A Fresh Approach: Grand Opening for Food Cellar

Food Cellar & Co., a new grocery store banner associated with the Amish Market chain, had its grand opening last week in the Queens town of Long Island City. The 22,000-square-foot store was given a new identity to signify differences from the other stores in the Amish Market chain, team leader Oveido Teja told SN during a soft opening last week. The new store, he said, is the largest and

NEW YORK — Food Cellar & Co., a new grocery store banner associated with the Amish Market chain, had its grand opening last week in the Queens town of Long Island City.

The 22,000-square-foot store was given a new identity to signify differences from the other stores in the Amish Market chain, team leader Oveido Teja told SN during a soft opening last week. The new store, he said, is the largest and also the most focused on natural and organic products. Amish Market operates six other stores in Manhattan and Queens.

Supplied by United Natural Foods, Dayville, Conn., Food Cellar stocks natural and organic brands almost exclusively, eschewing Tide for Seventh Generation in the laundry aisle and conventional brands of cereal for Barbara's, Teja said. But the stars of the store are perimeter departments, including a bakery, a gourmet deli, a brick pizza oven, and service meat, seafood and cheese departments.

The store also features a selection of cookware and household items, a small number of items under its own private brand, and a seating area. According to Teja, a number of staff members, including the produce manager, are former Whole Foods employees. “We didn't take all of them — just the cream,” he said.

Located among several newly constructed high-rise apartment buildings, Food Cellar is the first grocery store to serve the growing Queens West neighborhood, whose residents typically shop via the Internet through FreshDirect, or at local bodegas and in nearby neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan.

A Duane Reade drug store — also the first for the neighborhood — is set to open next door to Food Cellar shortly.