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First Pasadena Neighborhood Store to Adopt State’s Healthy Retail Program Set to Open

Published on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 | 1:51 pm

The first neighborhood store in Pasadena to adopt the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Healthy Retail Program format is set to open on Saturday, March 21 with a celebration from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The store is the at Rio Meat Market & Restaurant at 2029 N. Fair Oaks Ave.

Mayor Bill Bogaard and Pasadena Health Officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh are the event’s keynote speakers along with store owner Esthela Borja, who will share her inspiring story and vision for providing healthier food options in Northwest Pasadena. A ribbon-cutting follows.

The Healthy Retail Program demonstrates a commitment that neighborhood stores have invested in providing affordable and healthier food and meal options. The program is part of a statewide movement called “Champions for Change,” that seeks to improve the health status of low-income Californians by supporting fruit and vegetable consumption and increased physical activity. More information is at

The Pasadena Public Health Department’s (PPHD) Nutrition & Physical Activity Program provided technical assistance and training on purchasing, storing, displaying and promoting fruits and vegetables, merchandising and nutrition outreach. The local program works in conjunction with Choose Health LA Kids Program and Choose Health LA Restaurant Program, a countywide public recognition program for restaurants.

Rio Meat Market & Restaurant now features a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, portion controlled menu selections, children’s plates with fresh fruit and a store layout that prominently displays healthier food and beverage options. In addition to the PPHD, transformation assistance came from the Flintridge Foundation, Day One Pasadena and Pasadena Youth Build.

“We want to empower families to choose healthier foods that can contribute to better health,” Dr. Goh said. “Rio Meat Market & Restaurant is a great example of a local store creating dialogue with the community to increase access to nutritious foods.”

Local businesses interested in receiving free technical assistance as part of the Healthy Retail Program should contact Mary Urtecho-Garcia at The PPHD Nutrition & Physical Activity Program is funded by the CDPH Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch.

Pasadena is only one of three cities in California with a municipal health department. For more than 120 years, PPHD has worked to promote and protect the health of the greater Pasadena area. Visit the department online at

Stay connected to the City of Pasadena! Visit us online at; follow the city on Twitter @PasadenaGov,, and like us on Facebook at Or call the Citizen Service Center, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (626) 744-7311.



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