Significantly larger than its original Jersey City location, FilStop recently opened its second set of doors in Clifton, New Jersey. Boasting over 16,000 square feet of fully stocked grocery aisles, the new flagship store offers a larger selection of goods than ever before, making it a must-see destination for all things Filipino.
Serving the Filipino community for 40 years and counting, co-owners Erwin Santos and Guilly Alquiros, realized that the bustling business was in need of an upgrade.
With the customer experience in mind, Santos and Alquiros envisioned a brand new space that would quadruple the size of the first, both inside and out.
Fully prepared to bring their vision to life with the help of commercial renovation specialists, Dixon Projects, the second store is located in the well-trafficked area of Clifton with more Filipino products to choose from and expansive parking available.
Anthony Rivera, Managing Director of the Commercial Division of Pure Properties who facilitated the brothers’ acquisition of the property, remarked, “I have known Erwin and the Santos family of FilStop since we were in grammar school. Fate would have it that we would meet up years later and work together in a professional capacity. Erwin reached out to me one day seeking my commercial real estate expertise in identifying a much larger location in North Jersey with parking, and thus the Clifton 16,000 sqft megastore came to be. My brother and partner, Eugene, and I are so happy and proud to be a part of the growth of their valuable Filipino-American brand and we expect even greater things to come of it by way of further expansion someday.”
Upon acquisition, the space was almost completely vacant and in need of a significant transformation. The building had previously served as a pop-up Halloween store for several years, leaving behind almost no distinguishing features within the space, aside from an outdated bathroom and thousands of square feet spanning the wide-open area.
According to Dixon Projects Director of Project Management, Christian Grapel, the biggest challenge the team faced in the renovation was the property’s strict building code restraints.
“Balancing the needs of the client with the restrictions of local and national building codes was inherently challenging given we were creating a self-contained restaurant space within the confines of a grocery store. Through a great deal of communication and coordination, our team was able to meet all of the client’s needs, while adhering to stringent regulations, with the end result being a truly unique Filipino specialty store that has a lot to offer,” Grapel recalled.
Through the renovation process, the Dixon Projects team transformed this blank slate into a multi-faceted grocery store, complete with two commercial kitchens, a private dining area, and easily navigable aisles stocked with imported Filipino items.
Branded as “The World’s One-Stop Filipino-Asian Shop,” Santos and Alquiros envisioned a store that would offer every possible Filipino ingredient that one would need and they’ve done just that.
Combined with an in-house private dining area, the specialty store now serves as a place for people to come together and embrace the culture with a bevy of enticing and hard-to-find products to choose from.
Paying tribute to their vision, the essence of the store is proudly displayed through a new colorful mural that’s situated near the entrance for all who stop by to see.
FilStop is open every day for business from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.