Thursday, February 22, 2018

Acme – Jefferson, New Jersey

Location: 5734 Berkshire Valley Road, Oak Ridge, NJ
Opened as Acme on November 1, 2015

Yep, the facade gets us off to a bad start. Once again, Acme couldn't spring for enough paint to make the name change look less obvious. It's been a problem at other locations as well. The interior hasn't gotten much love either but that's not to say this isn't a very nice store. And a very busy store as well!


A&P built this store around 2002 as a replacement to a smaller store that was located in the shopping center next door. We'll have a closer look at the history to the two stores down below.

Updated Pharmacy signage.

The exterior is in great shape and makes the store look like it was built far more recently than it was.

First round of A&P's fresh remodel which probably went in just a few years after the store opened. Not sure of the original décor package but I would guess it was similar to the one seen at the abandoned Bristol Superfresh. A&P was using that décor package in remodels in the very early 2000's. An interesting look for sure particularly the font choice which would make more sense in a  house of horrors.

This place is begging for a Starbucks! There aren't any in the area and there is plenty of room to add one.

Calandra's bread! An A&P staple which Acme ditched allwhile hanging up their "We Love Local" sign.  Tons of complaints on yelp about Acme ditching the local bakery's bread. Looks like they're bringing it back! At least at this location. I haven't seen Calandra's bread return to the stores I shop in.

As usual, you'll be seeing mostly shopper-free photos but this was one of the busiest converted stores I've been in yet!

Groceries in the first aisles with Health and Beauty in aisle two...

Only a handful of aisles have lighting directly above the shelving.

Immaculately clean and bright throughout! I wasn't picturing this store being so well run. It's kinda out in the middle of nowhere. But then again, it's a situation Acme thrives in.... decent amount of population in the area without enough for another competitor willing to set up shop. The Jefferson Acme will be impacted by the 80,000 square foot ShopRite being built in Sparta. But then again, that store is being built in the middle of nowhere as well and it will be a 25 minute drive from Jefferson. For more details on the new Sparta ShopRite, please click here.

Ice cream cases along the front.

There are some odd aisle configurations here. Not sure why Acme is insisting on eliminating shelf space as much as they are in these converted stores. Reviews on yelp often complain about the reduced selection in these stores. Nothing but wasted space in this aisle.

The only upgrade here from the A&P days are new checkouts. A&P's old checkout lights remain.

7 checkouts open with lines at each.


Location: 5716 Berkshire Valley Rd, Oak Ridge, NJ

Built in the mid to late 60's as a Centennial store and remained that way until at least 1987. It was expanded and renovated by 1997 and hasn't changed much since.




Still under construction in 2002.






  1. I've passed this store a few times on our way to somewhere else. It did look pretty well-kept. Also, there's an unusual McDonalds in a strip-mall right nearby, though it still managed to include a drive-thru (right next to that is a former Blockbuster with obvious painted-over signage).

  2. It appears the original Centennial was demolished to make room for the replacement store, as it was positioned a bit "ahead" of the strip mall, while the newer building is "behind" it.

    I'm wondering what the hell happened here. A&P replaced the original store with a new one, then replaced that one a little later? Maybe this ambition is one of the reasons why the company went under? Or was there really enough business in the area for the company to decide its newer store wasn't big enough and needed further expansion (hence the store that's currently the Acme)?

    You're right that Acme is like Weis in these situations where their stores do well because there is no competition, and not enough potential for another player to come in to town and take business. I'm curious to know if other stores of this nature (like Blairstown, Vernon, and Wantage) are doing well? I would think it wouldn't be hard for the company to maintain business, and hard to increase business, considering the limitations of the markets.

    1. Well there could have been a 14 year spread between the two stores. There's no way to verify when the Centennial store was rebuilt with the historic images. Could have happened as far back as '88 but I would guess it was the early 90's.

    2. Still, 14 years isn't old for a grocery store, unless it's a Publix.

    3. A similar thing happened in South Plainfield - A&P opened a Sav-A-Center around the turn of the '90s, and then a Super A&P across the street around the turn of the century. Of course the latter store would become Acme for a short while before succumbing to a new ShopRite in the older A&P's space.

    4. As far as Wantage(Sussex) goes time will tell as they just tore down an old factory across the street from the Acme for construction of a new shop rite. That will put a big hurt on that store as it has been the only store in that town for over 40yrs. In my opinion Acme missed the boat big time by not going full store remodel with these converted stores to make them feel new and look like Acme and not a cleaned up A&P. Now a new Shop rite coming in there in the near future will kill that Acme.

  3. This must have been one of A&P's top stores. I believe the look on the old store was used no earlier than the mid-90's, indicating it was replaced less than a decade later.

  4. One think I like about this store is that the big food images aren't as deep as they are in other stores. I don't know why, the depth always just bugged me. The ones in the former A&P Fresh in Woodland Park had them shallow too.

  5. With that floor, I would put my money on it originally having the Food Market decor typical of the 90s. Waldbaum's in Patchogue, NY received it in 2003 (with an expansion), so it likely overlapped with the crazy font one they used in Bristol. Centereach opened in 2002 with it as well. It could be that the plans were already drawn up years prior.

  6. I always passed this store while visiting Oak Ridge Lake. Never went in it, and glad Acme Style beat me to it! I'm surprised that Acme decided to take over this location, the area is a bit 'risky' you could say... property values are down and crime is up. But I have to admit a really nice store. The exterior of the store is similar to a Waldbaums (I forget the town name... I'll repost here if I can find it) in New York.

    1. Jefferson isn't exactly what I would call "risky".

    2. It certainly isn't. As I mentioned in the post, this is exactly the type of store Acme loves to run so it isn't a surprise at all that they acquired it. Plus all signs are the store is a big success.

    3. It's funny... this store may be on the other side of Jefferson (Its near the lake, so my guess would be its on the nicer side, as there are country clubs nearby), but I'm used to the risky part of town that actually is "Jefferson", and not "Oak Ridge". Oak Ridge is home to many rich properties, and even the Ringling Brothers Estate just down the road. So, I agree about that it is the type of store Acme would love to run, but I don't think the other side of town personally will like this store.

      I agree that this store is a hit, whenever I pass it, it is always busy. I'm surprised they haven't QB'ed this place yet... Fresh 1.0, I feel, is the easiest to take down.

    4. Risky and Sussex County don't generally show up in the same sentence. I've certainly never thought Jefferson is crime-ridden. Good grief.

  7. Actually the original centennial A & P was built in the mid 60's. It was a typical 60's style 15,000 square foot A & P. In 1990, the store was just very obsolete with old manual key in registers with no scanning system. Lighting was obsolete and overall decor was run down. The store closed in 1994 and was actually torn down and rebuilt. That year shuttles to the then-Butler store were bringing people from there to that store. The larger 40,000 square foot A & P opened in 1995 and at the time was state of the art though not as large as they would have liked. A McDonalds was in that shopping center was well as that chain was experimenting with shopping plaza stores. Anyhow what happened was Shop Rite was considering building a new store where the Acme now is. A & P outbid them and bought that sight in 1999. They built the new store in 2002 and closed the 1995 store after only 7 years. One of the few wise decisions A & P made was to keep Shop Rite from coming in by building a new store themselves.