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For many, Pathmark replacement a ‘Basic’ choice • Brooklyn Paper

For many, Pathmark replacement a ‘Basic’ choice

The Food Basics on Coyle Street has attracted former Pathmark shoppers like Steve Bieber, pictured with his daughter Emily, who like the store’s low prices and convenience.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Many Sheepshead Bay residents who used to shop at shuttered Pathmark on Nostrand Avenue have found a cheap replacement — and it’s only eight blocks away.

Food Basics, a grocery store on Coyle Street between Avenues U and V, has won over many shoppers who were left stranded when the Pathmark between Avenues Y and Z went out of business in April.

It’s “taking all the [old] business from Pathmark because it’s much less expensive,” said Helen Minkowitz, who switched to Food Basics after the Pathmark went under.

Elaine Haber said she also avoided the Food Basics — which opened in the late-1990s — until the Pathmark closed, when she visited for the first time and was surprised by the store’s prices.

Food Basics sells a dozen large eggs for $2.68, and gallon jugs of Tuscan milk for $4.18.

For shoppers, that’s a big savings compared to the Waldbaum’s on Ocean Avenue between Voorhies Avenue and Shore Parkway, where a dozen eggs can fetch over three dollars and the same gallon of milk goes for $4.49.

“I go out of my way to come here,” said Haber.

The store is owned by A&P — the same food giant that owns the Waldbaum’s and Pathmark chains.

The company filed for bankruptcy in February, then shut down 32 “unprofitable” stores across the Northeast, including the Pathmark in Sheepshead Bay. But Food Basics was saved.

A&P Spokeswoman Marcy Connor said the Pathmark was sacrificed after a “continous and detailed financial analysis of our store portfolio.”

Still, the discount store’s surging popularity doesn’t mean a replacement for Pathmark won’t thrive.

A handful of supermarket chains are interested in the site, according to local real estate agents.

But it might not matter whose store takes over the site, because new Food Basic devotes said they don’t plan to go back.

Food Basics has “better prices than the other places,” said Heyde Calderon. “And it’s convenient.”

Sal Caruso said he won’t miss the Pathmark, even though the location is close to his home on Bedford Avenue.

“It’s an inconvenience that Pathmark closed,” Caruso said. “But I’m happy here.”

Former Pathmark shoppers have flocked to the Food Basics store on Coyle Street, lured by its low prices.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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