Flagship Save Mart store opens in Modesto

In 1952, Save Mart opened their first grocery store on Crow’s Landing Road in Modesto with a focus on bringing fresh foods from local farms to Central Valley homes. Fast-forward to 2019, and that focus remains the same, but the stores certainly have a brand-new appeal.

The Save Mart Companies celebrated the opening of its 54,000 square foot, prototype Save Mart store in Modesto on Oct. 1, with a bevy of new features and conveniences that are re-shaping the grocery industry.

“Modesto is more than where we are, it’s who we are,” said The Save Mart Companies Chief Executive Officer Nicole Pesco. “We’re family-owned with deep roots and longstanding friendships with local ranchers, farmers and producers who help fulfill our vision every day. It means a lot to us to be part of this neighborhood because this is where we grew up and are now raising our own families. We’re proud of our hometown and the hardworking people who live here.”

The flagship store sought to promote the local connection to agriculture and the products made in the region. From the minute they enter the store, guests will recognize products from local farms and purveyors—like Fiscalini cheese, Ratto Bros. produce, Rosie’s Donuts, Diamond Almonds and Dust Bowl beer.

Signature experiences, farm stand-style produce, loads of freshly-made options, and new ideas in every aisle make this store a destination for shoppers from throughout the region. A highly specialized store team provides services new to the Save Mart stores, including sliced-to-order produce preparation, ground-to-order sausage-making, marinated- and grilled-to-order meats, a nut station that offers fresh-made peanut butter and locally sourced honey and maple syrup, a deli market with hot and cold selections, and an olive oil station. Further, cheese and seafood specialists will roam the store providing guests insight on food pairings and how to prepare the season’s fresh fare.

“I’m thrilled to open this new store. We truly had the Modesto family in mind when we developed our food selection, created our prepared foods and picked the services to delight our guests,” said Jerald Smith, store director for Modesto’s Store 1. “We have assembled an excellent team to ensure a great experience for our guests every time they shop—and that experience will evolve as we test new ideas and concepts for the company.”

At the store’s Bakery Bar, customers can mix-n-match cookies by-the-pound, alongside an assortment of Mexican pastries like churros and Mexican sweet bread. They also offer locally roasted Milone coffee or espresso drinks.

In the meat and seafood section, guests can request made-to-order brisket, ribs, pork shoulder, and sausage smoked over-night for the fullest flavor. The store team will make fresh sausage with flavors like mango-habanero and tomato-basil. To round it out, grilling specialists will cook meats and seafood to-order as guests shop.

Photo contributed
The Beer Cave is home to over 550 varieties and sizes in a very easy to shop layout. It’s a bit chilly in there, so guests may want to bring a sweater.

The store features a Beer Cave, which is the largest selection of cold beer in Modesto. The Beer Cave is home to over 550 varieties and sizes in a very easy to shop layout. If guests prefer wine, the store hosts cheese and wine specialists that are available to assist guests with pairings.

Save Mart’s newest store brings together a group of 135 skilled team members from the retail, hospitality, grocery and agricultural industries
“Save Mart’s new state-of-the-art supermarket will not only serve the local community by providing fresh wholesome food, but will provide great jobs to local residents,” said Dave White, executive director of Opportunity Stanislaus. “The Save Mart Companies plays a unique role in Stanislaus County with its headquarters here and the company’s commitment to sourcing products from local growers and purveyors to their network of 207 stores.”

The Tipping Point, a fast-casual restaurant with both indoor and outdoor garden seating, is located inside the store and features tri-tip barbequed to perfection and served five different ways— wet or dry sandwich, torta, taco or salad alongside street corn, churros and other favorite side dishes. The Tipping Point will have a wide selection of local beer and wine on tap. It features Dust Bowl, Blaker Brewery, Heretic, Drakes, 21st Amendment, and Tioga. It also hosts four William Hill and Louis M. Martini wines on tap, along with a variety of bottled wines. Local selections will change seasonally and be announced to followers on the store’s Facebook page. The Tipping Point food menu and other signature prepared foods from throughout the new store’s hot bar and the service deli will be available for on-demand delivery by DoorDash.

Garden beds located in the midst of the Tipping Point’s outdoor seating will be planted and maintained by the horticulture clubs of the local Kiernan Klover and Empire 4H clubs. Twice annually, they will host a produce sale in front of the store to raise funds for their clubs.

“Kiernan Klovers are excited to be working with Save Mart! We are grateful and thankful to bring a horticulture project to our group and members,” said Kiernan Lovers 4H Club President Jamie Smith.

In addition to their partnership with 4H, the company made a $30,000 donation to the new Awesome Spot accessible playground just down the block from the store and a $20,000 donation to the United Way of Stanislaus County for coordination of homeless services.

Modesto’s new Save Mart store will also serve as an innovation center for the company, that operates 207 stores throughout California and Northern Nevada under the banners of FoodMaxx, Lucky and Save Mart. Based in the Central Valley, TSMC is committed to sourcing a wide variety of local products to communities throughout California and Northern Nevada. In addition to its retail operation, the company also operates Smart Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries, which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop and the Sunnyside Farms dairy processing plant in Turlock.

The new Save Mart store is located at 3401 Oakdale Road in Modesto.