Dovetailing off the opening of a Fairway store in Paramus later this month, the Times pops in on that Manhattan refugee and three others: Eden Gourmet in South Orange (which opened last May); Zeytinia in Oakland; and Sickles, now early in its second century of operation as a market.
Sickles, says author Kelly Feeney, has a “country chic feel” under the
stewardship of third-generation owner Bob Sickles, Jr., who began
offering obscure goodies like Marcona almonds from Spain and Madagascar
dark chocolate in the 1990s in response to a growing exurban clientele
From the article:
The shop is on the smaller side by grocery store standards, at about 20,000 square feet (including gift area and garden center), but it stocks a good selection of carefully chosen specialty and conventional goods: ordinary spaghetti as well as coin-shaped croxetti, a pasta typically served with pesto Genovese; corn flakes as well as steel-cut Irish oatmeal; packaged white bread as well as crusty baguettes from Balthazar Bakery. All the makings for a meal can be found here.
“Old-time gourmet shops sold caviar, foie gras and a few cheeses,” Mr. Sickles said. He sells those things, too, but he also stocks all-natural chicken, local produce and organic frozen foods. (Theres no fish department, though.)
Mr. Sickles recently hired a consultant to revamp the cheese counter; now there are about 150 aged and fresh types (availability varies) along with an assortment of quince spreads, nuts and preserves. The retail area also sells high-end table linens, ceramics and home decorations. The adjoining garden center, a sunlit 5,000-square-foot greenhouse, has exquisite orchids and other plants.