A new national retailer is in town, and the owners are excited to launch Grocery Outlet on June 15, with the owners hoping to bring the community great prices and a vast selection of quality products.
It is a family-owned business, with Amor Regis and James Sauco at the helm. They bring experience they say will help them operate Grocery Outlet efficiently while providing value to the residents of Wasco.
Amor's background is in accounting, where she specialized for 26 years and has owned a catering and fast food business.
James has been in retail for almost 13 years. He started his career as a receiving supervisor with Seafood City before moving on to Grocery Outlet as a general manager for eight years.
He and Amor have been training with Grocery Outlet for the last year, learning from the ground up about the departments, operations and back office.
Amor and James are originally from the Philippines, and each has a degree in industrial engineering.
Since Amor arrived in the U.S. in 1990, she has lived in big cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. She was raised in a small town and said she chose Wasco as a location for Grocery Outlet because she missed the small-town feel.
"We spent a week in Atwater helping to open a Grocery Outlet there, where I experienced the warmth of the people of the Central Valley. When there was an opening in Wasco, we applied and got the store," Amor said.
They have hired a team of between 24 to 30. Most of them are local hires. Amor said they are helping Wasco's economy by bringing jobs at competitive wages.
Though new to the city, they plan to be active with the community.
"Wasco is growing, and we want to be a part of that. We hope to get involved by becoming members of nonprofits and connecting with food banks, schools and churches to participate in any event that we can," Amor said.
They plan to serve the Wasco Hispanic demographic by offering the demand.
"Almost 85% of Wasco is Hispanic, and we will have a variety of selections for them. We have a Hispanic aisle with many options at heavily discounted prices," Amor said. "I'm sure they are going to love that."
The store is roughly 16,000 square feet with 5,800 to 6,000 items.
"We will sell produce, fresh meat, deli, dairy, packaged groceries, beer, wine, frozen food, health, beauty care and general merchandise products like housewares, blankets, comforters, cooking, etc.," James said.
"There will be over 50 varieties of wines, all under $5," Amor said. "We have nosh items (natural, organic, specialty and healthy) for those that want gluten-free or non-GMO."
She said Grocery Outlet is an extreme-value grocery retailer.
"Our mission is to 'wow' our bargain-minded customers with big savings with our name brands and high-quality merchandise and products at 40 to 60% lower than conventional retailers. Especially during these inflationary times, customers are looking to stretch their dollar, so that is why we are here."
Customer service will be a big priority.
"Our number one focus is customer service. Once you enter, you will be greeted. We don't like people waiting in line – three is a crowd. Our store will be very clean and, of course, fully stocked."
Grocery Outlet at 1650 Highway 46 is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, beginning Thursday, June 15. They are on Facebook at Wasco Grocery Outlet. The grand opening is June 15 (when they will open at 7 a.m.), with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.