Neighborhood Reacts to Potential Fresh & Easy Closure

Close to a year after the grocer opened, most shoppers say they'll miss it despite some of the store's weaknesses.

Mountain View residents cherish their local supermarkets, which makes the news that Fresh & Easy might close difficult to buy into.

Monta Loma residents will be particularly affected if the supermarket at 580 N. Rengstorff Ave. closes because it had been years since the neighborhood had a local market.

"I was pleased when the Fresh & Easy store opened on Rengstorff, a short walk from my home," Harry Gordon shared in comments. "I still do my primary shopping at Whole Foods but alternate fill-in trips to F&E."

Another neighbor described how she visited Fresh & Easy frequently because of the convenience.

"It would be a shame if the doors would close, we are there at least once a day," said Tori Alcala-Martini, who praised the staff's friendliness and how they remember her name and her son's. "We are a family of four on a budget and we eat healthy due to their great prices and coupons."

Others enjoyed the array of products, including the prepared foods.

"I love shopping at Fresh & Easy Mountain View and would be bummed to see it go," said Paige Cristine. "I was excited when they opened in January and especially happy to see they carry such a great selection of gluten-free products."

"A pity. I absolutely love their Lobster Mac & Cheese, as well as their pre-packaged dried fruits," said Paul W.

And at least one noticed the savings in her budget.

"I absolutely love Fresh and Easy. My husband and I shop there almost exclusively now and it will be a huge loss to us if they close," said Annamaria Farbizio. "Their prices and selection are excellent. We've saved over $50 a week on our grocery bill since we started to go there regularly a few weeks after they opened."

Prior to the Fresh & Easy, other supermarkets came and went in that location. This included Golden Phoenix, Albertson's and others, according to a list rattled off by Councilmember Tom Means at the opening on Jan. 11, 2012.

It turned out that Fresh & Easy's British-parent company Tesco had their eye on the vacant lot as early as 2008 and finally opened its doors close to four years later. But now they might close possibly because they just couldn't understand American shopping habits.

"I like the store except for the self-checkout, which is annoying," Gordon said. "Something always seems to misfire, and it is embarrassing to have to get help. They would probably get more business if they had at least one regular checkout line."

However, the "misfires" at the register weren't enough to convince Gordon that the store should go.

"We waited a long time for a grocery to open at Monta Loma Plaza, and I would hate to see it close," he said.

But perhaps Fresh & Easy executives—or a potential buyer of the supermarket chain—will listen to shoppers who open up their wallets more at the store.

"It would be a huge loss for Mountain View and the Monta Loma neighborhood if this store had to close," said Mayor Mike Kasperzak. "Lets keep doing business there so corporate and/or a suitor sees what great business this location does."


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Juliet December 30, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I love Fresh & Easy, but I think they should have capitalized on being a "European" or "British" experience instead of a "fresh," green market. The marketing for it made it sound like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but these American grocery stores already had filled that niche. TJ's has the friendly customer service experience going for it, too. F&E is not like that. It reminds me of the Marks & Spencer food shops... but never comes off as British if you are listening or seeing the ads. It comes off as boring. They should have marketed it differently. Pret-a-Manger cafes are expanding in the U.S. I wonder how they will fair since their focus tends to be "fresh," as well.
Laura Schu January 14, 2013 at 09:38 PM
I went there once and was extremely disappointed in the quality of food so I never returned - brown lettuce in the bags of lettuce and the frozen food had freezer burn. I was so turned off - I'm not surprised it's closing it's doors. Please, just open a Trader Joes!
Laura Schu January 14, 2013 at 09:39 PM
I agree - quality of food was very poor - strange place to shop - Claudia - hope that helps.
Claudia Cruz January 15, 2013 at 01:49 AM
I'm a big fan of Pret-a-Manger and those are very popular in NYC. Alas, the Bay Area isn't New York! I do like prepared meals because I'm always rushing.
Claudia Cruz January 15, 2013 at 01:50 AM
I never went in there for the produce. I go to Sprouts for that. :-)


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