Original Tenant: Pathmark
Address: 757 NJ-15, Woodport, Jefferson, NJ
Opened: by 1970
Later Tenants: Fresh Emporium Food Market / Fresh Imperium Food Market (2016-2017)
Photographed: September 2016 & May 2020
Crash and burn, anyone? After Pathmark closed here following decades of successful business, Fresh Emporium opened up in 2016, closing the following year -- but not before Key Food, owners of The Food Emporium banner, sued. Tour Fresh Emporium here. Fresh Emporium then became Fresh Imperium...
I thought I had already posted these pictures, from September 2016, but apparently I hadn't. If you zoom in, you can see that there was no real sign change, just a new banner for the word Imperium.
So that was back in 2016 when the store was still in business. Fast forward to May 2020, Fresh Imperium has been closed for a few years, but a nearby business didn't get the memo...
And the store is in the middle of route 15, with the northbound lanes at a higher elevation to the east of the store and the southbound lanes at a lower elevation to the west. So there was a sign on the roof of the building for the northbound lanes...
Not so professional. Despite the construction going on at the building, this sign remained. The sign out on route 15 southbound also remained...
I'm unsure what the progress has been so far, but the facility is being renovated for a medical building.
It's amazing to me that they're actually keeping the bones of the Pathmark building instead of simply demolishing it and starting over. I guess it was a good building!
You can see where the new facade meets the old Pathmark (and painted by Fresh Emporium) one which then extends to the back of the store. Very cool to see the building in progress, and tomorrow before we leave Jefferson Township, we are heading up to the northeastern corner of town for one store here on Grocery Archaeology and one over on The Market Report!
We used to drive past this store on our way to see my aunt and uncle in the Poconos in the 80s and 90s. I remember the Pathmark always being crazy busy.ReplyDelete
This store was crazy high volume back in the day! My mom used to go her occasionally and I absolutely dreaded it. It was always pretty dumpy until the addition and remodel were done in the mid-2000's.Delete
Thanks for the background! Still not used to reading about any "crazy busy" Pathmarks, since the days of that were before my time... but I know there were many that were very high-volume stores. Is it true that this store would've been higher-volume before the Wharton ShopRite opened right down route 15?Delete
Construction is complete here, of course, and the facility is open. What's really bizarre is that a Wawa was built in the parking lot! Obviously the medical facility didn't need the entire parking lot but it is a little strange to see the Wawa which just seemed to pop up outta nowhere!ReplyDelete
Oh very interesting -- I actually remember reading separately about the medical facility and then the Wawa later, and I thought oh, they must've canceled the plans for the medical facility and replaced the whole site plan with the Wawa. Guess that's not the case. Thanks for the details!Delete
If you haven't already read Zachary's July 26, 2017 profile on this former Fresh Emporium/Fresh Imperium, I highly recommend that you do so. The shoddy job that the owner did when converting this former Pathmark was truly beyond belief. I have never seen such a lazy and uninspired attempt to convert one supermarket over to a different supermarket nameplate. IMO, the funniest--and worst--part of this conversion was how there was still an advertisement for the "Pathmark Advantage Club" on one of the walls.ReplyDelete
On an entirely different matter, how close was this former Pathmark to the former A&P at 5774 Berkshire Valley Road? I ask this question because, in those instances where an A&P and Pathmark were located near one another, the older or smaller of the two supermarkets was often closed (witness how the Maplewood A&P, Randloph Pathmark, and West Paterson/Little Falls/Woodland Park Pathmark were all closed). However, that didn't always occur, given that both the A&P and Pathmark on Route 9 in Old Bridge continued to coexist. (That decision perplexed me, though I'm not familiar with the area.)
When it comes to an interesting conversion of a former supermarket, you'll want to take note of the former Grand Union at 11 Elm Street in Morristown. The store--which appeared to be in operation by 1957--closed in April 1979. The building subsequently received an expansion and major renovation that was completed no later than the latter half of 1981. This new space was occupied by Merrill Lynch and medical professionals; with Merrill gone, the building is now solely comprised of medical offices. Here's a link to some photos of the building:
I've looked at this building many times and never once suspected it was a former supermarket. Also, note that the official address for the building is 182 South Street as opposed to 11 Elm Street.
Oh, very interesting -- thanks for sharing that property in Morristown! I had no idea that was a Grand Union, but looking at the aerials and street views, I can totally envision that property as a supermarket. Nice conversion!Delete
The Jefferson Pathmark is about 7 miles as the crow flies, or 10 miles on roads, from the Oak Ridge A&P. That seems to me to be far enough away (Old Bridge had its two stores 5 miles apart) despite the fact that Woodport and Oak Ridge are both part of Jefferson township.
By the way, for things like distances between stores, you may be interested in (if you don't already know it exists) my map of blog posts, which admittedly has not been updated in too long -- I'll have to do that today -- but you can get a sense of where some of these stores are by seeing them plotted on a map.
Zachary, I did not know about your map of blog posts. That is a really great resource, so thanks for telling me about it.Delete
I previously hadn't spent a lot of time researching the history of this store which was--depending on the newspaper ad or article--referred to as being in Jefferson, Woodport, or Lakeside. However, I'm glad that I spent some additional time researching its history, because it turns out that the supermarket actually opened in October 1966 as a ShopRite! It became a Pathmark no later than November 17, 1968.ReplyDelete
Acme Style provided some very interesting history about this Pathmark in the comments section of Zachary's July 26, 2017 profile of the store. Regarding the expansion and renovation of this Pathmark (that was discussed), it commenced on May 14, 1999 and was finished on April 15, 2000. The expansion increased the supermarket's size from 32,000 to 44,000 square feet.
Very interesting, thanks for the research! I had no idea.Delete