Stater Bros. to Open First Supermarket in Pasadena at Current Site of North Pasadena Vons

San Bernardino-based chain said Thursday it will take possession of space in May, and reopen as a completely remodeled “state-of-the-art” supermarket in Fall, 2018.

Published : Friday, January 12, 2018 | 6:14 AM

Stater Bros. to Open First Supermarket in Pasadena

Just two days after the announcement that the Vons market at 1390 N. Allen Avenue at Washington Blvd. will be closing in mid-April, San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. Markets said it will be the future tenant of the 42,000 square foot retail grocery space.

Stater Bros. said it will take possession of the location in May, 2018 “ensuring a smooth transition from the current occupant.” Stater Bros. said it plans a major remodel and reopening as a state-of-the-art Stater Bros. supermarket in fall, 2018.

“We are delighted to welcome Stater Bros. to the City of Pasadena,” Councilmember Margaret McAustin, in whose district the property is situated, said. “Stater Bros. Markets provides products and services consistent with the high level of quality the community expects.”

McAustin had hinted to Pasadena Now earlier in the week that a new tenant would fill the space, but was unable to reveal any information until Thursday.

“Stater Bros. is a company that proudly celebrates tradition and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to establish roots in such a historic and beautiful community,” said Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden Thursday.

“We look forward to a good working relationship with the City of Pasadena as the extensive remodel process commences,” Van Helden continued, “and are thrilled to acquaint Pasadena customers with Stater Bros.’ fresh offerings and exemplary customer service when we open this fall.”

Property owner and Alton Plaza Development Company managing partner John Allen, whose father help build the shopping plaza in the 70s, was thrilled about the development, saying, “We have a market space in Simi that (Stater Bros) rebuilt. They put $6 or $7 million into that property and it looks magnificent. Anybody that wants to see what (the new store) is going to look like, can drive up to Simi and take a look at that one.”

The Stater Bros. announcement said the supermarket will feature a full service fresh meat department with meat cutters, a full service fresh seafood department, FujiSan Sushi made in-house daily, a full service deli including Cleo & Leo exclusive recipe foods and fresh hand-breaded fried chicken, specialty sandwiches and wraps, with a full line of prepared party trays.

The store will also feature a full service hot bakery  with artisan breads and rolls, specialty single serve desserts, Cleo and Leo line of classic cakes and in-house cake decorators to assist with all special occasion needs.

In addition, the new market will have a floral department with fresh flowers, plants or floral arrangements, as well as a full produce department featuring more than 1,000 items with expanded organic selections and fruit cut fresh daily.

A seating area with USB charging outlets and access to free Wi-Fi will also be built.

The store will  upgrade its lighting as well with energy-efficient LED lighting in addition to glass doors on refrigerated cases to reduce energy consumption

Reflecting the community and neighborhood, the store will also feature a decor scheme reflecting Pasadena’s history.

The Stater Bros. supermarket chain was founded in 1936 in Yucaipa, California, and is now the largest privately owned supermarket chain in Southern California, as well as the largest private employer in both San Bernardino County and Riverside Counties.

The company currently operates 171 supermarkets, and has approximately 18,000 employees.

The departure of Vons may be part of the last remaining fallout from a huge purchase of both the Vons and Safeway chains by the Pacific Northwest-based Haggen supermarket chain in late 2014.

Haggen was a relatively small company in the Pacific Northwest with 18 stores and 2,000 employees, and suddenly acquired 164 stores and more than 10,000 employees, after buying the supermarket giant Safeway (which had recently merged with Albertson’s), the parent company of Vons in January of 2015, for approximately $9.2 billion.

Albertsons and Safeway then dropped 168 Southern California stores, to avoid anti-trust violations. Haggen picked up 83 of these locations in such communities as Santa Clarita, Woodland Hills, Torrance, Long Beach, Diamond Bar, Upland, Tujunga, and Rancho Cucamonga.

Haggen, Vons, and Albertsons were eventually sued by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 770 of Los Angeles County in August of 2015. The new Haggen stores also failed to take hold, and Haggen moved out of California in late 2015.

Looking back, Allen said that “Vons has been a great tenant for 4 decades. And we thank them for providing a store to the local residents. We’re really honored and I’m very proud that the Stater Brothers are coming in. It’s a family-owned market chain that’s going to do a phenomenal job.”

“I hope the citizens around the neighborhood will love coming (to Stater Bros),” said Allen. “I think they’re going to love the way it looks, the way it’s operated, and the people who work there. It’s going to be a first-class experience.”

Allen added, “I look forward to the opening and I hope they have lots of rose petals and a marching band.”

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