WILLIAMSBURG — Eyeing a stack of gorgonzola, jarlsberg and other gourmet cheeses in his shopping cart, Jeff Miller praised the new upscale supermarket that just opened near his South Williamsburg home.
But this wasn't Whole Foods or Trader Joe's — it was grocer Key Food's upscale spinoff Urban Market, which celebrated its grand opening on Broadway next to the Williamsburg Bridge Friday morning.
"I've been waiting for this for seven years," said Miller, 64, of the high-quality grocer that opened near the waterfront. "It fits the neighborhood. This part of South Williamsburg is more upscale."
Miller and other delighted customers crowded in the slick new supermarket soon after its doors opened, finding free cheese samples, a coffee bar, a wide selection of organic produce, freshly made sushi and other specialty items.
"It's like Whole Foods," said Minna Lehdonvirta, 29, who sampled the cheese after loading up on essentials. "It's nice, I can get whatever I want."
Some customers were confused by the store's affiliation with Key Food, as Urban Market is branded separately from the discount grocer and marks the company's 150th location overall.
Key Food opened a similar upscale market in lower Manhattan last year.
"I think of a typical Key Food as more run-down, but this is beautiful," said Matt, who lives above the grocery store and declined to give his last name. "I was worried it would be expensive, but it's not that bad."
Urban Market's owners said their store was specifically intended to serve both old and new residents in the quickly gentrifying area of South Williamsburg.
“Our goal in opening Urban Market of Williamsburg was to create both an affordable one-stop shop for residents in the neighborhood," said co-owner Colin Xie, "as well as a singular shopping experience that embraces fresh food, celebrates the joy of cooking and dining, and appeals to both the new and established residents of North and South Williamsburg.”
Urban Market is located at 11 Broadway at Kent Avenue.