I have no interest in debating the hashgchot of places in Brooklyn like the infamous (at least on this board) Pic-n-Pay, and the low prices at such places.) I was really surprised to see what was identified as Filet Mignon, which I thought was not done here in the US. Certainly not cheap at $23.99/lb. (if I recall correctly), and I don't think I'd make it myself, since I tend to prefer meat well-done, and I know that's blasphemous for such a cut, but for those looking for it, it was available today. I was disappointed, on the other hand, that they were not carrying bison. I was really hoping for a source for it again; I haven't been able to get it reliably in quite a while. I didn't look closely at the prepared foods counters; I never do take-out, and it was too crowded around there to just look around. If it's calmer the next time I'm there, I'll look around a bit more. I did find some whole wheat Israeli couscous, which I was looking for, and hadn't seen anywhere else, but on the whole, I don't think I saw all that much that I haven't seen anywhere else. The check-out lines were on the long side, but I had few enough items to allow me on the express line. However, even with only two people ahead of me on that line, it took longer than it should have. I was also surprised that the "packer" was packing my items into their plastic bags, even though I had handed the cashier my own reusable bags. Who, in this day and age, doesn't understand this concept?! So, if I were to give it a grade, I'd say it was a C+/B- so far. We'll see if that changes as time passes.

                1. re: queenscook

                  Bison: the announcer said to ask if there's a cut of meat you want and they'll try to accomodate. I remember when all the stores including Mauzone used to sell it but I guess it didn't take off? But if they can carry 'beef cheeks' they should be able to carry bison.
                  One essential thing I couldn't find: while they have an extensive selection of ice cream, they don't have the good pareve ice cream. I couldn't find the Turtle Mountain line, which is the best I've tried (especially the coconut milk flavors)...I could only find them at the Queens Health Emporium.

                  1. re: queenscook

                    Queenscook: I couldn't resist commenting on your surprise that the "packer" put your items in a plastic bag. This has happened to me so many times, but only at kosher supermarkets (Gourmet Glatt, etc.) I always put my reusable bags right in front of my items, but as as you said, the concept is not understood.

                    1. re: Lissy63

                      happened to me several times as well- but in regular supermarkets too. The cashier (who also packs the bags) in Shoprite refused to pack my items in my canvas bags- saying that if I wanted them packed that way I'll have to do it myself.

                      In some of the kosher supermarkets, they pack meat or something fragile in a plastic bag, then put the plastic bag in my canvas tote.

                      1. re: Lissy63

                        How many people use reusable bags? Plastic is a lot faster...they need to do everything they can to speed up the lines.

                        1. re: arifree

                          In this day and age, I can't believe anyone questions the use of reusable bags. It's the way of the world, and it's a shame that you are suggesting that more waste is preferable to the cashiers becoming more efficient. Anyway, it takes no more time to pack a customer's own bag than the store-supplied bag. In fact, the reusable bags I have are larger, have a flat bottom, and are far stronger, making them easier to pack than the small plastic ones. But even if that were not the case, it's the right thing to do, and almost every other food/grocery store knows it, deals with it, and even is selling their own bags to profit from it (even in Israel, by the way). It almost became law in NYC that if you didn't use your own bags, you'd have to pay 5 cents per plastic bag. How a brand new store can open and not train their staff to deal with this is really beyond me. People are comparing this store to Whole Foods? Well Whole Foods has stopped using plastic bags entirely; it's time the frum world started seeing their place in the larger picture. Halacha certainly recognizes the importance of not wasting (bal taschit); now let's just hope that it filters down to what Jews actually do.

                          1. re: queenscook

                            but everything is packaged in plastic. The meat, the fruit, even the 100% organic tofu is packaged in plastic.
                            I save the plastic bags and use them to recycle the foil and plastic bottles.

                            1. re: arifree

                              This is not the place to debate the overuse of things like plastic bags. If you are interested, there's tons of info about it available. For me, it's one little thing I can do to reduce my footprint in the world. I can only try to model what I consider to be proper behavior. If it's not of importance to you, then it just isn't. And I don't recycle anywhere near enough to fill the typical six or seven plastic bags I get on a shopping trip. I put my recycling directly into the recycling cans, so the bags are simply a waste and get put into valuable landfill.

                              I don't know what you mean when you say that everything is packaged in plastic. The fruit I buy is fresh and not in plastic. Meat is on a styrofoam tray with a small piece of plastic wrap around it. (Though the bison I found is actually packed in plastic, because it obviously isn't butchered and packed at the store). Tofu, OK, yes, it's in plastic, but it obviously has to be packed in something. But my whole shopping order? That does NOT have to be put in plastic bags, when I have reusable ones.

                              1. re: queenscook

                                I just don't understand the special knock on Kissena Farms since I have never seen anyone ask to use reusable bags at any supermarket before.

                                This place has so much to offer to the kosher consumer and I have to respectfully say that I thought your review was missing the point. Everyone I've bumped into is very excited about this place.

                      2. re: queenscook

                        Queenscook, they do sell bison now. I got a kick out of seeing it there after reading your post,. It was definitely not there the past few times but they had a large selection tonight, including ground, london broil, and a bunch more. I believe the company was Solomon.

                        1. re: ysteichman

                          Great, thanks. I'll try to stop by later today to pick some up.

                          1. re: ysteichman

                            I noticed on the back of the package that Solomon's also offers kosher goat. That would be popular with many ethnic customers that shop at Aron's but I want to try it, too!
                            And when you start to think about it, you realize that many other ethnic items that just happen to be kosher could be available to the mainstream Jewish market. Another opportunity: fancy kosher dairy cakes. Most kosher bakeries don't even bother because most Jews want pareve cakes to serve with their meat meals on Shabbos. But the non-kosher will buy them for any time and as long as it is kosher, Aron's can sell them. Eventually Jews will get the idea to serve them for Melava Malka or Shalosh Seudos when the day is longer.

                            Today I saw rack of lamb, Empire chicken fat and their olive bar. Still no duck yet...even Wasserman's carries that.

                            1. re: arifree

                              No way non-kosher consumers are going to be buying $40 cakes, dairy or not. Non-kosher bakeries are way cheaper, even the ones that have really fancy pastry. The housing right near Kissena Farms, outside the more central Jewish area, is heavily low-income, and I can't imagine there will be much demand for such high-priced pastry.

                              I was back there today, and was pleased that they now have bison (thanks for the heads-up, ysteichman), but I'm still not so wowed overall. The layout is tight and somewhat awkward, as someone else mentioned. Some prices were really good, others were standard or even high. And I saw very little that I haven't seen elsewhere. The "olive bar" you mentioned is a perfect example of a halfway effort. The variety is there, but nothing was labeled. I noticed two big containers of mixed olives that looked the same, until I looked closely and saw one had chili peppers and crushed red pepper flakes. That's great, but with no signage, someone who might not have looked closely might have been very surprised if it happens that they mistakenly bought the spicy olives and didn't want anything that spicy.

                              The lines were still slow, with not all items in the computer yet. This slows things down, when the cashiers have to manually key in items. And they are still stocking the shelves during busy shopping times, which takes space in the aisles. This is definitely something that should be primarily done before or after hours. I'll return, certainly, but it doesn't mean I'll stop shopping on Main Street, which is closer to my home.

                              1. re: queenscook

                                Their dairy tiramisus run out very quickly. I think there's definitely a market for more kosher dairy pastry.
                                I just can't see myself going to Main Street anymore
                                Wasserman's: too small and cramped
                                Brach's: no parking, produce and they close early
                                Supersol: unacceptable quality. They sell things that are just about to expire and we've had several experiences with moldy cheese and the like. They offer some parking but it's easy to get your car blocked by someone else.

                        2. re: qurlym

                          Seems like you didn't go to the same store that I did. The Aron's that I checked out had fancy cakes like you'd find in a real French bakery. Cream cheese rugalach (other dairy cakes coming soon). Meats like prime grade angus rib roasts and hangar steaks. Homemade salmon pastrami and gravlax. Queens never had anything like this before.

                          1. re: arifree

                            I agree with arifree. They have a great selection of prepared foods, bakery, meat, frozen food and groceries. Reminded me of whole foods. Very little wait for the cashiers even though the store was crowded.

                        3. thanks for posting your impressions everyone - as soon as I have extra money to blow on fancy foods, I'll go check it out myself. I love sampling stuff (to buy), so I don't want to go with a low check book balance. last time I was in TJ's to buy $6 worth of peanut butter, I walked out with $60 worth of delicates - I just could not help myself.
                          as for the plastic bag "issue" - suburban stores are not as PC evolved as Manhattan (let alone kosher stores) so I would not hold their reluctance to use your canvas bags against them. they'll all catch on eventually - just continue to set a good example.