(story updated on September 27)
“Prominent downtown Hoboken location on the corner of Newark and Bloomfield. Adjacent to Washington Street and minutes to the PATH.”
That’s what the listing says. Anyone who has spent any time in Hoboken will tell you that the corner of Newark and Bloomfield belongs to Sobsey’s Produce, with Michael Sobsey and his family-owned/operated market being fixtures in Hoboken for decades.
Now the address is up for lease, offering, “Approximately 2,221 sq ft of commercial space with 10’8 ceilings perfect for food, retail, etc. This space has been a gourmet food market since the 1990’s. Now it is time to become something new and amazing!”
Sobsey’s is already amazing, offering a diverse and eclectic selection of produce for legions of dedicated, discerning customers.
“The modest boutique looks like it belongs on a street in Europe,” wrote Sean Iaquinto, in a 2010 article for hMAG. “It’s the perfect place for Hobokenites, inspired by their favorite cookbook, to pick up everything they need for that one-of-a-kind dish.”
hMAG spoke with Michael Sobsey this afternoon, who said simply, “I’ve decided to retire.”
Customers are bound to be saddened by that news, but should certainly be empathetic. Typically Sobsey—who owns the building—is out in the wee hours canvassing fish and produce markets, then opening the doors to his own space at 4:30 a.m. every morning. “This business is very much dependent upon my personal involvement, and right now we’re just looking at renting the space.”
The store will remain open until a suitable tenant is found.
The listing for the lease closes with the line, “Make your mark on one of the most traveled blocks in Hoboken.”
Sobsey’s sure did. Thanks for bringing taste to Hoboken.
(H/T: Tony Soares)
UPDATE (September 27, 2017): Sobsey’s has been sold, but will continue to operate as a market…
Dear Sobsey’s Customers and Friends:
We closed the sale of Sobsey’s Produce yesterday. I am no longer the owner. The new people are very kind. I am going to help with the transition. It is very emotional as it really hit me hard today. But It will be a good change and a lot freedom, but at the same time I am giving up something we built and we love – and that is rough. Probably the hardest part will be not interacting with the brotherhood of customers and the vendors who appreciated our service and shared a vision. And what we did was give reality to a beautiful and a wholesome vision full of health and flavor. Special thanks to my brother in law Mac, without his strength and speed we would never have been able to achieve the high level of quality and service we have become known for. He opened the shop at 8 sharp everyday, set up, took phones orders, pulled all the orders, and rocked the deliveries all over town. His great energy, courtesy, and care for our customers gave me peace of mind while I was shopping in the Bronx produce market in the middle of the night four seasons and in the New York Green Markets where I had connections with farmers going back twenty years.
Emiliano, Juan, & Carlos have been with me for years and were invaluable to the team. They will be there working for the new owners who I believe are determined to run a vibrant market. And most of all to Sohiela my wife for the last thirty amazing years. It was she who had the original idea to “do something” on our own. Her love, care, and hard work have kept me heathy and strong all these years. The imprint of her artistry set the tone and feel if the store from the first day. Sohiela was the heart of the business.
Thanks to all my customers for being part of our lives.
Michael, Mac, and the Sobsey’s team