June 22, 2011

Fresh & Easy & Opening Today At Ten In San Francisco

Fresh%20%26%20Easy%20Outer%20Richmond%206-22-11.jpg

As the Fresh & Easy Buzz correctly reported to expect (and corrected our overly optimistic construction worker’s account), San Francisco’s first Fresh & Easy opens its doors the corner of Clement and 32nd Avenue this morning at 10am.

The Fresh & Easy at 5800 Third Street is on track for a late August opening. And as was expected, the company has officially inked a lease for the shuttered DeLano's Market location at 1245 South Van Ness in the Mission.

UPDATE: A plugged-in tipster reports that as part of the grand opening weekend, Fresh & Easy will be hosting a free BBQ from 4-6pm this Saturday (6/25).

Fresh & Easy Plans to Open First San Francisco Store June 22 [Fresh & Easy Buzz]
San Francisco's First Fresh & Easy Should Open Second Week In May [SocketSite]
5800 Third Street Scoop: Sales, Restaurants, And Fresh & Easy Soon [SocketSite]
Fresh & Easy Headed For The Mission, Could The Castro Be Next? [SocketSite]

First Published: June 22, 2011 7:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Finally! Will swing by after work for my first F&E experience. I would have rather had a Ranch 99, but have my fingers crossed...

Posted by: CH at June 22, 2011 9:44 AM

Will there be free food samples??

Posted by: its not the real sf so it doesnt matter at June 22, 2011 10:02 AM

Are these things any good? The so van ness one will be very close to us. Presently the wife likes TJ's snd rainbow. I like the Mexican groceries on 24th st.

Posted by: 47yo hipster at June 22, 2011 10:17 AM

I adore Fresh & Easy and often shop at one in LA when down there... great quality and good prices.

Posted by: mimi at June 22, 2011 10:43 AM

"Will swing by after work for my first F&E experience."

I guarantee that if you drop by on opening day your F&E experience will be one of crowded aisles and very long lines. You might want to wait a week for this location to "cool off" so you can have a normal grocery shopping experience.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 22, 2011 10:56 AM

Worth the trip. A bit like TJs meets Smart&Final? Some of the prices (produce in particular) higher than TJs but they have some house brand stuff that you won't see equivalents of anywhere else. Bread can be less than TJs. Broader selection of ready to prepare refrigerated single serve meals. Self check-out takes some getting used to but staff usually close by to assist, e.g. point out that apples have individual UPCs whereas bananas have an icon on the screen after which you enter quantity. Like a lot and very pleased to see more options; competition is a great thing!

Posted by: GoodBuyBadTimes at June 22, 2011 12:59 PM

OK someone please explain to me what the deal with this place is? Cheaper then whole foods but sells real food?

Posted by: Jeff at June 22, 2011 2:06 PM

Does anyone know if the South Van Ness location is a go? Last I heard F&E was one of two chains looking at the location.

[Editor's Note: As noted above, "the company has officially inked a lease for the shuttered DeLano's Market location at 1245 South Van Ness in the Mission."]

Posted by: G at June 22, 2011 2:07 PM

Jeff - Prices are OK and the target market seems to be people cooking for smaller households (packaged veggies and meats are of modest size) and who have limited time (some "ready to cook kits" on the shelves and fairly quick shopping due to the smaller store)

To me it seems like a compact version of a supermarket. You can find just about everything you need for most recipes though there isn't as much diversity on the shelves. It would be a great fit in dense urban areas. I wish them luck in the sprawl of USA cities.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at June 22, 2011 2:48 PM

I've been to the one in the Dublin area. I don't understand why they excite folks so much. It reminded me of TJ's with less interesting house branded items and all their produce was shrink wrapped.

If you like shopping for produce in small, shrink wrapped packages that looks completely tasteless, you'll love Fresh & Easy.

I can see why they've concentrated on the suburbs.

Posted by: GoBlueInSF at June 22, 2011 4:42 PM

how are they for organics? Lots of selection (like whole foods, but cheaper) or less organics -- like TJ's ??

Posted by: Big V at June 22, 2011 4:49 PM

Big V - probably about the same mix of organics as TJ's? and almost certainly at lower pricepoint than whole wallet . . . .
And as for focusing on suburban vs. urban markets, remember these guys are from the UK where they have lots of stores in urban areas.
They'll likely do well in any census tract that is dominated by time-starved, above average income, and trending greener demographic.

Posted by: GoodBuyBadTimes at June 22, 2011 5:27 PM

IMO TJs really missed an opportunity on this Mission location :-(, but looking forward to something other than an abandoned lot. As for the rumors of excess food packaging, hoping this doesn't result in even more street trash in the Mission.

Posted by: Schlub at June 22, 2011 6:41 PM

Just because they have extensive experience in the UK, doesn't mean automatic success in the U.S. The U.S. grocery market is notorious for being highly fragmented and difficult to enter. Marks and Spencer tried (via the Kings chain) and completely fell on their face.

F&E, prior to their U.S. roll-out, had a test store running in SoCal for a year to work out all the tweaks - and their rollout still blew up in their face. Enough that the home office shuffled some senior executives around. They also signed a lot more commercial leases than they intended to move forward on, which left property owners a little leary of them. They seem to be working out the kinks from a base in the California and Arizona middle class/lower-middle class suburbs in parking centric strip locations. Remains to be seen if their concept works in urban in-fill locations.

Posted by: GoBlueInSF at June 23, 2011 1:37 PM

The Fresh & Easy Buzz blog you mentioned and linked has a good article about Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market moving into the old Delano's store on South Van Ness in the mission. Here: http://freshneasybuzz.blogspot.com/2011/06/tescos-fresh-easy-opens-first-store-in.html

Alo an interesting post about the 32nd & Clement grand opening and who was and wasn't there. http://freshneasybuzz.blogspot.com/2011/06/tescos-fresh-easy-opens-first-store-in.html

Posted by: Kyle W at June 26, 2011 9:43 PM

The Fresh & Easy Buzz blog you mentioned and linked has a good article about Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market moving into the old Delano's store on South Van Ness in the mission. Here: http://freshneasybuzz.blogspot.com/2011/06/tescos-fresh-easy-opens-first-store-in.html

Alo an interesting post about the 32nd & Clement grand opening and who was and wasn't there. http://freshneasybuzz.blogspot.com/2011/06/tescos-fresh-easy-opens-first-store-in.html

Posted by: Kyle W at June 26, 2011 9:44 PM

I'm just breathless to go to the one on 3rd St.

Posted by: reanto39 at June 26, 2011 11:15 PM

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