The late afternoon opening included a ribbon-cutting by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and welcome remarks by Smart & Final company officials, including Pleasanton store manager Kevin Lee. The store also presented a $5,000 check to Open Heart Kitchen, which serves hot meals to the needy in the Tri-Valley.
Then it was off to the food kiosks and inside to shop, with lines of customers for a time snaking around the perimeter of the store to the six cash registers at the front. Outside, several hundred customers enjoyed free meals while listening to the down-home music of Carlos Almeida and his Come Back Buddy band.
Smart & Final is now the eighth grocery store in Pleasanton, which includes Gene's Fine Foods, Lucky, Nob Hill, Raley's, Safeway, Trader Joe's and Cole's Market.
Two more are coming. Safeway, with its corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, has plans awaiting approval before the city Planning Commission to build a 65,000-square-foot Lifestyle store at Bernal and Valley avenues, across from the fairgrounds. Fresh & Easy, a British-owned grocery similar in size and marketing focus to Trader Joe's, plans to open its first store in the area later this year in the Rosewood Pavilion in the space now occupied by Express Fitness.
The new Smart & Final market is located in the building formerly occupied by Comp USA, across the parking lot from In-N-Out Burger.