Next up is Northern California
SAN FRANCISCO -- Fresh & Easy executives participated in a ground-breaking ceremony last month for what will be the chain's first announced store in northern California.
The outlet will be part of a mixed-use housing project that is being developed by Noteware Development and Goldman Sachs on the site of a former Coca-Cola factory. The site is on Third Street in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco, which is an area long underserved by food retailers.
"In all of District 10 we have no real supermarkets," said city supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who represents the Bayview district. "It's a tremendously important amenity that a lot of neighborhoods take for granted."
A recent survey of residents by the Southeast Food Access Task Force, a group of community and city organizations, showed that the majority of Bayview/Hunters Point residents must buy their food outside the neighborhood and view access to fresh and healthy food as an urgent issue.
"We are excited to be in a position to provide residents of the neighborhood with fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices," said Fresh & Easy chief executive officer Tim Mason. "This development and Fresh & Easy location promises to bring jobs and fresh, wholesome food to the neighborhood."
The ground breaking also marks the first major step for Fresh & Easy in its expansion to northern California. The retailer is also seeking a site for a distribution center in Stockton, Calif., and is reportedly closing in on deals for other store sites in San Francisco, as well as sites in nearby Pacifica, Danville, Fairfield and San Jose, Calif.
The Bayview/Hunters Point store, set to open in 2009, also demonstrates Fresh & Easy's willingness to open stores in neighborhoods that have been neglected by operators of traditional supermarkets. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom initiated the contact with Fresh & Easy as part of the city's decade-long effort to expand shopping options in the district.
"We are looking forward to opening this store and many others in neighborhoods throughout northern California," Mason said.
When the ground-breaking ceremony was held on December 13, Fresh & Easy was operating 24 neighborhood markets in southern California, Nevada and Arizona. The company, a division of Tesco, made its United States debut on November 8 with six stores in the Los Angeles area. Fresh & Easy then opened five stores in Las Vegas on November 14, a store in San Diego county on November 16, and four stores in Mesa and Chandler, Ariz., on December 8.
Fresh & Easy expects to have 50 stores open by the end of February.