June 20, 2013

Plans For First Mid-Market Grocery Coming To Fruition


As we first reported last year, the plans for the Market Square building 1355 Market Street included a grocery at the corner of Market and 10th Street (click plan to enlarge).

With Small Foods having signed-on as the operator, detailed plans for the full-service grocery which has been described as "a cross between a locally owned Whole Foods and a smaller version of the Ferry Building marketplace" will be formally announced at any moment.

1355 Market Square Scoop: Three New Restaurants And A Grocery [SocketSite]
The Tweet Reincarnation Of 1355 Market Street [SocketSite]
Twitter building lands grocery anchor, Mid-Market's first [Business Times]

First Published: June 20, 2013 5:15 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

Small foods & small plates & small studios & small small small. San Francisco is the Small Mall. And that's sad.

Posted by: egg_cream_of_OCD at June 20, 2013 10:20 PM

The Ferry Building Marketplace is hardly a "full service market". Do they sell cat litter and toilet paper and affordable dairy products (other than artisanal cheese)? I shop in the Ferry Building and Whole Foods myself occasionally, but most San Franciscans go to someplace like Safeway (or, for the upscale, Molly Stone's) for life's basics and it's someplace to buy those that Mid-Market and the adjacent Tenderloin lack.

Posted by: BTinSF at June 20, 2013 11:03 PM

egg_cream, have you every been outside the US?

Posted by: OMN at June 21, 2013 1:18 AM

@OMN, have you? Ever been to the Whole Foods markets in London? (There is even one in Picadilly Circus) Or the Food Halls at Harrod's or Selfridges for that matter? I have friends in Paris who DRIVE out to large suburban market to do a lot of their bulk shopping. Not every European wants or can go to a little expensive quaint corner market.

San Francisco has NOTHING like the central food markets found in London, both in size and quality.

Posted by: LivedInLondon at June 21, 2013 7:10 AM

A short walk away is Harvest Market. Costco and Trader Joes are nearby. Whole Foods and Bristol Farms are not far. The area isn't a food desert. However, this store is well located for the many new residents and tech workers of the area, who may be seeking a small organic market with high quality prepared foods.

Posted by: Dan at June 21, 2013 8:00 AM

Costco? You serious? Sure, it's a short walk away, but it's a big box bulk retailer. Unless you're willing to arm wrestle a homeless person out of his cart, then you're limited to what you can carry.

What we need to see more of in this city is home delivery. When I lived in NYC for a nominal fee you could shop at your local grocery store and have your purchases delivered to you. However, I have a funny feeling that the Small Foods will be one of those upscale convenience markets that you can quickly hit up for a prepared heirloom tomato and handcrafted mozzarella caprese platter. Honestly, if you own a car and live in the area you will drive to fulfill you shopping needs.

Posted by: Mark at June 21, 2013 8:18 AM

Costco? You serious? Sure, it's a short walk away, but it's a big box bulk retailer. Unless you're willing to arm wrestle a homeless person out of his cart, then you're limited to what you can carry.

Um, there are these things called "taxis" that will let you climb in - with everything that you bought - and drop you off exactly where you ask them to. I live about a mile away from the Costco (a longer distance away than this site is) and use a cab to bring home stuff every few months. Costs me about $7.

Posted by: anon at June 21, 2013 9:04 AM

"San Francisco has NOTHING like the central food markets found in London, both in size and quality."

Been to the central market many times...there's very little there that you can't get in the Bay Area. You need to get out more.

Posted by: Willow at June 21, 2013 9:07 AM

High earning, urban dwellers want high quality grocery stores.

Just click on the namelink to see a five year chart of Whole Foods. Hardly even a bump in the recession. The city needs more of these as the manhattanization trend continues.

Posted by: eddy at June 21, 2013 9:28 AM

"Walmart to go" home delivery is a new option in SF. I agree that delivery of basic goods to one's home is an efficient model.

Posted by: fred at June 21, 2013 9:43 AM

It's crazy that Costco doesn't have home delivery. This is ONE store where there's minimal reason to actually go there -- and select anything, all product quality is identical within each item. It's the only store I'd comfortably bulk order online. The notion of all the SUVs driving and parking and schlepping -- why? (Notwithstanding the beef jerky samples....)

Posted by: Invented at June 21, 2013 10:05 AM

I go to the Small by my office, on 2nd, all the time. The selection is great, the staff is very friendly and I can get everything from Thai wraps to canned tuna to toilet paper. This is a great addition to mid-market. It's not, however, a place to buy all your basics, nor does it need to be.

Posted by: PepeSF at June 21, 2013 10:33 AM

Costco will deliver via Instacart.

Posted by: Mark Ballew at June 21, 2013 10:34 AM

I got excited for a minute...then I realized this is a store that caters to techies who don't want to cook....so much for almost getting a grocery store near the TL. Back to Safeway I go.

Posted by: Brian at June 21, 2013 10:40 AM

Safeway also delivers, and Amazon will be delivering food in SF soon, like they do in Seattle.

Posted by: Dan at June 21, 2013 10:50 AM

I've been at the Small on 2nd and it's really small - more of a swanky corner store than a grocery store. But this proposed space is 7x bigger (18,000+ vs. 2500 sq. ft), so it will be interesting to see how they fill it. It would be nice to see a mid-price market in this area, to compete with the uber-pricey Bristol Farms and the dreary and pricey Harvest market on 8th.

Posted by: kddid at June 21, 2013 10:56 AM

Hmm. I work at 2nd and Mission and never new Small Foods was down the street. I guess they live up to their name.

Posted by: mow at June 21, 2013 11:13 AM

I have been living in the TL for 13 years without a car and still describe it as food challenged. I describe myself to my friends as a squirel always hording and bring home food.
I do have a storage space with shelving to store non perishable food. I shop 2-4 times a year with a car and buy lots of heavy or bulk items: wine, beer, toilet paper, canned goods, etc. We usually go to Safeway and Bevmo.
Fresh fruits and veggies are bought twice a week at the farmer's market. Additional items are bought weekly at TJ, the market at California/Polk and local markets. Sometimes we grab stuff at Target. I would love to have a safeway nearby for general items.
Safeway deliver is problematic: I ordered pears once for my son when coming back from a vacation. I wanted to serve the pears the next day but they arrived all hard. There is no way to communicate ripeness to the Safeway person.
I had hoped this market would be a small safeway amd am disappointed to get Small Foods. I assume it will turn into Bristol Frarms overtime - with less and less groceries and more prepared items.

Posted by: Squirel at June 21, 2013 12:54 PM

LivedInLondon, some other European cities since the 90s have "discount" corner stores that are actually cheaper than most big supermarket chains.

One of them is Aldi which is owned by no one else than the Albrecht Bros who own ... Trader Joe's.

The principle: no brands (whenever they can avoid it), products in par with the big brands, one or 2 products per category, no coupon or loyalty cards or any marketing gimmicks.

I saw this wave in Paris in the 80s, which started from a few stores, then ran expensive competing small stores to bankruptcy and took over almost all the small mid-size segment. Even big outfits like Carefour had to create their own inner city chain to stay afloat.

You wouldn't believe how cheap grocery shopping is in Paris. No need to drive to suburbia. This is so pre-1995.

Posted by: lol at June 21, 2013 11:31 PM

The Aldi brothers own separate Aldi chains in Europe. One Aldi brother bought Trader Joes in the US, and the other started an Aldi chain in the US, with a regional difference in distribution between Aldi and Trader Joes stores in the US. The brothers have tended to divide up territory in the US and Europe rather than compete directly.

Posted by: Dan at June 22, 2013 9:00 AM

The new store, though it has common ownership with Small Foods, will be called the Market: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2013/06/mid-market-eats-more-details-on-food.html

Posted by: Dan at June 22, 2013 9:18 AM

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