Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant residents have reason to rejoice, as the popular grocery store Food Bazaar Supermarket is reopening at its previous location on Myrtle Avenue after undergoing building renovations.
The large family-owned grocery store at 1102 Myrtle Ave. closed its doors two years ago so the lot could undergo an extensive redevelopment. The new 11-story, 195,821-square-foot mixed-use building that rose in its stead features 233 apartments on sight and, of course, the newly-revamped Food Bazaar.
Food Bazaar is owned by Bogopa Service Corp., a family-owned and operated supermarket company serving the Tri-State area. Bogopa opened its first grocery store in 1988 and has been serving the Brooklyn community for decades — including in Red Hook, where it took over the former Fairway Market building in 2020.
Residents can now shop at the large store, and an official ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. outside the storefront.
As part of the ceremony, Food Bazaar will be making a significant donation to St. John’s Bread and Life Food Pantry to help provide meals to residents in Brooklyn and Queens struggling with food insecurity.
“We are truly excited to see our store come to life once again in a community we have had the privilege of serving for so many years,” said Executive Vice President for Food Bazaar, Edward Suh, in a statement. “We eagerly anticipate welcoming back our loyal shoppers to a beautiful facility that now offers expanded services, including a meat department with skilled butchers for custom-cut meats, a full-service seafood department boasting a variety of whole fish, filets, crab legs, and live lobster, a deli counter serving hot meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a bakery with freshly baked in-house breads and a delightful assortment of cakes, as well as a wide selection of organic and natural foods.”
The closure of the original Food Bazaar in 2021 prompted some concerns for residents as the grocery store was one of the largest in the neighborhood. The Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant communities that the Food Bazaar served have historically been considered food deserts; an urban area in which fresh produce and good-quality food are difficult or unaffordable to purchase.
When Food Bazaar first closed for construction, residents also voiced concerns about the senior population in the community who would struggle to travel further distances to pick up groceries.
President of the Sumner Houses NYCHA tenant association, Adorn Dubose told Bklyner that the neighborhood had seniors that were able to make the trek to Myrtle Avenue to get their groceries, but may not have been able to shop at the next-closest Food Bazaar location, a little under a mile away at 21 Manhattan Ave.
“Manhattan Avenue is much further for them,” Dubose said in 2021. “Before all they had to do was walk maybe a block or two, which wasn’t so bad, as opposed to having to walk four or five blocks. So it is a concern for the elderly and the seniors.”
Now residents will be able to purchase their groceries much more conveniently and will be able to access expanded services at the larger storefront, made possible through Bogopa’s numerous partnerships with companies like JP Morgan Chase Bank.
“We’re proud to continue our longstanding relationship with Bogopa through a New Markets Tax Credit equity investment that will provide Brooklyn residents with high quality and diverse food offerings at affordable prices,” said Executive Director of Chase New Markets Tax Credit team, Olivia Pipitone. “We remain committed to using this impactful financing tool to support investment in our communities – everyone deserves to have fresh and healthy food within walking distance of their home.”
Correction 10/26/2023, 9:03 p.m.: This story previously misstated the time of the ribbon-cutting on Nov. 2. We regret the error.