2020 Outstanding Independents, Meat/Seafood: Grand & Essex Market
At Grand & Essex Market, the butcher, the baker and even the candlestick maker are alive and well, thriving just across the Hudson River from New York City. Okay, maybe not the candlestick maker, but certainly the candlestick purveyor (the store offers an impressive assortment for candle aficionados).
Grand & Essex opened in 2013 as the first high-end kosher market in Bergen County, N.J. Today, however, the retailer excels at providing a wide variety of specialty foods, products and services reminiscent of the corner grocer and butcher who knew everyone in the neighborhood.
“We share in our customers’ life cycles, offering complimentary dinners for families of newborns, dessert platters for family celebrations or visits, and meals to houses of mourning,” says Mali Baer, director of marketing and customer care at Grand & Essex. “We look out for our elderly or ill customers by taking their orders over the phone or by email, and driving them home when they bought a little more than they can carry, or delivering small orders to their doorsteps.”
2020 OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENTS
Grand & Essex has also built its reputation on the superior quality of its expansive deli and butcher departments.
“Customers travel from all corners of Bergen County just for our fresh Prime USDA American beef and clean poultry,” Baer says. Impressively, butchers from Grand & Essex are available on WhatsApp so that customers can communicate directly with them about meat orders.
“We hand-peel hundreds of thousands of potatoes yearly for our legendary potato kugel and Chanukah latkes, because using machines affects our famous and genuine homey taste,” Baer says. “Authenticity carries through to our Sephardic fusion cuisine, Little Italy pizza shop, fresh sushi and our ‘hot from the oven’ bakery goods.”
Innovations over the past year include a new smokehouse that offers kosher consumers one-of-a-kind ribs, smoked meats and barbecue.
“And we’re one of the first grocery stores to have a certified health coach in-store twice a week to discuss health and nutrition with customers,” Baer adds.