Gala Fresh Farms To Open On Ocean Avenue This Week

The Gala Fresh Farms in Baldwin, NY.(Photo: Gala Fresh Farms / Facebook)
The Gala Fresh Farms in Baldwin, NY.(Photo: Gala Fresh Farms / Facebook)

Gala Fresh Farms, the ‘upscale’ grocery that last year bought the floundering Ocean Avenue Waldbaum’s, is expected to open for business on Friday, according to a company spokesperson.

Waldbaum’s, the longtime neighborhood grocer at 3100 Ocean Avenue closed its doors in November during the bankruptcy saga of its parent company, A&P. The location was auctioned off to Compare Foods, which told us it would replace Waldbaum’s with a new ‘upscale’ grocery chain called Gala Fresh Farms.

A Compare Foods spokesperson told us in November it would take a month to convert the space into the new store. However, renovations dragged on into the new year and Compare foods did not return our repeated requests for updates on when the business will open.

This week we connected with a spokesperson for Gala Fresh Farms, who promised the new grocer will be fully stocked and ready for business Friday. The store opens at 7:30am, she said. Neighbors also informed us they received a mailer advertising Gala Fresh Farm products on sale starting March 4.

The company did not provide us with any promotional materials about offerings at the store. However, a glance at the Facebook page for their Baldwin, NY location — the first of five Gala Fresh Farms to open — shows the business is similar to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Pictures on the page show shelves stocked with glass jugs of organic milk, packages of all natural pizza crust, fresh lobster ravioli, and baskets of coffee beans.

Coffee at the Baldwin Gala Fresh Farms. (Photo: Gala Fresh Farms / Facebook)
Coffee at the Baldwin Gala Fresh Farms. (Photo: Gala Fresh Farms / Facebook)

There’s also a deli section with trays of hot and cold food.

The deli at the Baldwin Gala Fresh Farms. (Photo: Gala Fresh Farms / Facebook)
The deli at the Baldwin Gala Fresh Farms. (Photo: Gala Fresh Farms / Facebook)

The spokesperson for Gala Fresh Farms said Friday will be a soft opening and the company isn’t planning a ceremony to welcome themselves to the neighborhood. For many in the area, the grocer fills a vacancy left after Waldbaum’s disappeared. We’ll see how they fill the void.

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  1. Upscale? Interesting, the circular has the store products as Key Food. And when you compare the Gala Fresh circular to Key Food, side by side, they are exactly the same. Regardless, always nice to have another choice to shop at especially with a decent parking lot.

  2. I’m so disappointed that this is what is coming in. With a steady stream of rich Russians and outrageously priced condos and high rents in the area the last thing us normal middle class need in this area is a “high end” grocer. Stop and Shop is too big and for seniors with limited mobility that store is just too big and the lines are endless. The Avenue Z “fruit store” is nice but very pricey. I think we need a Met Food or Key Food or even another Aldi (don’t be a snob, its actually really good and economical). I have very low expectations for this new store. Their flyer didn’t even specify a date for its opening.

  3. But will this new “high end” store have mobility scooters for disabled shoppers? Stop & Shop does, but Waldbaum’s didn’t. The Pathmark on Nostrand did, but Aldi’s doesn’t. These scooters pay for themselves through increased patronage and purchasing by disabled shoppers and those accompanying them, and they build good will with the communities these stores serve by not excluding the increasing number of elderly and disabled residents in our aging local population. Someday soon, all stores of this size will be required to provide scooters and keep them running. Until then, if you know someone who can’t shop at at a particular supermarket because of a mobility impairment, please don’t shop there either, and be sure to tell the managers the reason why.

  4. I’m excited. It’s great to have options for different types of grocery stores in the area. Stores like Whole Foods are far, and it seems like Gala farms has similar items. Stop and shop’s lines are ridiculous, i like the key foods but they have limited selections, and shoprite just has a grimey feel. I’m looking forward to another option.

  5. Just came back from shopping there. I think people should give this place a shot, its not “high end” like you’re probably thinking with cherry hill and what not. It reminds me of stop and shop with a larger selection of ethnic foods. They seemed to carry all of the same groceries other supermarkets do at about the same price point and, interestingly, there’s a lot of key food brand products in there. There’s certainly a much larger, fresher vegetable selection than waldbaums ever carried and, shockingly, they had several cashiers open instead of the abysmal two or three that waldbaums did.

  6. Very disappointed. Prices were much higher than other stores, was not impressed with variety either. Has the staples for a quick run, but for bigger shopping I’ll stick with stop and shop. Also I noticed they eliminated half the registers Waldbaums had, can’t imagine once the place is busy. I’ve noticed stop and shop has been much better with their lines over the past few months, and the quality has been top notch

  7. lipstick on a pig. I must have missed what was “upscale” about this, did not see anything at all that caught my eye. very disappointed, they might as well have just called it key food and accepted who they are, not disappoint every one by claiming to be something special

  8. Did notee any scooters. Was there a few hours after the opeg. They have to do a lot better with their sales if they want to sell other groceries.

  9. Yes , I was there today, 2 of the advertised items were not availabe. I found the meat dept to be high end on prices. All the apples looked real shiney but I can get the same item for half the price. I imagine the varieties of items wil narrow down as they see what does and does not move. They will have to do a lot better IF they expect to draw any business away from SnS. For me, seems I will be going there for the sales.

  10. I am thinking they are running the inflated prices because some of the people in the area are willing to pay it. Hopefully they will scale down 10% or better on the current shelf price.

  11. The breakfast bar. That surely won’t work in a supermaet here, not unless they have servers. lol

  12. This store is basically a key food outlet with a fancy name. And if anyone has ever been to key food you know their prices tend to be higher.

  13. One trip in there was enough for me. Saw roaches along the produce wall scurrying under the case. It looks like they pumped a ton of money into the deli and nothing into the rest of the store. It’s the old stuff just cleaned. Very expensive, no Kosher products??? What a major disappointment, had high expectations.

  14. Nohting special. A cleaned up Waldbaums. Glad to see they painted the cashiers check out stations. Good ethnic selections.

  15. Reader reviews of GALA are so diverse that I am inspired to go there myself and take a look. One man’s “cleaned up” seems to be another man’s Lipstick on Pig. How can two intelligent people come up with such different visions of Gala Fresh.?

  16. Considering they have key food brand products, why not just call themselves Key Food? Sounds like they are embarrassed. A store that has been around for what… over 70 years now and is a New York staple, SHOULD NOT be embarrassed by who they are.

  17. I was excited when i read about it…then i went. it’s hardly comparable to any high end supermarket or supermarket with a health conscious focus. If you are okay with stop and shop, you will continue going to stop and shop. no specialty items, no special sales. the fish looked so old – just like waldbaums’ fish dept did.

  18. I would imagine it all depends on one’s expectations. I assume many folks will end up being just fine with Gala, as it appears no worse than a standard serviceable store, and one that can be convenient to many.
    However, given the hype and buzz leading up to this new supermarket, as potentially operating on the same level as a Trader Joes/Fairway/Whole Foods, Gala falls exceedingly short as the touted Sheepshead Supermarket game-changer.
    There is simply no comparison to these other markets that pride themselves on providing a higher-end ambiance and presentation on one end, and having a vast selection of superior quality/speciality goods on the other.
    All in all, Gala is an extraordinarily mediocre looking market with standard selection throughout. There was certainly an incentive to improve what it replaced (new windows, new lighting, new signage, new paint; plus a few new items sprinkled in), but the dilapated floors, soiled ceiling tiles, and overall dated/worn ambiance remains…

  19. Was there today on a friend’s recommendation, as I live a bit outside the area. Bottom line: It’s good that we now have some competition for S and S and Sheepshead Bay F and V and Cherry a Hill! The last two, usually overpriced….It’s a cleaned up WB, with the flavor of KF, but somewhat more upscale! I found fresh stuff with some good prices! Question being will their cleaned up act, better prices on some stuff, last? I recommend that you try it yourselves….

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