POMONA – Wide aisles, modern design and freshly prepared meals await shoppers at the newest Evergreen Kosher market that’s set to open Tuesday.
Called “Evergreen Uptown,” the store is located in the Pacesetter Park Shopping Center, 1581 Route 202 in Pomona, on the Ramapo-Haverstraw town border.
Evergreen’s other Rockland location is located along Route 59 in Monsey. There’s another market in Lakewood, New Jersey.
The two Evergreen markets in Ramapo are barely seven miles apart. But each store is a bit different, said Malki Levine, an executive at Evergreen who offered a tour Monday as workers stocked shelves and construction details continued to be added.
The store meets the strictest kosher specifications. But it also fits the trend of elevating the grocery shopping experience, with various prepared food bars, wide aisles and a reputation for some of the best baked goods and freshest produce around.
“You’d be surprised what is already kosher,” Levine said, gesturing toward the long aisle.
The location replaces a Stop & Shop that closed a couple years ago.
‘We want to make people comfortable here’
The Monsey store is located in the heart of a predominantly Orthodox Jewish area. The Pomona location is in a more diverse locale.
“We realize we took the place of a national brand and we want to make people feel comfortable here,” Levine said. “You don’t see what you want, let us know.”
There’s a big focus on prepared meals that can be taken out or eaten there. A dining section is dairy and pareve until 5 p.m., then changes to meat-based meals.
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Options will include a sushi bar, salad bar, Chinese food made to order, and more.
Shaya Setton owns Menza By Basil, a dairy restaurant within Evergreen. He also owns Basil, a dairy restaurant, and Meat, both in Brooklyn.
“We have a great breakfast menu,” Setton said as he rattled off Mediterranean dishes, omelets, French pastries and fresh-made pastas. “We create amazing food.”
The new store will also house a floral bar and a bakery that specializes in sourdough. There’s also a toy store that’s set off to the side.
“We have big families,” Levine said.
“I really believe we’re one of the most innovative and modern supermarkets, period,” Levine said. “Not just kosher.”
Specialty markets grow
The business decision by Evergreen reflects a trend in well-appointed grocery shopping in the Lower Hudson Valley.
While kosher regulations are followed mostly in the Jewish community, mainly among Orthodox Jews, the dietary rules are followed, at least in part, by others. That includes other religious groups and people with health concerns.
According to Kosher Market Trends, kosher groceries have seen a sustained growth rate of 15% annually, making it the fastest growing ethnic cuisine over the past decade. There’s been a 192% growth in products certified kosher in the U.S. since 2000.
Kosher food also has a reputation for quality and strict regulations about preparation.
Standing in the produce department, Levine said Evergreen is known for its quality, variety and freshness of fruits and vegetables.
“I think that’s where the world is going – fresh,” Levine said. “Our community and all communities are buying that way.”