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After seven years, Alma Plaza has a grocery store

Original post made on Oct 12, 2012

Michael "Miki" Werness gestured to the stretch of empty, black countertops in the middle of the produce section at Miki's Farm Fresh Market on Wednesday, Oct. 10. "You'll probably find 24 feet of mushrooms. Any mushroom you could want," he said of the soon-to-be-filled space.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 12, 2012, 9:10 AM

Comments (70)

Posted by shop in MV, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

Great, another generic white peoples, yuppie grocery store. Just what Palo Alto needed. I will continue to shop in Mountain View which has much more choices, in decent sized stores--not the little phone booth stores that were forced upon us by the "protect JJ&F" squad.


Posted by Felicity, a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

shop in MV: did you even read the article? The store is 17,000 sq ft, 4000 ft larger than the Albertsons that once stood there. And they say PA residents read.... Probably the #1 comment I would make to the comments, is people leave comments without actually bothering to read the article.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

The market sounds terrific....fresh, organic,moderate prices, local Bay Area roots. I hope it gives the Whole Foods megamarket lots of competition. Welcome to this side of the Bay Miki.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:19 am

What we want is a full service grocery store not another boutique!

I want a meat department that will cut meat to order. I want fresh bread baked on the premises. I want a full selection of brands I recognise with a good selection of imported staples. I want a deli counter that will cut the meats and cheeses how I want, or make me a sandwich for lunch to eat with a cup of coffee with somewhere to sit and eat instore. I want a clean restroom and ample parking.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

So excited! Thanks for bringing your store here! Cheers


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:29 am

QUESTION...
Has anyone noticed how fast a WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND a small SHOPPING CENTER went up and the Mitchell Park Library is still not done!!!!!???!! REALLY?!
As much as I dislike (hate) the fact that they built more homes in our neighborhood-that we absolutely DON'T NEED, I am glad there is finally a grocery store- we'll see how the prices are, now!
Living on E Meadow, I now have so many choices to get coffee, groceries, etc.! What do I do!! LOL!


Posted by shopper, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

At 17,000 sq ft, this space is too small for a general purpose supermarket. Supermarkets need to be double that size to be really successful.

A small market needs to specialize to survive. Palo Alto badly needs a market specializing in Asian fresh foods (like you find in Sunnyvale and Cupertino), but maybe he can make this work.


Posted by Midtown Resident, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

Miki's does sound like a great store for the area. However I wonder if Miki has considered the changing demographics of the area - which is developing a large Chinese / Indian population. If Miki were to balance his focus on cheeses with a focus on organic items of interest to the Asian community he is likely to have something that is highly differentiated from Piazza's and Whole Foods.
That said, welcome Miki and wishing your business all success. Every entrepreneur who works hard deserves his dream to come true some day!


Posted by shops in MV, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

"The store is 17,000 sq ft, 4000 ft larger than the Albertsons that once stood there"


Wow--17K sq feet!!!!. Too small. The original store was too small and 17K is too small also. Look at Midtown Safeway--too small.
As I said we do not need another small, yuppie grocery store.

" Probably the #1 comment I would make to the comments, is people leave comments without actually bothering to read the article."
Felicity--no need to be insulting (i.e. comments about PA residents reading). I read the article. Have fun shopping there , Felicity


Posted by Wait and see, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

@Felicity, I couldn't agree more. It's clear some people don't bother to read the articles before unleashing their uninformed and typically negative opinions...


Posted by Kim, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

Welcome to the neighborhood - I am thrilled to have a store right across the tracks from our neighborhood and in biking distance. It sounds like a wonderful store and I will plan to stop by often. Thank you!


Posted by Anne K, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:50 am

Welcome to Palo Alto, Miki! I am so happy to finally have a well thought out grocery store within walking distance of my house. I can't wait to explore the aisles.


Posted by J.S., a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:54 am

Old article, but has some good points and the reason why we have a capped size and aren't going to have a mega-grocery store like Menlo Park or Mountain View.

Web Link


Posted by Andreas, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

Miki, Welcome to the neighborhood. We'll come by.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

I've been over to the store several times to explore the progress and even wrote a review on Yelp! I'm so excited about this market I can't even tell you! I've had a couple conversations with Miki and he was great about showing me some of the offerings in the works.

For those worrying about prices, Miki's Organic French Roast coffee beans are priced at $15.99 for 2 lbs. I pay $13.99 for one pound at Whole Foods and they keep discontinuing the beans I like so I'm paying too much for a product that disappoints.

Everything I've seen at Miki's so far suggests that my trips to Whole Foods, Safeway and possibly even Trader Joe's will soon end.

I can walk to Miki's in a few minutes... exercise and great food! YES!


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

More choices of stores seems like a good thing for this city...I am also looking forward to the opening of the store at Edgewood Shopping Center, which we have been waiting for what seems like forever.


Posted by Palo Alto native, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

Sorry, not excited about this store. Why couldn't we have a regular grocery store? There are too many of these types of stores in the area--Sprouts, Fresh & Easy....I missed Lucky's when it closed. I will continue to shop in Mountain View at Safeway.


Posted by shops in MV, a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

"Old article, but has some good points and the reason why we have a capped size and aren't going to have a mega-grocery store like Menlo Park or Mountain View."

The writer of the article is one of the reasons we lost Alma Plaza as a neighborhood shopping center. He led the fight against the original plan for Alma Plaza. Thanks, Jay.

WEll, if the article is true, then why is Piazza's being allowed to exceed the 20K size limit. they are expanding once again.

"The 20,000-square-foot cap helps ensure fair competition."
Should the city be in the business of controlling "competition". If that is the case, grocery stores in Palo Alto should not be allowed to sell at different prices.
The above article is flawed and based on faulty rationale.
And so we end up with generic, yuppie grocery stores that are too small.

Wait and see--hope you enjoy shopping at the new ultra-small boutique store in Alma Plaza with Felicity.


Posted by Scott McMahon, a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

I'm excited, too! I'm especially glad to hear that the produce section will be large. I was blown away when I went to Berkeley Bowl last year. Seeing it opened my eyes. Can't wait to see Miki's when it's open. If it gets even close to the kind of price and selection of that market, I think people will be really impressed. On the other hand, Berkeley Bowl is a very large store, probably quite a bit larger than Miki's will be. Still, there is a lot of room to improve on what we have here locally. I'm looking forward to having a place that's price competitive and closer than the Milk Pail for me, and has better prices and selection than most of the stores we have here. Having seen Berkeley Bowl, Safeway will never be my idea of a good supermarket. Safeway is higher priced, unimaginative, manipulative with their big brother shoppers card, and no matter how big it is, not a good choice for me. Whole foods is great, but awfully expensive. I love the Milk Pail, and Trader Joe's, but Miki's promises to bring new things no other store on this side of the bay offers, and I am really glad it's coming to a street near me! Welcome Miki.


Posted by galen, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

Welcome Miki! I hope MFFM is a huge success! It sounds great. I look forward to shopping there. Thanks!


Posted by Jan H., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I would say that Miki's sounds like a great supermarket, and I personally like the idea of fresh foods, but tend to think most of the shoppers there will be ones from the new housing development . Can the store survive on such a limited clientele?

One of the reasons previous grocery stores in this location did not survive is that they were just too small, although at least there was ample parking. Miki's really is not large enough to be competitive, and the parking lot is dreadfully inadequate.

As it is mostly Asians who are buying new houses these days, and Asians are grossed put by aged cheeses (just as we are grossed put by 100-year-old quail eggs). Miki needs to consider what the Asian population, which is large, needs to buy. Not everyone does as the Romans do when in Rome, as th adage goes.


Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

@Shopper - NO, we do not need an ethnic market-sorry. Go to Mtn. View or EPA - that's what I do.
I do wish it were another Lucky or Safeway rather than a specialty market. We really do have so many of those types around here. We just need a good grocery store with things we know, need and use!


Posted by Jocelyn Dong, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

Hello folks. In regards to parking, I checked with Miki Werness, and there is an underground garage, with elevator, in addition to the ground-level parking lot.

Also, a historical note: When Albertsons sold the Alma Plaza property, it stipulated as part of the sale that no food store larger than 18,000 square feet could operate there. Web Link


Posted by Great Food store, Piazzas, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I Love Piazza's, it's just a great store!!!!!


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I read with interest the old article linked above. This was written in 2004 and Palo Alto has changed a great deal since then. This was before we lost Rickeys to condos, before all the building around Meadow Circle, before the JCC, before the condos at the end of Loma Verde.

We need a good, full service supermarket, we need good parking (Midtown Safeway, Piazzas, often have parking problems). People need to be able to carry home $200 worth of groceries, or stop off on their way home, not go home and go out again on a bike!

Mountain View and Menlo Park will still get the bulk of our tax dollars that we spend on things like toiletries, cleaning products, paper goods, school supplies, etc. which are available in full service supermarkets and places like Target and Costco.

Palo Alto is fine for a couple of items we are running low on or something for tonight's dinner, but for real grocery shopping for real families who eat at home, make school lunches, and live busy lives, Palo Alto remains in the dark ages.


Posted by Just don't get it..., a resident of Southgate
on Oct 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Hold on everyone!! I just walked through Miki's today and though it is still very much a work in progress I'm sure you will be delightfully surprised at the size, displays, quality and quality of products and prices. It is such a far cry above PA Safeway or the old Albertsons!! There is lots of parking available and do check out the awesome pumpkin display including the monster at the front door. I think this is a truly refreshing stop for Palo Alto. Give it a chance before you criticize it.


Posted by Jan H, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Just Don,'t Get It: I hope you are right. I don't like to think the builders put up that grocery building just to be a sound wall for the new homes, protecting them from railroad and traffic noise.


Posted by John Galt, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Well "Resident of another Neighborhood", you can go to Piazza's and get meat cut to order, sandwiches made to order, cheeses, etc. cut to order, foreign fare, and great produce. Enjoy!


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Sounds like a good and exciting store, 17,000 square feet, an idea of selling small local produce, food brands and local meat with dairy. Sounds so much fun. Enjoy, have fun and EAT.


Posted by Ted, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

It's a grocery store within walking distance. A big improvement over what has been there for years...nothing.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

John Galt

Yes, I like Piazzas, but although they have great pluses, the minus is in the fact that they do not have the best overall selection and they do not bake their own bread.

Not sure of the number of items on the shelves at any one supermarket, but the more the merrier as far as I am concerned.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

If they don't bake their own bread, love freshly baked goods. A bakery is a wonderful place to yummy baked items and also to get a cup of coffee.


Posted by Ruth, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

The prices and service at whole foods is worth looking at a new market.


Posted by Phil, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Welcome, Miki! We live on Roosevelt Circle and are excited about having a high quality, local grocery store that we can walk to for our shopping.


Posted by peacemaker, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Oct 13, 2012 at 12:11 am

Thrilling to see organic food offerings at potentially affordable prices. This is a big step in the right direction. I for one will soon be a regular customer. The mention of a juice bar sent me to the moon. A hearty welcome to Miki's.


Posted by Paly Grad, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2012 at 6:45 am

@Jan H.:

"I would say that Miki's sounds like a great supermarket, and I personally like the idea of fresh foods, but tend to think most of the shoppers there will be ones from the new housing development . Can the store survive on such a limited clientele?" Trust me, if this is anything like Berkeley Bowl, the store will be packed. Have you been to Berkeley Bowl at closing time?

Many on these forums have a tendency to be against the change: e.g. change at Town and Country, changes at Stanford Shopping Center... Many are also against smaller, natural grocery stores, and deride them as places for "yuppies." What's funny, though, is that these places are all packed. There is a large population in Palo Alto that desires quality foods — e.g. people who already shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods — and that will shop at Miki's since it's cheaper than WF and will have a better produce selection than either of the two.

"One of the reasons previous grocery stores in this location did not survive is that they were just too small, although at least there was ample parking. Miki's really is not large enough to be competitive, and the parking lot is dreadfully inadequate."

The reason that those grocery stores didn't do so well is that they sucked. People who frequented those places lived nearby. Why go to the Albertson's at Alma Plaza when you can go to the Safeway in Midtown or whatever other grocery store is closest to you?

Miki's will do fine because it will attract people from all over the region. It will have a diverse selection of produce, affordable natural/organic goods, and (hopefully) good and affordable seafood/meats that you really won't be able to get anywhere else in the area.

Also, the "yuppies" that will come from all over town to shop at Miki's are the type who spend more and go grocery shopping more often. (I try to buy groceries daily so as to get the freshest food and so as to avoid wasting.)

"As it is mostly Asians who are buying new houses these days, and Asians are grossed put by aged cheeses (just as we are grossed put by 100-year-old quail eggs). Miki needs to consider what the Asian population, which is large, needs to buy. Not everyone does as the Romans do when in Rome, as th adage goes."

Just because Asians are buying many houses these days does not mean they're the only ones grocery shopping. Regardless, Palo Alto is just 30% Asian and that's rounding up.

When they need Asian groceries, Asians — I am half — can go to Mountain View or Cupertino. This is not a problem since people tend to buy Asian groceries in bulk. (You drive to Mountain View/Cupertino on the weekend and buy enough for a week or two.)

Also, most Asians in the area also enjoy non-Asian food and many love organic/natural foods. Whenever I go to Berkeley Bowl, I see plenty of Asian people and I'm sure it will be the case with Miki's. Did you know that most food bloggers and Yelpers in California are actually Asian?


Posted by Paly Grad, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2012 at 6:51 am

"What we want is a full service grocery store not another boutique!

I want a meat department that will cut meat to order. I want fresh bread baked on the premises. I want a full selection of brands I recognise with a good selection of imported staples. I want a deli counter that will cut the meats and cheeses how I want, or make me a sandwich for lunch to eat with a cup of coffee with somewhere to sit and eat instore. I want a clean restroom and ample parking."

Who's to say that Miki's won't have any of these? Have you looked at the website? It states that fresh baked goods will be available as well prepared foods (e.g. sandwiches, sushi, pasta, prepared meals). Heck, even Whole Foods in Downtown Palo Alto, a similarly "small store," has every item you've mentioned.


Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I can't wait for the mega-Safeway to open at the corner of San Antonio and El Camino Real.

This mega store will eventually suck all the business away from Palo Alto's 20,000 sq. ft. limit on stores. All our tax dollars will go to Mountain View. Wake up Palo Alto you're losing out.


Posted by LIKE'ies, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

We are so excited to have Miki's land in the South End of Palo Alto where gourmet markets and new Palo Alto are thriving. The neighborhoods push to preserve public space has paid off! The Starbucks, Grocery, Park would not exist without the work of a lot of neighborhood leaders.

Many in the SouthEnd of town will make stops at Miki's on the way home from their VC Jobs en route to their homes on the family friendly side of town!!!!

An Asian Market was conidered but maybe it will go in North Palo Alto where there are so many Asian and Indian families too. At Edgewood Center? North of Embarcadero Road is a sic place for one.


Posted by Joan, a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Safeway and Miki's are not the same Market - have fun shopping in MV!


Posted by Katie, a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm

It is not necessariy the size of the store that will make a profit, it is the food and its quality, the customer service that will bring the customers back.

Why do you think more people go back to stores like Nordstroms to shop!


Posted by Doreen, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

whole foods produce isn't as good lately. flower department service is terrible. I waited 10 minutes for a crappy cellophane wrap. I would have paid an extra 1.00 for something nice, for my sister's birthday.


Posted by parent, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by @midtown, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I think we have a 1st. world problem! More than a dozen markets within 5 square mile (i.e. a 2.3 miles x 2.3 miles square if you want to visualize it). It is hard to decide where to shop! I visited Sprouts today. It is a fantastic store with lots of unique products. I like Piazzas. I shop a lot in Milk Pail for cheese and vegetables. I also shop in our neighborhood Safeway. If Miki keeps the prices affordable, I think they will develop a loyal customer base (based on what I have heard about their related Berkeley store - forgot its name).

But before anyone starts shopping there, they better finish Alma street road work. My car cannot handle the bumps anymore.


Posted by Unbelievable!, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Incredible. The store hasn't even opened yet and people who've never set foot in it are judging it. Makes me think the competitors are posting here!


Posted by Participant, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2012 at 6:18 am

I'm looking forward to checking out the new store. I agree we seem to have a lot of prejudging going on in the posts. For those who would prefer a big Safeway, don't forget Palo Alto real estate is more expensive than Mountain View. To support a giant store in Palo Alto, even without all the silly regulations, would be a giant challenge. A 'yuppie store' is about all we can hope to have here, which is okay by me, unless the prices are high. Also, I seldom go to Safeway because the employees seem so unhappy. They have to do things like try and pronounce my last name, which is always awkward for everyone. The employees at Trader Joe's and Piazza seem relatively comfortable and happy, so I'd rather spend my dollars there. And of course, they have better food.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2012 at 9:20 am

From the article I was under the impression the store was already open and attempted to try it out yesterday. The obvious turning into the parking lot was exit only. The parking lot seemed small, but I liked the look of it. From the outside, the store looks more modern than any other store I have visited in the area. Trying to exit, I had to give way to several cars using the parking lot as a short cut from the apartments (who can blame them) to turn left on Alma. I didn't make the first green light and was the only car turning left on the next light. I tend to think that when the store opens, the traffic will be backed up as a result.

For the homes that overlook the parking lot, they obviously know what they will be looking out at. I assume that their visitors share the supermarket parking. The kerbs were being painted green yesterday which is probably short term parking only.

As for the grocery store, I agree that we will have to wait and see, but I do plan to try it out.


Posted by yes I drive , a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2012 at 9:24 am

welcome to the neighborhood Miki.

. however I think there is going to be a lack of parking that will hurt. try going into the lot now...it's hard to park now and they need to make the lot from the street exit and entry signs much more visible since they are easy to mistake. put up 1 way signs if they are one way only , paint the exit sign at driver eye level on the side of the building before an accident occurs

sure hope the pave all of Alma, as the steel plates and endless bumps ruin cars and bikes

btw love the new sprouts on San Antonio. lots cheaper that whole paycheck and cleaner than the milk pail.


Posted by Anna, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

I don't understand why Palo Alto government doesn't allow larger stores, yet welcomes huge developments like the proposed Arriaga one. Bigger stores would provide tax revenue, which we need, and it is also greener, because we wouldn't have to drive to nearby cities for their stores. The big development projects don't generate any revenue for the city (except possible bribes), but they generate MUCH more traffic and parking problems than bigger stores possibly could.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Short memories -- Palo Alto citizens FOUGHT having a larger store at this location.


Posted by Russ, a resident of Professorville
on Oct 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

taking my 300+ dollar shopping list to Miki"s seldom do i get out of WF's paying less. If I get a better deal they've got my business, you can't blame one for trying to save dollars.


Posted by Anymouse, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 14, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Looking forward to visiting this store, though I see a comment about the parking needing help with signs.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Anyhow, yes it will be nice to see a new market, I don't like the busy Milk Pail in MV, as it is hard to get through any aisles, with the crowds. Piazza's customer service has been severely lacking, in recent years, (someone in the comments here said the employees's there seem happy), I don't think so. And, Safeway, please...with their manipulating their sales/coupons, sometimes a brand of bread is $2.00, next time it is 4.99+. At least with Piazza's you know their price of bread will always be $4.99 and up! Well, MIKI's, if you can hold up against Whole Foods, I think you'll end up being my go to for a lot of grocery items.
The owner sounds like a nice gentleman, and I do hope to be able to park without fear of getting out onto Alma street.


Posted by Big Box Streets, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

There is now a street sign saying no entry that any person CAN SEE. Placing signs all over looks like blight like Midtown shopping center you start not to pay attention to signs when the are all over the place.

These developments should have MONUMENT SIGNS INDICATING IN AND OUT put in place by the builder and signage suggestions by the ARB this is totally overlooked during development - will Lytton have the same?

And Bike Crossing Signs at Alma and Middlefield Road. The reason we don't have street improvements we need is that the developer fees for Alma Village are being placed miles away on Charleston Road changes.

Those involved with Alma did not consider trees, bikes and pedestrians use and Charleston takes available funding for new projects. Lets get smarter and ask that these develpments get the money for improvements placed where the impacts ARE. Not miles away.


Posted by Big Box Streets, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 16, 2012 at 11:21 am

There is now a street sign saying no entry that any person CAN SEE. Placing signs all over looks like blight like Midtown shopping center you start not to pay attention to signs when the are all over the place.

These developments should have MONUMENT SIGNS INDICATING IN AND OUT put in place by the builder and signage suggestions by the ARB this is totally overlooked during development - will Lytton have the same?

And Bike Crossing Signs at Alma and Middlefield Road. The reason we don't have street improvements we need is that the developer fees for Alma Village are being placed miles away on Charleston Road changes.

Those involved with Alma did not consider trees, bikes and pedestrians use and Charleston takes available funding for new projects. Lets get smarter and ask that these develpments get the money for improvements placed where the impacts ARE. Not miles away.


Posted by Jan H., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

I do intend to patronize the new grocery store, and see how it goes, but if parking and traffic, as well as entry and exit, are too much of a hassle, my patronization will not continue for long.

I wish Miki himself the best, and hope that this is not a bad location for his business. Fact is, people in Berkeley are much more patient and tolerant than people (myself included) in PA.


Posted by pa_mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Does anyone know when this store actually opens?

Thanks,
-pa_mom


Posted by Jocelyn Dong, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Oct 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

Hi pa_mom. The "soft" opening is tomorrow, Wednesday. There's also a grand opening event on Nov. 1.


Posted by Patsayjack, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

It opens today.
They had a privet open house last night. Living down the street I snuck in and had a look.
I have to say I'm very impressed. This is a top shelf store, quality, healthy foods, Imagine a smaller whole foods with just the best of. Hey they got a sweet little meat department with some really fine sausages. Prices are about the same as whole foods none sale items. Surprising since this store deals in much less volume then whole foods.


Posted by TARDIS user, a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I still prefer the Lucky's and Round Table Pizza at that location.


Posted by pa_mom, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thanks Jocelyn and Patsayjack.

I would definitely be checking it out :)

-pa_mom


Posted by Carl King, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Talk, talk, talk. Shut up and shop people! I'm grateful the long saga of Alma Plaza is over, for better or worse, and we have a decent-size small-chain option in a location convenient for many, and more competition. Woot! I would like a large supermarket in PA as an option but I accept that it just will not happen.


Posted by Sue, a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I live a block from the new store and visited today for their soft opening. I am very pleased with the produce selection and prices. The shelf food and refrigerator items is on par with other grocery store prices (still cheaper than Piazzas). I didn't see any made to order sandwich menu, but maybe it will be added later. Lots of good asian food ingredient choices and plenty of veg items. I'll be shopping there a lot.


Posted by Foodie, a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Visited Miki's today. The service was OK. There were a bunch of nervous employees just walking around, most of them avoiding eye contact. I was walking around for 10 minutes before someone actually smiled and said hi. One of the baggers actually looked annoyed when she stepped back and bumped into me as I was walking out with my purchased goods.

I didn't find the prices particularly competitive, but the produce that I bought was yummy! The fuji apples were super-sweet and crunchy, the strawberries were juicy and fragrant, and the bok choy was crisp with a mustardy bite. Everything that I bought tasted extremely fresh and "local".

I hope the prices come down a wee bit.


Posted by shopper, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Gorgeous produce but they still didn't have most of the prices put up, and the employees didn't always know. Other prices were high - milk, eggs, the basics. Trader Joe is still much less expensive. I might pop in here occasionally for the produce. I agree - the strawberries were fabulous.


Posted by HUTCH 7.62, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Gotta love the stop light they put in. As if Palo Alto traffic needed to get worse.


Posted by KCH, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Just drove by this evening. Beautiful space. Will enjoy shopping there.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Tried this store today and found good and bad with it.

The good selection of foreign foods, cheese, produce, deli,meat, cheese and baked goods (but not bread). The bad, poor selection of cereal, sandwich bread, paper goods and staples with recognisable brands. The strawberries in the taster beside the cut fruit were not good. I would like to see labels on the tops of the own brand prepared foods rather than having to lift them up and look underneath. The freezers and refrigerators were all steamed up and the doors had to be opened to be able to see what was inside. For a midmorning Friday, parking was just about OK, but I hate to see what it will be like on a Saturday or predinner time.

The staff were friendly and helpful, but it is apparent that they are all new hires unfamiliar with the store and their inventory with the exception of the cheese counter where they were knowledgeable.

I will probably use this again if it is on my way home from wherever I happen to be for dinner pickup or basic necessities. However, I can't see it being the place to go for a weekly grocery trip.


Posted by TMA, a resident of Ventura
on Oct 20, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Just walked over tonight to check it out; it was pretty, but most of what it has we can already get at Piazza's or Molly Stone [and the prices were actually even higher than at those stores, with one or two exceptions]. I do hope they succeed, but they aren't filling the gap in our life that Lucky/Albertson's closure left -- a place in the neighborhood with basic staples milk/eggs/butter/etc at reasonable prices.


Posted by ninadora, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

they are closing april first! terrible news!


Posted by April Fool, a resident of another community
on Mar 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm

The development proposal was approved by the fools on the City Council. It is appropriate to close Miki's on April Fool's Day.


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