Business

Marketplace store opens on the site of former Thriftway

"From the ashes of the Olney Avenue Thriftway Store Avenue has risen the phoenix of Saar's Port Orchard MarketplaceGreg Saar, namesake and owner of nine Saar's Marketplace grocery stores, decided last December to commit to open shop in Port Orchard. After five months of negotiations, the Port Orchard location opened its doors on May 23. We felt there was an opportunity, said Saar. We did a demographic study and found that what we did brought another dimension to grocery shopping in Port Orchard. This works for us.Saar, who previously worked as a director of retail operations for Cost-Cutter grocery store in Bellingham, used his experience to branch off on his own and open his first store in Oak Harbor 14 years ago.We've just grown up from there, he said. The company operates other locations in Renton, Port Angeles, and five stores in Tacoma.Grocery stores may carry many of the same items and brand names, but Greg Saar says that his business is set apart by their stringent dedication to serving their clientele.What we do is bring value to the customer - that's our mission, he said. We basically focus on bringing the lowest possible prices to the consumer.The Olney Avenue Saar's location has approximately 100 full-time and part-time employees.We put a lot of emphasis on meat and produce, said Saar. We haven't been over 48 cents a pound for bananas in five years.Saving money on food is something Saar thinks is important for customers, who he says may appreciate his value-driven efforts.People that still cook, people that enjoy values, he said. Everybody has a grocery budget. We can fit their needs.The store is 42,000 square feet, a median number for the usual size of Saar's locations.We have some bigger, some smaller, said Saar. Typically, that's the size of store we like to be in.Prices at Saar's Marketplace are likely to be comparable with other area stores according to Saar, who said he prides his stores on being very competitive.We try to keep our recipe very simple, he said. We put items into the stores that the customers will want.Saar sees success in the future of his newest venture, and says he believes Saar's Marketplace will fit in in Port Orchard.All customers have different things they look for, he said. We're trying to fill that niche, and the customer deserves it. We feel really good about it, we've gotten a great response from the community. So far, they like what we do. "

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