After we published a piece about the fancy makeover the City Fresh Market has undergone recently, Bushwick wanted to know why the popular market on Knickerbocker Avenue and Starr Street is no longer called Associated, and how the change affects their prices.
We got in touch with City Fresh Market’s general manager William Duran who explained that the name change was a matter of necessity, rather than choice.
The distributor that supplied Associated Supermarkets with Associated brand items, White Rose Inc., declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2014 and was bought by a company called C & S Wholesale Grocers Inc. In turn, C & S closed three New Jersey distribution centers in 2015, which meant that Associated brand products were harder and harder to obtain.
Duran says, “this [change] caused a major problem for us to get the everyday products we needed to merchandise the store,” and they “had no choice but to shop for a new main wholesaler to supply our location with the everyday items we need here.”
The change in name actually means that the new City Fresh can “be more flexible with purchasing from different wholesalers instead of just one main distributor.”
We reached out to Associated Supermarket, since there are several still in the area, for comment regarding how the bankruptcy of White Rose Inc. affected their model. We have yet to receive a response.
Sometimes a name change is not a sinister way to push through higher prices; sometimes it’s a reaction to forces beyond one person’s control.
With regard to the subject of pricing: stay tuned for a Bushwick Daily feature comparing prices of staples at the neighborhood’s many grocery stores!
Cover image: via Google Maps