Open markets: Grocery Outlet, Raley’s O-N-E Market open doors to shoppers this week
Truckee residents and visitors have a pair of new choices when it comes to heading out for groceries.
After a process that included numerous rounds of deliberation and proceedings that stretched from town council meetings up to the county level, Grocery Outlet and Raley’s O-N-E Market will each welcome customers this week with grand openings.
Grocery Outlet opened its doors at its Donner Pass Road location at 7 a.m. Thursday, while Raley’s will open its store near the Truckee Tahoe Airport at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Raley’s O-N-E Market
Located at 10001 Soaring Way, Raley’s will open up a 35,000-square-foot store, which will be the company’s first Raley’s O-N-E Market.
“The product selection is based on health and wellness,” said Public Relations & Partnerships Manager Kevin Buffalino. “We thought Truckee would be the perfect location. It’s an active lifestyle community … it felt like the right place to try this concept out and the right community to bring it to.”
The project, which broke ground on construction in June 2019, faced many hurdles along the way including overcoming a lawsuit that claimed the store would have an adverse effect on the local community. After overcoming challenges, the new market is set to open, and will feature a “highly curated assortment of wholesome products made with clean ingredients,” according to a news release.
“Given the realities of COVID-19, this opening will not include a traditional celebration, ribbon cutting or press conference, but we will be opening our doors to provide the Truckee community with access to a highly curated product selection centered on health and wellness,” said store officials said in the release. “We will have safeguards and precautions in place for the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members.”
The store will limit the amount of shoppers inside, and will form a line outside if it reaches maximum allowed occupancy. Face coverings will also be required to enter. Seniors and others at risk are being asked to utilize Raley’s website or app to schedule orders for curbside pickup or home delivery.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to encourage seniors to do — not even come to the store, don’t risk it,” said Buffalino. “Just order online and get it delivered to your house.”
Standing for organics, nutrition, and education, the Raley’s O-N-E Market will feature storewide selections centered on organic products, The market also has an antibiotic and hormone free meat department as part of a set of product standards issued by the company that include quality measures like locally sourced fruits and vegetables, cage free eggs, and pet food free from artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
The store will also feature Shelf Guide icons or online filters to help customers make choices based on their diet, such as keto friendly, organic, plant based, gluten free, and others.
Part of Raley’s O-N-E Market’s efforts toward dietary education include spotlighting possible health effects of added sugar to items. Part of that campaign involves moving to cereals that contain 25% or more of their total calories from added sugar to the bottom of store shelves in order to inform customers which products have the most added sugar. The store has also rolled out “Higher in Added Sugar” and “Lower in Added Sugar” shelf tags.
“They’re tools to use, but those tools are only used as much as we can educate on the ground level,” said Raley’s Nutrition Strategist Yvette Waters.
Part of educating customers and employees involves another first for Raley’s — a full time, on-site dietitian, who will be accessible in store to help with food choices and other dietary needs.
“It’s exciting for me to get the chance to answer people’s questions, clear up any misconceptions, but really, just to be there as a resource to help impact people’s health,” said the store’s registered dietitian Scott Brown.
The new Raley’s will also offer a hot bar, salad bar, juice bar, café, bakery, and other options for on the go.
The store also has an upstairs loft area with a bar, outdoor fireplace and TVs.
“We view it as more than a grocery store,” said Buffalino. “We want it to be a place for the community to gather. We want this to be a place where not only can you grocery shop, but you can come and grab a beer, a glass of wine. You can hang out on the patio. You can get sushi or pizza or coffee … to us it’s more than a grocery store.”
The upstairs bar is named after local legendary skier Steve McKinney, and has seating overlooking the store. Along with serving beer, and wine, the McKinney Loft will also be dishing up bar food.
“We wanted the store to be representative of the local community,” said Buffalino on naming the bar after McKinney, which has several photos of the legendary speed skier adorning its walls. “Steve was obviously a big part of the community, and we worked with his family to make sure it was representative of him.”
As part of an effort toward sustainable practice, the exposed timber that can be seen throughout the store was harvested from the project site when the land was cleared. The store has also hired more than 100 team members to join Raley’s O-N-E.
Grocery Outlet welcomed its first customers on Thursday morning.
“We’re very happy to be able to fill a void that was here as far as affordable groceries and the need that a lot of people have here for options,” said Co-owner Ryan Parrish.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, store owners chose not to hold grand opening celebrations during its first week of operating.
“Out of respect for all of the COVID issues and protocols that are in place, we didn’t advertise a grand opening celebration or promotional event, but we will at some point,” said Parrish.
A controversial project since it was approved of by Truckee Planning Commission in February 2018, due mainly to its location in the Gateway neighborhood at 11213 Donner Pass Road, the store had to overcome a pair of appeals at the Town Council level in order to reach Thursday’s grand opening.
With doors now open, 42 employees have been hired and, according to Parrish, plans are to continue to add to store staff as the local economy picks back up.
Grocery Outlet stores base their model on being able to offer customers discounted products by sourcing deals on surplus inventory, product overruns, and through packaging changes. Being independently owned, the items found at Truckee’s Grocery Outlet will be tailored to the community.
“We just really geared it towards the community,” said Co-owner Shannon Parrish. “Lots of things that you can put in you pocket when you’re going hiking, lots of natural foods — this is a very fit community, so we’re trying to cater towards that.”
The new store doesn’t have the typical facade of a Grocery Outlet either, and was instead designed to fit in with local surroundings and architecture. Grocery Outlet also uses energy efficient motion sensitive lighting in its cases, according to ownership, along with other energy saving practices.
The store is implementing social distancing practices for shoppers, who are also required to wear face coverings. Grocery Outlet employees will also be regularly cleaning touched surfaces and carts.
Along with the Truckee grand opening, Grocery Outlet launched its 10th Annual Independence from HungerâFood Drive and pledged to match up to $1M to support food banks across the nation combating food insecurity. The month-long campaign runs through July and will collect cash donations along with pre-made bags of nonperishable foods in-store at Grocery Outlet’s participating locations, that will be distributed directly to local food agencies across the country. In addition, online donations made at www.groceryoutlet.com/donate will support Grocery Outlet’s San Francisco bay area partner, Alameda County Community Food Bank.
Also as part of the opening, customers may enter a drawing for a chance to win a grand prize of $1,200 in free groceries. The contest runs through July 23. One entry form, per person, is allowed per day. Drawing for the winner of the prize will be held at the end of day on Thursday, July 23, at the Truckee Grocery Outlet. Winner need not be present to win but must claim prize within three days of notification or another winner will be chosen. No cash value and no substitutions. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Grocery Outlet is located at 11213 Donner Pass Road.
The store will operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit GroceryOutlet.com.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at email@example.com or 530-550-2643.
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