Foodtown (United States)

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Retailers' cooperative
Founded 1955
Headquarters Iselin, New Jersey, U.S.
Number of locations
Products Bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, grocery, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, liquor
Parent Allegiance Retail Services

Foodtown is a northeastern United States supermarket cooperative founded in 1955 by Twin County Grocers, Inc. Currently, there are 70 Foodtown stores in New Jersey, New York and eastern Pennsylvania. There are also 2 locations in South Florida. Foodtown's corporate offices are located in Iselin, New Jersey.

Much like other retailer's cooperatives, such as Wakefern (parent of ShopRite), each Foodtown is independently owned and operated with some owners operating multiple stores. Foodtown's parent company, Allegiance Foodservices, also acts as a supplier for other independent grocers that do not operate under the Foodtown store banner. Allegiance also supplies Foodtown-branded items to the stores it supplies.


In the 1980s and 1990s, Foodtown was a major player on Long Island, NY and in New Jersey. In 1994, Foodtown's Twin County Grocers was headed by CEO Martin Vitale and was supplying 165 Foodtown stores, resulting in wholesale revenue of over $1 billion. A third of those stores were operated by two companies: Mayfair Supermarkets, Inc. and Melmarkets Inc. These two companies were the 2 largest members of the cooperative.

In the mid-1990's, two major incidents nearly resulted in the demise of the Foodtown chain and cooperative. The first incident came in 1995, when the Dutch retailer Royal Ahold, owner of the Edwards Super Food Store supermarkets purchased 45 Foodtown stores which were operated by Melmarkets and Mayfair Supermarkets Inc. Shortly following the purchase, the 45 supermarkets were converted to Edwards Super Food Stores. As these 45 stores made up half of the Twin County Grocer's volume, the cooperative took a severe financial hit. The second incident came when, in the chaos resulting from the Ahold purchase, a scandal was uncovered where members of Twin County's corporate hierarchy were found to have been embezzling money from the cooperative.

In 1998, the lost volume from the Ahold acquisition and damage from the embezzlement scandal forced Foodtown's parent, Twin County Grocers, into bankruptcy. Following these events, many Foodtown stores converted to other banners or simply closed.

The Twin County CEO, Martin Vitale, who once owned 12 Foodtown stores, eventually pleaded guilty to stealing $4.2 million from the Twin County Cooperative, as well as bribing a leader in the United Food and Commercial Workers union in New Jersey.[1]

In 2004, Foodtown closed its warehouse; it now is serviced by various wholesalers. The cooperative is still responsible for negotiating with suppliers, Foodtown advertising, promotions, and marketing programs.

In 2015, A&P asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy case to approve the sale of the intellectual property of Pathmark to an affiliate of Foodtown operator PSK Supermarkets. Foodtown has offered $1 million for assets including the Pathmark logo, trademarks and brand names Pathmark, Chefmark, Big Deals and Sav-A-Center; the Pathmark Gospel Choir Competition; and the domain name.[2]

Former locations[edit]


  1. ^ New York Times. [1], Sept 27, 2003. Retrieved on 2016-08-21
  2. ^ [2], accessed December 4, 2015.

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