Originally printed in the December 2019 issue of Produce Business.
Format: Regional grocery store chain
An icon of New York City grocery retailing, Fairway Market began as a modest fruit and vegetable stand on the corner of West 74th and Broadway in 1933.
Since then, it has expanded into a chain of 14 food stores and four wine and spirit stores in the tri-state area, with a team of more than 3,500 dedicated to delivering the best ‘Fooding’ experience possible. Fairway’s flagship store remains in that first Upper West Side location, where a cooking school was introduced in June.
“We offer one of the most diverse assortments of the best foods from around the world, as well as from local producers, and this comes from the pride we have in bringing the absolute best food to our diverse and loyal customers in the Metro New York City area,” explains Erwin Koenig, executive vice president, sales and merchandising, who describes Fairway as being true to its tagline, ‘Like No Other Market.’
“Fresh produce is at the heart of Fairway, but our assortment runs from coffee that we roast fresh in our stores, hand-sliced smoked salmon, USDA prime dry-aged beef, authentic New York bagels fresh made in-store, specialty imports from around the world and an expansive selection of natural/organic groceries,” says Koenig. “We’ve got something for everyone, and have created an experience that not only makes us a great place to shop, but also ‘The Place to Go Fooding’.”
When it comes to sourcing fruits and vegetables, quality and freshness come first at Fairway. “Our company was founded on the principle of only offering the best and freshest produce, and we still carry those same principles 86 years later,” asserts Koenig. “We work to source as much local produce as possible, which allows us to get produce to our customers faster and fresher from harvest, as well as support local farmers and producers.”
Sourcing direct from farms all over the world means Fairway distributes directly to its store network twice a day. Added to that, for shoppers entering any of the 14 stores, fresh produce is always the first department they encounter.
“We try to offer the widest variety possible [of fresh produce],” notes Koenig, adding there is always a full assortment no matter the time of year. “From Buddha’s hand [a multi-fingered citron fruit], specialty varieties of mushrooms, to all of the staple items, the assortment does change with the season, along with the ability to source local but we keep it dynamic.”
On top of a broad produce offering, Koenig says Fairway retails “a vast selection of organics that is not rivaled by our competitors,” plus a wide convenience range of fresh-cut fruits, vegetables and prepared food kits.
Fairway displays its produce on refrigerated shelves, wooden tables and wooden bins, with printed signage detailing pricing and customer-facing information. In-store signage, as well as various digital and print media (including its blog and monthly magazine), also clearly communicate Fairway’s commitment to quality and freshness.
FAIRWAY MARKET (UPPER WEST SIDE)
2131 Broadway, New York, NY, 10023
Tel: (212) 595-1888
Hours: Mon-Sun: 24 hours