Jmart on 18th Avenue at 82nd Street opened this Saturday.
People came on foot, by car, by bicycle, and the place was packed, testing parking lot’s capacity and layout (the one entrance and exit onto 18th Ave is going to be problematic, especially for left turns). But on Saturday they were not charging for parking.
The supermarket was overrun by customers on Saturday afternoon, and the following is a glimpse of offerings, by no means comprehensive. Some thoughts at the end.
There is lots of fresh produce:
There were great deals to be had on everything, from corn, to rice, to watermelons and more.
Rows of frozen delicacies:
Though at times the sheer number of choices and customers was overwhelming.
There are big fish and meat sections:
Lots of dried prawns and more:
Lines to checkout were moving slow and wrapped around the fresh produce section.
There were whole isles stocked with just soy sauce, ramen and candies:
There were regular eggs, along with fresh and preserved quail and duck eggs.
For those looking for non-asian products, there is bread, polish kielbasa, cereal and ice cream, as well as tons of fresh fruit and veggies.
I will certainly be back, most likely with a neighbor in tow who can explain what is what – there is much to learn for the uninitiated.
Neighbor Carmen Molina says she was pleasantly surprised at their “large shelf of Goya Foods… It’s like having the selection present and divided among all the small stores in the neighborhood in one: red, white, black, pinto beans, Jasmine, white, brown, large, medium, basmati rice, lentils, coconut milk, corned beef, roast beef, potted meat, four types of Spanish olives, mojo criollo, cooking wine, olive oil, adobo and boxed Spanish yellow rice. Also there are other latino brands, like Maggi and Canilla.”
This does not sound good for the future of the small stores.
Shoppers were glad with the variety, and happy with the deals. Their regular prices were in line with other neighborhood markets: 2 big mangos for $3.99 and $0.89 per pound of papaya. The products seemed to be about 80% asian, a mix of Japanese, Korean and Chinese for certain, but I did not succeed at exploring the entire store and I’m sure I missed some.
“Even for us this is overwhelming, because they have not just Chinese but Korean and other asian countries produce in the same place. For one thing now you have many options”, a Chinese family with three generations present concurred.
Judging by the crowds, this store will do very well.