Thursday, February 9, 2017

Former Acme Location – Keyport, New Jersey

Location: 100 State Route 36, Keyport, NJ

I've passed this store about a million times but never bothered to stop and check the place out until just recently. The property was once home to the Keyport Acme which opened May 14, 1957. Closing date unknown but the building was gone by 1995. The satellite photos seem to suggest the building was torn prior to concrete plans for redevelopment.

The Stop and Shop began its life as an Edwards in late 90's. The Edwards banner was unfortunately retired in 2000 and stores were rebranded as Stop and Shops which was a giant step backwards. I had shopped regularly at two Edwards stores and completely gave up on both when the switch occurred.

While the exterior of the store could not be less inviting and prison-like, the interior is very nice. Actually one of the nicest Stop and Shops I've seen with the original fruit bowl remodel. I've never been a fan of this décor package. It's painfully generic with absolutely everything in the store being either yellow or purple. The bold new black signage in Produce certainly helps breaks up the monotony of it all.

As usual, you won't be seeing a lot of people in most of these pictures but the store was very busy for a Saturday evening.

Edwards flooring remains throughout.

While I was here, I did some price comparisons to the items I buy regularly at Acme. Stop and Shop's prices were lower on nearly every single item. Regardless, I do prefer shopping at Acme.

Upgraded cases in Bakery. Ahold chose a neutral color for these cases that would work well across all of its banners. I don't think it does. Why not chose a more inviting wood-grain look? That said, the Artisan Bread selection is quite nice with unique varieties and organic options. Self service too which is the route some Whole Foods are taking in their recent remodels.

The "Pick Your Own" section has ben reduced with muffins being moved to stand-alone displays.

The Pharmacy is about as inviting as the exterior of the store.

Well staffed front-end with plenty of self-checkouts also available.


Switching up our usual journey through the historic aerials by starting with the oldest view first. The property was undeveloped in 1953.

The Acme is brand-spanking new here. No idea what the other building was. It's virtually the same size as this Acme.

The building on the left had a short life and was gone by 1963. Looks like Acme added its giant sign which you can see on the left side of the photo. The shadow is more clear in some of the images below. 




 The Acme was torn down by 1995. Looks like it was gone for a good few years by this point. The sign structure appears to still be standing.

Next available view is in 2002 where we see the Stop and Shop.


  1. Bet this store looked a lot better prior to the yellow/purple remodel. At least the late-90s Edwards decor (with some early-2000s S&S touches) is still intact in Piscataway.

  2. Interestingly I was in this store for the first time a couple of days ago. I've always been amused by Edwards' choice of tiles around the perimeter- a lone shopping cart makes so much noise!

    1. This store has those tiles up and down every aisle!

  3. Stop&Shop.....meh
    Edwards Super Food Stores was the banner that should've been kept by Ahold!
    I was sad though when they chose Edwards over the Finast name.

    1. I'll never forget the day I was in line at the Clifton Edwards and asked the cashier why there was work being done to the store. She said "we're being converted to Stop and Shop" I was shocked and said "I'll have to start going to a different Edwards". Course she replied with "They're all being converted to Stop and Shop". I had been to S&S's up while staying in Boston over the years and thought the stores were terrible. They didn't up their game much by the time they took over Edwards so I wound up quitting the Clifton store cold turkey.

  4. Edwards was operated as a division of Giant-Carlisle and used similar pricing strategies. I know the company I worked for had very aggressive ads and pricing. But Edwards' position changed when they were transferred over to Stop & Shop and were rebannered. It was easy for ShopRite to step in and claim the low price mantle.

    I was actually just reading an article about the Richmond area stores. They bought out Ukrops and rebannered them as Martin's (which they already use in western VA). Sales went down the tubes. And when Delhaize and Ahold merged, they either had to sell the Martin's or the Food Lions. They chose the former. Some stores went dark while Kroger stepped in and acquired a number of them. I believe Publix acquired a location that was under construction as their entry into the Virginia market.

    The Ukrop's name lives on with their prepared foods and bakery items. Kroger in the Richmond area will be carrying a wide variety of the items and Wegmans will carry some select items. These partnerships were able to happen after Martin's was sold and their almost exclusive relationship ended.

  5. Always a sort of odd "sideline" - we had one Edwards location (in Latham, NY, just outside Albany).
    Not sure just how they decided to open that one store (as far as I know the only one) in the area (though we did have a Finast years ago locally, but again only that one that I know of, unless others had closed much earlier).

    This was prior to the connection to Stop & Shop, so that store was quite far from any others and not really that close even to the S&S (Mass or about an hour further south in NY), the Tops stores (quite a bit west) or any of the Carlisle stores in PA).

  6. Do you have a picture of one of the tall Acme signs when it was in its original state with the original Acme logo of its time and all (i.e. not Ortley Beach)?

  7. Here's something interesting. Ahold transferred four Edwards locations in South Jersey to the Super G division of Giant-MD in 2000:

    I recall being in one of the four Edwards to Super G conversions. I think the Mt. Holly store. It was the weirdest feeling. Basically the store was a 1980s style Giant-PA like layout and interior with Super G (Giant-MD) products, signs and systems. I looks that all four of the Edwards to Super G conversion stores were closed by Ahold.

    1. I thought they closed all the Super G stores at some point?

      Or at least all of them in NJ?

    2. In the 2004-2005 range the Super G name was phased out by Ahold. The Delaware stores were renamed just "Giant". The South Jersey stores including the Edwards stores converted to Super G became Stop and Shop. Within a couple of years of the Stop and Shop rename the stores were closed and sold to either Shop Rite or international grocery store operators.

  8. I always had a completely different opinion of Edwards. Same prices as ShopRite, but very dirty and a serious lack of variety on the shelves. I was very happy when S&S replaced them. Even now, if prices were not a factor, S&S would get my business. Alas, I shop on price, so ShopRite gets my business.