More than 300 people lined up outside the new Grocery Outlet at 2115 Artesia Boulevard, in North Redondo Beach, on Thursday, June 6, to celebrate the store’s grand opening and have the chance to receive a gift card worth up to $200.
The line of patrons waiting to enter the store for the first time stretched beyond the parking lot and onto the sidewalk. Karen Stark, Grocery Outlet’s director of sales and marketing, fired up the crowd.
“Are you guys ready?!” Stark, bursting with energy, shouted at the crowd.
The new business is a welcomed addition to the property, formerly the site of several grocery stores going back decades, which sat vacant for more than three years following the bankruptcy of Haggen Food and Grocery — the last to occupy the location.
A CVS Pharmacy, which shares the spot, opened in April.
“It’s a pleasure to say I told you so,” said City Councilmember John Gran, who attended the ribbon cutting Thursday morning.
Those who might have scoffed at the idea of a Grocery Outlet when it was first announced roughly two years ago, Gran said, will be pleasantly surprised.
For owners Steve Uhrinak and his wife, Karie Stepanski, the store means they only have to commute about half a mile from their home. The pair previously owned a Grocery Outlet in Long Beach. Uhrinak also used to work at the Lucky’s Market, which eventually became Albertsons Grocery Store, where he also worked.
“I’ve driven by here thousands of times,” Uhrinak said. “I couldn’t wait to get close to home. When you’re part of the community it’s a lot easier to participate.”