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Discount grocer to open shop at Alma Village

Original post made on Jul 8, 2013

Grocery Outlet, a chain specializing in extreme bargains, will take over the Alma Village supermarket that has been vacant since early April, when Miki's Farm Fresh Market went out of business.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 8, 2013, 5:47 PM

Comments (97)

Posted by Frank
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Palo Alto needs a discount grocer since the majority of one's wages go to high housing costs, leaving little for food and transportation each month.

Posted by shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

I've never heard of this chain before. Do they sell any fresh foods, or only pre-packaged foods?

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 8, 2013 at 7:38 pm

>> ". . . the traffic generated by the new store will be approximately the same as that of Miki's."

How will a cheaper store stay in business with the same amount of traffic? Higher margins?

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

shopper - they have fresh & packaged, a lot of the latter, actually. I used to get good cheese at a GO, but I don't know if they still have a good selection. One of my best purchases: Beverley Hills 90210 gift wrapping paper - it always caused a big laugh among the gift recipients. I also bought a full set of nice, basic dishes at a GO many moons ago & still use it. It'd be interesting to know what their current selections are like - there's an outlet in Redwood City.

Posted by How long?
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 8, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Miki never advertised, never had many customers as a result. That's why there was not much of a traffic burden added on. Many folks never heard of the place until all the publicity about it closing.

If the new tenant makes the same advertising errors, he will not be there long, either.

Posted by Magic 8 Ball
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

This will be a unique store so customers will patronize it despite the terrible location. I predict this store will succeed!

Re the posting from "How long?", Miki's failure had nothing to do with lack of advertising; everyone knew it was there but the location seemed too inconvenient and it was like any other high end grocery store, so it was nothing new. Discount groceries? Everyone will be curious and will be anxious to shop there.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm

We visited the Grocery Outlet in Redwood City after seeing one of their commercials.

The store is something like a "Big Lots" but for grocery items. Most of it is overstocked items sold at a steep discount. Many of the items (e.g., cereal, yogurt, cheese, etc...) sells for half of what it costs at Safeway.

We were impressed! While the store wasn't too attractive, it was very well stocked. Whenever we visit the Costco in Redwood City, we drive over to the Grocery Outlet too. We receive an email from them once or twice a month with "cash" coupons (usually $5 off your total purchase).

I am glad that they are opening one in Palo Alto! This seems like the last place that you would expect to find such a bargain! The store seems to stay busy. So, I expect it will stay busy here too!

Posted by Worth a Try
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Definitely worth a try. I have dropped by one of their stores in the past, and it is different - certainly they don't have everything one would want, but when they do, it is screaming cheap. If you like bargains, you'll probably find something you like. A nice addition to the retail mix.

Posted by Near E Meadow & Alma
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I was just at the GO in Redwood City over the weekend. Certainly the bargains appear to be good, not convinced of the quality of, for example, fresh produce. I'm also not sure how the values compare to Trader Joe's or Costco (GO seems to carry a number of large-size items). The ambiance of the RWC GO reminded me of the now long-defunct All American Market that existed for some years off El Camino near Barron Park. While I live just blocks from Alma Plaza, given the parking challenges that became evident with Miki's, and the likely difficulty of doing any "one stop shopping" at GO, I suspect I won't become a regular customer there, and will still gravitate more to TJs, Piazzas, Whole Foods, and even the nicer and newer Safeway stores (San Antonio Road and also in Menlo) but I expect that the store will fill a niche here.

Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Next stop, $.99 cent store...

Posted by Sad
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Seriously Palo Alto ... an outlet store? Palo Alto is not the place it used to be. Very sad.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2013 at 7:08 am

Retail outlets (ie--stores) need customers to stay in business.

Customers generate traffic.

Ergo, to stay in business, this store will need to generate traffic.

Why is this so hard for Palo Altans to understand?

An alternative to this scenario would be to elect Council Members willing to renegotiate the City's requirement for a market at this location. The building is just perfect for a number of small offices.

Posted by its not safeway
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 9, 2013 at 7:37 am

Grocery Outlet is a fun store. There are real deals and there is an element of a treasure hunt - you never know what you will find. That said, it is not the type of store where you can go do your weekly shopping. This development is a major screwup - the loss of a wallkable/ bikable small shopping area for an entire neighborhood.

Posted by laura
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

Grocery Outlet is great. I've shopped at several in Nevada. Very reasonable, good quality and super friendly staff.

Posted by Loomis J. Cargill
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

"Ergo, to stay in business, this store will need to generate traffic."
Palo Alto wants business, visitors and shoppers in town. They want the tax revenue. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot promote "destination Palo Alto" without expecting traffic. Maybe the city should decide what it wants, but you cannot have one without the other.

"Next stop, $.99 cent store..."
a .99 store would be a good idea for the city.

ANd this being Palo Alto, the Daily Post reports that at least one person contacted PAt Burt and told him he does not want this store in "his neighborhood". What a surprise!!!!
Very typical reaction of the NIMBY set.
Maybe that is why as it's not safeway pointed out, we list a small neighborhood shopping center

Posted by I like it
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:25 am

I shop at the RC Grocery Outlet pretty often. They have lots of good stuff, groceries, dry goods like towels, kitchen and garden tools, cosmetics, produce, toys, whatever. It's fun to shop there.
On the other hand, if you prefer prices like $8 for a wooden spoon, you may not enjoy it. Could be educational for people who only shop at Whole Foods.

Posted by Yay!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

Yay! Finally, reality hits my home town! Reality = real options! This is wonderful news.

Posted by a resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:49 am

In response to "Sad": yes, Palo Alto isn't what it used to be, that is, affordable. At least for those of us who've lived here a few decades. This new market will hopefully bring a little balance into our high-price act. I do a good deal of my shopping in Mountain View because of the high-priced specialty stores in Palo Alto. I'm sad about that and wish it were different.

Posted by Hot Pepper
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

The problem with Alma Plaza is the parking. It's so tight, you can barely get in and out without hitting someone and getting your car doors open and closed requires contortionist skills.

Simply horrible.

Until that's fixed, I'm not going there, discounts or not.

Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Why couldn't he get another grocery store that puts quality and personal pride in the contributions they make to the community, like New Leaf?

If you want to purchase prepackaged junk food for cheap [portion removed] this is the market for you!

Posted by RogueTrader
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

I like how developer McNellis laments "Miki's never had a chance, there are too many high end grocery stores in Palo Alto."

And yet, McNellis was trying hard to convince other high end grocers to replace Miki's.

Posted by Edward
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

Good. As to "Sad" ... get over it ... pull your nose out of the air.

I say good because the whole site, imo, is a disaster area. Alma/Central is jammed with cars and all this new development did was add more traffic—and another light—to an already over-crowded roadway.

The whole development is put in backward. As you drive by, you look at the back of the stores ... just like further north in all the additions going on downtown. (Sound wall for the high-speed rail?)

I live in Charleston Gardens and by doing a search, with the new one there and at San Antonio, there are 9 Starbucks within 2 miles of my home. Sickening.

Miki's was just another pretentious addition to Shallow Alto.

Posted by Scott and Zelda
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

Keep in mind that John Mc Nellis lives in Atherton, not Palo Alto. And he lives in a big mansion surrounded by a very high wall!

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:19 am

That commercial that I purchased makes me laugh. But, seriously, here is a better explanation from a store that opened recently in Washington:

Web Link

Posted by sayin
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:46 am

you either pay rent or you eat. some would rather eat than pay rent. poor people like good food too, so, no money for landlords. tsk ,tsk. just because your poor doesent mean you have no taste. some poor people were world travelers. cant judge a book by its cover.

Posted by longtimeresident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

Be aware that this store carries old, overstocked, mostly canned, low-quality food items. Not a good match for Palo Alto.

Posted by Longtime PA
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Not sure I would buy food at GO, but they have great wine bargains.

Posted by Loomis J cargill
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 9, 2013 at 12:10 pm

longtimeresident is starting a mis-information campaign:

The ad fr the redwood city store:
Web Link

I see fresh meet, bacon ice cream etc.

Are you one of those people who feels the store is beneath Palo Alto

Posted by Seth
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 9, 2013 at 1:24 pm

It is possible to have both descent quality food (fresh produce, lots of non-processed or over packaged food, many healthy dependable options including organic and no hormone choices AND reasonable prices. We already have in town Safeway, with another about to open 5 min. South. We have trader joes and nearby milkpail. So what niche is this filling? Oh - the cheap crappy niche - we really need that. Thanks John .

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

With the limited parking, they need something people will walk/bike to - not sure this is the thing for large bulk discount buying.
In years past, I had occasion to be near the Redwood City Grocery Outlet and thought it looked so awful I never ventured inside - an odd store to place in Palo Alto. Maybe it's changed.
IF one wants discount, and we all do for bulk purchases, why wouldn't one go to the much larger Costco, Walmart, massive Mt. View and Menlo Park Safeways?! Surely those stores carry a much larger selection.
I think it is very difficult to get the correct match for that store location, size, parking. Perhaps an entirely different kind of store or merchant is needed....
While I went twice to Miki's, I did not anticipate going there again unless I was already going right by there and had a specific need. It wasn't all that special (at least to those of us not within walking distance...). I agree there are already plenty of high end grocery stores in Palo Alto at this point.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Give Grocery Outlet a try! Their wine buyer in Redwood City is wonderful. You can count on "Sam's Picks". He especially likes hearty reds. Also great is the premium chocolate, fresh pasta, hummus, cheese, Kettle potato chips, good ice cream, organic section, etc. etc. You'll be surprised. They also sell inexpensive glazed pots for gardening, plants, etc.

Posted by Andreas
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Low-cost fruit and vegetables? Milk Pail. Incredible bargains. Low-cost wine? Trader Joe's $2.50 for a bottle. South Palo Alto also has Costco, Safeway, Sprouts, Piazza, and several small markets. There's quite a bit of competition for Grocery Outlet.

Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I have shopped at this store for 10 yeas, love it. I find the food to be off brands, that funny brand of toilet paper but still far cheaper. Soft drinks, meat is packaged but it is still good meat, just off brands. It is fun, the people are nice, some of their stores aren't much to look at but they have been changing for years.

O's or Cheerios, does it matter?

Posted by senor logger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Take that Whole Foods and the Safeway Monooly.

We in Palo Alto need a grocery outlet to counteract the City's constantly raising of Utilities taxes and charges.

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I think this store is a good idea. Not everyone can buy $40/lb cheese or payntheinflated prices at whole foods and the other upscale stores that palo alto allows withing it's borders.
Edward- what do you find sickening about starbucks? There iis obviously a market for it or else there would not be all those locations. The free market concept is something that palo alto cannot grasp-- too bad there isn't a "mom and pop" coffee shop in town, so that competition cold be regulated like it was to protect JJ&F.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

>>> Grocery Outlet, a chain specializing in extreme bargains, will take over the Alma Village supermarket that has been vacant since early April, when Miki's Farm Fresh Market went out of business.

I predict this will be the most popular store in Palo Alto ...
and there will be jammed parking at the old Miki's site when it happens.

Really great news, Palo Alto has really nothing that does not pretend to be exclusive and hoity-toity anymore.

Posted by Jeri
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Jeri
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Jeri- perhaps you should checkout the link to,the weekly ad, instead of perpetuating the misinformation about GO-- plenty of fresh food advertised.
And why the need for the insult of EPA?
Regarding the person who told Burt that he does not want the store in is neighborhood-- perhaps he can form a " friends " group-- look him much good the " friends of alma plaza" did--- oh, whoops, alma plaza does not cost anymore.

Posted by Chuck
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Crescent Park Anon...I couldn't agree with you more. There is an attitude of superiority and elitism portrayed by many in Palo Alto. It wasn't always like that. I've been here nearly 40 years. Walk into Whole Foods Palo Alto and you get attitude. Walk into Whole Foods Los Altos and you get down to earth. Even Trader Joe shoppers at Town and Country have attitude, but Menlo Park and Mountain View do not.

Posted by Juno
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

McNellis was so confident that a smallish grocery store would be a success at this location during the PC application process. Now he is singing another tune.

I realize that what he says is whatever he thinks is needed to promote his financial success. Wish City Council wasn't so gullible.

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Don't forget that a much larger store was originally proposed forthe center--- the neighbors objected, piazzas objected and the palo alto process kicked in. You check the weekly archives and see how people insisted on a 20k limit.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

@ longtimeresident: I don't think that you have ever shopped at Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. Their food isn't old. It is largely the same brands that you find at Safeway -- but discounted because it is mostly overstocked merchandise.

Yes, there are some off-brands (like Shasta soda), but Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is a bit like Costco in the sense that it doesn't necessarily carry many of the same items from one week to the next. The stock is dependent upon what is available via overstock.

This can be a good thing...and a bad thing.

It is good because you can buy some good, quality items at a steep discount. It can be bad because you can't really "plan" a trip to the store except for the normal items (milk, eggs, meat, fruit, etc...).

Personally, I am happy to see some REAL competition come into Palo Alto.

The "Mom and Pop" chains are pricey. The Safeway on Middlefield is still a slightly pricey (compared with most grocery stores elsewhere) and the stock in terrible. I can't count the times that I go to the Safeway on Middlefield for something like Diet Coke or fruit that is on sale in the weekly ad only to find that they are "out."

With GOBM, we now have "exclusive" and high end Mom & Pop shops, Safeway, Trader Joe's and, now, a bargain grocery store.

I will likely visit all of them (depending upon what we want or need). I will continue to buy certain groceries at Trader Joe's, others at Safeway, a few items at Piazza's or Mollie Stones while shopping for a few bargains at GOBM.

I will say this: I hope that Palo Alto is prepared for the type of shoppers that are attracted to such discounted groceries. If you want to "see" or "experience" such a difference, just visit the TARGET and WAL-MART on the same trip near San Antonio Rd. in Mountain View.

The Wal-Mart is a cluttered mess -- and much of it comes from the influx of customers who travel from neighboring cities. I've seen shoplifters steal items. The parking lot is a mess. The store is perpetually messy. Meanwhile, the Target located just across the street is quieter, cleaner and has less customers.

Does anyone think that GOBM might resemble the Wal-Mart in Mountain View?

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 5:46 pm

The target in MV is very small-- the newer targets have large grocery sections. The wal art in MV has greatly expanded its food selections as well

Posted by Truedy
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Grocery Outlet is a great addition to Palo Alto. Those of you who don't like it can shop somewhere else.

Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I've never been to a Grocery Outlet. After reading this thread yesterday I decided to check one out.

It's like a COSTCO, but with more variety and smaller quantities. I spot checked a few things I normally buy at COSTCO, and they were 10% cheaper.

I'll definitely be going back.

Posted by Marion
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online due to referencing a deleted post.]

Posted by Botched
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm

GO is a successful company with a good product. The problem here
is that this site has poor access and little parking. This City
botches just about everything it touches.

Posted by john reiland
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

What? A reasonably-priced grocery store in Palo Alto? Well, there goes the neighborhood ...

Posted by cheeseguy
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I have periodically visited GOBM in Redwood City and Berkeley in the past several years. There is an occasional gem to be found, such as a decent bottle of wine for a good price (or at times, some good olive oil at a great price). However, 95% of the store is highly processed (think sugary cereals) or low end (e.g., off brand pasta, caned food) that's likely of no interest to most of the PA market. The comparison with Costco is not really fair or accurate, as you will find a much deeper selection of desirable and reliable (e.g., Kirkland olive oils, fresh fish meets) food at Costco. I could eat quality and health food on a long term basis from Costco, but I could not say this about GOBM (at least the Redwood City and Berkeley versions). Miki's aimed too high for this community (face it, despite all the money here, this is not a food oriented community like Berkeley or SF), but GOBM will aim too low and odd (good deals on sugary cereals and low end labels will not make it either). I give it a year.

Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm

This is wonderful! So glad to get a 'real' store in Palo Alto for those of us who don't want to pay high prices for normal stuff. I tend to shop at Costco and Milk Pail, but sometimes need things they don't carry. Safeway was about the only option. I'll be glad to try this new store. And for me it's close enough to bike, so parking won't be an issue.

Posted by B. DeArmond
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm

As a long time resident of Fairmeadow, I wish G.O. great success but I'm afraid the location will be problematic unless the access and parking can be improved. Fifteen years ago we had a useful community shopping center that provided a variety of services (groceries, donuts and pies, pizza, a bike shop, alterations, Post Office, shoe repair, etc.) It was not "upscale" but it was easy to access by car, bike and on foot with entrances from Alma, Emerson, and East Meadow. I do not understand why the City allowed a fully functional community shopping center to be replaced with this small, unattractive, dysfunctional site but I hope someone can make it a success.
Best Wishes, Grocery Outlet

Posted by Retired Staffer
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I see some of the "shallow altans" are upset that this store might attract some EPA folks to the neighborhood. Stick around and have a cup of coffee with them--you might find out what a human being is really like (even if they do have a dark suntan!)

Posted by students
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 9, 2013 at 10:19 pm

You know who will shop here? Stanford students! They need more affordable grocery options and they constitute a large population in this community. So this is great news for students and I hope GO will advertise in the Daily. Better than costco for students because you don't need all that quantity for you and your roomate but more affordable that TJs or Whole Paycheck.

Posted by Fail
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

Bad site.
Not enough parking.
Poor access.
Back-a**wards building
Palo Alto Planning Department = fail

Grocery Outlet would be great
Perhaps they should go where All-Amercan used to be!

Posted by "Neighbors Helping Neighbors"
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

Dear Neighbors & Friends,
NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS and those we serve welcome this low cost grocery store to Palo Alto! Too many of our middle to low income neighbors must travel to as many as six grocery stores to afford to buy food. Gasoline prices and transporation costs prevent many more from shopping outside of PA/MV…
                                          What We Do:
We are a group of volunteers striving to provide groceries to Palo Alto families, seniors and singles who are unable to qualify for 'safety net' programs like Cal Fresh (formally food stamps) or food closet assistance. However, extra food items collected are given to local food closets. Also, our City of Palo Alto Family Resources trained volunteer provides peer counseling and referrals for other life's challenges (housing, healthcare, professional counseling, legal issues, etc.) for those who may need extra help.

Everyone is welcome to join us for our "Monthly Food Collection" events (Mar. To Aug.)
Family and Kids friendly. Special Guest: Summertime Meal Demo w/Chef Jacques
Join us for TV celebrity chef - Jacques' demo & food tastings. Enjoy his fun wit & wisdom while he prepares a special dish on 8/03 @ 11am & 12:30pm. Super fun for kids. Give-A-Ways & more. Event Free.
Funds & Canned/Fresh foods benefit our Palo Alto 'Neighbors in Need'.
Venue Info: MidtownCenter,parking lot 2700 Midtown Court Palo Alto California 94303
Dates: Aug 03, 2013 First Saturday Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm

@ B. DeArmond: You are forgetting that the resident grocery store at Alma Plaza wanted to expand so that it could remain a viable economic entity.

Expansion denied.

Result: Store withdraws from Alma Plaza. No other store wanted to move in.

Tell me how the city council forced this change except for the fact that they wouldn't move into the 21st Century and allow the grocery store to expand?

Posted by DD
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 10, 2013 at 1:30 pm

The food at Grocery Outlet is horrid. No thanks
I will stay with FRESH food anyday. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Why was my first post deleted? It wasn't offensive at all!

This is wrong, Palo Alto Online editor. I didn't say anything offensive, yet someone still targeted my post. This is the third time that this has happened when there wasn't anything remotely offensive.

Posted by Kluster
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Agree with "cheeseguy"'s points.

If this GOBM would be a customized spot for most of PA and nearby residents, it might run well.

Posted by OY!
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 10, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Grocery Outlet sells off brand overstocked items that are unsellable in other stores. A perfect fit for Palo Alto's new status as a retirement community.

Posted by hmm
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 10, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I'm not scare of seeing illegals in the store, mostly I am afraid of seeing our Neighbors & Friends waiting in the checkout lines..[Portion removed]

Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Yay! This is great. It wastes a lot of gas to drive to non-snobby neighboring towns to get good deals. Thank goodness another real option for shopping in town. I'm in.

Miki's was cute and I really liked the super produce selection but everything else was just out of our price range. I know from doing scenario estimates that few purchases of high price stuff yields better profits, but believe it or not most of us geeks in this town are not rolling in dough.


Btw, they actually have cool stuff there. Many normal grocery items, including basic produce that are very reasonable and healthy to feed the fam.

Posted by @go
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Based on the volume of comments here, this new store will have plenty of customers. As long as they keep the floor and aisles clean, I will definitely shop there.

Posted by susan
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2013 at 7:34 am

I welcome Grocery Outlet. Long live competition!!! One thing noticed in this thread is the love of complaining in this town. Ennough already!!!

Posted by Wes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2013 at 10:44 am

How about forcing the developer to make the parking lot bigger and the parking spaces wider? It is a HUGE problem for any business which might want to be there? Why did this get approved?

Posted by Bob
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 12, 2013 at 7:45 am

Grocery Outlet is so out of place in Palo Alto, I'm almost shocked. That said, I've shopped at the RWC store for 20 years. I guess the store will help increase PA's day diversity quotas or whatever.

BTW, 3/4 of the wine ends up being window cleaner upon opening. GO is the place for beer.

Posted by not surprised
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

@Bob Woodside
Add in the fact that there is poor access and inadequate parking
for this use. But don't be shocked. The outcomes/results we get in Palo Alto project after project are driven by the PC zoning process which is driven by the developer in the first place. The process is upside down/inside out in Palo Alto.The extraordinarily poor results we get here are the result time after time.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 12, 2013 at 10:53 am

Parking is tight because you're supposed to ride your bike in PA. Reg. section 1.751-1(b)(3).

Posted by Donya
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Donya is a registered user.

Some of the cheaper off brand food is cheap for a reason. Much of it is imported from outside the US and not inspected. When you eat this stuff you take chances of eating all kinds of chemicals like preservatives, fungicides and artificial ingredients that are not listed.
on the package.
Better to buy slightly more expensive food that you know where it is coming from and what is in it. If you really care about saving money and want to stay healthy shop in a store like Milk Pail. And cook your own food.

Posted by Crystal Ball
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Since the "professional" developer should be doing market research and taking into account changing demographics, why is the developer not approaching Asian markets to use this space?

Let's gaze into my crystal ball - two years from now, the developer will be back to city council/planning dept weeping that he tried a high-end
grocery store and a low-end grocery store and neither worked. He'll be petitioning to have the requirement removed that he must have a grocery store in the space. Since he needs to make profit won't the officials please allow him to lease the space for offices or a spa.

Posted by flawed process
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

@Crystall Ball
You are probably right but this is what happens when the developer
drives the process, the City allows concessions and then tries
to attach a supposed "public benefit" to justify the concessions. The whole thing is a mess.There is no public benefit, just bad projects, one after the other.

Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm

We would have still had a neighborhood shopping center if the council would not have knuckled under to a vocal minority that was against a reasonably sized grocery store at that location. It should also be noted, that for self- serving purposes Piazzas also was n the lead in preventing progress on the shopping center ( they are now,of course way over 20k square feet) . All those that are complaining now about what they got should remember what we could have had of not for a few. Same goes for those that hate arbor real.

Posted by Grocery
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm

@Crystal: How do you know the developer didn't approach Asian markets or other kinds?

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 13, 2013 at 11:40 am


Posted by A rolling stone
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Maybe the Asian markets are waiting for a better space--i.e. when Safeway pulls out of Midtown or when the competition becomes too much for Piazzas. Those are both better locations. I hope the GO makes it at Alma Plaza--it would have been nicer if it had remained a shopping center, but that is water under the bridge now. Though if I hear the council talk about walkable neighborhoods again, I will puke.

Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I doubt you will ever see an Asian market in Palo Alto, even if the demographic goes to majority Asian.

Asian markets do things like kill, clean and fry live fish. Sell processed foods from China. They even have canned "shark fin soup".

All of which is too non-PC Palo Alto.

Posted by Shelby
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 14, 2013 at 11:42 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Shelby
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 15, 2013 at 9:13 am

My food stamps will be put to good use! Can you the imagine how many yellow bags one can get with $50.00?

* Why was my last post blocked?

Posted by Alex DeLarge
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I'm curious, what does one have to say in order for your comment to be "removed" when it concerns a grocery store in PA?

Posted by Duvmom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2013 at 11:35 pm

I paid $4.28 for two green peppers at Fresh Market today. Highway robbery!I think I will have to shop at GO.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:21 am

Palo Alto needs a decent sized supermarket for one stop weekly shopping. This sounds like another niche store for just a few odds and ends on the occasional way home in my family's shopping habits.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2013 at 5:37 am

And another note, Villages are places with poor amenities, poor choices for shopping and rather remote. Why call this area in the middle of a suburban area a village?

Posted by Denise Foley
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 21, 2013 at 3:06 pm

The city should promote something that is good and healthy for us. We don't need packaged, processed goods. I liked Miki's. I think it would be even better to have something like a daily farmer's market in this location. People would come from all over the city to purchase fresh, local, high quality:
- produce (a few farmers could sell their produce daily)
- fish (local fishermen could sell fresh fish from Monterrey or Half Moon Bay)
- bread (a local bakery could sell bread and desserts)
High quality basics are what we need.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Excited to see GO come to PA. It's not all processed garbage. The store I shopped at had a lot of natural organic, and GF items like True Roots rice, Pamela's, Kombucha, Good Karma flax milk, and some marinated mozzarella balls that were half the price that Whole Foods charges for the same exact same brand. None of the items were out dated. Oh they also had salon brand hair products like Biolage and Swartzkopf. I guess one could spend more money than they have to for quality product, but why would you?

Posted by dopelegend
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2013 at 9:39 am

I don't care what grocery store moves in since it will likely still cause traffic to suck at that intersection which starts a chain reaction all the way down to Charleston. I hope that everything fails in that shopping area. Alma Village is the worst new development in all of Palo Alto.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

Does anyone know how the Fresh Market is doing in Edgewood Plaza ... really doing? When I go there, and I do a lot since it is so close, there seem to be quite a few people there. They don't have lots of stuff, but what they have is pretty good. I wonder if they appear to be surviving, and if so does that mean Miki's demise was due to location, or their business practices.

Once I found out about Miki's I would go there, but they closed so early after a while I stopped even looking because I'd drive back there and they'd be closed. It took a while to get the energy to figure out how to get there too, and park ... the whole layout was peculiar, but not after you went there once or twice - you get used to it.

So ... will this new place suffer from the same problem ... or how can that be avoided?

Posted by Grocery Slut
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm

People will put up with a lot more hassle to save money on groceries. They just won't endure the hassle to pay MORE, as in the case of Miki's.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I get by Fresh Market once in awhile when I'm out hiking the baylands. Their deli sandwiches and fresh produce are good. Their $5-off on $20-purchase coupons bring the price down to affordable. I doubt that my patronage will keep them in business.

I went by Miki's the morning of their grand opening to see what dignitaries showed up. The store looked nice inside but I didn't buy anything. Mostly I just marveled incredulously at how close to Alma it was, the inaccessibility to pedestrians and bicycles, and the intended traffic circulation down the narrow blind alley between the store and Starbucks. And the aggravated looks on driver's faces as they waited through the 3-way traffic signal.

I never did find the neighborhood park or community center that was supposed to be behind there somewhere. The housing looks claustrophobic to me, but I was spoiled growing up here with 6000 sq ft lots, which looked claustrophobic to my parents who grew up in rural areas. That's progress.

Posted by midtown resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Nice. So McNellis promises a grocery store, community center and a park, then fills the lot with 3-story closely packed houses with barely enough space for air to move between them, puts the grocery store on Alma with no setback, barely any parking, provides a small room above the grocery store as the "community center" and a park the size the carpet in my living room, then goes off to his nice Atherton house in a huge lot, leaving us to deal with the ugliness and traffic and blockage of natural light.

Is anyone still wondering why measure D got shot down?

Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 6, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Well said midtown resident, well said.

Posted by Amy
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Wow, so many people who think "not a good match for Palo (SHALLOW) Alto". So shallow indeed. Not everyone who lives here is a trust fund kid or a fortune 500 company CEO. We teachers and minimum wage earners need a place to shop too. And don't forget lots of Stanford students live in the apartments adjacent to where GO will be. I'll be they'll appreciate being able to afford something more than Ramen for a change. All of you NIMBY it's not fair people need to open your eyes and see the rest of the real world.

Posted by Been there
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Have you been to any of the other Grocery Outlets? Things like toilet paper and laundry detergent are a good deal, BUT, a LOT of the food items are sold after their expiration date.

We do not patronize them anymore, but they have a right to try out Palo Alto.

Posted by Looking forward
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

The claim that GO sells food past it's expiration date is bogus without any merit, made by people who are afraid that the reputation of Palo Alto will suffer if there is a store that sells cheese at less than $40/pound.

Posted by Hungry
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2013 at 10:28 am

When's the store opening? This story came out in early July.

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