“So where do you shop for food?” has been one of those haunting questions for us Trenton residents for many years. In truth, despite the good efforts of the Supreme Supermarket, for years there hasn’t been a store in town where you’d want to buy food for a dinner party. Until now. In June of 2008, the somewhat mercurial Bogopa Food Services Corp opened it’s 12th Food Bazaar Store in Trenton’s Roebling Market. At 67,000 SF, it’s 3x the size of any other food market within Trenton City limits.
Knapp’s has been around since 1944, and the current owner, Pete Garnich, started working at the shop, for Mr. Knapp, in the late 1970’s. He bought it around 10 years ago. The shop is pleasant, with a good selection of bikes for kids and adults, mountain and racing. I’ve bought 6 bikes as an adult for myself, and 4 for members of my family. I’ve never experienced the care and expertise that Knapp’s brought to the table when I bought my current road bike.
Sayah Anne Richardson, the proprietor of Sayah’s African Fashion Studio, immigrated to Trenton from Liberia about 30 years ago. Ever since, she’s been Trenton’s “go to” dressmaker, creating custom fashions, or expertly altering dresses for a diverse clientele.
Arctic is a great place to buy ice cream if you’re stocking up for a party. The smallest container is a half gallon ($5), or you can get the 3 gallon tub ($24.64). It comes in (count ‘em) 45 flavors (though not all flavors are available year round).
From the outside, Henry’s looks like an old-school luncheonette, which went out of fashion in the early 1960’s. However, peer through the window, and you see something’s up with the large, modern cooking area, and nicely stocked shelves. Then you realize all the packages have Polish labels, and you remember that you’re at the very epicenter of the Polish section of Trenton: European Bakery is next door, Cosmo Food Market is across the street, and Rozmaryn Restaurant is around the corner.
Brunswick Sports is an old-fashioned bait and tackle shop that offers a good selection of products combined with expert advice. Re-opened by 4 partners in April of 2006, it’s the perfect place to find out what’s happening on the local streams.
The European Bakery (“EB”) is the expanded successor to the Eagle Bakery (now closed), which used to operate two blocks down Olden Street. It offers a wonderful variety of authentic Polish-style baked goods – pastries, cakes, and breads – plus a well-stocked deli with cold cuts, sausages, and an assortment of grocery items.
Franca’s is clearly the best of the old-line Italian bakeries remaining in Trenton. It does some lovely, crusty peasant breads, a mean sfoliatella (a ridged, chewy, triangular pastry filled with a lemony ricotta filling), and a decent cheese cake. There may be other good items as well; I’ll confess to have sampled only a few.
P&G Trading Company is one of central NJ’s premiere purveyors of fine seafoods to the wholesale trade. The heart of their business is delivering seafood to restaurants and groceries. While they used to have a retail store, they recently ran out of room in the warehouse and had to close it. However, I am assured by the owner that they will still sell retail, though only now in case quantities or whole sides of fish.
Some of the most beautiful candles on the planet are made in Trenton. Ana Candles, the original striped taper, are sold in premiere home decor, gift shops, and musuems across the country. You’ve probably seen them: they have a unique horizontal striped design in a variety of exotic colors. The design can’t be made with conventional candle-making equipment – Frank Weeden, the late founder of Ana Design Corporation, invented special machinery to make it possible.