The long-awaited announcement of Bianchini’s Market opening at 810 Laurel Street, San Carlos, has finally been confirmed. The store will open its doors to the public on Wednesday, April 29, 2009. This ends months of questions among San Carlos residents about downtown San Carlos’s most high-profile addition.
In July, 2008, the Bianchinis inked a 30+year lease deal with the landlord, Laurel Plaza Partners, ending a long and competitive negotiation that began in June of 2005. Bell Market closed its doors in November, 2006, leaving the site empty, and causing concern in the community over who would ultimately occupy the coveted downtown space. Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market, a subsidiary of UK- based retailer Tesco, several independent grocery chains, as well as a 99 cent store all vied for the site. The community, however, wanted to see the Bianchini’s take the store over; a perfect fit, as downtown San Carlos balances growth with retaining a local merchant base.
Brothers Kevin and Chris Bianchini, both Peninsula firefighters who took over San Carlos institution, Foodville, from their late father Al and Uncle Jerry, closed that store last month, ending a tradition that spanned generations of Peninsula shoppers. The new store shares the name of their sister store in Portola Valley, which opened in 1998. The move and the name change have allowed the family to expand from a 68 year old, 8,000 square foot space to a newly remodeled 20,000 square foot space. Not only does this allow for a greater variety of merchandise and an updated look, but it will also attract a new generation of customers, while retaining its loyal, older customer base. Grocery store architect John Sutti designed the new store which underwent a complete interior remodel as well as cosmetic upgrades to the building’s exterior. The result will be an upscale but casual and accessible shopping experience.
The store will employ over 60 people and care was taken to hire locally. Revenues are expected to exceed $300,000 a week, which is a much needed boost to San Carlos’s budget-strapped coffers. The one question that remains, however, is when the State will approve the transfer of the liquor license from Foodville to the new location. After almost 4 months, it has not yet been approved; the family is prepared to open without it, despite unsuccessful appeals to the ABC. Unfortunately, this will be hit to potential revenues and a disappointment to customers.
Bianchini’s Market will expand on the family’s focus on their old-fashioned full service meat counter, as well as feature organic, locally grown produce, cheeses, an expanded deli, sushi, prepared foods, and grocery items from all over the world. Budget-conscious shoppers will also find the store meets their needs. There will be a full wine & liquor section as well. The new store’s offerings were chosen after months of gathering input from the community. It was clear they wanted a high-end yet cost-competitive shopping experience with a local focus. They also seem anxious to support a local retailer as opposed to a large chain. The family will also continue its active support of the community including the San Carlos Educational Foundation, e-scrip, and local service clubs and community events.
For for information on Bianchini’s Market, please visit their website by clicking here.