Friday, May 14, 2010

More hype from New York-based Fairway Market

Picture of Fairway Market - Paramus Location, ...
Fairway Market on opening day in Paramus.(Wikipedia)

If you're not reading the Fairway Market sales flier, you are missing out on one of the slickest marketing campaigns for a supermarket in North Jersey.

Farm-raised shrimp, conventionally raised prime beef -- all of it looks terrific, and there are photos of the humans behind each department at its Paramus store with a quote or two for good measure. 

None of this can obscure the truth -- that Fairway is selling a lot of pretty ordinary food, except for Murray's drug-free chicken, wild seafood  and organic items.

There are some gems, though. 

Whole porgy and whiting for $2.99 a pound is the lowest price I've seen on these fish (the sale starts today). Organic, Fair Trade coffee at $4.99 a pound is a steal. Three pounds of herbicide-free, Campari tomatoes for $5 is another great buy.

Capt. Tony Maltese, a licensed commercial fisherman, is shown and identified as the director of seafood. 

But above his name there is a quote from R.W. Apple Jr., a reporter for The New York Times whose appetite was legendary and who roamed the world to write about food. 

What is this quote doing in the flier and who is the "we" Apple refers to? 

The quote is in bigger type than the attribution, so unless you look closely, you may think the "we" is Fairway and the person being quoted is Capt. Maltese. It's not clear. (Could Apple have covered the opening of a Fairway store in New York before he died and spoken to Maltese?)

"We pay serious attention to the fact that where a fish was caught, how a fish was caught and when it was caught is at least as important as how it is best cooked."
It gets better. Ray Venezia, Fairway's third-generation butcher, also is pictured in the flier.

"It's really very simple. We cut every piece of meat as if we were going to serve it to our own family."
That doesn't say he actually brings home the conventionally raised beef, pork and lamb Fairway sells. In fact, the store sells only American lamb, not the grass-fed, drug- and hormone-free lamb from Australia that you can find at Costco and ShopRite, generally at lower prices than American lamb.

Fairway also doesn't carry naturally raised beef from Australia.

Fairway Market, 34 E. Ridgewood Ave., Paramus; 201-444-5455. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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  1. Darn good coffee too, that organic Fairway blend. Two weeks ago they had the Fairway to Heaven blend on sale, and I loaded up on that. Their coffee dept. is always an adventure.

  2. True. I've had both the organic and Fairway to Heaven blends. I have my beans ground very fine -- Turkish grind. That gives me a really robust cup of coffee.

  3. I knew a butcher that worked in a fairway on long Island. I bought all my organic chicken from him for my dog with kidney disease. I told him that on occasion i would purchase the fairway organic ground chicken that was in the display. He warned me to never buy it again because it's not really organic. They falsely labeled the chicken to make extra bucks. I was horrified. Here I was spending all this money to make sure my dogs kidneys are free of toxins and I end up buying a lie.

    1. That's sad. I have never been able to warm up to Fairway's New Yawk attitude and I'm from Brooklyn!

      I gladly fight crowds at Costco and save money on organic food and wild fish.


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