FilStop: Largest Filipino superstore to open to New Jersey, bringing in young Fil-Ams

CLIFTON, NJ — It started out as a small store in a garage in the 1970s, which grew into a storefront with more than 4,000 square feet of space in Jersey City years later.

Today, this Philippine grocery store business has quadrupled into a 16,000 square foot soon-to-open superstore known as FilStop in Clifton, NJ.

The Santos family are the proud owners of FilStop – considered the oldest and largest Filipino-owned store in the East Coast that offers Filipino food and products.

FilStop became more famous when it was featured twice on Bizarre Foods America by host Andrew Zimmern.

“Here I took the Filipino person first, you know, I built it out so that we have a place to call our own.”

Erwin Santos is the among the next generation of the Santos family taking the reins in running this one-stop-shop.

His latest spin: bringing in a new generation of employees — the i-Gen, also known as the Gen Z.

The i-Gens were born between 1995 and 2012.

While i-Gens are digital natives — who grew up in the digital age of iPhones, iPads and i-Everything – this Fil-Am says his family’s superstore temporarily takes him away from the digital world to rediscover the analog world and his Filipino roots.

“I found this job through social media,” said Aaron Carr. “It makes me feel a lot spiritually and mentally, makes me feel connected to my Filipino roots.

From stocking groceries, cutting chicken meat to descaling and cleaning fish – these young Fil-Am employees are learning all kinds of skills.

“It’s nice serving people.”

For Japanese-American Jacob Leonard, working at FilStop is a summer that beats flipping burgers or folding clothes at retail stores.

“I really like the fact that everyone here’s kinda young and energized…I’m getting ready for college, I’m going to my first year in college.”

Santos says FilStop is a place where people can put away their smartphones and other gadgets — and focus on eating, shopping, spending time with loved ones.

“I think it’s just seeing people relaxing, conversing and talking I dunno, about back home or here, I think that’s been the thing that made me the happiest…

For those who can’t physically make it to FilStop, they can also order online:

FilStop’s superstore officially opens on August 22.

One Comment

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  • Noel Garrido
    12 August 2019 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Good for competition. So, there will always be more selection and better prices. Rliminating almost monopolistic business by Seafood City, Island Pacific, etc. Good luck Filstop! ❤️