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on Apr 2, 2014
Sorry but I don't see this as going to work. It will fail just like miki's.
You see the developer designed it to fail. No parking, no visibility, ugly concrete block. He only did it because he had to. He wanted to squeeze out as many homes as he could. The grocery store was a after thought and only because he was forced. So now when this store fails. He can run to City hall and whine about how he tried his best to make it work. He will be able to show the bumbs in city hall. How having a high end grocery store and a low cost bargin outlet both fails. He can then claim his only option is to remodle and devide the property into 3 or 4 smaller addresses. Maximum profit. Probably sold then leased out to non retail businesses. Like dentist, Dr. Maybe will get another hair sallon.
I agree that the developer really should have put bigger windows and bigger sidewalks on the street side of the store to attract more customers. At least they now have a sign on the street to remind passing drivers that the store is there.
Developers have to remember that this is south Palo Alto, not north Palo Alto. North Palo Alto is more pedestrian-friendly, so boutique stores can do better. South Palo Alto has much faster traffic and narrower sidewalks, so you have to make your stores more friendly to car drivers. You need to compete with Trader Joes, not Whole Foods.
I'm willing to try this new store because it is something different, unlike Miki's.
This is a destination market. The blade sign and the niche that the market fills for seniors and others will help make this market a success.
Why is it people keep claiming there is no parking?
There is underground parking as has been stated numerous times.
Read. Be informed.
I don't know whether it will work or not.
Since it's close, it will likely get some of my business, however Trader Joe's and The Milk Pail are still 'my go' to markets.
Grocery Outlet is the best place I've ever shopped; and I've lived around the country in my 55 years. The value is unbeatable, and quality never compromised. I'm excited to have them as neighbors and will be a loyal customer. I wish them all the best!
Yeah, Shallow Alto has plenty of problems with development and more than a fair share of Crying Babies. When something like GO comes along I'm nothing but grateful.
Well, it looks like they spent all day yesterday pulling off all of the window coverings on the Alma side so now you can see in.
I'm very excited for Grocery Outlet. They have a variety of products, including name brand stuff you would find in a Safeway to high-end organic products that you might find at a Whole Foods. They have a great alcohol selection too! I've been to the Redwood City location and it's clean, the staff is friendly, and the store is well organized. I think this will be a great addition to Palo Alto.
I am looking forward to this store opening and plan on stopping by regularly. I have shopped in the RWC location when I was in the area and wished there was one closer to my home. Now there will be! I plan on shopping there during the day, so I will have to see how parking goes. I only went to Mikis a few times, because it was too expensive for our budget and too fancy for our basic culinary needs. I never had trouble finding parking, except for when they were having the going out of business sale. I think there might be enough Palo Alto and nearby residents who are looking for good values to make Grocery Outlet a success.
I'm looking forward to a grocery store in short walking distance. Thank you.
We are so happy the Grocery Outlet grand opening day has come.
Just as the article says, too many of our neighbors have had to shop in Mtn. View and beyond to find groceries they can afford to buy.
Many of you all ready knows, Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN)serves our middle to low income neighbors who can no longer afford their basic needs. Especially, food, that the rest of us takes for granted. Since NHN only has a once per month grocery program that provides (1) week of grocery at this time, we encourage our folks who are in need to shop wisely and apply to other food programs, if applicable.
Needless to say, one week of groceries is not enough. Too many are going hungry and without proper healthful low sodium/sugars/fat foods they need for good health. As you are buying foods for your household, please purchase extra to donate to NHN Grocery Program. We accept store gift cards and funds as well.
Right now, you can drop off canned & packaged items,Palo Alto Church of Christ (PACC)3373 Middlefield Road Palo Alto, CA 94306
Perhaps,Mr.Tenaglia, Grocery Outlet, we allow us to place one of our food collection barrels at their Palo Alto location, after reading this comment.
Please contact us for 'food wish list'. It's a shopping list you can take with you while you shop for your own groceries.
We wish Grocery Outlet much success!
Welcome to Palo Alto,
Exec. Director & Food Programs Chair
Happy, happy happy!!
The Midtown Safeway is undergoing a remodel, or so the sign on the door says. They have been moving a lot of stuff around, and introducing "organic" products.
That spot is an odd place for any high volume retail. It's hard to believe that it will survive. If it goes down, seems that the City Council will have to explain to the voters why they should be in charge of approving these sorts of sites?
@Joe - what are you talking about? Midtown Safeway has been in that location for decades and is always busy. It is the perfect place for a supermarket, being surrounded by customers and no competition for miles. They keep wanting to enlarge, but NIMBYs won't let them, so they are forced to just move stuff around inside the building.
I wish them good luck.
Advertising the underground parking might bring more customers. But that my not work with the developers agenda.
Any idea where is the nearest bus stop?
The 104 bus route stop at the corner of Alma and Meadow seems to be the closest bus stop to the new Grocery Outlet location.
I stopped going to the one in RWC because they sold food well past its expiration date.
It is a good place to stock up on toilet paper and other paper and non-food items, though.
People will tramp through hell to save money, but not to overpay....hence the failure of Miki's.
The comments here are full of. Misinformation---claims that the underground parking was not known, claims that the developer has an agenda, claims that the food at GO is past it's expiration date. Makes it sound like people want this new store to fail. Are they that upset that this store is not upscale enough for Palo Alto
> what are you talking about? Midtown Safeway has been in that
> location for decades and is always busy.
What I am talking about and what you are talking about are two different things.
Let me clarify. My comments about an odd location applied only to the Alma Village site. If that was not clear to you, my apologies.
Bus stops: 104 stops at Alma/Meadow, but only buses during rush hour. The most frequent bus option is to walk up to El Camino for the 22 / 522, or, less frequently, down towards Middlefield to catch the 35 or crosstown shuttle.
We will check them out. There is bike/ped access from Ramona, so you don't need to walk on Alma.
I doubt if my family will use this store. We have heard from family members who have used the RWC and San Jose stores that you can't go with a shopping list and expect to get everything you want, you can't get the same this week as last week and you do have to watch the sell by dates. If I hear from friends here who use the new store that these things are not the case, then we may try it if it is on our way home from somewhere and we need to stop for a couple of items.
Overall though, I am fussy about grocery stores. I like a wide selection of known brand items, freshly baked bread, an instore butcher and fish department where I can ask for help in how to cook the items. We have poor quality supermarkets in Palo Alto although some do some of these things. I like to be able to get all items for a recipe at the same store and places like TJs and WFs do not do this. Piazzas is the best choice and they also have some hard to find items, but they still seem to be more expensive than Safeway for staples.
I didn't discover the underground parking until Miki's was about the close, and we shopped there from the beginning. I can't remember now why, but I swore I wasn't going to use it again because of some problem. It's not very many spaces, for those who think it's the answer to the poor parking above. And it's not all for the market.
I'll give it a try, but it's not very convenient, even though it's on the way to many things. But I'm claustrophobic. This kind of design is just so uninviting.
Costco has beefed up their organic selections too...
People stop whining and give the store a chance. I've shop with Grocery outlet for most of life, it basically a thrift grocery store. Its the place you stop first and then continue onto your usual store. It's an different selection of items week by week. If your on a budget like 98% of us, this store work wonders. It's nothing like TJ's and the Milk Pail. Where else can one get 3 yoplait cup for $1.00? For those talking about expiration dates come on really? How do you think the working poor manage to eat with today's slave wages? Not everyone on the Peninsula makes money folks are struggling these days. I'm grateful for the Palo Alto location although it would of been great to have this store in East Palo Alto. I don't expect to see many PA folks in the store, folks from East Palo Alto & East Menlo Park along with the large immigrant population from Mountain View will be present.
I'm sorry I don't agree with your comment. Sound like your not familiar with EBT( Food Stamp) Program. That's guaranteed government money. You just watch and wait!
I live within walking distance of GO & expect to use it. The Redwood City store was a godsend when my husband was unemployed for fourteen months before our daughter turned two. You have to check sell dates elsewhere also.
The location has an awkward traffic pattern such that if you are coming from the south you can't leave without making a detour through palo alto. Coming out of the driveway, it is a right turn only.
>> "An Albertson's store had previously failed at the location."
When that Albertsons was shuttered in March 2005, the entire grocery chain was failing, and gobbled up the following year by Cerberus the 3-headed hellhound. Safeway is next on the menu -- in a few months.
Thanks Robert, I will definitely check out the Ramona bike/ped access. And yes the VTA 104 is useless as a local, with just two inbound buses before the store opens and 2 outbound around 4:30 and 5:00 in the afternoon, though might be perfect for potential employees who could catch an hour of sleep each direction.
I didn't see store hours in the article, but their website says 8am - 9pm seven days. Some other locations are 7am - 10pm, we'll see whether there are any adjustments downstream.
And thank you Stella, I think, for mentioning that 98% of us are on a budget. Not sure whether you meant just EPA folks or Palo Altans as well. I grew up here on bread from bakery thrift shops and dented cans at the grocery. It's a whole different discussion about how budgets expand with increased earnings, but they are still budgets and tradeoffs to be made. Grocery Outlet may be an important piece of the puzzle.
@Lin, coming out at the traffic-signal you can turn either direction onto Alma.
This grocery store is similar to a Marshalls Department Store. They purchase over supply inventory from manufacturers and sell it at a discount. I don't see this store changing peoples main grocery shopping, but could be a nice addition for stock piling some name brands at a good price. The inventory will always be changing, so what you purchase one week may not be available the next week.
This video from the GO website explains their mission
Let's at least give this store a chance.
I am a resident of San Francisco and work in Palo Alto. I will happily shop at this store and the one in the Outer Richmond for my grocery needs. I was only aware that this Grocery Outlet was opening when I drove down Alma St. and saw that sign. That sign is much needed and to be honest is better looking than the rest of Alma St. or railroad tracks....
Grocery Outlet offers everything that you could need, albeit just not all the brands or special varieties. It has fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, juice, cereal, meats, canned goods, breads, frozen meals etc...what more do you really need? It is a modern grocery store and has much better selection than a Walmart or Target would (without being a Walmart/Target). This is an affordable option at a great location.
BTW most, if not all their products are not expired, they are shorter than you would get at a "normal" grocery ie. Safeway but just as safe and consumable. Also, expiration dates are not a reliable or effective way to determine safety of food.
I've shopped at the Redwood City store and it's kind of fun. Search for new and inexpensive items, I like that. I'm not obsessive compulsive so I don't have to have the exact same thing each time.
And Sell-by dates and Expiration dates are useful but they were not ordained by god. They are the manufacturer's estimate of when they are top quality and are intended to keep the store moving their merchandise. Use your judgement, if you have any.
Just got back from Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. I pulled right in to a parking space. No problem.
I found fresh produce; avocados are fifty cents each. A basket of strawberries was $1.67. The prices all seemed very good to me. A bag of mini carrots $1.99, Chobani yogurt 59 cents, family size box of Wheat Thins $2.49, an English cucumber $1.50, three pound bag of onions $2.69, all cheaper than most other places. I did not see a single dented can, not a single product past its date, and I saw major name brands that I would see at Safeway, Piazza's and so on. I also saw quite a bit of organic (organic ground beef $5.99 lb.)and gluten-free products. I saw quality brands such as Amy's in the frozen food case.
I didn't have a list and was just looking for food for dinner/lunch. I needed honey and like orange blossom honey, but they had clover honey, so I bought that ($3.09). I got yogurt, and I'm not picky about having to get certain flavors. Safeway would have an acre of yogurt, Grocery Outlet has much less selection. That's exactly what I expected, so no surprise.
Everyone was friendly. A very nice employee helped me grind my coffee beans. Workers were sweeping up everywhere, getting carts from the lot back to the store front quickly, and assisting folks in finding what they needed.
I would urge everyone to give it a try. I would like to see it succeed. I wish this store success, and I will be back.
Thanks for your comments. Looks like this place is an improvement over the dingy Safeway in midtown and I am hoping it eats into piazzas profits ( whom we have to thank for their part in getting us alma village)
We went by this afternoon. Grocery Outlet is quite okay. Lots of things besides groceries and vegetables. We wish them well and hope it'll be a success.
Cheap food, no Yuppies.
That's a formula for success almost everywhere, but probably not in Palo Alto.
None the less, I wish them success.
I didn't want to miss the ribbon cutting festivities this morning. Couple dozen shoppers in attendance. Feeling a bit guilty parking on Ramona to avoid the Alma morning rush traffic, the back way in is a peaceful walk of 250 paces. Everyone very friendly as one would expect on opening day. I purchased a half-dozen items, which is about six more than I ever bought from Miki's. Not much cheaper than Safeway on milk and bread, but the bananas were a bargain. Good luck to all.
Fresh Market is closest to our house so I shop there, especially on $2.99/lb. (50% off) organic chicken breast Tuesdays. It's a great store for shopping for meal items, not overall grocery shopping. Their produce is always fresh (so fresh that they never sell ripe avocados) and their berries and other vegetables are on refrigerated platforms.
Safeway is the best for one-stop, general shopping.
Piazza's often has expired products - more than once I've seen moldy cakes that weren't even expired or other products past the sell date. They aren't the best for overall shopping either.
I will try Grocery Outlet for the bargains. As stated by someone else, each grocery store has their advantages and disadvantages. I never went to Miki's because it was too similar to other boutique stores.
Despite Palo Alto's reputation, there are plenty of families who are renting or living mortgage to mortgage and really cannot afford to live in Palo Alto. I think this store might do okay.
Just got back from shopping at GO. More people there then I ever saw at Mikis. Store looks nice, unlike the dingy midtown Safeway. Great prices on many items. Will be interesting to see how the stock changes. Also, no,problem with parking and getting in and out. Plan to drive by at night to see how " terrible" the new sign looks ( I am sure it is not the nightmare predicted by the anti-change alarmists)
Visited yesterday. Very friendly staff, good selection, good prices. Please check it out before you write it off.
So...has anyone actually counted up the parking spots...compared it to Mollie Stone... Or Midtown Safeway? FJ&J or whatever they were called ...
Of course you haven't. It's easier to just to go into klaxon mode and say there is no parking.
Along with saying there is only a right turn out of the parking lot there...even with the stop light...and four 25sq ft arrows...one pointing left, one pointing right.
Great to have a grocery store in our neighborhood! Thank you GO for coming, to our area, very impressed with your store, no complaints. Good Luck am sure you will have great success.
We tried to attend the grand opening, but there was absolutely no parking by 11:00, not even underground.
Lots of Mercedes and Tesla's in the parking lot, ironically, as well as two low riders!
GO is going to have to do something about the parking situation or people will just give up on going there.
Maybe the novelty will wear off?
People like the above posters--sooooo tuned into the the heartbeat of Palo Alto... apparently forget the past when it doesn't suit them. And apparently can predict the future.
Who remembers when Bloomingdale's opened? Day One. Huge line...HUGE line...not to get in...but to buy the silly Big Brown Bag. A line to buy the bag. Pretty sad.
I visited the store today -interesting products you don't see in other stores. Good prices on coffee. I also stop in to Big Lots in RWC because they have interesting items. I hope they do well. It is like a grab bag when you go in these stores.
Main shopping is Safeway because if you have a card you save a lot of money.
Safeway in Menlo Park on El Camino is a super Safeway - very large and clean.
Stopped in to buy one thing, left with 10. Prices were compelling, format is convenient, staff was super friendly and helpful (no problem walking us to an item we couldn't spot). Probably hard to over all your shopping needs there, but we'll buy some things there for sure.
How are we so stupid -- I used the term "dented cans" in a previous post on this site -- to not know that within 90 days of getting a non-conforming giant sign that these guys close with a Wall Street firm to try to squeeze like oranges out of the average joes $1 BILLION and that the only purpose of a Palo Alto location is not to sell year-old bran flakes to strapped single-moms but as a business-to-business play to Venture Capitalists and their ilk driving their kids up and down Alma?
I mean Berkeley-based entity, controlled by equity firm hiring two Wall Street firms to try to sell for $1 Billion and opening, in my humble opinion, in Palo Alto as a loss-leader to target financial players as they drive by, for however that helps these types of deals.
The entire store is just a type of outdoor advertising.
Same point. If we the people are not led by "dented cans" that there is at least something hard to identify in our Campbell's Soup of Democracy.
Grocery Outlet may actually be shutting down. They were bought by a competing company last week.
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