Central Valley's Mar-Val Stores takes over Gene's Fine Foods Around Town, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Apr 16, 2012 at 8:19 am
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
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Mort, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
Posted by DowntownGuy, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, 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).
Posted by Cheryl Lynn, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Valley Shopper, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, 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.....
Posted by Teresa, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, 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.........
Posted by casey, a member of the Walnut Grove Elementary School community, 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.
Posted by dublinmike, a resident of Dublin, on Apr 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm dublinmike is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
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.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Castlewood Heights neighborhood, 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"
Posted by DowntownGuy, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, 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.
Posted by The Challenge of Retail Work, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, 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.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, 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.)
Posted by Cheryl Lynn, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Connect the dots, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
Posted by Connect the dots, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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?
Posted by Cheryl Lynn, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, 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.
Posted by me, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
Posted by Cheryl Lynn, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, 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????????
Posted by Buy USA Consumer!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood 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.
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, 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
Posted by Cheryl Lynn, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, 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.
Posted by hansen, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, 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!