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Sacramento, CA | Tim Mason, CEO of California based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, with Mayor Kevin Johnson, Councilman Jay Schenirer and other community memberrs broke ground Wednesday morning in a well attended ceremony in Oak Park.
The market will be built on the north west corner of Broadway and 34th Street. Mayor Kevin Johnson stated that when he came back from college he said "what can we do with this piece of property? As a year or two went by, you realize that properites this size get into the wrong hands." Johnson bought the land in 2002 and just held it "till the right person came in or the right company said 'we want to do something that will be an assest to the community.'" Prior to Fresh & Easy, Johnson stated that "they wanted to put a used appliance store there..." Johnson stated that this (Fresh & Easy) is the right business.
“I’m excited to welcome Fresh & Easy to our neighborhood,” said Johnson. “Fresh & Easy is not only bringing more good jobs to Sacramento, but also high-quality, healthy food at affordable prices to neighborhoods that don’t always have access to such foods.”
Johnson thanked Chris Brown who worked tirelessly and handled the real estate transaction, making sure the properety fell into the right hands.
In his opening remarks, Mason stated, "We hope to continue to be part of the solution in providing greater food access and help give food options to all types of communities... at a price they can afford right where they live."
Mason stated they have opened 137 stores since they opened in 2007, invested over two billion dollars and created more than 4500 jobs. In Oak Park, the new store will create 300 construction jobs and when it is finished it will create 30 retail jobs for the community.
"We have worked very hard to create a thoughtful business and a business that can make a difference in the community" Mason stated.
In a press release, Fresh & Easy noted the locations opening in greater Sacramento in 2012
"When you say Oak Park, when you put those two words together, people show up; people have been showing up for a long time. We are hitting our stride in this community; we are doing great things" Councilman Jay Schenierer stated.
"I know you said that you like to put your stores in all types of communities, so on behalf of Oak Park, I want to thank you for putting your store in the best and most engaged community that we have in Sacramento" Schenirer stated to Mason.
"When you look at Oak Park you see a diverse community, not just one sector of Sacramento" said Schenirer
Fresh & Easy has created nearly 5,000 jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada. Entry-level positions start at $10 an hour in California and provide room for employees to grow quickly. The company offers quarterly bonuses of up to 10% as well as a 401(k) with company match. Fresh & Easy believes everyone deserves access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare and provides all employees the opportunity to work at least 20 hours per week, which entitles everyone in the business to vision, prescription drug, dental and medical coverage with Fresh & Easy paying at least 75%.
In an impromptu open dialog, Mason committed to Johnson to install a solar roof and create space on the grounds for community members to sell their produce from the community gardens being developed. As a gesture and token of the commitment, Mason took his tie off and gave it to Johnson. Johnson holding the tie up stated that he would wear the tie at the ribbon cutting when the store opens.
"Fresh & Easy is going to open six stores in this area, that's a total of 150 jobs. We have double digit unemployment rates; that is a big deal." Johnson stated.
Image by: SacMav.com Image by: MaverickPhotography.us