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Jun 16, 2010 04:29 PM

The Fresh Market coming to Montvale - Thoughts?

I just found out that The Fresh Market will be building a store in Montvale. I heard of them before, and the things I've read about them seem to be positive. But after taking a look at their website, they look just about as terrifyingly expensive as Whole Foods.

So, for someone like me who's more of a Fairway/Stew Leonard's/Corrado's fan, could this store make it into my rotation, or is it mostly pretentious hype?

P.S. Bergen County could really use a full Stew Leonard's store and a Wegman's. (Yeah, Wegman's can be a bit expensive at times, but usually not crazily so and most of their stuff is great, so I can live with it.)

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  1. If this is the same as the Fresh Market in University City in Philly, Don't hold your breath waiting for it to be good.

    1. Wow. Can't believe it's been just over a year since I made this post. The store opened a couple of weeks ago, and I made the trek to the edge of Bergen County/NJ to check this place out, expecting to walk in and walk out. But...

      Be still by beating heart. A pretentious highbrow supermarket chain that I actually like? Yep!

      The place has a highbrow appearance, similar to Whole Foods. Classical music plays on the loudspeakers at Metallicaesque levels. (Seriously, the music is nice, but it's loud!) Dark wood and ambient lighting abound. The crowd is mostly what you'd expect for the area on a weekday morning. Mostly affluent stay-at-home moms and a few miscellaneous types wandering about (like me).

      But this place actually has some good stuff for fair prices! Now we need to get real here. If you think you're going to get any $1.99 per pound deli meats here like you sometimes can at the Clifton Corrado's. you're crazier than I am. And they have plenty of expensive yuppie food throughout the store.

      But there were a lot of items they looked great and were fairly priced. Prepared salads all looked fresh and most hovered around the $5.99 per pound price. Not bad! I got some rotini salad with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. I can't wait to try it! Deli prices were fair too. Their house brand over roasted turkey breast and Virginia ham were $7.49 each and good quality. The bakery had 4 pks. of lemon squares and muffins for $3.99 each. Not bad for the size of the packaging and the quality of the ingredients (the lemon bars were made with butter, for example). They had perfectly ripe peaches for $.69 per pound. That's a bargain!

      The staff was very friendly and helpful. The woman who served me at the deli counter insisted that I had to try some of their wings, and she gave me one to sample. I tried a buffalo wing, and it was delicious. A touch expensive at $7.99 per pound, but something I would definitely get once in a while given the quality.

      Overall, I enjoyed the trip, and felt I got a decent amount of stuff for my nearly $100. I was impressed with the store, and I will definitely return. Any highbrow store that can win my lowbrow self over has to be doing something right.

      1. Well, we were over at the Anthropologie Store in Woodcliff Lake (Just love that store!) and realized that this new place was only a stone's throw away, so we thought we'd give it a look.


        If this place makes it in NNJ, with fairly sophisticated food tastes and knowledge of prices, I'll be surprised. #1 factor: FAIRWAY. Better in every way, and only 10 minutes away. This place was a big disappointment. Produce section reminiscent of A & P, nothing special, and prices ordinary. Deli counter-- some decent-looking prepared salads, not bad, deli meats ordinary, some overcooked pork loin and pork roasts. Cold cuts-- their own brand, no ham off the bone, no fresh turkey, all processed stuff--nothing special here either! Olives-- most of them pretty ordinary, doused in vegetable oil (I'd guess soybean oil) (Yikes!!) and rolling in at $9.99/lb. Fairway olives-- worlds better, and $5.99/lb!!

        Even Whole Foods beats this place!

        But enemy #1 of this place is Fairway, there's just no reason to go to Fresh Mkt over Fairway. Fairway is better in every way, by quality, selection and prices. Nuff said.

        I suppose the bulk of their stores in the SouthEast can fare better, the place might stand out down there over Piggly Wiggly et al, but here in the NY Metro they are barking up the wrong tree, IMHO.

        3 Replies
        1. re: menton1

          My sentiments exactly. I was in there the other night and was trying to figure out who this place appeals to. We live in Saddle River, but always go to Fairway, very quick ride and I find myself in Market Basket once a week. These two run circles around Fresh Market. Their fish was tooo
          expensive, I'll stick to Peters in Midland Park. Market Baskets produce is my favorite as well as their bakery. I think Fresh Market will have initial visits by people just to see what its all about, but I don't see many return trips, certainly not us.

          Market Basket
          300 Sicomac Ave Ste 2, Wyckoff, NJ 07481

          1. re: menton1

            Down here in Broward County, Floria it is tops compared to the other markets including WholeFoods.

            I will be visiting Bergen County in 2 weeks and will let u know how the store compares to theone in Florida

            1. re: jpr54_1

              No offense, but the contest is tougher in NJ, for sure. (I had family live in Florida for many years so I know what the food scene there is like.)

              Don't get me wrong, as I said in my post I did like the place. While you're here, check out Fairway in Paramus too. I'd like to see how you think the two places compare.

          2. That's funny, I often visit Fresh Market after stopping in at Anthropologie, too!

            Fairway has no equal, but I duck into Fresh Market for Lacinato Kale & Mexican Coke & a few indian simmer sauces I like. The produce & flowers are decent and there's some interesting cookies. Lines are always short.....probably not a good thing, long term.

            24 Replies
            1. re: Snorkelvik

              Just got the offical word that Wegmans is coming to Montvale, NJ.

              1. re: bobbyc408

                How/where did you hear this? When's it coming? I searched online to see if anybody else knew about this, and I found a really brief post about this from someone else on a really obscure message board. Other than that, I found nothing! If this is true, it would be INCREDIBLE news! Now bring on Stew Leonard's!

                1. re: zhelder

                  & Fairway will be coming to Nanuet.

                  1. re: michele cindy

                    Now that one I heard. Good news for that area. They're also opening in West Paterson (that's right, West Paterson, not "Woodland Park") early next month.

                      1. re: smilingal

                        When the they tear down the Nauet Mall, Farirway will be an anchor store.

                    1. re: zhelder

                      I am a Wegmans fan so when i saw this, i called Wegmans and spoke with Consumer Affairs. Yes, they are opening up in Montvale (Mercedes Dr and West Grand Ave) and it will open in about three years! as happy as i am about this news, i can't help but think it will be replacing Dipiero's (wegman's certainly did not say this, but i am making an assumption based on location); and if it is in fact being built there, I will have such mixed emotions. The official announcement came out April 30.

                      1. re: cornporn

                        THREE YEARS?!? That's quite a while to wait. Still, great news!

                        1. re: cornporn

                          This is the Dipero's site. They have been trying to get something developed here for a number of years. It looks to be the end of an era in Bergen Co. They are the last farmstand in this area. The other two that were here turned into A&P and Tice's Corner . I'm looking forward to Wegmans, but its a shame it has to go there.

                          1. re: double0

                            I worked in that neighborhood for a couple of years. Always enjoyed taking a walk to Dipiero's for some soup at lunch. Good memories.

                            1. re: double0

                              It is not quite the end of an era in Bergen County just yet...we still have Demarest Farms in Hillsdale.


                              1. re: Bosmer

                                for now. Demarest has been "on the market" for several years now.

                                1. re: cornporn

                                  Worth noting: The Demarests took farmland preservation money — $3 million or so — in exchange for development rights, so even if it's sold, it's not like it's going to become a Home Depot.

                                  1. re: billpitcher

                                    very nice to know. thank you for proving that information.

                                    1. re: cornporn

                                      meant to say, "providing that information".

                              2. re: double0

                                according to the Bergen Record today, Depiero's is selling to Wegman's 27 or its 55 acres; which houses its huge produce market. according to the article, they will still farm in Montvale.

                                1. re: cornporn

                                  There was also a report on 1010 WINS this morning.

                              3. re: cornporn

                                Well, this is bittersweet news. Yay to Wegman's but Boo to killing a family farm market to build it. Why do they have to take something good? They can't take over any of the horrible Pathmark, A&P, or, the worst of all, Stop & Plop locations in the area?

                                I've never been to Dipiero's, but now I have to make it my mission to get there before they're gone for good.

                                1. re: zhelder

                                  according to the article in The Record, the county offered them $20mm but i guess Wegmans was willing to pay more, so its not as if it was taken away. what used to be farmland and not considered a true suburb of NYC 50 years ago, is no longer. its prime real estate now and that comes with a hefty cost burden. its too bad, bc it seems like all the local shops are being taken over by the "mall" stores-ugh. But agree, yay to wegmans, but its coming at a cost to the community.

                                  1. re: cornporn

                                    Agree with cp - Though I remember Wegmans being an interesting store, I'm so disappointed that all this area seems to be good for is opening up more stores and increasing commercial selling space. I guess that's the case in many places, but it seems Bergen county has a special affinity for building and building and building. I'm guessing this could get off topic if I keep writing, but I'm truly disappointed in Dipiero's, and in all the other small stores and small farms that sold out (or were forced out). The entire character of Bergen county has changed...for the worse I think...

                                    1. re: lovessushi

                                      I never heard of Wegmans when I lived in Bergen County. After moving to Central NJ and shopping at a few of them, I predicted Montvale would be the place for them in Bergen. I remember as a child going to Tice's Farm to buy pumpkins and getting a cup of cider. I'm typing this on a Mac purchased at the mall where that farm was. I live in Middlesex county now where there's still a lot of farm/undeveloped land. My family came down for Mother's Day and we picked strawberries nearby. And slowly but surely retail outlets are popping up on them.

                                  2. re: zhelder

                                    I agree - why not take an existing built up location & just renovate? Boo hiss Wegman's - great way to introduce yourselves to the community - by outbidding the County and depleting us of more green space.

                                    1. re: Snorkelvik

                                      I think Wegman's needs much more space than an existing location would provide.