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|Traded as||NASDAQ: FWM|
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Jack Murphy - CEO|
|Owner||Fairway Group Holdings Corp.|
Fairway Market is an American grocery chain. Founded in the 1930s, it is one of the United States' highest grossing food retailers per square foot with 14 million customers per year. Fairway has had significant store expansion in the New York area, with 14 stores in the tri-state area, plus 3 liquor stores. The flagship store remains at Broadway and West 74th Street, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Sterling Investment Partners, a private equity firm in Westport, Connecticut, bought a controlling stake in Fairway Market in January 2007 and committed to substantially expanding the chain in the Greater New York area. Sterling made a $150 million capital investment in Fairway and has thus far committed to over $100 million for Fairway’s expansion, enabling the enterprise to grow rapidly and generating 2,100 new jobs in the tri-state area within the ensuing 3 1/2 years.
In 2011, the chain had revenues of $550 million. It was spun off in an IPO on April 17, 2013, trading under its parent, Fairway Group Holdings Corp., on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "FWM".
The original Fairway Market, at West 74th Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was a modest produce shop. By 1997, it had expanded. A café serves sandwiches, burgers, and breakfast, and becomes a steakhouse by night. There are larger locations in Harlem; Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York; Fashion Center mall in Paramus, New Jersey; Plainview, New York; Pelham Manor, New York; Stamford, Connecticut; and Woodland Park, New Jersey. In 2011, Fairway expanded even further with two more locations: one on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which opened on July 20, and the other in the Douglaston neighborhood of Queens, New York, which opened on November 16. In 2012, Fairway Market opened three more locations: in Woodland Park, New Jersey on June 6; Westbury, New York on August 22; and Kips Bay in Manhattan in late December. In 2013, Fairway Market opened a location in Chelsea, Manhattan and another at The Shops at Nanuet shopping mall in Nanuet, New York. There will be another store in Hudson Yards, Manhattan by 2017. The company currently employs about 5,000 people.
The sequence of all stores is as follows:
- The flagship store, founded in the 1930s, still occupies the original Broadway location in the Upper West Side.
- In 1995, Fairway's Harlem store opened in a significantly larger space. This store has a 10,000-square-foot (930 m) enclosed space, the "Cold Room", which contains the store's meats, seafood, dairy products, and beer. Silver coats hang nearby for customers who wish to keep warm while browsing the freezer.
- In 2001, the company opened its first store outside the city in the Long Island community of Plainview.
- In 2006, it opened its fourth store in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
- Fairway's fifth store opened on March 25, 2009, in the Fashion Center shopping mall in suburban Paramus, New Jersey, its first store west of the Hudson River.
- On April 14, 2010, Fairway opened a new branch in the Westchester County village of Pelham Manor, directly across the border with the Bronx. This became Fairway's third location in the New York City suburbs and sixth overall. The company signed a lease on a 75,000 sq ft (6,967.7 m2) site formerly occupied by Kmart. With the Pelham Manor opening, Fairway expanded its offering to its customers with their first 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) Wine and Spirit superstore adjacent to the market. Their second wine and spirit superstore is adjacent to the Stamford market; it is 6,500 square feet (600 m2). the newest is beside Fairway Market, Woodland Park; it includes a temperature controlled room for high-end wines, a tasting bar, and a staff of specialists and sommeliers.
- Fairway’s seventh location opened in November 2010 in Stamford, Connecticut and employs over 500 people. The Stamford store is the largest one to date at over 80,000 square feet.
- In 2011, Fairway opened a location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on 86th Street, between Second and Third Avenues.
- Fairway also opened a location in Douglaston, Queens in 2011.
- In June 2012, Fairway opened its tenth food store and third Wine and Spirits Store in Woodland Park, New Jersey, on the site of a former Pathmark Super Center.
- Fairway Market opened a 68,000-square-foot store in the Roosevelt Raceway Center in Westbury in August, 2012. The store brought about 500 new jobs to the community.
- In December 2012, Fairway opened their Kips Bay, Manhattan location on East 30th Street and Second Avenue.
- Fairway Market opened their 13th store in Chelsea, Manhattan at Sixth Avenue on July 24, 2013.
- Fairway opened their 14th store in Nanuet, New York, at The Shops at Nanuet mall on October 10, 2013.
- Fairway Market opened a 53,000 square feet (4,900 m2) in the DSW Plaza in Lake Grove, New York on July 23, 2014. This store is the first Fairway Market location in Suffolk County on Long Island and the 15th food store in the metropolitan area.
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In 1976, Fairway Market’s Master Cheesemonger and Master Buyer, Steve Jenkins, was the first American cheesemonger inducted into France’s centuries-old Guilde des Fromager, Confrerie de Saint-Uguzon, which is The French master cheesemongers’ guild in Dijon, and today he is a prud’homme, the guild’s highest status. In 1982, he became the first American to be inducted into France’s master cheesemonger guild, the Taste-Fromage. In 1995, Jenkins was also dubbed “The city’s premier authority on cheese” by New York magazine in its “The 100 Smartest New Yorkers” special issue. Then in 1996, he published the book Cheese Primer, which has since been honored with a prestigious James Beard Award. In 2004, Jenkins was named one of the most important people who shaped the specialty food industry by The Gourmet Retailer. In 2008, Jenkins also received the American Cheese Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In that same year, he published his second book, The Food Life: Inside the World of Food with the Grocer Extraordinaire at Fairway. In addition, he’s a contributing writer for Fairway Market’s blog On Our Plate and for the Olive Oil Times.
Jenkins is often interviewed by the media, and he and Fairway Market were featured during a History Channel Modern Marvels documentary on cheese.[when?] Other media appearances have included PBS with Jacques Pepin, CBS’s Sunday Morning, the Rachael Ray Show, and The Splendid Table on NPR with Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Jenkins left Fairway in early 2015 and has not been replaced.
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Fairway Market becomes active in and supports the communities in the areas where it opens its stores. Its stores regularly donate thousands of pounds of food annually. Every year, Fairway Market partners with local food banks, such as Food Bank For New York City, for their Check-Out Hunger fundraising initiatives.
Fairway also has a history of giving during the holidays. In 2010, it donated more than 20,000 nutritious holiday meals to the Food Bank for Westchester. And for Thanksgiving 2011, Fairway Market donated more than 2,500 turkeys.
Additionally, Fairway Market has had a longstanding commitment to firefighters, and in the months following 9/11, adopted local firehouses, supplying them with food throughout the rescue and recovery and clean-up efforts. Fairway also hosts annual Firefighter Food Face-Off events where firefighters can compete against one another in a grilling competition where the winning team wins a gift card to shop at Fairway for their firehouse. Fairway also hosts a Shopping Night in honor of the winning firefighters where a percentage of proceeds are donated to a charity of their choice.
Fairway Market hosts Shopping Nights like these for other organizations, too, such as the one it hosted in October 2011 for St. Luke’s LifeWorks, in Connecticut, during which 25 percent of all sales were donated to this social service non-profit agency that aids the homeless in Lower Fairfield County.
Fairway Market rushed to help during Superstorm Sandy, keeping its stores open and delivering food and cleaning supplies to people in need. Fairway Market donated $30,000 to ReStore Red Hook, a non-profit group dedicated to the recovery of small businesses forced to close after Sandy ravaged the neighborhood in October.
Fairway Market was the Hospitality Partner at Macy's 37(th) Annual Fourth of July Fireworks Show on July 4, 2013. Thousands of guests invited by Macy's enjoyed dinner, drinks and dessert provided by Fairway, and watched the fireworks display from a prime location on the Westside of Manhattan.
Every year during Thanksgiving, Fairway has made it a tradition to give a happy holiday to those less fortunate. In all of its locations, Fairway donates food to shelters and food banks so that people who can’t afford a good Thanksgiving dinner can get one for free. Along with turkeys, Fairways typically gives the usual holiday fixings, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. Last year, just from its Uptown store, Fairway donated over 650 turkeys throughout the city.
Along with Fairway’s Red Hook store's being awarded the U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR CHP Award for its conservation efforts, Fairway Market’s stores are using Energy Star qualified fixtures and equipment. The lighting in the stores is energy efficient, and the heat generated by Fairway’s refrigeration and freezer units is reclaimed to heat the stores’ aisles and hot water. Fairway also uses waste-to-water technology as part of its waste decomposition system to eliminate the hauling of solids to landfills. And most of the products shipped to Fairway use 100% recyclable corrugated materials and nearly all are stacked on 100% recycled pallets. Plus, cleaning and maintenance supplies that are DfE certified, which is the EPA’s Design for the Environment program, are used in part at the stores and its facilities, and they’re purchased in concentrated form to not use and waste excess packaging. Lastly, Fairway’s Stamford store is in a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building.
- Reddy, Sumathi (11 July 2011). "Fairway Grocery Chain Targets an Expansion". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Fwm". CNN.
- "Fairway Group Holdings Corp. Voluntary Petition" (PDF). PacerMonitor. PacerMonitor. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Super Market News Archived April 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Healy, Peter (20 April 2009). "Antares loses control of Stamford office complex". Greenwich Time.com. Greenwich Time. Retrieved 24 April 2009.[dead link]
- Brooklyn Borough President
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