Town Square

Post a New Topic

Central Valley's Mar-Val Stores takes over Gene's Fine Foods

Original post made on Apr 16, 2012

Mar-Val Food Stores in the Central Valley assumed ownership of Gene's Fine Foods in Pleasanton Monday in a transaction the new owner promised would be "seamless" with few changes in produces and store employees

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 16, 2012, 7:55 AM

Comments (35)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nosy Neighbors
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:19 am

Nosy Neighbors is a registered user.

The question looming on everybody's mind...will they save the Turducken!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

"To me it's all about the broccoli." Hope all readers continue to vote with their dollars, and in this case, continue to patronize Gene's. I'm a big fan of their meat and fish counter, and love the fact that they grind their own beef. The produce is exceptional. I can get all this and more, in-town, without needing to drive to Whole Foods or Draeger's.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patrick
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:19 am

Love their veggies, hate their stratospheric wine prices. Will continue to support Genes but I really hope they make all of their prices more competitive.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:32 am

Try the sushi-to-go in the front of the store near the deli section...very good and nice, accommodating people working there.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mort
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:35 am

Gene's is indeed the best place in town to buy meat. If one cooks all the time, the money paid extra for their high quality meats offsets what one pays for eating out, take out or those "convenience" foods. Let's hope the new owners maintain the level of quality Gene's always had.

As for the produce, although I agree Gene always carried very good and fresh items, the Farmer's Market is still the best place, by far, for fresh, locally grown, quality produce, in my opinion. We probably have one of the best Farmer's Markets in the Bay Area.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DowntownGuy
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

Frankly, I am concerned that the one thing that has made me a loyal Gene's customer will be gone, and that is the great customer service from familiar, longtime employees. It is my understanding that it is not accurate that most employees will be staying on. I am advised that the new owners do not want to pay the same level of wages and want to have fewer people in the store, so I would be surprised if customer service remains the same. The new owners need to understand that there is lots of competition for grocery dollars here, and customer service can make a big difference. The prices are too high in general and without the trade-off of nicer, more responsive and friendly service, many of us may start shopping elsewhere (except for the meats and some produce).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Lynn
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

My only problem with Gene's was the meat department. I always found the workers in that department to be very uppitty. Now, recently, I have been advised that the meat department has been unionized. Boy, does that figure! Put a little spending money in their pocket and they think they own the world. Arrogant snobs is what unionism produces.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:14 am

I have shopped their Valley Springs store many times over the years.
The store is similar to Gene's and have excellent service.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Valley Shopper
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:29 am

Love shopping at Genes! They have some of my favorite items that I don't see any place else. LOVE the meat department. They have quality products that I really trust. Always get my Thanksgiving turkey there, as well as beef and fish. If it's a special meal, I get my main course meat there. I've always liked the people I've been helped by in the meat dept - and I've been shopping there for 15 years. I can think of a couple times when maybe it wasn't a perfect interaction, but everyone has an off moment - they are real people. I'm trying to understand the previous poster's complaint about them - all I can think of is it takes two. If you don't like your service people being "uppity" maybe it's the attitude you bring. They are service employees, not servants.....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Teresa
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:49 pm

My husband has worked hard for our money, and when I go to the store I expect to be served. As in "How can I serve you?" So, yes, they are servants and should treat me accordingly. No so with the union communists who think they should be treated as equals. Who do they think they are? Lordy, this country is going downhill so fast.........


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm

mooseturd is a registered user.

Trying to keep an open mind but it doesn't look good so far.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by casey
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Talking with one of the longer-time counter workers (not meat counter) about this several weeks ago: reduced wages, fewer hours, more "kids" being hired from Craigslist, cap on max hourly salary, no benefits for 6+ months.

Will the workers stay? Probably for a while, as it's easier to get a job if you have a job. Will they be loyal? Probably not, since the new management isn't rewarding their loyalty.

Bottom line - it's one of my preferred places to shop, but Sprouts may start seeing more of me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

I am surprised to read that Mar-Vals is still in business. In the early sixties as a little guy I remember going to Lodi to stay with my Grandma and watching the Mar-Val commercials on Sacramento TV stations. They struck me as more glitzy than watching San Francisco commercials.

Cheers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

"Talking with one of the longer-time counter workers (not meat counter) about this several weeks ago: reduced wages, fewer hours, more "kids" being hired from Craigslist, cap on max hourly salary, no benefits for 6+ months"

See? No need for unions. Everything's fine!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by DowntownGuy
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:07 am

Wow, I cannot believe people actually think this way:

"So, yes, they are servants and should treat me accordingly. No so with the union communists who think they should be treated as equals. Who do they think they are? Lordy, this country is going downhill so fast........."

The arrogance and judgemental self-righteousness of some people truly can be difficult to fathom.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tori
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:16 am

All the Best to Don Smejdir in his retirement! Thank you so much for providing us with a wonderful local grocery to shop at AND supporting our community and schools.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Challenge of Retail Work
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:20 am

So all of you that have never had to work retail, you simply do not understand the conditions. (Yes, I have worked retail) Dealing with customers (most whom are nice)that are looking for a 'servant' to take abuse that has nothing to do with shopping or food or anything related, but just to take out a frustration on some lowly, minimum wage worker. That's really what it's about because they feel superior to the lowly worker. That said, I am sorry to see the changes because I heard that workers will have to take cuts in pay and other benefits. In a job that already pays so little they can't even afford to live in Pleasanton, I think it's sad to take away even more. Although I'm not a fan of unions, can you see why some workers might be? I wish all the current employees of Gene's good luck and hope that it all works out for them. I'll continue to shop there for my special purchases, as always, but be on the look out for the same quality I've come to expect from this retailer.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yay, more readers getting taken for a ride by a dishonest troll.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arthur Choke
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm

How come there was no union protest to the reduction of the work force.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacee
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

with the remodeling I hope they make the check stands a little more roomier for handicap and larger people.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Thanks, Stacey, for brightening yet another discussion with your name calling. You sure do a lot of bullying for one who rants so often (and so shrilly) about your imagined persecutors.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Thanks resident for your shrill response! Sorry to darken such a bright and cheery discussion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Today boneless pork chops were $3.99 a pound. Nice NY steaks on sale for $11.99 a pound. And the broccoli is good as always. Almost forgot, nice, creamy avocados, 4 for $5. Nice checkout person or not? Doesn't matter. Union or not? Doesn't matter. If I'm more concerned with price, for a commodity item like inkjet cartridges, I might go to Wal-Mart. Union or not? Doesn't matter. Nice checkout person or not? Doesn't matter.

It's all about the value given for the value received, nothing more, nothing less. (And the broccoli.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Lynn
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I'm like Paul. Do I care if WalMart has extensive record of labor malpractice and continues to use and abuse child labor? Heck no! I have no moral sensibility - beyond, that is, my own gratifications. (Mmmmm, I love broccoli.) Do I think about the kinds of corporations that want to sell me their goods, the kinds of labor practices they engage in, the effects short-term and long-term upon the children they exploit? Heck no. I don't think. I consume, feel gratification, do my business, and who cares what else is going on in the world. Mmmmmmm, I just love my broccoli.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by aBC
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

What is the latest on the Safeway GAS STATION at new Bernal Ave Shopping Center? Does anyone know?

THANKS!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Connect the dots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:39 am

The second Safeway is approved by the Three Stooges (or a better description, the Chamber Stooges) despite the city's own economic study demonstrating a 20% drop in sales at Gene's as a result ....

Raley's, concerned about Walmart coming to town, reneges on its long held policy of matching union wages (they are non-union) and plans on reductions to join the race to the bottom ....

Gene's, no longer able to compete with Safeway (who the same study indicates they now control 45% of the Pleasanton market), the other recently built low-wage stores, and now Walmart, sells to Val-Mar ....

Val-Mar takes over Gene's, fires most of the existing workers and pays the rest sweat-shop wages ....

Not everyone lives in Ruby Hills sitting in front of their PC day trading stocks. We are quickly losing our middle class, and except for those saving a nickle on a loaf of bread, this is not good for anyone.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Connect the dots
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

Oh, I am mistaken. It's also good for the Walton family, who's combined worth was $69.7 billion in 2007—which equated to the total wealth of the entire bottom thirty percent of Americans. And you don't understand what Occupy Wall Street is all about, you say?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Lynn
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

It's Ruby HILL not Ruby HILLS. ... But I AM attempting to connect the dots. One of the dots doesn't quite match up. If the second Safeway pays union wages, doesn't that mean its groceries must be really, really, really high in comparison with nonunion grocers?

I just don't see where Safeway fits (or should fit) in your analysis. Seems to me that a second Safeway, with unionized workers, would influence a RISE in wages at other stores, not a race to the bottom as you contend.

That said, I agree with you that Val-Mar, along with Walmart, will be paying sweat-shop wages, which, as you rightly claim, will work against the middle class. Of course, where I sit in front of my computer trading stocks all day, sweat-shop wages don't strike me as such a bad idea. I get to save a nickle on a loaf of bread, and I feel superior to the working stiffs making sweat-shop wages.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

I'm rather new in this town and I've only been to Gene's once. I must have been there on a bad day. There were flies at the meat counter and I thought the whole area smelled nasty ... I could not buy meat there after that. I must have been there on an off day.

I can see that the store must stock some nice gourmet options, but I could'nt seem myself buying all my groceries there.

I shop at Safeway because of convenience and I feel that store is clean. When I briefly lived near Lucky, I shopped there.

What this town needs is a nice large Super Target. That is where I used to shop but they don't have one here.

If you want nice fresh produce... go to the farmer's market.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Lynn
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

Wow!!!!!! It just so happens that the meat counter, which smelled nasty and had flies buzzing everywhere, is the only part of the store that was UNIONIZED!!!! Was that a coincidence? Or NOT??????? Anyone want to connect the dots on this one????????


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Buy USA Consumer!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

YOU WANT A SUPER TARGET???? Maybe you don't realize that place is owned by the French,almost lock, stock & barrell ! Why should I spend my $$ there, when the French are NOT really very good Allies?
And, yes, there is also a Bank in town controlled almost fully by the French -- I don't go there, either! I'll take Walmart and locally owned banks anyday...............wake up, consumers, while you still have some choice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

" * The Target Corporation is a publicly held, which has been headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since it began as the Dayton Dry Goods Company in 1902. Target is not now, nor has it ever been, foreign-owned. (A French-based financial institution, AXA, holds about shares of Target stock, but that holding constitutes less than 2% of Target Corporation's outstanding shares.)" Snopes


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Lynn
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm

HOWEVER, although Target is located in Minneapolis, it has always had ambitions to be French, which is why recently it changed its pronunciation from Target to Tar-jay with the accent on the second syllable. Technically speaking, we're talking phonemically about Tarjay de la Supare. And to my way of thinking, Buy USA is spot on. We don't need to be purchasing our consumder goods from a French wannabee.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Govt Hogs
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

It's not only the Ruby Hill crowd that is buying $15/lb steaks, $30/lb king crab, and $45/lb lobster at Gene's. I have seen lots of retired government workers (i.e. unions) buy the stuff as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by hansen
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

I grew up in Pleasanton and left long ago. I lived down the street from Gene's and I'm sorry to see it go. Although, the Alpha Beta that used to reside in that building was a better value. It makes me laugh to read the anti-union comments on this story because it reminds me how some things just never change in P-town. The person that posted about the "race to the bottom" was spot on! Enjoy your shopping at Wal-Mart, because that is the only place that will be left. This story (and the comments here) are really a reflection of what our society has become now. The haves will stop at nothing to make sure the have nots "serve as their servants", disgusting!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Good news for downtown Livermore and the performing arts
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 1,136 views

November Ballot Prop 2 Devils or Angels in the Details?
By Tom Cushing | 2 comments | 1,127 views

Who wants to move to San Ramon?
By Roz Rogoff | 1 comment | 1,065 views

Any questions for Pleasanton mayoral, council candidates?
By Gina Channell-Allen | 5 comments | 210 views