Random header image... Refresh for more!
Jun-22-2011

Crowds line up for Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market grand opening


Mayor Ed Lee gathers with Presidio Middle School students around the $1,000 donation check that Fresh & Easy presented to the Richmond District Neighborhood Center.

This morning, the long-awaited Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market officially opened the doors of its 127th store at the corner of 32nd Avenue and Clement. A few hundred people were lined up by 10am, waiting for the doors to open.

The store looks great with polished concrete floors, bright, wide aisles, nicely packaged food and a wide variety of food and brands. Fresh & Easy is well known for their own branded food, and you can’t miss it in every section of the store.

The Fresh & Easy team opened up the store early for guests who got to roam the store and try some of their breakfast items including muffins, scones, breakfast burritos and juices. At times we heard loud cheers as the green-shirted store staff was given instructions on their first full day of work.

Shortly before 10am, everyone inside gathered near the self-service checkout counters to hear some representatives from Fresh & Easy speak about the opening.

Mayor Ed Lee was also on hand for the opening, and spoke about the importance of not only finally filling the vacant building, but also providing jobs for San Franciscans. Fresh & Easy has a policy of ensuring that at least 25% of a store’s staff live within 4 miles. Most of the employees at the new store live in San Francisco.

During the festivities, Fresh & Easy presented a $1,000 check to the Richmond District Neighborhood Center. The company has a tradition of donating to a neighborhood charity at each new store opening.

After a hasty ribbon cutting, the eager shoppers were let in the front doors and shopping commenced.

Fresh & Easy is open daily from 8am until 10pm. CVS Pharmacy, located right next door in the other half of the building, will open on July 10.

The chain will also be opening a second location in San Francisco in the Bayview on August 24th.

Have you stopped by Fresh & Easy yet? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Sarah B.


Ready, set, shop! A large crowd gathers outside the front entrance


Fresh & Easy staff pow wow before the big opening


One of several humorous signs around the market

Bookmark and Share
 
12:52 pm | Posted under Business, Food | 20 comments
  1. Fresh & Easy opens in The Richmond | Yum Blog | San Francisco Food and Restaurants | SF Station said:

    [...] to the Richmond SF blog, “The store looks great with polished concrete floors, bright, wide aisles, nicely packaged [...]

  2. megan d said:

    when i stopped by around noon there was a line just to get in the store.

    there were also some labor rights/union folks outside with signs and leaflets. . .they were saying fresh and easy workers don’t have a union and the company has bullied employees who have tried to form/join one. these organizers were asking people to boycott the store on the grand-opening day — not to boycott forever, because that would be bad for workers, too — to send a message to the company about giving their employees fair access to unions.

    that seemed reasonable enough, and with the line, i decided to take a look around another day.

  3. John stommley said:

    Unions ruin affordable pricing and bully owners, while destroying the incentive to work by guaranteeing jobs regardless of performance. Use that picketing energy and go get a job.

  4. Brad said:

    It was fun to be there for the opening. But all the old ladies in the neighborhood need to chill out! There was a rush on unattended coupons on more than one occasion. Also a lot of yelling about how the opening was at 10 and not the regular 8 am.

    But the $2 Spanish wine was worth it.

  5. Richard Rothma said:

    I was by at noon the line to get in was to long. Walk over to the Anza library. I had not been in the building in over 50 years it still look the same inside at it did in the 1950′s and 1960′s

  6. cf said:

    I stopped in on my way home but didn’t try to buy anything, there was a line of carts for checkout snaking the entire perimeter of the place, and all the aisles gridlocked. I’m sure it’ll be great once it’s regular traffic

  7. Rachel said:

    Stopped by on my way home. The employees were all very friendly and welcoming, and the checkout line, though it looked daunting, was less than 5 minutes from the back of the store to the checkout counter. A great addition to the neighborhood, so far…

  8. Matt said:

    Is this blog news or just a corporate shill? a seemingly huge bulk of your posts are just about this one store.

    all in all, the reports I’ve been hearing is that this place is garbage. please remind the neighborhood that you can get quality groceries and produce at one of the many locally owned stores in the Richmond.

  9. kayvaan said:

    @Matt – you bring up an interesting point, albeit in an unnecessarily rude way…

    Interesting that there’s not a huge stink being made about the possible impact of Fresh and Easy on small, local grocers. Considering the massive amount of cycles spent discussing the PetCo thing it seems a little inconsistent. It’s just interesting….

    Anyway – I’m not against Fresh and Easy. A lot of local markets have a pretty limited selection – especially of things like dry goods, paper products, cleaning products, etc. Considering I can walk to a number of small markets I won’t stop going to them for our daily needs, for produce, for specialty items, etc.

    But it’s nice to have a real supermarket to have a place to get a broader variety of things as well.

  10. Ocean Beach news roundup June 24 | The Ocean Beach Bulletin said:

    [...] Easy market opened in the Richmond District at a site abandoned by both Lucky and Safeway. – Richmond SF Blog, San Francisco [...]

  11. anna said:

    Keep a TIGHT grip on your kids and a SHARP eye out for cars. The newly active shopping center is right up against Lincoln Playground. We go there regularly. In addition to the obvious two new driveways to enter/exit–*no one* is heeding the four way stop signs in front of the stores. No one. They’ve been there forever but they are now being treated like Yield signs. Tragedy. Waiting. To. Happen.

  12. tom said:

    BRAVO!

    It’s about time we had a nice market in our neighborhood. And thumbs down to the union pickets!!! Their high cost labor has done enough to squeeze the profits so that markets like this cant make enough of a return to continue to serve our community and their customers…UNIONS BITE

  13. Susan said:

    I shopped there Monday night… a bit of a strange store, I felt like a combo of an outlet type store & TJ’s… strange combo of brand names that you’d see at Safeway & their private label. Overall a kind of cold, dreary visual look to the inside, but worth having in the hood. Prices seemed to be equal or higher on many items to Safeway / TJ’s.

  14. Bob said:

    My first impressions have been mostly positive. The house brands I’ve tasted have been high quality and reasonably priced (and F&E seems to be liberal with their $5 off coupons, a further reduction of 10% or 20%). The prepared entrees are great for single people who can’t or don’t want to cook. And I like self-checkout (although I will say they need to get it better organized — bagging is haphazard, or non-existent).

    The staff is obviously new and not overly efficient. But they seem eager, and they’ll learn. Overall, I’m very happy F&E is here.

  15. anathema said:

    after waiting for 5 years for something to move into the empty space, this place was a disappointment. yes, it’s good to have a full-size grocery store closer than 15 blocks away, but i am looking to shop for real food, not pre-packaged, boxed or prepared items. for the corporation, it’s a labor-cost saving dream since all the staff needs to do is reload the shelves and there are no checkers. for the neighborhood, there is no fresh, locally sourced food for our kids.

    why does whole foods and trader joe’s hate the richmond?

  16. Holly said:

    I took my first trip, and probably last trip to Fresh and Easy this past weekend. It seemed neither Fresh, nor Easy. One small aisle of produce, including cherry’s that were over $6 a lb.? The prepared food looked bland and was showcased in thick plastic containers. In fact, I was astonished as to how many plastic containers were strewn about on the shelves. The not so easy part came while trying to check out. Only half of the self check out machines were working, and there was only one harried, stressed out staffer trying to help everyone. In the end I ditched the the peaches I was trying to purchase when the stickers wouldn’t scan, and neither the attendant nor I could figure out how to ring them up.

    In the end we spent around $50 for not much to show for it. The dinner I ended up having when I got home consisted of a “fresh” to bake pizza which had no seasoning what-so-ever, and some ready to eat chicken tenders that were just o.k.

    Today’s post on the new Columbarium brought to mind the sentiment, I’d rather visit a place where people have gone to die, rather than a place where food has.

  17. Holly said:

    I took my first trip, and probably last trip to Fresh and Easy this past weekend. It seemed neither Fresh, nor Easy. One small aisle of produce, including cherry’s that were over $6 a lb.? The prepared food looked bland and was showcased in thick plastic containers. In fact, I was astonished as to how many plastic containers were strewn about on the shelves. The not so easy part came while trying to check out. Only half of the self check out machines were working, and there was only one harried, stressed out staffer trying to help everyone. In the end I ditched the the peaches I was trying to purchase when the stickers wouldn’t scan, and neither the attendant nor I could figure out how to ring them up.

    In the end we spent around $50 for not much to show for it. The dinner I ended up having when I got home consisted of a “fresh” to bake pizza which had no seasoning what-so-ever, and some ready to eat chicken tenders that were just o.k.

    Today’s post on the new Columbarium brought to mind the sentiment, I’d rather visit a place where people have gone to die, rather than a place where food has.

  18. At long last…Fresh & Easy has Opened » the portola planet said:

    [...] at Silver and Goettingen, F&E also operates stores on Third St in Bayview, and 32nd Ave in Seacliff, and in one Pacifica [...]

  19. Grocery Outlet to open in former Delano’s location at 28th & Geary | Richmond SF Blog said:

    [...] should set up an interesting competitive dynamic with the Fresh & Easy market that opened on 32nd and Clement – just 6 blocks away – in June [...]

  20. Tesco ready to walk away from Fresh & Easy in US. What does it mean for our store? | Richmond SF Blog said:

    [...] only been 18 months since the new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market opened on 32nd Avenue near Clement, and it’s unclear from this latest news whether or not it [...]

css.php