Jersey City’s Oldest Filipino Grocery Expands To Clifton

filstop filipino market expands jersey city clifton
FilStop Jersey City

FilStop, the 4,000 square foot Philippine grocery along Newark Avenue near Journal Square, is opening a second, even larger location in Clifton, New Jersey, next year. Formerly called PhilAm, current owner Erwin Santos’ parents opened the grocery store over 40 years ago to serve the Filipino population of Jersey City that was exploding in the 1970s.

filstop clifton shopping center
Clifton Plaza | Credit: Levin Management

FilStop is the oldest Philippine/Asian grocery in Jersey City and even one of the oldest and largest Filipino-owned grocery stores on the East Coast. FilStop will open at Clifton Plaza on Route 46 West and quadruple their square footage, totaling 16,000 square feet. The flagship location was secured by Anthony and Eugene Rivera of Pure Properties in NYC and Jersey City and will join existing, national tenants Dunkin Donuts and Blink Fitness among others.

anthony eugene rivera pure properties
Eugene and Anthony Rivera of Pure Properties

On a recent Travel Channel interview with Andrew Zimmern, Mr. Santos jokes he started to work with his parents at the store in Jersey City when he was three years old and slept on the big bags of rice in the back. He has grown his parents’ business to what it is today: “A hub for Filipino people here in Jersey and other states. Pretty much whatever you can find in the Philippines, we have here,” says Mr. Santos.

FilStop is “passionate about sharing Filipino culture and food with the world, sourcing Filipino food straight from the Philippines and the rest of Asia.” If you can’t make it into the grocery, FilStop’s website offers hundreds of items from spices to snacks and frozen versions of their best-sellers, but only if you stop in can you sample some of the more unique Filipino foods. “The World’s One Stop Filipino-Asian Shop” is eager to open their second, larger location in Clifton, offering a convenient and centrally-located grocery store for customers near and far.


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  1. Can’t expect a real-estate PR blog to mention all the lawsuits that Filstop (aka Phil Am) has faced in recent years.

    The Santos family have subjected Philippine-born immigrants to WAGE THEFT for decades, among other such atrocities.

    Typical of Filipino Americans to abuse workers of their own ethnic background.

  2. Erwin Santos has been sued multiple times, and for good reason. He leads people on with promises, even going as far as negotiating details with lawyers, and then at the very last minute he reneges big time.

    That’s the gist of the million-dollar federal lawsuit filed against his Phil Am Food. The settlement resulted in the company’s change of name from Phil Am Food to Filstop.

    He met his match with the Arcillas who had the means to file that case in federal court. But aside from them, he has victimized a lot of people with his way of dealing business. Those others are truly victims because they could not afford to pursue legal action against him.

    You can all look this up. Case reference: 2:2015cv07132

  3. Any and many successful business can have disgruntled employee’s or business partners,
    In my opinion as a regular customer, the availability of items and the quality of food are excellent.
    The employee’s have always been helpful and pleasant, certainly not the signs of a badly run business.
    Living in Clifton has meant driving back to Jersey City for my food items, Cant wait for Clifton location to open


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