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Jun 19, 2010 09:37 PM

Grocery Outlet Expanding

"Grocery Outlet is planning significant growth, including new stores in Pinole, Concord, Dublin, Gilroy and Watsonville"

Still no SF store.

It is also a good background article on GO

"Supermarket guru" Phil Lempert, the food-trends editor on NBC's "Today" show, is a huge fan.

"I love Grocery Outlet," he said one recent afternoon on a tour of its latest addition, a sparkling new store at a strip mall in Pinole. "It's like a blend of a dollar store and Trader Joe's. They're very intelligent about their relationship with customers, (promoting) the emotional, fun, adventurous side of shopping."

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  1. I want to check out one of the Bay Area GOs one of these days. The store in my neighborhood has not impressed me.

    13 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes

      I don't think it's your store, although some of them are more unprepossessing than others. You have to approach them in a certain frame of mind and with the right expectations. In addition, the stock is so variable that you can go in one week and find nothing but dreck, and the next week and find a basket full of treasures.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Yeah, I'd second that. Keep an eye out on the Grocery Outlet posts on this board ... if people are still doing that.

        It could just not be your style of shopping. I still can't really say why I like GO so much when places like Trader Joe's and dollar stores bore me out of my mind. Wiith dollar stores it is usally all uninteresting junk. With TJ's ... well, no amazing bargains. Also, with GO you know NOT to expect ever seing something again. With TJ, they keep too many products just long enough to build loyalty and then discontinue them. It annoys me.

      2. re: alanbarnes

        As Ruth said, definitely a treasure hunt .

        Because many stores are franchises, they do their own buying and some have special relationships with local suppliers so the offered merchandise and layouts will vary greatly from store to store (I frequent the Salinas and Oakland stores but stop in at Marina and San Jose occasionally & my husband does Berkeley).

        I actually prefer Salinas, Marina and San Jose over the company stores in Oakland and Berkeley, which seem to be heavily picked over by bargain hunters, but that may be a function of the time and days that I get into those stores.

        Grocery Outlet
        2001 4th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

        Grocery Outlet
        2900 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

        1. re: Stephanie Wong

          I wish they would have a store in SF.

          1. re: baron45

            GO reps have said they'd like to have a store in SF.

            Maybe Delano's site in the Mission will open up.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              the rumor still has legs....


              (most of the commenters on that blog are opposed to it, but i'm all for it.)

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Not quite in SF, but a new Grocery Outlet is opening (according to a banner on the window) in the former Chinese grocery store in the strip mall at the end of Hickey at El Camino near Costco in South San Francisco.

                1. re: Nancy Berry

                  That's handy enough. I noticed there's already a Fresh and Easy (or whatever it's called) at the south end of Pacifica on 1.

                  1. re: Windy

                    how do people feel about the Fresh and Easy? I went into one when my parents were still living in Orange County and I thought the individual packaging of everything was incredibly wasteful. i didn't think anything was particularly cheap, or that they had anything particularly special that other grocery stores don't have. of course, we're spoiled here with Berkeley Bowl.

                    Berkeley Bowl
                    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      Exactly. We have so many choices we're spoiled. What Fresh and Easy really provides is an alternative to other kinds of convenience foods and fast food/fast causal dining. In that sense, it's a step up to stop at Fresh and Easy for some food that may be over-packaged but at least isn't over-processed!

                    2. re: Windy

                      Not quite yet, the web site says it's going to open March 9th.

                      That will be a very welcome addition to the neighborhood because right now the only other option close by is Safeway.

              2. re: Stephanie Wong

                I have been shopping at GO for several years and didn't realize that some of the stores are company stores while others are franchises. I was talking to the person in the wine department about wines he would recommend. I said that I'd try a couple of his recommendations,then pick up more at my local GO if I liked the wine. He told me that the company stores get first pick, and if the wine is good, they buy up all that's available (unless it's a huge amount).

                So, while I really like my local Rohnert Park and Petaluma GO stores, evidently I'm not getting the best selection (or maybe I'm not getting a selection of what's best).

                1. re: matagal

                  Actually I find Rohnert Park to have one of the better wine selections of the GO stores. They go through dry spells, so to speak, every now and then, but overall I can get wines there that the other stores don't carry. Take that with a grain of salt as I'm really not all that wine-savy.

                  I never to seem to have much luck at Petaluma.

            2. this is the only store hubby will shop with me.why? the 60's music! we cant get it on bay area radio any more so we go to G.O. shop for bargins and sing along with elvis, lil richard ,bobby darin, the coasters,fleetwood macthe rondelles,all creates a fun atmosphere and we get such wine bargins too. so much more fun then costco or trader joes..i think thats the sure to check out the hayward b st outlet.great employees and alot of parking

              3 Replies
              1. re: mychineseauntie

                I dig the "golden-oldies" music at the GO in Petaluma as well!

                1. re: mychineseauntie

                  The GO in Livermore plays Sirius Satellite Radio which is a great option if you enjoy a particular time period of popular music.
                  Sadly, I check the wine selections there weekly and I rarely see any of the recommendations posted by other 'Hounds.

                  1. re: KatoK

                    Last week I purchased about 7 reds, compared and contrasted and wound up with a split case of very worthwhile wines. Meritage a Rockridge wine and 12 Apostles Shiraz, sorry cleaned the shelf, in Livermore. I LOVE their return policy and can't wait to try out their White selection in the future. Seriously, the prices are amazing at GO! And they do have better wine than TJ's 10$ offerings. Go for it, use the return policy to taste a few, TJ's was harder to return the wine but GO..... they were super cool!