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Is it me, or is Fairway in Paramus taking a turn for the worse?

Now, don't get me wrong. I still love the place. But I can't get over how much some things have changed over the past several months.

First of all, their prices on most items have gone through the roof. Now I know they couldn't maintain those ridiculous grand opening prices for long, but they held the line for quite some time on most items. But recently, the prices have skyrocketed, and their sales have become... meh, for lack of a better term. No more "pick of the week" high-end cheese specials (and no more sales on parmigiano reggiano), no more cake specials in the bakery, and ever increasing deli and produce prices. I know it's a tough economy and I know they've had to raise prices some (especially on things like coffee), but this isn't exactly a company that seems to be hurting financially.

Also, as the store has gotten busier and busier, they seem to have cut help. Waits are still manageable at the registers most of the time, but the waits at the counters, especially at the deli, can be epic. Yes, there are tons of people, and there used to be tons of help. Now, not nearly as much.

Meanwhile, the Corrados fortresses in both Wayne and Clifton seem to have been holding the line on their prices for the most part. Wayne especially has amazing prepared foods and meats that are every bit as good as Fairway's, but they're charging significantly less for their stuff. (The only beef I have with Corrado's is that they're starting to charge more for some items in Wayne than they are in Clifton, even though they originally stated that prices in both locations were the same. Still, they're charging way less than Fairway.)

Now Fairway still has a lot of positives. Their house smoked salmon, although expensive, may be the best in the country, if not the planet. Even with the price increases, most deli meats are still cheaper than what you'd pay in a typical supermarket. Their fresh coffee is great. Their cheese department is the best of any area market, hands down. And you could never get Jewish treats like the smoked salmon or noodle kugel at Corrado's.

But the huge prices increases and decreasing help have had me going there less and less recently. Is it just me?

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  1. You mentioned price increases at the top, then down below you talk about stuff being "cheaper than the supermarket". Do you have some specifics on what items are expensive in Fairway? I still find them to have better quality and lower prices on the items in there that supermarkets carry--

    In fact, I've noticed some lower pricing in the local ShopRite lately, I have a feeling that it's due to Fairway. Supermarkets are feeling its pinch.

    Corrado's is a different experience than Fairway. Lower quality means lower prices. I haven't been to Wayne, but the Corrado deli in Clifton looked poisonous last time I was there...

    5 Replies
    1. re: menton1

      OK, to get real specific...

      When Fairway opened, their hot and cold salad bars were $4.99 per pound, an incredible price, even 2 1/2 years ago. Then they raised it to $5.99. Still good, but quite an increase. Now, it's $6.99 per pound. Still cheaper than most supermarkets, which would probably charge around $7.99 per pound for comparable (but likely lower quality) items, but a big increase in the span of 2 1/2 years.

      Boar's Head deli meats were mostly $6.99 per pound when Fairway opened, again, an incredble price. The meats are now around $8.99 per pound. Still a little cheaper than the typical supermarket, but again a bit much for an increase in a 2 1/2 year period, IMHO.

      The olive bar is now $6.99 per pound, and sun dried tomatoes are $8.99 per pound.

      These are a couple of examples. On top of that, the sales haven't been nearly as good lately. For example, every few week Fairway would put parmigiano reggiano on sale for $8.99 per pound. Now, the regular price is about $16.99 per pound, and it never goes on sale anymore. Ditto for bakery cakes, which seem to sell in the $17 range now for a 7" cake. The Fairway smoked salmon used to be about $23 per pound when they opened, but went on sale every few weeks for about $16 per pound. Now, it's about $30 per pound and goes on "sale" once in a blue moon for $28 per pound.

      Meanhwhile, Corrado's in Wayne charges around $4.99 per pound for most of their prepared foods. Sun dried tomatoes are $4.99 per pound in Clifton, $6.99 per pound in Wayne (this is what I was talking about when I said Corrado's was starting to charge more for some items in Wayne, although both places are still cheaper than Fairway.)

      Now, again, I love the store, and still go there regularly. In fact, they are primarily responsible for making my mainstream supermarket very rare. I just think that they're increasing prices too much too quickly on a lot of items.

      1. re: menton1

        "Corrado's is a different experience than Fairway. Lower quality means lower prices. I haven't been to Wayne, but the Corrado deli in Clifton looked poisonous last time I was there..."

        Amen

        A few years ago, I decided to visit the famed Corrado's location in Clifton. Although the prices were good, the produce looked...not so fresh, and a lot of the packaged goods seemed to be very low-end products. However, I would still have spent additional time in the store hunting out bargains if not for the offensive smell permeating the store.

        I couldn't quite nail down the exact nature of the smell (it was not cheese!), but it was definitely unpleasant and it seemed to echo the overall unclean appearance of the store. Based on that experience, I don't plan a return visit to Corrado's anytime soon.

        1. re: Ted in Central NJ

          Ted, a few years ago Corrado's in Clifton was perhaps a bit "colorful", but it looks great nowadays. The store is really clean, the isles are less crowded, I find it a good place to shop.

        2. re: menton1

          The Wayne store might as well have a different name. It's worlds apart from the Clifton store, although I've noticed a dip in the quality of their meats since they first opened.

          Fairway is still cheaper than anyone around, and with better quality for the most part. Once their prices actually get higher than those of its competitors, I'll consider being upset. Until then, regardless of how quickly there is a change in price, it doesn't matter to me. It's expected.

          1. re: tommy

            I agree. Food prices are skyrocketing everywhere. But Fairway's prices remain lower than just about anywhere else in NNJ... Even the olive bar, which can be quite good, at 6.99 is cheaper than the horrible ones in the Supermarkets at 8.99! Bagels are good and cheaper than the average bagel store-- coffees are well priced-- And Fairway has a variety of specialty goods unmatched by any of these stores. I'm really glad Fairway is in Paramus.

        3. We moved to central NJ (Monmouth Cty.) from NYC 20+ years ago. Fairway was our go-to market in the city and boy did we miss it when we moved to NJ. Now shopping at Wegman's and Whole Foods is an option, and finally Trader Joe's came to the area as well, but there is nothing like Fairway. When we venture to the Paramus area, we always stop by and stock up on items no purveyors carry in our area.

          As for the prices, well, I see food prices skyrocketing across the board, no matter where I shop. Unfortunately, with the way things are going, I'd venture to guess the economic pressures on all food purveyors are only going to increase, and so they'll pass along the increases to their customers, either directly by price increases, or indirectly, with employee and service cutbacks.

          Even with that, I'd still prefer Fairway over anyplace else. Enjoy your shopping at Fairway, many of us wish we had one nearby!

          9 Replies
          1. re: tomwocat

            I wish they would open a Fairway here in the Marlboro/Manalapan area. Wegman's prices keep going through the roof and I find that their produce has not been up to par lately at all. I love Fairway and have been to the Paramus store when visiting friends. It is wonderful...and yes, they carry alot of items that can't be found elsewhere.

            1. re: charmel

              They are under a major expansion, they opened up 4 new stores in 2 years, perhaps CNJ is on their list...I believe I heard that these expansions are due to a new partnership with overseas investors!

              1. re: charmel

                And it would be great if they opened a Wegman's in Northern NJ! Fairway's departments, even with the price increases, are cheaper than Wegman's, but Wegman's is a full supermarket, and has some awesome stuff too (and their general grocery prices aren't bad)! They're both great places!

                1. re: zhelder

                  We had this discussion about Wegman's a few years ago... Apparently, there just isn't enough space in Bergen for the size of store they want, and they don't want to go into any other county in NNJ.

                  For something different, you can take a little trek to Stew Leonard's in Yonkers-- a very unique supermarket.

                  1. re: menton1

                    I love Stew Leonard's too, Menton. I've been there three times already, and I'm planning for trip #4 soon. I wish they'd build a store in NJ too, but I guess the space issue is a concern for them, too.

                    I know space in Bergen County is tight, but I find it hard to believe there's nowhere they can build. I'd think Mahwah would be great for a Stew Leonard's, and maybe Wayne for a Wegman's (not Bergen County, but close enough)!

                    1. re: zhelder

                      It's not just space -- Bergen County is a miserable place to do business. Taxes are high, but that's true everywhere in NJ. The bigger issue is all the antiquated regulations and hassles from inspectors and the like. I've heard people say that there's no reason to build in Bergen County when there are other parts of the state that are also attractive with fewer hassles.

                      On the main topic of this thread, I will only say that Fairway destroys Wegmans. Wegmans does a few things well -- their corn is great right now -- but the service sucks and the stores are deceptively large. Once you dismiss all the low quality crap food they're selling at Wegmans, the portion of the store that actually impresses you is pretty small. The same is not true of Fairway. They don't waste their space by stocking low quality foods in huge quantities. And they don't banish foods to an "international" section in the corner -- they keep things organized by food type, which is more efficient for the shopper and, frankly, a lot less provincial than Wegmans.

                      1. re: glutton

                        I shop in the Manalapan Wegmans on a fairly regular basis and find your observations very, very accurate.

                        When I began shopping there years ago it seemed like a better bet than Shoprite or Food Town. I was impressed at the "Health Food" section although WholeFoods is certainly much better because they specialize in those products.

                        About 2 years ago i was talking to another customer while in Wegmans and she told me the Original Wegman's owner had died and it was since then the entire chain had been going in the wrong direction. I'm almost 70 years old now and Rte-9 terrifies me so I'm not going to travel very far to food shop.

                        By the way where is the nearest Fairway store to Manalapan?

                        1. re: bogsidebunny

                          It's up in Paramus unfortunately; if Rt 9 is terrifying, the Parkway may well be even moreso :(

                    2. re: menton1

                      I was so disapointed in Stew Leonard's. It reminded me of a Disney ride, only 1 way through the whole place, winding around & around - I could never shop there on a regular basis. It's such a time-waster.

                      Fairway is still a prize, it's the only place I'll buy seafood. I love the way the deli guy slices my salmon & always gives me a taste. Then I visit with the coffee guy or the cheese guy, and then check out the seafood counter. It's like a bunch of mini-purveyors in 1 location. And it's the real deal. Not gimmicky like Stew's.

              2. Fairway in Manhattan has raised prices at a huge clip these past few years. Just a couple of years back they offered the best value in the city, but today that has changed, their goal is to match the highest prices offered by their competitors, They seem to be gambling that while they'll lose a few customers enough will pay the higher price. It remains to be seen if this strategy works, as Trader Joes has picked up business at Fairway's expense.

                9 Replies
                1. re: trumpster

                  In the two years since I started this thread, Fairway has continued to raise their prices through the roof on most items. I went there every week for the first two years when they opened in Paramus. Now, I might go once every six weeks, and I don't buy as much as I used to. I'm getting better deals on most items of comparable quality at the Wayne Corrado's, and, be still my heart, even the Market Basket in Franklin Lakes. Fairway has simply gotten too rich for my blood, with all of the good alternatives available for less money these days.

                  1. re: zhelder

                    Have you been to the Totowa Fairway? I find this store to be superior to Paramus. They always seem to have specials that don't show up in Paramus. $5.99 Moz, olive oil on sale, bulk sales and a nice beer selection. Because it was a Pathmark its quite a bit bigger than the Paramus store and they haven't started moving everything around like they keep on doing in Paramus. They have also have a few good prime meat sales in the last few months.As far as Carrados goes if you are very selective there are very good deals to be had on produce. The meats and cheeses are a different story.

                    1. re: double0

                      I've been there, several times. It's a nicer store than Paramus, and the sales were better there until recently. For the past couple of months, or so, however, the sale prices have been pretty much the same at both stores (and that doesn't mean they lowered the Paramus prices). Plus, the one or two sale items on sale for decent prices per week doesn't make up for the expense of most items in the store.

                      As far as Corrado's, I find the Wayne store's prepared foods to be of comparable quality to Fairway - at about 40% lower prices in most cases. And their mozzarella guy, Billy, makes fresh mozzarella that's way better than Fairway's for about the same price.

                      As for produce, OK, Corrado's overall quality might be a bit behind Fairway's. But I can live with that when I'm paying a dime instead of a dollar for a lemon or $1.99 per pound for fruit salad instead of at least triple that at Fairway.

                      1. re: zhelder

                        I shop at the Fairway in Woodland Park, NJ. There was a time in late spring 2013 where not a week would go by without seeing a 1/2 off sale on prime strips or prime ribeyes. Now, it feels like 3-4 months has elapsed since I have seen them on sale. Has anyone else noticed this? Any reason for the drought?

                        1. re: liebersh

                          Beef is through the roof over the last year or so. Guess their bids all ran out.

                    2. re: zhelder

                      Plainview Long Island's store has become more expensive, procucts I used to be able to count on are spotty in appearance and their produce is nothing to brag about. Don't even get me started on the rear cheese case. It's where old, stinky, rotten cheese goes to die. I said that to one of the cheese men there and he confirmed it with a laugh. Just throw it OUT. I'm also finding out dated items on the shelves regularly.

                      1. re: mcf

                        I went to Plainview for my yearly stock up last month. 5 or 6 not quite full bags, albeit fine vinegars, oils, lox, Blue Mt coffee, honey, etc. But $250? Not like the old days, for sure.

                      2. re: zhelder

                        Hey zhelder, I feel your pain.

                        I am also a regular at the Wayne Corrado's. I found the quality at the Corrado's is pretty good, with the occasional dip in quality for out of season items. They also tended to run out of romaine lettuce on a regular basis, which is frustrating. That said, the fish and meat are pretty good...although the chicken spoils within a day or two if you don't freeze it.

                        My new foodie love is the Giant Farmers Market in Oakland. Nice meat, beautiful fish, inexpensive fruit and produce. Quality is pretty high all around. Oh, and the real community farmer's market on Saturdays by the library is pretty spectacular too, with actual affordable produce.

                        Fairway, on the other hand, forget it. Since they went public, they have started raising prices and cutting corners. They are now a fancy gourmet store, foodies not welcome. https://www.google.com/finance?q=NASD...

                        The price of the small prepackaged 4oz packets of lox / nova / smoked salmon has gone skyrocketed. Fresh produce is as expensive as a regular grocery store. Oh, and the samples. They drastically reduced the oil samples, cut back on the bread to use, and have sample nazi ready to yell at you if you don't use a toothpick. Even the olives aren't as tasty. The price discrepancies are at their worst at new locations, like in Woodland Park (West Paterson) on Route 46.

                        The real way to shop for food in Bergen County is to try to buy each specialty market's loss leaders. Fairway has trimmed those items, but the others haven't.

                        1. re: ubuwalker31

                          "...and have sample nazi ready to yell at you if you don't use a toothpick." That's the only thing I *don't* object to...have you ever watched people taking the bread? I'm not a germaphobe AT ALL and it grosses me out.

                    3. The "Fairway" Smoked salmon hand sliced is still only $7.99-1/4lb, and the service clerks do a masterful job of slicing it paper-thin.

                      This is definitely the absolute lowest price around for hand cut smoked salmon, sliced to perfection, and the product itself is very very good. Very mild and silky. Still a great Fairway deal. Also, huge product turnover means a very fresh product.

                      Also, the on-premise made bagels and rolls are excellent, and cheaper than most bagel stores, comparable quality. Bagels are 69 cents regular, and they run sales for 2 for $1.00. Mini bagels, bialys and flagels are very good as well.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: lemarais

                        I agree, their smoked salmon is incredible, and it's still one of the few things I go to Fairway for. But two years ago, the regular price on it was about $5.99 per 1/4 lb., and there were occasional sales for $3.99 per 1/4 lb. Now, the regular price is $7.99 per 1/4 lb., and the once in a blue moon sale might be for $6.99 per 1/4 lb. Tha's a big jump in a fairly short period of time.

                        1. re: zhelder

                          The quality at fairway has not changed too much over the years, with maybe two exceptions. At the Harlem store on Sunday the produce is clearly on its last leg. I've gotten burned more than once. Also they stock more fish from China or areas where the standards are not as good as the U.S. and Canada.

                          1. re: zhelder

                            So true, zhelder. I used to scan the flyers excitedly to see if their smoked salmon was on sale. $4.99 was the sales price then & it was delicious. The same thing now for $7.99 just doesn't excite me.

                            I still love the fish at Fairway, it's really fresh, they have excellent dry scallops, and beautiful wild salmon from AK.

                            And I'm so over the extreme pyramid displays of produce. It's deceiving because it looks like you are getting so much to choose from, but the pyramid really limits you to the amount of "loose" items you can actually grab. And they routinely spill onto the floor.

                        2. Re/ Fairway smoked salmon-- I doubt it was ever $3.99, unless that was a grand opening sale, but lox has gone up everywhere. At most dumpy little ethnic delis it is 10-11 bucks a 1/4 pound, like Petaks or Kosher Nosh, and it is not nearly as fresh nor do they cut it very well.

                          Fairway is still a good deal.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: lemarais

                            I've seen sale prices a Fairway for $3.99, but not recently. They often sell the ends for that price though. The $2 price jump was pretty shitty, and they lost me as a regular customer. My local bagel shop has the same Acme smoked salmon for .50 cents less...why should I waste the gas?

                          2. I may have to stop shopping at fairway all together. I only purchase about 1/4 of my needs preferring other stores that offer higher quality or lower prices. Today I came there and saw that they raised the prices of Idaho potatoes 50%($0.99 to $1.49 lb) and lemons now raised to $0.75 a lemon. These are absurd margins.

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: trumpster

                              How do you know what the margin is?

                              1. re: lemarais

                                Produce prices change daily, according to what they are charging here at Hunts Point (or if you have a similar market to that in Jersey?). Weather throughout the world plays a big factor, there is no way to predict it accurately. Produce is one price that's almost impossible to track, unless you are a professional produce buyer. Sort of like the stock market.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Difficult to agree with this, for several reasons.
                                  1) The CPI does not support a rise in the underlying prices.
                                  2) Trader Joe prices have not followed those of Fairway
                                  3) I was told by an ex employee that the price increases was due to the new management brought in by the private equity guys

                                  1. re: trumpster

                                    I respect your right to disagree, but I spent 20 years tracking the price of various produce items, watching them overnight drop by half, or double many times over, due to weather conditions, holidays, or whatnot. I sold produce for 20 years, and wild fluctuations were business as usual to me and my customers. For example, to say potatoes were 99 cents and now they're $1.49 doesn't seem out of the question. This time of the year, last years harvest is almost sold out and this years won't be in for another month or two, so it's only natural the price will temporarily rise. Now if you are a bigger chain, such as Trader Joes, the produce companies will lock in their prices for a contracted time, and take their chances on winning or losing their bet.

                                    I spent an inordinate amount of my time quoting daily produce market prices to my customers. I didn't sell to Fairway though, so don't know anything intimately about them. However, an ex employee is not always the best source of unbiased, or even up to date, information on their former company. Unless he is more than a casual acquaintance? But sour grapes, you know?

                                    1. re: coll

                                      Coll, I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to prices, so I know what the different prices are at different food stores, and it's as simple as this: Fairway has raised there prices tremendously in the nearly 4 1/2 years that they've been in Northern NJ. Prices have gone up some at other stores too, but not nearly as much. Most of their prepared meat-based salads are in the $8.99 per lb. range now. Comparable items at Corrado's or Maywood Market are still $4.99 - $5.99 per lb. A (rare) sale for lemons might be 4 for $2.00 at Fairway. That would likely be a non-sale price at Corrado's. A sale price there would be 5 for $1.00, and they've even had 10 for $1.00 sales. Most of the Boar's Head deli meats at Fairway used to be regularly priced at $6.99 per lb. and on sale for about $5.99. Now? The regular prices are about $9.99 per lb. and sales on Boar's Head are becoming increasingly rare. Meanwhile, Corrado's, Maywood Market, and even The Market Basket offer specials on store-made meats for around $5.99 per lb. that are just as good or better as Boar's Head. Fairway hasn't put any of their store-made deli meats on sale in ages.

                                      I think I'm more upset by the fact that Fairway came into Northern NJ promising lower prices and higher quality than other stores. And I believed it, based on the sales they advertised before they moved into the area. they kept that promise for about two years - then they started to expand real quick and blew prices out of the water. There's a reason the West Paterson store isn't doing the business they expected - the prices are too high. People can go to the Little Falls Shop-Rite right across Route 46 or pick one of three Corrado's stores only a few miles away and get their groceries for way less.

                                      1. re: zhelder

                                        The overall prices rising I get. As I wrote here previously, I dropped $250 last month for a half dozen bags of fancy condiments, which a few years ago would have been closer to $100. And although I am on Long Island, the prices going up here also happened about two or three years ago. I do like that I can get such exotic items, but glad they are an hour or so away, that I'm not tempted to go more often. I don't buy anything "normal" when I'm there though, I have a local Best Yet for that kind of shopping. And you have Corrado's, their prices sound right in line with my Best Yet. I don't mind shopping around.

                                        I did mention my avoidance of buying produce there, despite it being so prominently displayed as you enter the store. I look but nothing ever grabs me. So we might as well just save Fairway for those special occasions now, they are probably making the same bottom line with a lot less work and maybe that's the way they want it.

                                      2. re: coll

                                        The reason why Corrado's and other discount operations are able to stay in business isn't because just because they are successfully arbitraging the futures markets on apples....they are actively bargaining for good deals on 'substandard' fruits and vegetables sitting in containers. I overheard a conversation by a market owner saying how he paid THREE CENTS A POUND for white grapes. So, even at .79 cents a pound, that is a great deal of profit.

                                        1. re: ubuwalker31

                                          The thing is, if he got a 3 cents a lb deal on grapes, I guarantee he probably had to throw at least half away. If not all!

                                          1. re: coll

                                            Having shopped at Corrado's in the past, and present...this certainly could be very true.....but that does not seem to be the case as much any more. The overall quality has improved...but he still makes and purchases excellent deals which are passed on to his customers in the form of lower prices...much lower than a big name supermarket. It's very rare to find any produce item above $1.49/lb.

                                            1. re: fourunder

                                              I would be jealous, but we have Best Yet (or now I think Best Market is the new name) which is the same way. Except for the farm stands this time of year, I don't buy produce anywhere else. And I bet their suppliers throw them plenty of bones, like 3 cents grapes, in appreciation. With a good buyer, the world can be your oyster!

                                          2. re: ubuwalker31

                                            Back in the early 80's my uncle would joke that you would have to cook the Broccoli Rabe on the way home.

                                            1. re: ubuwalker31

                                              .they are actively bargaining for good deals on 'substandard' fruits and vegetables sitting in containers. ...

                                              I would disagree with you on the belief items are "substandard".....The many Korean owned *Farmer's Markets* in my area purchase through the Korean Co-Op and the quality of fruit is good to excellent. I could walk in any day and find some sort of berries for .99 or less...all perfect.

                                              Not all markets buy dead fruit and vegetables

                                  2. I shop at Fairway in Brooklyn. I have to agree with the poster that Fairways prices have gone up a lot as have all markets. I also have to say as far as the smoked salmon it is very good and priced fairly and sliced very thin. The thing I think Fairway is way overpriced on is the produce and fruit, which personally I really do not like. Also I do not like Fairways fish at all. I love their deli/appetizing department, their meat is very good and when on sale is a great buy. Overall I find Fairway to be the best market in Brooklyn.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: irvingk

                                      I've shopped at Fairway since 1995. Back then every item was routinely cheaper than the same item at competing neighborhood specialty shops an large scale super-markets. While prices have surely gone up everywhere an far more than our government would have us believe, Fairways prices have clearly gone up a bit more. I shop at many stores and there's no denying this.

                                    2. Getting to the produce and fruit, I don't mind paying good money if the stuff is good, but I really don't think Fairways cuts the mustard. Like everybody on the board is saying with which I agree, the coffee, oilive oils, smoked salmon, appetizing and meats are great, so I dont mind paying the prices for those items. I only buy the prime steaks, veal and grass fed beef when it is on sale, otherwise the prices are very high.

                                      1. Addition to my other post

                                        Me and my wife are only two people. My food bills for two at Fairway used to be about $140 per week plus fill ins in the local market. In the last year my food bills have been $200 and over for two people without produce, fruit or fish.

                                        1. When is Fairway/Nanuet opening? Probably some good grand opening specials!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: lemarais

                                            I've been noticing, since the economy got a bit better, the stores don't really do grand opening specials as intensely as they were five or six years ago. We have new places opening constantly in my area (Long Island) and I too think there will be some great deals or freebies the first week, but no, it never happens anymore. If you're lucky, maybe they'll have demos with free samples and $1 off coupons.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Exactly. The grand opening specials in Paramus, which opened in 2009, were incredible. Last year, when West Paterson opened, the grand opening sales were OK, but nothing like what they had in Paramus. (They did, however, give away $10 off $100 coupons, which was pretty nice.)

                                              They'll surely have some grand opening specials, but don't expect them to blow your mind.

                                          2. Re/Bagel shops and smoked salmon: Only a very few actually fresh cut the salmon, and those that do generally make a mess of the cutting and slicing. The ones near me charge $9-10/quarter. Kings is about $8, but they also have nobody that can cut lox the way the clerks do so beautifully at Fairway.

                                            1. Bought some items at Trader Joes yesterday after viewing the prices at Fairway. These are everyday prices.

                                              TJ vs Fairway
                                              Lemons $0.49 vs $0.75
                                              Cauliflower $2.49 vs $3.99
                                              OJ $2.99 vs $4.39(64oz vs 59.5 oz)
                                              Cherry Tomatoes $2.69 vs $3.99 (this comparison is particularly egregious as the T.J.tomatoes were organic)

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: trumpster

                                                Yup. If you went to Aldi's or Corrado's in Wayne, there'd be even more of a difference. (BTW, I love that the Wayne Trader Joe's is right around the corner from Corrado's. It makes it easy to get the food shopping done in one fell swoop.)

                                                I went to Fairway yesterday solely because they had Adirondack seltzer bottles on sale 3 for a $1.00. That was a rare good deal. As I walked around the "maze", I passed by the deli. They had a sign up advertising Boar's Head turkey breast for $9.99 per pound. Next week, Corrado's has it on sale for $4.99 per pound (and their regular price is around $7.99 per pound). Wanna know what Boar's Head meats are on sale at Fairway next week? None.

                                                They're losing me rapidly.

                                              2. OMG, are we actually comparing produce in TJs to produce bought at the main distribution market in the Bronx?

                                                TJ is all packaged stuff, probably is on the road traveling for 2 weeks before hitting the store!

                                                And here's some other flaws in the comparison:

                                                Lemons at TJs are at least 1/3 smaller than at FW;
                                                TJ does not have fresh squeezed OJ, as Fairway does-- otherwise you would need to post an actual brand comparison, although I don't think TJ has any name brand OJ.

                                                Really, folks, TJ is not a place for serious produce shopping!

                                                P.S. Re/Turkey breast-- FW is one of the few places where one can actually get REAL unprocessed turkey breast, just like the stuff you have at Thanksgiving-- right in their deli, regular price $9.99. Boar's Head turkey is garbage.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: lemarais

                                                  I just mentioned Boar's Head as an apples to apples comparison. Corrado's, Maywood Market, and Market Basket all produce comparable store-made deli meats. Except they put them on sale, fairly regularly, for $5.99 or $6.99 per lb. When's the last time Fairway put any of its store-made deli meats on sale?

                                                  1. re: lemarais

                                                    If we're comparing Tropicana to Trader Joe's Florida(not from concentrate) I don't see the difference. It wasn't too long ago that Tropicana stopped selling pure Florida and included Brazilian oranges in the mix.

                                                  2. Doesn't sound right, anyway-- BH turkey for the same price as their fresh, in house prepared, unprocessed turkey breast? Maybe a misprint or a misread.

                                                    Corrado's produce isn't a good comparison, either, they buy inferior produce, they've been doing that for years.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: lemarais

                                                      As I stated previously, I do agree that, overall, Fairway's produce quality is a little better than Corrado's.

                                                      But when I'm paying 1/4 to 1/3 of the price for the produce at Corrado's, I'm perfectly willing to live with that.

                                                      When have you ever seen Fairway put lemons on sale for a dime each, eggplant on sale for $.59 per lb., or cut fruit salad on sale for $1.99 per lb?

                                                    2. I just shopped in Fairway Brooklyn today. I do not like there fruit and produce and it is very expensive. Lemons were 89c each. I agree about Fairways own turkey breast. At $9.99 a pound it kills the Boars Head garbage which sells for the same price.

                                                      1. For a viable alternative to Fairway, check out Maywood Marketplace. Nice cold cuts, including several unusual store prepared items such as Fresh ham on the bone, store made pork loin, and unprocessed fresh turkey and store cooked Virginia Ham.

                                                        Skip their prepared foods, nothing special there, but do go to their extensive and very reasonable cheese department, lots of good buys and a giant array of varieties.

                                                        Produce is standard quality, on par with Fairway, at moderate prices.

                                                        A far better alternative than Corrado's, and much closer as well, right in Bergen County.

                                                        1. Not to beat a dead horse, but here are some of Corrado's specials for next week:

                                                          59 cents per lb.:

                                                          Broccoli crowns
                                                          Bartlett pears

                                                          59 cents each:

                                                          Heads of iceberg lettuce
                                                          Large grapefruit

                                                          $1.99 per lb.:

                                                          Storemade baked ziti
                                                          Storemade farfalle bolognese

                                                          $3.99 per lb.:

                                                          Storemade chicken cordon bleu
                                                          Storemade chicken parmigiana

                                                          Good luck finding prices like these at Fairway, sale or not.

                                                          1. Corrado's may have far better prices, but it is very hit or miss. Most of their produce/fruit/veggies are ripe and ready toeat. that is fine, but if you want to shop for the week, half the stuff goes bad before you get to eat it. I like the quality of Fairway's produce section.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: lhmom

                                                              Corrado's produce is Dreck, plain and simple. Low quality for low prices.

                                                              For a decent alternative to Fairway, try Maywood Marketplace.

                                                              Fairway has excellent bagels, BTW. Price is always changing, lately they are 69 cents. Flagels are wonderful.

                                                            2. Well just stopped by Fairway. Tomato sauce is up another 10% an lemons just hit $0.89 each Seems either the CPI is wrong or Fairway is just upping their margins big time.

                                                              I still pick up some items, but not as much as I used to. Got some marinated skirt steak. What struck me was not the price but how they wrapped it. A year ago they wrapped it in butcher's paper. This time I got it thrown in a plastic bag, which just looking at it made me want to throw it out.

                                                              Fairway does the worst job in the world wrapping fresh fish or meat. They can't even send it to you in quality wrapping.

                                                              1. Fairway homemade soups are really, really good. At about $8 a quart, a good deal. My fave is the Manhattan Clam Chowder, with large and copious amounts of clams, large pieces of fresh tomato, nice potatoes, and great spicing. Pea soup is very good as well, nice and thick with chunks of ham. Nice on a cold day!

                                                                1. Went to Fairway this morning to get some smoked salmon, and they're at it again... The hot/cold bar is now $7.49 per lb. It was $4.99 per lb. when the Paramus store opened in 2009. A 50% increase over 4 1/2 years is pretty darn excessive, if you ask me. Heck, Whole Foods charges $7.99 per lb. for their bars, and they have a larger variety of stuff. Fairway rotisserie chickens are now $7.49 each now too.

                                                                  Meanwhile, I got a ton of stuff from Corrado's in Wayne this week. Their prepared foods are just as good as Fairway's, for way less money. Great chicken parm cutlets for $3.99 per lb. Baked ziti and farfalle in bolognese/meat sauce for $1.99 per lb. They were both excellent. And the rotisserie chickens there are $4.99 each, regular price.

                                                                  I know where I'm going to be shopping more, and where I'm going to be shopping (a lot) less for the foreseeable future.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: zhelder

                                                                    I think what we are seeing is a sea change in the brand. They no longer want to be seen as a discount value supermarket but more of a premium high end place to shop.

                                                                    Most stores send out spies to their competition to find out who is under-pricing them. Fairway has a unique twist. They look to see what items they sell that they think they have room to increase the margins on.

                                                                    Personally, I think Fairway will implode in a few short years. You can't change your target market this way. It hurts the brand and drives away the core customer.

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        I have been buying less and less there, due to quality issues, too. I have to check out the Commack ShopRite, Plainview is too zooey for me. And the new FreshMarket in Woodbury.

                                                                    1. re: zhelder

                                                                      Whole Foods salad/hot bar is $8.49 per lb.

                                                                      1. re: Bill O.

                                                                        And (supposedly) everything there is organic.

                                                                    2. Most folks do not go to both Corrado's and/or Fairway. They both have their distinctive customer and they want different things.

                                                                      Corrado's produce is cheap but very inferior, low quality stuff.

                                                                      I would never buy anything at Corrado's deli, it doesn't look particularly clean, and the prepared foods are not attractive and rather off putting. Fairway's deli is spotless.

                                                                      Fairway deli faves: Blackened Shrimp, and the (real) crab cakes. Awesome! Their fresh coffee department rocks as well, with a million varieties to smell and choose from!

                                                                      As far as the forecasters of gloom and doom for Fairway, bah humbug. Whole Foods is pretty inferior to Fairway and their prices are 20% higher, and WF is booming all the time, huge profits.

                                                                      I wish the Fairway detractors would just cease and desist here, we get it, and just go enjoy Corrado's. We are beating a dead horse!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: lemarais

                                                                        Fairway's decline is the only reason I've begun shopping at Whole Foods. And Fairway coffee is often kept out after roasting in open barrels and is stale. Have had so many lifeless, flavorless expensive coffees from there. I pay less at Whole Foods and get an honest roast date and bloom in the filter when adding water.

                                                                        i also can get 100% grass fed beef cut any way I want it at Whole Foods, but there are precious few cuts at Fairway, which also does not have local sources of it.

                                                                        I won't go on. I'm not dissing Fairway so much as grieving it; feels like Fairway is dissing me, the long time customer now finding fewer reasons to return after each visit. :-(

                                                                        1. re: mcf

                                                                          In Manhattan, Zabars undercuts Fairway by 40% on the beans I buy. It didn't used to be that way. When I asked a Fairway representative why they were charging so much more, they suggested Zabars was mixing in inferior beans.

                                                                          1. re: trumpster

                                                                            And Fairway sells a lot of very stale coffee. You just cannot make it strong enough to taste like coffee, no matter how much you use.

                                                                        2. re: lemarais

                                                                          I shop at Corrado's in Clifton ( and occasionally at Fairway in Paramus, amongst others).
                                                                          Regarding their/Corrado's fruits and vegetables - you never buy for a whole week of dinners there, you buy what you will cook that day, at most the next day. Their produce is not inferior, it is RIPE and for consumption now! And that is the difference between that store and others! And that is surely the reason why it is cheap.
                                                                          Maybe I need new glasses, but I have never, ever encountered a "not so clean counter" in that place.

                                                                          1. re: RUK

                                                                            I wouldn't put too much into the comments about cleanliness at Corrado's...at the same time, she thinks The Egg Platter is immaculately clean.

                                                                            Whole Foods is inferior to Fairway? I don't think so. The prepared foods on the hot bar look like *slop*.

                                                                        3. Salad Bar just got raised to $7.99 per lb., after they just raised the price to $7.49 per lb. I'm pretty much done with Fairway, just on principle.

                                                                          1. http://nypost.com/2014/02/07/fairway-...

                                                                            Fairway plunged $3.24, or 29 percent, to $8.11 after reporting a loss in its fiscal third quarter and said its CEO is stepping down.

                                                                            The grocery store chain, which went public last year, reported a loss in its fiscal third quarter and announced that Herbert Ruetsch is retiring after two years as CEO and 15 years with the company.

                                                                            The management changes come as the company said it lost $31.3 million, or $0.74 per share, for the three months ending Dec. 29. Sales at stores open at least one year fell 1.7 percent.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: trumpster

                                                                              I went last week to the West Paterson store, just to pick up some smoked salmon, but I hardly go there any more. The place has lost almost all appeal for me. THEY'VE. BECOME. TOO. FREEKING. EXPENSIVE. And they're starting to cut some corners. The hot bar had way less variety, there's less help available, and they replaced Farmland cream with Cream-O-Land. Their house brand standard chicken wings (not organic or any other fancy stuff) were $4.49 per lb, and most of the prepared foods were $7.99 - $8.99 per lb.

                                                                              So why should people keep shopping there when the Wayne Corrado's, less than five miles away, regularly puts the same quality wings on sale for $1.49 per lb. and sells comparable quality prepared foods for $3.99 - $4.99 per lb., and has even had some $1.99 per lb. specials? And let's not even mention the Little Falls Shop-Rite right across the highway.

                                                                              Fairway better pray that the Shop-Rite and Corrado's don't start producing their own house-brand smoked salmons.

                                                                              1. re: zhelder

                                                                                I still go but only for a couple items I've noticed a trend with this store. First they raise prices on what they deem a specialty item, then demand falls off, and finally the store reduces the amount they stock or remove it all together.

                                                                                They store failed to realize it was getting those so-called specialty items at good prices that brought in their customers. The store was guilty of short term thinking in the face of their IPO, and the results are evident in the $8 stock price and less crowded store aisles.

                                                                                  1. re: lemarais

                                                                                    Well, they used to have special aisles for turbinado sugar and sales to boot, then the price went up, people stopped buying and they now stock a fraction of the former amount. Same thing occurred with a premium Italian tuna brand, a premium brand of oats, etc

                                                                                    in the company's press release on Feb 7th they admitted customer transactions were down but blamed the weather.

                                                                                    In Manhattan we have a Trader Joe's, right near Fairway's flagship store. The Trader Joes has lines out the door and has trouble keeping items in stock. It doesn't take much speculation to jump to the conclusion that this business is coming at Fairway's .expense.

                                                                                    1. re: trumpster

                                                                                      For what it's worth based on fact and belief, Fairway's strategy has been to charge Whole Food's prices, and get customers to pay a higher margin. Always believed fruits and vegetables at Fairway were fresher than say A&P or Christedes, but lately that's not always the experience. Common sense says if you raise the price and customers have an alternative, they will take advantage of it.

                                                                                      I still shop at Fairway but for far less than I ever did.

                                                                            2. For my money's worth, Fairway is still miles above WF, where I rarely go. The strategy you describe is not unlike most other retail food stores. Rarer items cost more. Doesn't sell, gone.

                                                                              1. They need more help, training and better supervision We stopped going there a while back

                                                                                1. Yet another example of ridiculous Fairway pricing: I made a trip to Stew Leonard's yesterday. They had a great mussel salad yesterday for $8.99 per pound.

                                                                                  I stopped by the West Paterson Fairway today. How much did Fairway want for their mussel salads? $16.99 per lb.

                                                                                  The only reason I went to Fairway was they (miraculously) had parmigiano reggiano, Egglands Best eggs, and Adirondack seltzer on sale for decent prices. Of course, they had to make it difficult by charging more for the parm in Paramus than West Paterson ($11.99 per lb. vs $9.99 per lb.).

                                                                                  I'll probably be 90 the next time these things are all on sale there for a decent price again...