Supermarket Reopens Under New Name

Key Food replaces Associated in East End.

Key Food has replaced the former Associated at 663 E. Park Avenue in Long Beach. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
Key Food has replaced the former Associated at 663 E. Park Avenue in Long Beach. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

A Long Beach supermarket’s name has changed but ownership and some departments will remain the same.

Long Beach Patch on Facebook.

Key Food opened its doors earlier this month at the former Associated store at 663 E. Park Ave. in the East End. The Brooklyn-based Almonte’s Food Dynasty owns both the Key Food and Associated stores.

“There are still the same owners and people running the store, me, Anabella and Jose,” said the Long Beach store’s co-owner Omar Rodriguez.

The supermarket held a soft opening Feb. 8 and a grand opening a week later. It has kept the same deli, produce and meat departments, but as a Key Food supermarket the store will provide better variety and pricing, Rodriguez said.  

“Key Food offers a much more aggressive sales program than what Associated could offer,” he said about the reason for the switch.  

Although the building sustained damages during Hurricane Sandy, mainly the roof that has since been replaced, a switch from Associated to Key Food was in the works prior to the storm, Rodriguez noted.  

Another Key Food is expected to open at the former C-Town supermarket in the West End, at 1060 W. Beech St., but that store would have a different owner.

Last year, Long Beach native Ben Levine opened a Key Food Fresh in Rockville Centre, an organic-oriented supermarket at the former Waldbaum’s on Ocean Avenue.  

Tideline February 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM
If business is so good how come several RE offices have closed, never to reopen since the storm ? Because business post storm is so good, they need less staff and office space. Go on MLS, there are hundreds of apts for sale. Anytime there is too much supply and not enough demand, prices fall. Are prices falling for Condos and Coops ? I know of one seller who was told by Pru that if the offer they presented was not accepted, they would take their buyer to some of the hundreds of other units available who will take a lowball offer. There are many blgs along Broadway and Shore Road who have temprorary boilers, Security guards in the blg that they did not have pre storm, ground floor walls still open months after the storm, huge assesments for sandy damage and the list goes on. How about the Buyers who were in K before the storm that either walked away from their deal or came back to do hard renegotiation with their sellers. Did the sellers agree to the renegotiation because the market is strong ? The activity you are seeing is from the vultures who are trying to pick over the carcass of LB home owners for bargains. Another West end RE office is now focusing their efforts on building west end bungalows, instead of selling them. Did you ever see that before Sandy ?
1_Good_Guy February 27, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Wow I would have thought there would be some positive notes here. I for one praise and welcome the return of Omar and his staff and new store. Much like the old adage goes "You dont know what you got till its gone" I could not wait to have this store open again on the east side. Extremely convenient and great staff and now with Keyfood ownership Great Deals!. Good Luck Omar and the great peeps at our new Keyfood!
Brendan February 27, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Mr. Dunes, I can understand your frustration with the aftermath of the storm, but your rage, directed at this individual, even with your version of the facts being accepted as gospel truth, don't add up. The burgers belonged to him, no? So he is free to do with them what he pleases, including sell them, in whatever lot sizes he chooses, as long as he is reasonably sure they are not contaminated or unfit for consumption. It sounds like they weren't because you don't go on to complain that you or someone you know purchased them, consumed them and then got sick. It sounds like you're angry you didn't get something for nothing. I mean, if you were unsure as to the safety of the food, would it matter if he charged you or not? Would you feed questionable food to your family even if it was free and you had an alternative, paid or unpaid? I'm curious...in the end, you're free to feel as you want and shop where you want, but the sole basis of your anger seems to be that this individual didn't show the amount of charity you deemed to be requisite for his position and so you're pissed at him. Fair enough, but it does make you seem like a little bit of a crybaby and maybe even a little bit of a judgmental prick.
Leonard Bauman February 27, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Let me chime in and say it is absolutely wonderful that our friend and neighbor, Omar Rodriguez, reinvested his money back into his store quickly after the disaster to open a newly renovated store under the brand Key Food. Thank you Omar for your investment, which you borrowed out of your own pocket as well as through bank loans. We will continue to shop in your quaint store and we will say hi to you if you wave to us! God bless you, Omar Rodriguez and many happy returns! P.S.- I would like to see some good prices on fruits and veggies in Key Food's sales.
Logic VanGoodboink February 27, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Mr Dunes, you are clearly a negative, cranky, bitter, angry person- I've been shopping at Associated for decades, and the only thing you could fault them for was higher prices. Service was great, never having to wait on long lines because they would always open a new register if more than two people were on line. Store was well run and clean, produce and meat high end, their deli is top notch, with great tuna, salads & cakes. Staff courteous, capable and hard working. What more can you ask for? Now, with switching to Key Food, even their prices will be good. Nobody sells burger patties as singles... where have you ever seen raw ground patties sold like that? You say people were starving because of this? You're delusional- in that very same store was a whole selection of food that anyone who was hungry could pick and choose- a can of tuna, a box of cereal a bag of carrots... but that apparently wasn't good enough for you, you wanted what nobody was offering. So that makes it their fault, eh? Grow up and stop acting like a silly little child.
Elliot Zuckerman February 27, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Omar and the entire staff are great, when I needed food, water or anything else I asked for, for my Free surfing outing for kids with special needs they always stepped up to the plate and helped, I wish them the very best and no matter what cranky says, you are the type of owners we the local people like. Good luck Elliot
Mr Dunes February 27, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Logic VanGoodboink, I Know what happened, and you surely don't know me.
Logic VanGoodboink February 27, 2013 at 06:17 PM
You are right Mr. Dunes, I don't know you. What I do know is that you called a man who does good work and deserves respect "a despicable human being". Are those not your words? Why do you say this? Because he didn't give you stuff for free? You don't think that's absolutely childish? ...and then you go on to question the safety of the burgers while following it up with the complaint he wouldn't give them to you. It's like the Annie Hall restaurant joke of "the food is terrible- ...and such small portions". You don't know the responsibilities Mr. Rodriguez has, and whether you agreed with the situation or not you had to respect it- as you were owed nothing from him. You then go on to state he was "forcing hungry families with hungry children to buy his questionable burgers." Are you kidding me? How in the world did he force hungry children from the neighborhood to buy his "questionable" burgers? Nobody HAD to buy his burgers, I was at Associated after the storm and they stayed open- and had plenty of things to choose from. If your budget didn't include burgers... buy hot dogs. I also went to Waldbaum's after the storm and they were open and had tons of stuff for *sale*. I needed bleach, I paid for it, they weren't giving it away- I didn't see it as something "abominable". I was happy to get it. This is besides that the National Guard, Fema, Red Cross & others had trucks with free food, water & supplies in different parts of the city, the recreation center had free clothes, there were free meals at religious centers and restaurants. There was actually more food donated than people could consume- yet you try to claim starving children were being left hungry by the proprietor of a supermarket while simultaneously forcing them to purchase and consume his hamburgers? Please. How can you expect people to see you as credible after making such statements? No matter who you may be, you crossed a line of civility and common decency with an unjustified, vitriolic personal attack of an individual on a public board- and you should apologize.
1_Good_Guy February 27, 2013 at 07:10 PM
amen +1 to that
Victor K. Sheinbaum February 27, 2013 at 07:16 PM
The old store was quite good. The fact that one scumbag was unhappy with the store and the very well liked owner proves the point. Scumbag- 1............................Excellent Owner -14................
Trying to Make Sense February 28, 2013 at 08:18 AM
Hey Brendan, as usual your analysis is thoughtful and focused... especially when you get to the end. Who knows better a man who " seem like a little bit of a crybaby and maybe even a little bit of a judgmental pxxxk" than one who looks at same in the mirror every day? Your posting history makes that case.
Brendan February 28, 2013 at 08:21 AM
Good Morning, Making Sense, and thank you for your additional and insightful commentary on the matter at hand. It doesn't make you seem like a bit of a stalker or weirdo in the least! Have a nice day!
Trying to Make Sense February 28, 2013 at 08:57 AM
In the words of one of your heros..."That's the best you can do?" Stalker? No just someone who has noticed your posts on PATCH for years. Own up little man...merely hoisted on your own pittard...reread your posts about children in neighborhood streets or people arrested on misdemeanors(death penalty?). Good morning and keep on keeping on Brendan. When you show some empathy and compassion in your posts, you'll be entitled to same. Enough time spent on you, I thought you had a sense of humor. I just TRY to make sense of what I read.
Brendan February 28, 2013 at 09:03 AM
LOL, funny, now I'm laughing. Nice try on appearing clever, but that should be "petard", not "pittard"...shall we say that this time it was you that was..."petarded"? Another illiterate dope on Patch...
Charlie Cheswick February 28, 2013 at 09:07 AM
Which is more likely of the two: immediately after the storm, Associated was forcing local starving children to eat rancid meat OR a disgruntled customer has a warped sense of entitlement?
JS5257 February 28, 2013 at 09:38 AM
The day after the storm we took a quick ride to check things out- on the way back to our apartment in the east end we noticed the employees of The Associated bringing out shopping carts FULL of supplies for people to take for FREE-- We were able to get a couple of extra bottles of water, candles and TONS of milk-which I brought back to my building and gave to the few people who stayed with children. There was NO CHARGE and they were just wheeling the shopping carts onto the sidewalk and people were just pulling up and taking what they needed- Just sayin- :-)
Mr Dunes February 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM
I have volunteered with camp anchor for years, I stay connected with my past campers. When there are children with down syndrome who walk to the east side of long beach, see people gathering around hamburger grills, I'm disturbed that assistance is provided to them. I also know the Omar has refused to allow some of these young adults to bag groceries (they are capable, and aren't looking for money, just something to do instead of staying home all day watching tv) anyways he refused my campers, and has many out of town employees and of course that's his choice. Logic, I see you mention walbaums, that place also had no electricity. Their products were going to the garbage if they couldn't give them away, and they to chose to be greedy(in my opinion). The farmers involved in the farmers market (during the Fuel Shortage) came to Long Beach within a week of the storm, and handed out over $10,000.00 worth of free nutritional food produce, breads, pickles,and kimchee. Those, Logic, are local regional health inspected Farms worked on by families and not produce from Mexico, like in associated and walbaums, and they were standing in the face of a fuel shortage and drove their hard worked goods here to long beach. Granted, some of them had diesel trucks, they shouldn't be trivialized. I believe I did have a bias against associated, I have PTSD, lime most of our neighbors, so I didn't place my emotions correctly with what I was impulsively triggered by Logic. I will say calling Omar a dispicable human being may not be your opinion, it was at the time i saw this article (and I don't see him as dispicable now, after seeing how invested you are in valuing him. You can chose to celebrate my admitting of an undeserved harsh statement, I was incorrect with dispicable, or move on). I apologize, my remark was completely inappropriate. My emotional unrest is driven from my anchor campers having ahard time. If Omar want to see Mr as a customer, he should bring in more locally produced goods to support local businesses (like he should have before the storm), put some solar panels on his roof to cut down on the green house gas emissions from his high powered freezers and fridges, and perhaps show some more local faces begind the counters (not just the registers.) I don't want to look like I have an agenda, but I can honestly say that this triggered my crankiness, because the patch never promotes the Long Beach farmers market. I tirelessly had to promote (without power for a computer, and just with my 3G phone..which is still all I have btw) that our farmers and coffee guys were there giving out free goods the Saturday following the storm. Patch had no promtion for their truly selfless acts of virtuous behavior. If Omar was giving out free food from inside the store, im happy to hear that. I wish it was more known for that, but neighbors, and my campers never had that knowledge that he wasnt only making money outside. Logic,I genuinely hope we can turn our emotions (for Long Beach businesses) into Devotion (for Long Beach Busonesses).
BSM February 28, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Welcome Home to the great staff of the new Key Food. You were sorely missed. Good Luck with the new name, I know it will be a success.
Trying to Make Sense February 28, 2013 at 05:24 PM
In the words of one of your heros..."That's the best you can do?" Stalker? No just someone who has noticed your posts on PATCH for years. Own up little man...merely hoisted on your own pittard...reread your posts about children in neighborhood streets or people arrested on misdemeanors(death penalty?). Good morning and keep on keeping on Brendan. When you show some empathy and compassion in your posts, you'll be entitled to same. Enough time spent on you, I thought you had a sense of humor. I just TRY to make sense of what I read.
Logic VanGoodboink February 28, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Hurricane Sandy certainly tested all of us in Long Beach- and pressed many of our emotional buttons. I'm sure much of your original post was rooted in the stress and circumstances of the time. I commend you, Mr Dunes, for the volunteer work you’ve done and your devotion to your campers. But you can’t fault a person for not accommodating your particular needs- as it's their business to run. It's not as if they were trying to price gouge, sell spoiled food, or engage in some kind of otherwise unethical behavior. The points you bring up- hiring camp members, installing solar panels (actually something I'd also like, as I have solar and pay $0/month in electric) or giving away food are all things you may like to see, but the realities of running a business have to be appreciated. The storm created a challenge for Associated & Waldbaums just as it did for the rest of us. If they could sell their meat before it went bad and get something for it, why shouldn't they? They worked to stay open even with very limited power in order to serve the community, that's not something unfair or greedy. Like any business they have financial obligations and need to support themselves. You can be sure they won't be able to give anyone a job (locally or otherwise) if their business model is to give things away for free. I appreciate your post and apology to Mr. Rodriguez. In the end we're all Long Beachers who love our city and for the most part work to support each other. May the coming spring and summer be filled with renewal, prosperity and happiness- and may Sandy soon become a distant memory for all of us.
Trying to Make Sense February 28, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Brendan, you win the spelling bee but you don't know the meaning of illiterate. Nor can you respond to being the "little man" that you are by acknowledging your specific posts that suggest parents of kids who get hit by cars deserve the heartbreak because they fail to properly teach road rules or that people who (whose shoes you have never walked in) who small crimes deserve public stonings. What you can say is that you can spell a word and then make a mindless leap of abstraction to suggest that those who mispell that word are illiterate. You and Paul, little men. Not dumb, just little. Now your next volley might be to suggest that I am in fact exposing my hypocrasy by responding to you the same way that I've accused you of responding to others, so I'll just do what you can't... acknowledge my own hypocrisy and move on. PS Look carefully, I've mispelled another word.
Trying to Make Sense February 28, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Now Logic... your last post is a model of class and consideration. Thank you.
Logic VanGoodboink February 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Thanks MS
1_Good_Guy March 01, 2013 at 09:04 AM
Um isnt this all supposed to be for Keyfood opening. And we all wonder why bullying and inappropriate behavior runs rampant.......................
Brendan March 01, 2013 at 09:39 AM
Making Sense, you seem to think it was that you tried to insult me and misspelled a word in the process that was funny. But the joke was much funnier than that. "Hoisted on your own petard" means that your own schtick is being turned around and used against you and that was what you intended to do. You wanted to play with the big boys and toss some sarcastic humor around AND YOU DIDN'T LAST PAST ONE POST. You tripped over your own feet right out of the gate. You can try and save face by painting yourself as a nicer person or even try and engage in a debate on the semantics of the word "illiterate" but at least admit that you erred rather embarrassingly when you attempted to deal in a realm you are apparently unequipped for.
Hamburger March 01, 2013 at 12:46 PM
he got served!
Trying to Make Sense March 04, 2013 at 08:14 AM
Semantics of the word illiterate? The word illiterate has a meaning. Big boys? Brendan declares himself a big boy? Anyone who reads many of your posts are impressed by what an angry little insignificant little man you are... it's what makes your posting memorable. Deal in a realm? The realm of Brendan. So now I've been "hoisted on my own petard" for mispelling petard in the realm of Brendan. And yes, I am unequipped for dealing in your realm Brendan. That is the point. Now reread Logic's posts. Think about the reflective response of Mr. Dunes. Equipt yourself.
Brendan March 04, 2013 at 08:36 AM
Nice job on acknowledging your own hypocrisy and moving on, I am impressed.
Trying to Make Sense March 04, 2013 at 08:55 AM
Nice job of pointing out my continuing hypocrisy. I'm impressed.
1_Good_Guy March 04, 2013 at 01:24 PM
If you all need to see something impressive,let me unzip my pants and wip it out fer yas.


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