News


Edgewood Plaza's Fresh Market grocery store to close

Market has been anchor of revitalized shopping center since 2013

Edgewood Plaza's Fresh Market grocery store in Palo Alto will close by March 31, the company announced on Thursday.

The announcement comes as the renovated Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center at 2080 Channing Ave. and Embarcadero Road is filling up with shoppers and new retail stores. Fresh Market is considered the anchor store.

"After careful consideration of expected future cash flows, the long-term strategic importance of individual stores, and the anticipated timeline of store openings in California, the company has decided to close its operations in California, which include stores in Palo Alto, Santa Barbara and Laguna Hills, in order to focus on higher growth opportunities," the company told investors.

"Despite the improving results of these stores in California, the company concluded that the pace of organic store growth was going to be slower than anticipated and believes it can achieve more consistent financial results and a better return on its investments by continuing to grow in markets within or closer to its existing markets at this time," the company said.

The Edgewood store survived a previous round of cuts after Fresh Market announced that it would concentrate on growth in the eastern half of the United States over the next three years. The store opened to fanfare in June 2013 as the great hope for Edgewood's revival after the 2006 departure of Albertsons grocery store and a continuous decline into dereliction.

Developer Sand Hill Property restored the historic commercial Joseph Eichler buildings and has been filling them with popular retail stores, including a Starbucks, Orangetheory Fitness center, Supercuts and Chase Bank. House of Bagels, which formerly operated on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto, recently relocated to Edgewood after being evicted due to redevelopment.

But Fresh Market's corporate office said that for fiscal 2014, operating losses and pre-opening related rent and other expenses attributable in California totaled approximately $4.8 million. As a result of the store closures, the company anticipates additional charges in fiscal 2015 of approximately $20 million to $26 million related to lease liabilities, asset disposals, severance and other costs associated with the closure of operations in California.

The stores will be closed to customers by March 31, and the company expects store closure activities to be completed in 2015, it said.

Edgewood developer John Tze could not immediately be reached for comment on what the closure might mean to Edgewood's viability. But some Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood residents are already making phone calls to other small market operators to let them know about the opening.

"The neighborhood is hoping that the sudden, unexpected closure of Fresh Market is not a crushing blow to Edgewood Plaza, which has been blossoming. It's been a wonderful store to go to. Hopefully management can entice one of the local unique grocery stores in the South Bay to expand," resident Nancy Jamison wrote in an email to the Weekly Thursday afternoon.

Carla Carvalho echoed her concern.

"It's a somber day here in my neighborhood. It's a bummer for sure -- and a surprise. From our standpoint, this is a huge asset. It's a great place to meet people and to build a sense of community," she said.

Carvalho, a Realtor, said she fears the closure will affect businesses thinking of moving in when they see that the anchor store is pulling out. And sale of the single-family homes that are part of the development might also be affected, she said.

"If I'm a homebuyer, I'm gonna think twice about moving into a home next to a vacant warehouse," she said.

Fresh Market's closure is another example of the city's Planned Community (PC) ordinance, Jeff Levinsky said.

"I think this demonstrates yet again why it doesn't make sense to allow developers to claim grocery stores are public benefits for Planned Communities (PCs). Having a grocery store was one of the four public benefits of the Edgewood Plaza PC. Alma Plaza and College Terrace Center are two other PCs with grocery stores as public benefits, and I wouldn't bet those stores will succeed either," he said.

Outside Fresh Market on Thursday afternoon, a sandwich board announced that the store was closed for the rest of the day due to staff meetings.

Retailers had mixed concerns about the anchor store's closing.

"I don't think it will have that great of an impact," said Steve Stivala, owner of House of Bagels. "Maybe it's a good thing; maybe we could get someone a little more local. People here in the surrounding neighborhood are overwhelmingly supportive of a market. It's not that hard. If you give these people what they want, it's a winner."

Fresh Market moved to Edgewood at a time when the shopping center redevelopment was still underway. That made it hard for the developer to find a grocer willing to establish there, Stivala said. But things are different now.

"Now it's a vibrant center. Any retailer who knows the business will see this is a good place. It's picking up steam; it's got a lot of good things happening here," he said.

Jared Story, general manager at Orangetheory Fitness, was more concerned.

"When we first started here, we relied on the Fresh Market heavily for foot traffic. Customers found us through that store," he said.

Fresh Market also draws a lunch crowd from surrounding businesses along East Bayshore Road, and he fears the vacancy will reduce customers to the center, he said.

Stivala was at a loss to understand how the company could put so much money into opening the store and then walk away. He also could not fathom why the Fresh Market chain would leave when the center was just becoming vibrant, he said.

"Now you're gonna close? Let's give it six more months," he said.

Stivala, for one, remains committed to Edgewood.

"I'm gonna do what it takes to make it," he said.

Comments

12 people like this
Posted by andrew rich
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

andrew rich is a registered user.

Oh, this is terrible news. I'm surprised the property owner isn't working with Fresh Market to keep them open (unless this is a negotiating tactic). Everything has been going so well at Edgewood and the new condos are so close to being ready. I imagine their sale price may drop quite a bit for being next to an empty store rather than a thriving market.


43 people like this
Posted by Evan
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm

You know what would have helped keep Fresh Market in business? Housing. They should have had housing added to Edgewood, as was planned, before NIMBYs killed it off. Yay Palo Alto! Be proud of yourselves.


12 people like this
Posted by CHW
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:38 pm

How ironic. A few days ago we read here how great the shopping center was doing. You just never know.... What's open one day is gone the next.


28 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:49 pm

@Even - There is housing at Edgewood. 10 unfinished, oversized houses with no yards. The developer wanted 24 townhouses. Even if the developer got 14 extra units, and if they were able to complete them by now, Fresh Market is closing all their stores in California anyway. So thank god for the NIMBY's who at least salvaged the project from complete overcrowding.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2015 at 4:58 pm

I think the only thing that might make sense here is a large Safeway. It would probably need to take up all the retail though, but it would survive unlike a small boutique market.

We would definitely use a full service supermarket at this location, I for one would drive here rather than Mountain View (or even Midtown).


3 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Too bad. More traffic to brave to go grocery shopping.

Maybe Micki's Market could get recruited for this space? Love their produce and am convinced they'd thrive in a more sensible location than on Alma.


10 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm

Fresh Market wasn't doing anything obviously wrong, so I don't see why a similar market would succeed.


2 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Evan, etc. there is housing - this is in the large housing community with houses. I have friends who worked to make this shopping center get redeveloped.
If Fresh Market is closing many stores then housing is not the issue - it is that the market was doing well over the state in total. It has nothing to do with the developer - who I am sure is not happy with this outcome.


9 people like this
Posted by Duveneck/St. Francis mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:35 pm

The Fresh Market IS succeeding, according to what the corporate office is saying, just not succeeding fast enough for The Fresh Market's shareholders. Another market with less of a corporate mandate, and with headquarters closer to here, would do fine. Would be a great spot for a family-owned, community-oriented farmer's-type market. There are lots of those around the area.


49 people like this
Posted by mac
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Put in a ranch 99 PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!


40 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:02 pm

These developers are in between a rock and a hard place. If they lure a popular "destination" store like Trader Joe or Ranch 99, then the NIMBYs will sue them over increased traffic. If they install a less popular store, then profitability is a problem.

IMHO - the city needs residential businesses and needs to find a way to shut the NIMBYs up.


5 people like this
Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:03 pm

This is sad. We swung by today, before this story posted. The store was closed for staff meetings *all day* and we had a bad feeling about it :-/ We will really miss it.


9 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm

I am surprised at this store closing, but they are closing all their California stores. I would love to see a quality store like Piazza's put a branch at this location. The Center in general seems quite active and pleasant.


2 people like this
Posted by Robert Hof
a resident of Triple El
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:36 pm

What's a "higher growth opportunity" than Palo Alto?? Given the periodic inventory problems there, it seems they didn't invest in distribution relationships or infrastructure as well as they should have. It's a really nice store, and it's hard to believe it can't make it here.


9 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 5, 2015 at 6:47 pm

Palo Alto may not be the "high growth opportunity some think it is, especially when you factor in traffic patterns and gridlock.

Andronico's at the Stanford Shopping Center closed although the one in Los Altos is doing fine. Ferrari's Italian Deli at Hamilton & Emerson closed but the ones in Berkeley etc. stayed open.

In Fresh Market's case, it seems to be more of a corporate problem. When I asked months ago why they discontinued their generous "Buy $X, get $Y off" coupons, the clerks said to watch their corporate news about closing other stores. Periodically I'd ask about possible closure of the PA store and the clerks would say they'd heard nothing specific but were nervous.


14 people like this
Posted by West Bayshore Neighbor
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm

This store closure has nothing to do with Edgewood Plaza or Palo Alto because Fresh Market is closing all of its California stores:

Web Link

It's very sad for the employees and community who shopped there and wished it every success.

Thank you Palo Alto Online for your reporting. Please keep covering this story. As neighbors, we are interested to know if there will be a new tenant soon.


4 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Wow! Things move fast in this town. It was only four days ago that the Weekly ran the following article about Edgewood:

Web Link

Guess you can't believe everything that you read.


14 people like this
Posted by Ryoko
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm

I hate this corporate garbage. That store was really convenient and had really tasty snacks. Blaming the NIMBYs demonstrates a general ignorance of the process that creates these developments. It's also quite telling that the people who are blaming the NIMBYs are people who don't live anywhere close to the center.


15 people like this
Posted by Nakita
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:26 pm

I feel sorry for the workers! I hope they can work out something to get them some sort of severance package. It would be nice to have Trader Joes or any other store that caters to all households of all levels not just the privatized.


10 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

@West Bayshore Neighbor - when you say they are closing all their stores in California, you need to understand that they only have 3. So Palo Alto was 1/3 of their CA market.

To anyone who shopped there, it was clear that it was not doing well. It was getting a tiny fraction of the customers that the Whole Foods, TJs, or Safeway get. If I went during the day, there would often be only one other customer in the store, and in the busier times, maybe 8-10 customers. It's too bad because it was a nice, clean, moderately priced market.


10 people like this
Posted by Pops94303
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 5, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Having a single store in a geographic area the grocery business is uneconomical. It has absolutely nothing to do with housing; it has to do with resupplying the store and the cost of trucking goods to a single store. In order to make one store work, they'd need to have 10 - 20 in the near term, and that's a big drain on cash.


9 people like this
Posted by Cook
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Too bad. A grocery store is sorely needed in this location. I was not a frequent shopper at Fresh Market. I thought the choices were limited and the prices were a bit steep, but it was always bustling with customers so I thought it served its niche. I would love to see Lunardi's of San Jose open a market there.


1 person likes this
Posted by Perspectives
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Perspectives is a registered user.

This is such sad news .... Fresh Market was the catalyst for the rebirth of Edgewood Plaza. It re-energized this area tremendously, whether people loved it's food or not. Just having it there- for milk, for last minute dinner ingredients, was so valuable. Just for bringing life back to this plaza.

A big concern I have (after mourning Fresh Market's demise) is that the article says the "closure activities" will be "completed in 2015". Yikes! What does that mean? It sounds like it means they will be vacant for quite some time after it is closed for business. Ensuing a lonely empty anchor store and preventing a new business from moving in quickly. This sounds like bad news.


8 people like this
Posted by HungryOne
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Pops94303 is absolutely right. My family often wondered how they could make a go of it with only 3 stores in CA, and not near each other. Our experience shopping there unfortunately was that the result was "unfresh market"; many times we purchased items that looked good but turned out to be stale/spoiled. Seems liked they tried to stock alot of very expensive(high margin) non-perishable goods to try to make up for the distribution challenges. There is also tremendous competition in Palo Alto not just from traditional grocery stores, but emerging food & grocery delivery businesses (Doordash, Gobble, AmazonFresh, Instacart, Safeway delivery, many others...) Fresh Market sat somewhere between Safeway and Wholefoods in terms of its positioning / target market, not a good place to be. I am skeptical given the competitive landscape, that a smaller grocery store can make a go of it in this location.


7 people like this
Posted by Zoya
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm

I really like the products and the location, too bad that the employees were frequently disoriented. There were often two ladies chatting at the coffee counter, yet carafes were more often than not out of coffee. The fresh tuna salad had no tuna, just seaweed. The cookies we have grown to like were either still frozen and would be available in a few hours or maybe delivered the next day, the same was true for the Italian mac and cheese. The side portions for a $7 special were inconsistent. The deli container lids did not fit well. Their panini sandwiches were great, but always pre-made and still took an entire lunch break for the deli workers to toast them. Serving lunches could have been Fresh Market's huge money maker if they would have staffed lunch time accordingly and allowed time for custom sandwiches. I liked the cashiers, always friendly and helpful, but the deli people were not listening to their customers or paying attention to their depleting items.

had great hope for the store, but after a while stopped coming since it was a craps shoot if they would have what I was coming for or not.


5 people like this
Posted by Stew
a resident of Triple El
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Triple El is a 10-minute walk to Edgewood Shopping Center. And many of my neighbors shopped at Fresh Market occasionally, for a few items. And they continued, my guess, to purchase most of their food from Safeway (short drive), TJ's (longer drive) or Whole Foods. I rarely saw anyone leaving Fresh Market with a full shopping cart. A branch of Piazzas market would be a wonderful replacement for Fresh. I wonder how the city's Planning Department does their analysis of the long term economic viability of anchor stores like the Fresh Market..in this case allowing a chain to set up shop in a geographic market virtually unknown to the Fresh Market corporate management. That seems like a high risk bet that went wrong, similar to the failure of the Miki's outlet that was the anchor store on Alma.


1 person likes this
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 11:03 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

> A big concern I have (after mourning Fresh Market's demise) is that the article says the "closure activities" will be "completed in 2015". Yikes! What does that mean?

The lease is probably paid for a while. Same as the California Ave Safeway in Mt View. It just sits there empty---someone could buy out their lease, but probably not.


12 people like this
Posted by Phil
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:34 am

Really didn't think the food was that great. Everyone thinks that because it is a "fancy grocery store", that everything would be fresh and high quality. I've had better sandwiches, meats, produce and bakery items at Safeway for a lot less money.


9 people like this
Posted by Regular Customer
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:27 am

I hope it's replaced by another grocery store. I loved shopping there for basic dinner items. Their meat offerings are better than Safeway and higher quality. I did have a problem with the deli customer service - often not enough employees so there were long waits. And I wrote to management about something else, with no reply from them. The manager of the store would allow the employees to close the deli section nearly half an hour early and stand guard at the entrance at 8:50PM. Overall, really bad management.

A Ranch 99 wouldn't fit the uppity atmosphere of the mall. Ranch 99 would fit the atmosphere of the old Mountain View Safeway.

I stopped shopping at Piazza's when I found they don't follow their sell-by dates and leave items out on the shelves past their dates.


11 people like this
Posted by 5th generation
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:23 am

"Developer Sand Hill Property restored the historic commercial Eichler buildings..."

Not exactly true... they actually destroyed one of the historic buildings and replaced it with a replica, but who's really paying attention?


17 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

SteveU is a registered user.

and the replica is not falling apart, is energy efficient and the looks fit in quite well.
Let us face it, the old building was CHEAPLY built and probably never intended to last


4 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:19 am

Re: "People here in the surrounding neighborhood are overwhelmingly supportive of a market."
Supportive, maybe, but people did not spend enough money there.


2 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

Wholeheartedly agree that a grocery store is not a public benefit, particularly when it closes so quickly. There ought to be repercussions for the developer when these alleged public benefits evaporate.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mike-Crescent Park
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:26 am

Mike-Crescent Park is a registered user.

Whatever the real reasons for deciding to close we are all partly responsible. As others noted no matter when you were in the store it had few customers. I liked it a lot but I averaged only $20-$40 a week in purchases -mostly the butcher shop or produce. I continued to buy from Safeway in Menlo Park and our local TJs. The neighborhoods addressed by Fresh Market is size able so you would expect a different outcome with only a reasonable base of customers at least in terms of customers in the store at our location.

Now I dread the inevitable endless discussions about what the right choice should be for this space. Maybe people really like the store choices we already have. That seems to be the case.


3 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:50 am

Crescent Park Mom is a registered user.

Going to miss their amazing breads!!


2 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:50 am

Crescent Park Mom is a registered user.

Going to miss their amazing breads!!


2 people like this
Posted by Raymond
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:51 am

My diet improved greatly with the addition of Fresh Market to my neighborhood. some of it's deli offerings have become a staple.


3 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:57 am

KP is a registered user.

Oh, I am so shocked!!! NOT!
I expected this store to go out much sooner. It's too expensive!

@Mac - I agree...Ranch 99!

@Evan - there is a whole frickin neighborhood surrounding that area! Why would they need more housing!!!! DUH!
I used to live over there on Ivy Lane in the 90's, and loved being able to run over to a sensible grocery store, Albertsons or Lucky's, I think!

@Regular Customer - Safeway would do just fine there. Obviously the uppity expensive store didn't do so well!


Like this comment
Posted by PA1
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

I am almost certain that Ranch 99 will be the runner-up after FM. It will be profitable from the start of the gate.


10 people like this
Posted by shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:21 am

The combination of too expensive and
bizarre design of the parking lot and auto entrance/exit made driving there unpleasant. Sure, if you walked to the store you wouldn't know that.
The coleslaw at the deli counter contained high fructose corn syrup. Not a big deal, but surprising, given their image.
And they don't carry most national brands, like Tide and things people are used to buying. Fancy gift baskets, candy, obscure coffee brands,yes.
Not enough people want an 'experience' and are willing to pay for it.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:48 am

The same genius who designed that parking lot can probably take credit for the bizarre access patterns for The Grocery Outlet.


1 person likes this
Posted by Diane
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:49 am

Wholefoods, Trader Joes...even Safeway. It would be a delight to have a well established market with "easier" parking available. I love having the center so close to home...just a jog away.


12 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

I'm soooo upset about this. The Fresh Market is a lovely, peaceful store with some great amenities. Delightful atmosphere, good food to go, great prices in floral. No hormone or antibiotic meat and poultry. Good sales.

The rest of the businesses going into that shopping center are generic and boring. Specialty Cafe, which would have been interesting, backed out. Seriously, HOW MANY STARBUCKS DO WE NEED? We are up to what, 7? 8? So sick of coffee shops with the requisite wanna be start-up mavericks sitting at their laptops looking pretentious. Add to that an expensive massage place, a nail salon (coming soon) the cleaners and Chase Bank (seriously, who puts a BANK next to the freeway? Just begging to get robbed). We lose everything that's charming and individual, such as Shady Lane, and we keep acquiring boring chain stores.

Welcome to the New Palo Alto. Our downtown is no longer a Downtown, it's becoming a business park, not a real downtown. There's nowhere to park, and very little security. Places like the Patio suddenly get closed for the night for "private parties." Seems like everything downtown is controlled by money and status. It's becoming all about wealth, and privilege.

With the exit of The Fresh Market, Edgewood Plaza will become another crappy strip mall. I do 99% of my shopping in Mountain View and points south. So do most of the long term Palo Altans. Wise up City Council. You are doing a terrible job of preserving that which made Palo Alto unique.


10 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm

KP is a registered user.

I shop at Safeway in Midtown. It's hella small, but the checkers know you and it has the necessities. It's what Palo Alto was when I was growing up. I wish Bergman's was still there...I would still shop there!!
Midtown is the BEST OF PALO ALTO! I am glad city council hasn't gotten their mitts on it!


3 people like this
Posted by Penny
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Grocery stores operate on VERY narrow margins...and it is getting harder as some people now buy their groceries online. It's tough for grocery retail to succeed, even in the best conditions. Nonetheless, we need good grocery stores that are convenient to get to from neighborhoods.

Every purchase we make online undermines the vitality of local retail. If we want good stores here, we have to shop in them.

I happen to agree providing a grocery store space should not be a public benefit. Council can't control how the space is used after it is built. We need some other way to incent the development of grocery stores in locations where they are needed.


2 people like this
Posted by Theresa
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

I've shopped at Fresh Market fairly frequently and am sorry that the parent company's financial woes are taking it from us. I hope something like Nugget Market (Web Link) moves in!


2 people like this
Posted by KSJ
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm

We'll miss the convenience of Fresh Market and some of their specialty items as well as the rotisserie chickens, which made 3 months without a kitchen pretty bearable. A great replacement would be an international market with an emphasis on Asian ingredients and fresh produce. It might necessitate changes in the parking lot, which was already getting crowded as well as awkward. Compliments to the FM staff who are always helpful and pleasant if occasionally stretched thin.


1 person likes this
Posted by deedee
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

honestly I did not like this store at all - hopeful something better will come in
employees kind/helpful, interior fine - offerings/selection odd

drove across town rather than waste my time at fresh


12 people like this
Posted by Darwin
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Palo Alto, with an Asian community of approximately 25%, would probably do well with an Asian themed grocery store. Perhaps a Ranch 99?


11 people like this
Posted by Natives are Restless
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm

I grew up in the neighborhood where the Fresh Market is and the former Lucky Store was. I witnessed the bulldozing of Muwekmwa Ohlone remains in that area and under the Eichler homes. I asked the developers or the city to consider putting up a marker to honor those spirits under the market. NO DICE. perhaps no business will do well there.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Ranch 99 would be just the ticket! Please, please, please.


7 people like this
Posted by YSK
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Please no!!!! Not Ranch 99. Not another crowded dirty supermarket that looks like another Piazza's. No more Miki's either. We needed something different. We got it, and now it's going. Being able to eat prepared food outside was really nice. What would really be nice there would be a restaurant.


15 people like this
Posted by Kerry55
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Sad to hear of Fresh Market closing. I went in a few times for snacks, a missing vegetable or bread needed, but it was a little high for major food shopping. Berkeley has 2 amazing food/vegetable stores with great bakery items: Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market. I think if either of those stores want to open up here they would do well! We don't need another nail salon….. Another ethnic market that caters to Japanese, Chinese, Indian or Russian folks might do well also.


Like this comment
Posted by YES
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm

Yes Yes Yes! If you want your house value goes up another 10% soon. Pray for it!


3 people like this
Posted by sarah
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2015 at 1:53 pm

It's a shame this store is closing. Whenever I'm in or near PA I stop by there for groceries. They have such a wonderful selection of ...EVERYTHING really. These small upscale markets really have a difficult time taking hold. Too bad really.


4 people like this
Posted by Bummed
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Mar 6, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Bummer! The FM is a popular place for my co-workers to frequent during lunch for healthier options. First Ming's, now FM! Terrible.


5 people like this
Posted by Edgarpoet
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

Wow, so many comments, yet I have noticed when some article might
create 50 comments , the webmaster cuts it off at 8 or 9 comments.
When some article is non-controversial, such as this one, then
the webmaster just lets it ride. What happened to my "freedom of Speech?"
It does not exist at Palo Alto online, unless we agree with the bias opinion
of the web master right>?


4 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

99 Ranch would be great. Or even better: Nijiya Market.


7 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm

KP is a registered user.

ANYTHING other than a high end snotty nosed market would be great in that spot. We need regular ass grocery stores that everyone can afford!


1 person likes this
Posted by shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Costco has already captured the Asian market. A recent visit there showed the vast majority of shoppers were Asian with a small smattering of other ethnicities.


2 people like this
Posted by boardride23
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Loved having the market, but in all honesty it was such a randomly stocked and overpriced market. What is guaranteed to succeed there is an actual chain grocery that caters to some high end yuppy taste but not over-priced to exclude everyone not in the 1% to buy their everyday groceries. That's why I think it HAS to be a Trader Joes. Moving a foreign brand to the West coast in that center was a poor choice as the street presence isn't ideal and no-one will go out of the way to search for or find that market. With that said, that shopping center is the most freeway (101) accessible grocery store in all of the Peninsula and surrounded by residential so should be in high demand now that the rest of the center is complete. That store would make a better location than any other Safeway/Trader Joes in the area.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I would drive to this location for a full service Safeway, Nob Hill, type store.

Any other store, including Trader Joes, is not full service and will only serve a niche market or neighbors.

Personally, can't stand TJs and don't get the reason why people like it so much. No meat/fish/bakery counters, no bread baked on the premises, all produce prepackaged, all meat prepackaged and in small quantities. I have found green spots on the packaged bread products. Very few national brands
and often unable to find recipe ingredients. What do people like about it?


2 people like this
Posted by Foodie
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:06 pm

I think this is sad, and am surprised that the East Coast stores are doing better business than the CA stores.

However, I agree that there are too many high-end specialty stores in Palo Alto. We really, really need an honest-to-god full service grocery store in this location. Palo Alto isoorly served in that department.


6 people like this
Posted by Foodie
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Tricia
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

The kind of small market that might do well are the family run La Hacienda Markets. They keep their overheads down. Also Papa Joe who replaced the Garcias at JJ&F for a short while hoping to get the lease on the new grocery store going in there might be interested. Again, a small family chain with family members working there which keeps costs down. They were very friendly, and because the building was slated for demolition the store became badly run down. But that wasn't their fault.


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm

KP is a registered user.

@Foodie - Wow! That's crazy. I'm glad I don't know what the heck they are saying, cuz I would end up with problems! LOL! They seem nice enough to me and I love the store! Ignorance is bliss in my case! (Now, let them say that mess in English!)

Oh, well. Such is life in the melting pot!


2 people like this
Posted by Regular Customer
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 6, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Full service? There isn't enough room for a full service store now that others have moved in. A place where I can buy some prepared food and meat/vegetables for meals would be fine. Toiletries, soap, flowers, bin items - I can get those elsewhere.


8 people like this
Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:25 pm

The handwriting was on the wall over a year ago when the company announced it was going to focus on the Eastern US and was closing all of its other Northern California (Sacramento area) stores. It was just a matter of an opportune time to pull the plug on the few remaining California stores. There is no way these isolated stores could have survived in the long term.


11 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 7:47 pm

I can't believe some people are suggesting a Trader Joe's go in here! You know there is one just at the other end of Embarcadero at T&C? Why not just go there if you want to use Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's would be crazy to open another store so close to an existing one.


10 people like this
Posted by wiggy
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:31 pm

@Resident: Wow! I've finally found somebody who shares my dislike of TJ's! It is so useless to me. I ducked into one once hoping to buy some molasses, which I consider to be a pretty staple grocery item. Nope, not at TJ's. The one time I bought a carton of "off" eggs, they came from TJ's. Maybe it's ok for folks who don't cook...I just don't get it. I will miss having a grocery store at EP (I live right across the street, so it was super convenient). However, I knew from day one that FM would not last long at that location. They did a very few things right (nice meat department, really good breads, adequate, but not stellar produce); however, they seemed not to understand the demographics of this area at all...what was up with all the candy!? Why so much depth in specialty condiments? And they fell pretty short in the deli dept. Anyway, I hope a store with more savvy moves in. I personally would be thrilled with a Safeway, Whole Foods, or Draeger's.


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Posted by YES
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 6, 2015 at 8:51 pm

It's almost certain noneof these traditional TJ, SW, NH or WF stores will not be able to survive in that corner for a year or 2.


14 people like this
Posted by Fresh fruits please
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 6, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Move the Milk Pail here!!


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:12 pm

There are plenty of regular grocery stores in the area you can drive to. Any market that goes into Edgewood Plaza need a moderately sized loyal customer base which will drive there. Maybe an ethnic market? I personally cannot think of any reason why I would make a trip to Edgewood Plaza to buy groceries.


4 people like this
Posted by Regular Customer
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 6, 2015 at 10:24 pm

@Fresh fruits, please: Milk Pail has been given permission to stay at San Antonio Center. In the future, their parking lot will be on the back side of the store instead. They have the cheapest prices on produce there. I mean, really cheap. Love it.


15 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 7, 2015 at 6:22 am

Oh no!

This is sad news, I liked Fresh Market and got used to zipping down
there for things I needed urgently or did not want to hassle through
traffic for.

However it was clear to me from the start they have problems running
and stocking their store. Just about everything I bought was more
expensive at Fresh Market than anywhere else, even Whole Foods
and they had aisles and aisles of expensive processed stuff in the
middle of the store that I would walk through and wonder - who
buys this stuff?

While there were some on their staff that really did a great job,
there was already a lot of dead wood. The bakery never put things
out for sale, I always had to go ask for their whole wheat buns I
liked of the sesame seed kaiser rolls. Chronically incompetent is
what they were.

I would go to the produce section to get tomatoes and there was
a guy right there stocking them and he did not notice that the
majority of cherry tomatoes would be bad and he did nothing
about it but leave them there for someone to buy. Sorry to hear
the good people there will lose their jobs instead of them just
learning how to manage a business.

They had such minimal freezer space that their choices of products
were terrible. Brands and brands of the same type of ice cream,
very few frozen foods ... this is just a company that does not know
what it is doing or how to monitor or manage their stores. No wonder
they are leaving ... what idiocy to even come here.

For lots of people in the area it is very convenient to get to - if only
they have a good selection of food at reasonable prices.

Another problem with a large store like that is the parking lot is daunting for
a lot of people. They really did a poor job of making is simple and easy to park,
to get in and get out, particularly along the side of the fresh market. There is
not enough parking in that shopping center and it is hard for most people
to get in there. I go there a lot and see people who seem clueless about what
to do or where to go, and they move very slow, and there is a lot of traffic,
and even people coming in from the gas station there is a little mini traffic
jam right there a lot.

Now, for as long as their lease was I guess we are going to have to suffer
though a vacant store.

Palo Alto needs to NEVER do another planned community, there is just
something very broken about this planned community process in Palo
Alto that seems to allow developers to either do what they want or
saddle the City with big ugly useless white elephants as punishment.
Maybe we need to fire or ban certain developers from Palo Alto.


6 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2015 at 7:39 am


"Costco has already captured the Asian market. A recent visit there showed the vast majority of shoppers were Asian with a small smattering of other ethnicities."

You actually interviewed all the shoppers at Costco and denter ined they were " asian" and not " Americans of asian descent"?
How did that work out for you.

A Ranch 99 at the site would be great


6 people like this
Posted by close by
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 7, 2015 at 10:30 am

It has been such a pleasure to watch this corner come to life with all the new businesses moving in. Especially businesses that are "regulars for the majority of people. Starbucks, house bagels, super cut etc.. Im not usually for chain type businesses, but they are a nice selection that appeals to a lot of people. It has been a bonus to have a bank there too. The Fresh market was fun to shop at. It was extremely sweet to have a convenient grocery store so close to home again. I do hope that some type of grocery store goes there. Something fun, but that carries a variety of daily items. Milk, produce, hot-cold ready to serve, etc.. Really any type of grocery store would be nice, I just hope one goes in since this area of town really needs something. It is easy access to Emarcadero & E.Palo Alto residence as well, and a nice stop off the freeway with Gas.


3 people like this
Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

The parking lot was daunting? Maybe for you, Crescent Park Anon, but everyone else I ever saw in it seemed to maneuver quite competently.


3 people like this
Posted by Hate FM now
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I frequent Fresh Market at least 2 times a week. This is absolutely HORRIBLE news. I've become dependent on the 2 for 1 chickens and other items I eat every week from that store. I really wish they would have never moved in in the first place if they were going to shut down so quickly. This neighborhood DESPERATELY needed a grocery store, and FM was a perfect fit. A bit expensive, but the quality was there. Frankly, I'm ticked off. The last thing we need is something OTHER than a grocery store there.


6 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 7, 2015 at 5:45 pm

I'm not at all surprised by the closure. My initial impressions were not favorable, and my impressions went down from there. The prices were a bit high considering the selection, which was pretty weak. Five types of plain yogurt and almost no selection of flavored? A half isle of only candy? I could go on. A very poor use of space. It seems that the corporate management isn't very familiar with the California market and made huge missteps. And opening one store in Northern CA isn't a very smart move financially. It's quite expensive to transport goods to stores that are located so far apart from one another. Perhaps they would have been better off concentrating their resources in one location rather than spreading themselves thin throughout CA. And then there was the selection. They seemed to be out of things quite often when I went there. Whole Foods is clearly a better option for organics, and they have a much better selection. That said, I'll miss Fresh Market. I didn't shop there too often, but it was nice having a grocery store close to home. Hopefully a better grocery store will take its place.


3 people like this
Posted by realist
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm

doesn't anyone realize how low margins are on groceries? most palo altan's could afford to pay prices needed to keep small markets open - but bottom line, they don't. time to get in the SUV and head to Safeway! bring the food trucks back to edgewood - heck of a lot more fun anyway!


5 people like this
Posted by BradQuan
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 7, 2015 at 8:30 pm

The parking actually is horrible. It's so cramped in there and like the rest of this city, trying to cram as many people into an area without proving adequate parking.....And to not be able to turn left at that stop sign.....retarded. Have to go thru the Shell like everyone else. I only shop there because I want it to succeed as well as it's walking distance to my house. The food there was way over priced. Even more expensive than Whole Foods. Saw the writing on the wall.


1 person likes this
Posted by Michael Vilain
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm

I have no idea what's going on with the Milk Pail and their parking saga, but if they lost their parking (and essentially are being driven out of business, what about *them* in this space? All the stuff they carry, I'd come back for week after week. Fresh Market was to pricey and had to little of what I want. Currently, I shop at TJ's almost exclusively unless I need something at Piazza or CostCo. If JJ&F had been closer, I'd have shopped there.

Owner of the Milk Pail: what about it?


2 people like this
Posted by Robert Smith
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm

We loved the store and used it, very sad.

However, the store did not seem to be doing very well, with small numbers of shoppers buying small orders of groceries.

I am afraid that decisions made by small groups of residents and our city council do not reflect what the broad base of consumers will actually pay for. Perhaps we need to be asking the developers what they think will actually work, they are the ones developing the project after all.

The city council also delayed this project considerably. At one point, construction was stopped because of the claim that an old building had been demolished instead of being "restored". Of course, the developer had to pay a big fine to get construction restarted. Such expenses will inevitably cause the actual stores to be more likely to experience failure after the city-mandated expenses are passed along.

Finally, it is time to forget about the "neighborhood grocery store" desire. This is a sentimental throwback to earlier times that bears no relation to how people shop today. We are buying groceries on-line and driving to the big-box stores in Mountain View, and a host of other things. We just didn't shop at the Edgewood plaza groceries enough to justify their existence.


3 people like this
Posted by Perspectives
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 7, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Perspectives is a registered user.

Robert Smith- while I agree Fresh Market didn't seem to have enormous crowds, I disagree that that means the "neighborhood grocery store" is a thing of the past.

While I have my complaints (strange inventory, prevelance of hf corn syrup and artificial coloring in their food, and the enormous candy aisle), I think it was just starting to settle in and the re-emergence of the neighborhood grocery store was just starting to take hold once again. Look at the bustle of the center now that more businesses have moved in! Huge difference between now and same time last year. Fresh Market threw in the towel too soon. It needed more than the year + it had before proving itself.

If corporate wants to claim it's just a West Coast decision then they have terrible management to have set up this store for failure. What did they expect in so little time? For goodness sake, it'd been a derelict parking lot for years. The community needed to get that foothold once again- because I do agree it's not the "norm" in this online and larger store age. Does not mean people don't have a different place in their lives for the neighborhood mart. I think they do. Especially up in this area where there is no community hub whatsoever, or easy-access groceries. I do think business had picked up and the new stores continuing to open were naturally bringing in more business.


8 people like this
Posted by cheese guy
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 8, 2015 at 7:43 am

I agree with the comment above by Mark. This store fit absolutely no niche to attract business other than from the local neighborhood. It was more expensive than Whole Foods while selling a smaller selection of produce with inferior quality. For those searching for decent quality at good prices, it never could match TJ's and Costco. For those who are seeking high-end gourmet products, it can't compete with Draeger's (though the rapid loss of Miki's shows that PA isn't ready for much breadth in this realm). Moreover, the lousy and quite overpriced wine selection (even at 30% off in their closing down sale these wines are not a good value) and the miles of candy options also misses the PA demographic. Perhaps a specialty market could be a draw, though Mi Pueblo is just 2 minutes down 101 and there are rather strong Asian markets in Mt. View. This is not an easy business to run.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 8, 2015 at 10:31 am

In January, TFM unexpectedly pushed out the CEO responsible for the company's West coast expansion. The sudden announcement displeased investors and analysts. To appease the markets, TFM quickly filled the role with an interim CEO and focused him on a short term strategy of immediate financial returns. The long term investment required for successful expansion into CA was quickly abandoned.

This store closure was the result of a knee-jerk firing and a needed quick-fix by the company's board and had little to do with local support.

Reject suggestions that neighborhood markets are obsolete. Too many thriving examples abound. (Piazza's, Lunardi's, Mollie Stone's, Andronico's, Bianchini's...)


3 people like this
Posted by Thx for nothin
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2015 at 10:34 am

I loved this store and am very sad to see it go. They had a little of everything. The 2 for $12 fresh rotisserie chickens were literally the best I've ever had--- juicy, fall off the bone, incredibly tasty.

I don't know who to direct my anger toward because we have needed a market there for years---and got one for little over a year, that's it! Thanks again for nothin' Palo Alto!

A Molly Stones would be an ok replacement I suppose... A replacement needs to go in ASAP.


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Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2015 at 1:21 pm

"Reject suggestions that neighborhood markets are obsolete. Too many thriving examples abound. (Piazza's, Lunardi's, Mollie Stone's, Andronico's, Bianchini's...)"
That is all that PA has are " neighborhood markets" . No real full size, large selection grocery stores that every other city has.
And didn't andronicos shut down at stanford?
The ghost of JJ&f and their college terrace supporters continues to haunt the PA grocery scene


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Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

I reality, Palo Alto is a small town and not a city. There's very little available land, so full size, large selection grocery stores every other city has are not an option here. it's not Mountain View, Sunnyvale, San Jose or San Francisco. It may be considered a city by name, but it's a small town.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2015 at 1:54 pm

I disagree that we are not deserving of a full size grocery store. The latest Mountain View and Los Altos Safeways have been built with roof parking or ground level parking with the store above ground level.

We could do something similar for the Midtown Safeway, or at the Edgeware site. We could also build on Charleston near Bed Bath and Beyond, opposite OSH, which is Palo Alto.

The historical outdated rules concerning the square footage of grocery stores should be changed. It is true that the majority of Palo Alto residents spend their grocery dollars outside Palo Alto for the reason that we appreciate one stop shopping for our major grocery shopping trips. Neighborhood groceries are great for between major shopping trips for the times we have unexpectedly run out or need something quick for dinner, but that is all.

Getting the City Council to alter its refusal to allow large box type stores and full service supermarkets would do a lot to relieve traffic, stress and dissent, as well as increasing tax dollars on non food items that we all buy all the time.

I would certainly be in favor of having some realistic, affordable, sensible shopping facilities in town.


2 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Mauricio-- better make sure The council and the powers that be do not hear you call PA a town. Palo Alto is a city. Period.
Other cities our size have descent grocery shopping, we have crap in the guise of " neighborhood" grocery stores. I guess if you like understocked, overpriced stores , that is for you. Considering the airs of pretentiousness that people in this town put on, paying through the nose for " boutique" groceries is no problem.
Resident is correct. We deserve a full size grocery store. We could have had one at alma plaza, but the weak- kneed council gave in to another misguided " friends" group. Too bad.


1 person likes this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Natives are Restless, How did I miss the news about the shell mound there? I've seen the recent research showing those were not mere garbage middens but very important markers as well as often burial places. If I ever were to believe in curses... the history of the grocery stores there and the whole PUC process makes me wonder.

It is time for the City Council to stop trying to be Grand High Poobah of what businesses to have where and leave it to the property owners and customers with simple zoning rules. No more of this subjective/negotiated "public benefit" nonsense. Reduce it to one mathematical formula for cash for public parking garages and to fund a shuttle system better than Emeryville has. Merge it with the Margaritta system which right now is virtually useless for those who live here. Yes, that means allow more growth at Stanford if traffic is reduced. Let the shuttle system(s) be contracted out to companies like Uber, otherwise it'll just get more Shallow Alto red tape and inefficiencies. Until then, I'll root for First Peoples' curses.


1 person likes this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:21 pm

@Agenda - You are mistaken about what happened at Edgewood, there was never a proposal to put a full sized grocery store there. The plan was always to use the existing ~14k sq ft structure (old Alberstons) for a small grocery store. The developer wanted to remove one of the other retail buildings, and put in 28 units of housing. They scaled back to 10 units of housing, and kept both single story retail buildings.


1 person likes this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:39 pm

I never said the was a proposal to put a full sized store into Edgewood, mr recycle. Though it should have been considered.
It is too late now. It will be interesting to see who will fill that location.
Ironic also, that piazzas, who was against allowing a big store at alma plaza, increased the size of their store to Over 20k square feet. Bottom line, if you want good grocery shopping, at reasonable prices, go to menlo,park or mountain view.


10 people like this
Posted by cook
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Small town? Small towns don't have three middle schools, two high schools, a shopping mall, a hospital, and a university. A small town might have one grocery store, a Denny's and a Walmart (if it's near a highway).

The neighborhood grocery store should offer all the basics for making meals, not bins of candy, wine, and imported cheeses. Safeway, Nob Hill, Lunardis are good one-stop grocery stores. On the flip side, this location could be ideal for a specialty store that offers high quality, gourmet frozen dinners (like the Picard stores in France). Silicon Valley people are busy, and could use an alternative to restaurant take-out. This location being near 101 could be convenient stop for commuters on their ride home.


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 8, 2015 at 10:28 pm

@Agenda - sorry, I see now you were referring to Alma, not Edgewood.


2 people like this
Posted by What more did u need
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 8, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Fresh Market DID offer all the basics for making meals. I made wonderful soups with their fresh cooked chickens, veggies, broth, fresh spices and all the other stuff for a soup.

They also had really yummy sandwiches, breads, and other stuff for lunch and dinner.

Not sure what else everyone would have wanted...perhaps eating healthily is too much to ask of the PA high nose.


2 people like this
Posted by EnjoyPaloAltoANDbeHappy
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2015 at 12:30 am

EnjoyPaloAltoANDbeHappy is a registered user.

The store did not manage restocking their products well, including their soups, cookies, deli items, so I stopped coming to the store. The workers would tell me that the items are still frozen and would be ready for purchase in a few hours, I did not return in a few hours and then stopped coming altogether.

Here is an idea - a food-court in that location, like the one that use to be in the building which is now Apple on Univ Ave. (it was Zgallery after the food court). I would be excited for options of preped meals and it would be a fun gathering place for Palo Altans and residents of neighboring communities. Food truck have replaced food courts in this area (we have no food courts anywhere nearby) but they are inconsistent and it is hard to pack a family meal from the truck offerings.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:17 am

There is something special and unique about the neighborhood character that Palo Altans enjoy.

Among the qualities that most distinguish Palo Alto living are the local neighborhood elementary schools - where children can walk to and from home, neighborhood libraries, and neighborhood parks. Neighborhood grocers further enhance the self-sufficient character of our communities.

Driving the SUV to the Hypermart has it's place but can be easily found in most other - often characterless - American suburbs.


3 people like this
Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2015 at 7:53 am

SteveU is a registered user.

I grew up in a small town (pop 7K, 2 mi sq) in NJ in the 50's

We had 2 Public Grade schools, a Jr High and a High plus 2 Catholic schools.
We had 2 chain Markets (Acme and A&P)
We had a train Station with daily Electric trains to/from NYC

Palo Alto is HUGE and we can't seem to do as much as a tiny town


1 person likes this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 9, 2015 at 8:20 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The shopping mall, hospital and university are at Stanford, not Palo Alto, so is the SRP, where most high tech teams here are located. Stanford is not Palo Alto.


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Posted by bug city
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

Actually the hospital and mall are in Palo alto. That is why the council must okay building etc for those locations. The university is in the county.and SRP is on Stanford land in Palo alto.


3 people like this
Posted by JA
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 9, 2015 at 8:47 am

Nice to shop there as not so crowded but this store's model may work well in another region, North Carolina, but not so well in Northern California. Apparently a lot of their inventory was trucked across country from North Carolina every week, so maybe not a good business model


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Posted by Norman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 9, 2015 at 9:28 am

Great store, bad location meaning not enough nearby customers.


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Posted by PA1
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 9, 2015 at 9:40 am

State budget is about $450B and Palo alto city budget is almost half a Billion. This small town also has its own airport. How small can you get? Palo Alto leads all the neighboring cities in spending and studying. Check!


3 people like this
Posted by Mendicant98
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 10:55 am

TFM was a perfect fit for this neighborhood. Emphasis on neighborhood, and all the snarky commenters above clearly don't understand how important this market has been for neighbors. Quality was decent, with some exceptions. Prices could be steep, but there were ways to mitigate if one shopped for value. Staff friendly and courteous. Deli counter especially good. Yes, the parking lot was getting full, but isn't that the point? Most of the customers were local enough to bike ride or walk: a huge bonus.

The store was making plenty of money, according to manager and staff. With TFM CEO change, and the handful of CA stores basically on a distant island in terms of distribution, I can understand the closure, but I do not appreciate it.

I care nothing for national brands, and this location will never compete with a giant Costco or Safeway with acres of parking. Find another store like TFM, please. Do not, under any circumstances, bring in a Safeway (doubt they would come anyway). Doubt TJ's or Piazza's would open second store so close to others nearby. Oh, and please no more nail spas...


4 people like this
Posted by Lynne
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

This is no surprise. I live two blocks away and would only go there as an emergency. The store was empty almost all of the time. The produce was horrible. The line of products was ridiculously limited. I wouldn't dare by meat or fish there since there was no turnover. It was quite simply an awful "market". Any other market would have done well: Safeway, Whole Foods, Milk Pail, whatever.

This center needs a different food store.


2 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 9, 2015 at 11:18 am

How about noting that the corporate parent had profits of 14% which is REALLY high for a supermarket chain? They were / are simply greedy.


9 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 12:14 pm

I stopped in yesterday & briefly spoke with a couple of employees. They said that the Palo Alto location was the only CA location that was making a profit &, since corporate was closing the other CA locations, they decided to close all locations in CA. Makes sense. I don't think they understood the CA market as they didn't seem to offer a selection that would appeal to many people here. Yes, some of their items were good, but many were not items that people here would buy on a regular basis.

Interestingly, the employees said that representatives from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, & Molly Stones have already visited the site. I suppose Whole Foods could move their store to the FM location, but I can't imagine they would want to open 2 locations in Palo Alto. Molly Stones would be nice, & they would likely have a larger customer base compared to their present location, which is a bit out of the way. We don't need another TJs, as much as I love TJs. Palo Alto could also benefit from something different, perhaps something similar to Berkeley Bowl or The Milk Pail. An ethnic market (Asian in particular) would also probably do well. Let's just hope that the next market succeeds.


1 person likes this
Posted by Andy
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Why doesn't Safeway buy the store as-is and add a good quality property to its PA portfolio?


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 9, 2015 at 12:22 pm

@Online name -- TFM earnings released last week for fiscal year 2014 show net income $63M on net sales of $1.75B, which looks like 3.6% profit to me. What numbers are you using to get 14 percent?


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Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Mark,

Thanks for actually getting some info. I remember from a year ago that the PA Fresh Market was one of the few profitable ones.

I can't imagine Whole Foods would give up their present location as the only downtown grocery store. Their other locations all seem to be larger, not smaller than the Palo Alto location.

Molly Stone's seems to be about the right size.

Robert's seems like it would be a good fit--the Woodside and Portola Valley stores are a similar size. The food quality is good and they have a lot of prepared foods.

I don't see a Ranch 99 working there--the locations tend to be larger (and have more parking) and, also, Ranch 99 works on a low price/high turnover model and I just don't see the Edgewood location working for that.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2015 at 1:13 pm

The bay area as a whole had less grocery store chains. PW, Food Villa, Fry's, Cala, Bell, Alpha Beta, QFI and Food Fair just to new a few. The average store has gotten bigger, 14k sqaure feet is Ok back in the 70's

Grocery stores today sell or have. Flowers, Starbucks, Bank, along with bakery, large deli that sells sandwich, take out, pizza, internation food, seafood counter, sushi bar, large wine selection, very large cheese selection and the expanded amount of choice.

Going to deli meant going to a real deli or bakery. Getting take out food meant calling a restaurant or going to a food court. Buying flowers meant going to a local florist, buying good wine meant going to a liquor store.

So how can full service grocery operate in 14k location.

The guy that owns Milk Pail owns his building why would he pay high rent.

A basic supermarket would world, with a nice small deli that sells meat, cheese, and make sandwishes, fresh baked good trucked in from local soruce. A really good meat counter and fruit and vegs section. A well planned easy to stock and manage will work well.


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Posted by no sense in complaining
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 9, 2015 at 1:38 pm

@ Mendicant98

I'm glad at least one other person seems to appreciate what The Fresh Market brought to the neighborhood...and recognized it for all the good things it had.

If you stop and think about it, the FM really came equipped with all the main products someone would need in a "regular" supermarket. In fact, there were countless things I couldn't get at TJ's (like marshmallows) that I COULD at the FM. This is to say nothing of the quality of their fresh foods.

In any event, complaining only serves to ease my being upset at the situation. Ultimately they are leaving and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Hopefully people will appreciate what they have in their own backyard next time...


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Posted by Perspectives
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Perspectives is a registered user.

I wholeheartedly disagree though that PA couldn't support another Whole Foods. Our Whole Foods on Emerson is entirely too small for this town. In a town that has the ideal market for a WF, we have one of the smallest I've ever seen. I was just there today actually and as always, maneuvering around that place is a nightmare. It is always packed to the point of nuisance. It's actually quite an unpleasant shopping experience because of it. I do not enjoy going there, but tolerate the environment only as a means to an end.

I think a WF at Edgewood would do wonderfully. It will not only be frequented regularly by the neighborhood, but it's easy access off the freeway and the brand is one of the most desired and known in this area in my opinion.


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Posted by PA a city for the wrong reasons
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Mar 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Town vs City

Here's PA's problem. Everyone wants to think of PA as a town-- a place with nice cozy neighborhoods where everyone knows your name...with people walking dogs up to "the Univ. ave strip" where they could get a nice breakfast with coffee on Sundays...and go out to eat...and feel homey...etc etc etc.

The problem is PA USED to be a "town" but now has become so incorporated that it's no longer able to retain anything of what a town represents. The neighborhood streets are now littered (and I mean LITTERED) with "no parking" signs every 20 yards...there's horrible traffic EVERYWHERE d/t the Council wanting to increase the number of corporate business' (filled with hundreds of employees needing to go to work) who can pay big rents to the city...middle-of-the-road restaurants cannot exist due to high rent so either you get super ridiculously expensive high-end non-homey restaurants or chains that bring in so much cash they can afford to pay rent...the Council has actually REDUCED the amount of parking spaces (thanks to the "bike parking" which could be placed somewhere OTHER than where cars park, among other things)...there's no end in sight regarding increased number of businesses, decreased number of homey restaurants/retail shops, or for that matter the Council's need to physically ruin the aesthetics of the neighborhoods with their signs, paint and other junk they've added.

Anyway, I could go on and on. But bottom line--PA is on a fast-track toward looking like SF. I hope everyone's excited about it!


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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Lynne said, "The produce was horrible. The line of products was ridiculously limited. I wouldn't dare by meat or fish there since there was no turnover. "

I agree and disagree - the produce was literally the same as whole foods - bought from the same local distributor, same labels, often sold at a lower price. But, you are right, the because the market was empty, produce and meat didn't turn over as fast as at a market like Whole Foods. I didn't buy there for that reason.

That's the fundamental problem with the location, a small "local" market will never draw enough customers to turnover the food as fast as markets like Whole Foods, TJ's or Safeway.


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Mar 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

When i lived in England, South Africa and Australia I would shop at a grocery store called SPAR it was a smaller store compared to Safway, Tesco, Coles and ASDa. The stores I mentioned are like Lucky's Nob Hill, Safeway, and Albertson the larger full market set up.

SPAR was inbetween a 7-11 and those larger markets

Here is email to this worldwide group of stores,

info@spar-international.com.

Web Link Their web link.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:08 pm

This isn't about the local store. This was a decision by a company located in North Carolina about continued operations in the state of California. It is expensive for a company to go national like this. It is a shame though. I liked the store!

If it is replaced, I think that Trader Joes, Sprout's or even a small Whole Foods or Nob Hill Foods would do well.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:10 pm

On the bright side: Will this bring back Edgewood Eats? I really miss that weekly food truck event!

Does anyone know of other food truck events locally?


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 6:34 pm

I advocated earlier for another Piazza's at this location, but I agree with Perspectives that a Whole Foods would also be great. I agree with him/her that the Palo Alto downtown Whole Foods is difficult to park at (yes, I must drive there) and is smaller than other Whole Foods I have been in, even out of state! So - maybe there's room for two of them in this city.


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Posted by Psst
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Everything has been 40% off since the day after the announcement. The meats sold first, but there are still many other items available. Today around 6PM, there were still plenty of shoppers scooping up what they could.

I asked one of the employees where she will work and she said another market is already looking into it.


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Posted by Psst
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Everything has been 40% off since the day after the announcement. The meats sold first, but there are still many other items available. Today around 6PM, there were still plenty of shoppers scooping up what they could.

I asked one of the employees where she will work and she said another market is already looking into it.


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Posted by Not surprised
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm

I shopped in Fresh only for one or two items when I had no time dropped by Trader Joe's since Fresh market is right there when I exited 101. I found most product & produce prices are higher than Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. Selections are not enough. There were usually no line at the cashiers. I am surprised they can last until now.


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Posted by so on and so on
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 9, 2015 at 10:05 pm

@PA a city for the wrong reasons
"the city's need to physically ruin the aesthetics of the neighborhoods with their signs,paint and other junk they've added".
Exactly. And so on and so on. This City is in a race to the bottom.
We are witnessing and experiencing catastrophic decline in which the
market forces are overwhelming and exploiting the weakest of governments
in a 1-2 punch. The problems, the impacts, just keep growing, the City
gets further and further behind, in a cycle of destruction as the City is losing all its qualities and eventually its very livability. Essentially the City needs to stop what it is doing and undo as much of what it has done as possible as the first two steps in an emergency response and go
from there. This is the charge to the new Council majority.



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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2015 at 2:13 am

One thing they could do no matter what happens is to remove the pass-thru from the Shell Station to the Shopping Center. It's very simple to exit the Shell station and enter the shopping center, and the random irregular flow of cars into the shopping center always causes a mini traffic-jam right in the middle of the parking lot in a large area where traffic from 5 different directions flows through. That pass-thru adds nothing by delay, and I bet sooner or later a fender-bender.

Block the pass-thru from the Shell into the shopping center, and put another parking place in the parking lot of the shopping center!

From the comments here, it appears that even with it's faults The Fresh Market was making money at this location. That makes it all the worse for the workers there to know they did good work ( relatively, and most of them), but it also seems that another market gains the knowledge that a market can survive here and make money, so perhaps the location will not be empty for long! That would be great. It would also be great if we could get a market that was not 20% higher in price that the most expensive markets already in Palo Alto.

I realized I am also going to miss their bottled water ... I used to buy the bottled water from Fresh Market and it was pretty good and one of the few things that was low priced.


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Posted by so on and so on
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 10, 2015 at 7:16 am

The availability of parking for not just customers but also employees is a likely issue for WF, as it is Downtown, in looking at a potential move into Edgewood.


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Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 11, 2015 at 4:16 pm

All the employees at The Fresh Market I ever dealt with were nice and competent and helpful.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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