|LAKE H MART: Last Friday, visitors to the Korean supermarket in Little Ferry found the potholed entrance to the parking lot flooded again. The store occupies only one-third of a much larger building.|
|Valley Fair, a discount store, once occupied most of the space in the Bergen Turnpike building. After Valley Fair left in 2008, more than 30 small merchants moved in and the store was renamed Value Fair.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The H Mart in Little Ferry, one of the biggest Korean supermarkets in North Jersey, is part of a Lyndhurst-based chain with stores in 11 states.
But while the Hanahreum Group has renovated other stores and opened new ones, the Little Ferry market gets shabbier by the day.
Still, customers shop here for some of the best sales around, ignoring the potholes and floods in the parking lot, and the deteriorated entrance way.
The store is so worn many customers think it will be closing.
But last week, an employee said H Mart plans to move into the space formerly occupied by Value Fair and Valley Fair in the sprawling, one story building on Bergen Turnpike.
The move is to begin next year.
I spoke to three other employees at Hanahreum headquarters, but none were willing to provide any details, such as when the new store will open and whether it will have a food court.
Apparently, H Mart is a tenant, not owner of the building.
H Mart v. Costco
In recent years, the Hackensack store has added a wide array of food products designed to appeal to the large number of Korean-American Costco members in North Jersey.
Last Thursday at the Hackensack Costco, I tried a sample of noodles in black-bean sauce, a refrigerated product from Pulmone, a South Korean company with U.S. headquarters in California.
A Pulmone representatives said two pouches of the ready-to-heat noodles will sell for about $8.99 at Costco, compared to H Mart's price of one pouch for $7.
Asked about the flooding in the parking lot, the employee in Little Ferry said H Mart has no control over the condition of the lot.
H Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike, Little Ferry; 201-814-0400. Open 7 days.
Web site: H Mart celebrates 33 years in the U.S.