Crowds shop inside the new Rancho San Miguel minutes after the grand opening last Thursday. Photo by Sean Roney.
GREENFIELD - Rancho San Miguel opened its newest supermarket location last Thursday, where the scene was busy. Shoppers had already poured in by the hundreds before the official opening time of 9 a.m.
"We hope we can serve the community well," said Rancho San Miguel Vice President Glenn Evans. "We're very happy to be part of this community."
"It's just the perfect store for the community," said Store Director Dan Spears. "The need was here, and we love to come and serve the community."
In regard to the early crowds, Evans said, "We were ahead of schedule so we said why let the people wait. So we opened up a couple minutes early." Crowds of people were already shopping the various areas of the store and the kitchen area was already filled with diners before the official start time came around.
"Everybody was very excited and waiting for us to open," said Spears. "We're happy to have it open finally."
Evans said, "This store has got a hot kitchen. It has got a scratch bakery. It has a service meat department in the back with seafood, and an in-line salsa bar. We've got a produce department. We're top notch in all the amenities. Produce, dairy, frozen food, health and beauty aides, you name it, we've got it."
When asked about the choice of Greenfield as a location, Evans said, "We saw the opportunity that a store of this caliber would fit well in the community. We noticed a lot of people had to travel outside the community to visit a store. Now they can stay right in town and shop."
The store is larger than prior businesses operated in the location, as Rancho San Miguel acquired the next-door furniture store, and expanded into the spot. "This is a 42,000 square-foot store," said Evans.
When asked about the business model for the store, Evans said, "One of the things we pride ourselves in is cleanliness. We also have an everyday low price store. We're trying to create a value for people to shop here." He went on to say, "We know the economic times are tough and we want to offer a solution to people to save a little money so they can afford to pay their bills."
The first day, shoppers found grand opening specials, as well as festive live music as a mariachi band performed around the store. Evans said, "Outside of a few hot specials, our retails are going to be consistent. We're not going to just raise prices after the grand opening. We're going to be pretty consistent with our campaign."
When asked about lead-up reaction, Evans said, "We've been walking around town for five weeks before the opening, and everybody we ran into said 'Boy, we can't wait until you're here.' We hope that we can make people proud of the store that they have here."
There are 100 employees at the store. Evans said the company went to Greenfield high School in April to take applications. "We took in about 1,300 applicants," he said. "Unfortunately, all we had was 100 positions. We hired 100 people from the area. We feel very good about that, because that's growth."
In regard to the employee experience levels, Spears said, "We hired the whole gamut. We have a lot of experienced people, but also high school and college students."
When asked about areas the customers were enjoying within the first half hour of business, Spears said, "The meat department is doing really good over there. A lot of people are in produce, too." He noted the kitchen area was also getting busy, and said they are a regular feature of Rancho San Miguel stores.