East Tacoma Grocery Outlet opens!

By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index

Following the unique grand opening and ribbon cutting (actually it was an over-sized Grocery Outlet receipt) ceremony on Thursday morning, March 28, a donation was presented on behalf of Grocery Outlet to Nourish Food Bank at 11 a.m.

In Grocery Outlet tradition, the amount that shoppers saved on their grocery purchases during the store’s first hour of operation will determine the donation amount. The first 200 customers of the day also received Grocery Outlet BlissBucks gift cards ranging from $5 to $200. All shoppers also received a free reusable bag, while supplies lasted. Finally, until April 25, customers may enter for a chance to win a grand prize of free groceries for a year!   (1*)

I did not get his name, but this was the first person in line on opening day. Photo: Morf Morford

I did not get his name, but this was the first person in line on opening day. Photo: Morf Morford

If you are not familiar with Grocery Outlet, they are an “extreme-value” grocery retailer based in Emeryville, California. They offers dramatic savings on familiar brand name products every day, at more than 300 locations across California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Grocery Outlet carries a full range of products from fresh produce, meat, deli and dairy to a wide assortment of natural and organic choices.  (2*)  They also offer a large selection of beer and wine, health and beauty care, as well as a variety of seasonal items.

They are franchises, so the quality of merchandise, staff and store can vary greatly.  These stores specialize in close-outs, well-known items with inconsistent packaging and near or slightly past expiration date items.

This is a group photo of the East Tacoma Grocery Outlet staff right before opening time. Photo: Morf Morford

This is a group photo of the East Tacoma Grocery Outlet staff right before opening time. Photo: Morf Morford

You are likely to see brands you know in unexpected ways; my wife and I once saw Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in a familiar looking box – except that the writing was in Arabic.

You may find gourmet European chocolates next to Hershey’s – but you better grab them when you can.

The main rule of shopping at Grocery Outlet is, if you see it and want it, you better buy it now. It may not be there tomorrow – or ever again.

A third-generation, family-led company founded in 1946, Grocery Outlet’s mission has always been to provide customers an exciting and unpredictable place to find savings on name brands they know and trust. Grocery Outlet stores are run by independent owner-operators in the local community.

In the case of the East Tacoma Grocery Outlet, that means Ricardo Santiago and Heidi Snyder.

A variety of community representatives were on hand to welcome a new store - and employer to East Tacoma. Photo: Morf Morford

A variety of community representatives were on hand to welcome a new store – and employer to East Tacoma. Photo: Morf Morford

This store is not only an answer to the “food desert” concerns about many on the East Side of Tacoma, it also brings 35 jobs to the neighborhood. Be sure to check them out at 1410 E. 72nd Street, Tacoma, WA  98404. They are right next to the Big Lots store at 72nd and Portland Avenue.

The East Tacoma Grocery Outlet is the most recent store to open in Tacoma, but there are two others, one at 6425 6th Avenue and the other at 3510 South 56th.

 

(1*)    They figure $100 each month, for a total of $1,200 for the year.

(2*)    Oddly enough, Grocery Outlet is a favorite for vegan and vegetarian shoppers. They usually have a better selection than many full-priced stores. Be sure to check the frozen food section.