Vallarta Supermarkets opened a new location in Van Nuys, marking the Latin-themed supermarket chain’s 53rd store in California.
The new location is located at 16040 Sherman Way, a few miles away from where the first Vallarta supermarket opened more than 30 years ago. According to Andrew Lewis, vice president of marketing at the company, the new supermarket is larger in size and has more parking than the company’s previous Van Nuys location. The grand opening featured a ribbon cutting with a mariachi band and ballet folklorico dancers.
“The Valley is densely populated so finding the right location is difficult, but when we get one like this new store that’s why it’s so exciting,” Lewis said. “It takes time to make sure you get the right location and build it in a way that will best serve the community.”
The location’s size allows it to offer several services to customers, such as a bakery, tortilleria, deli, juice bar, floral department and a full-service carniceria, all of which put an emphasis on fresh food, according to Lewis.
“The largest ongoing trend in our business in grocery retail is really the move to fresh,” Lewis said. “Customers are really appreciating grocery retailers that can bring fresh items to them, that taste great and can be healthy or indulgent.”
La Cocina, an in-store Mexican taqueria and kitchen, will also be available to customers in the new store. Even sushi will be available for purchase with the help of an in-house sushi chef.
The in-house fresh foods offered by Vallarta is a significant factor in bringing more customers into stores, according to May Realty Advisors President Matthew May, who said people of color shop frequently due to their prioritization of fresh foods as opposed to packaged foods.
“When you go to Vallarta, you can go sit down and eat at tables, they have a phenomenal bakery, you can get your tacos to go or get catering,” May said. “So, there’s more going on there, there’s more of an experience in it.”
The Van Nuys site was bought in April 2018 and is approximately 40,000 square feet according to May, who said there is significant upside to Vallarta’s multimillion dollar investment into the new store.
“As a pure real estate investment, it makes sense and from a private company angle, it’s phenomenal,” he said, noting that the location has been bought by Vallarta’s owner and leased by the Vallarta company.