Once a Food Desert, This North Sacramento Community Finally Has a Grocery Store Again

SACRAMENTO -- People near Del Paso Boulevard in North Sacramento have a grocery store in their neighborhood for the first time in more than half a century.

"We used to have a Safeway, a Raley's, a Bel Air," neighbor Deborah Elmore said. "The neighborhood started going down and the stores started leaving."

That's why many North Sacramento residents flocked to a brand new Grocery Outlet on Thursday -- its opening day.

"I'm happy. Everybody else I've talked to is happy. My sister called me and told me they're opening today so I came," neighbor Nancy Thomas said.

Not only is this the first Grocery Outlet to be built in the area from the ground up, but it's the first grocery store to open in this zip code in 50 years.

"The community has to travel so far outside of the 95815 area code to shop. They have to drive down to Foods Co. on Northgate or go to Watt to find a decent grocery store so it's important that we're here and able to provide fresh foods for everybody," owner-operator Mie Yang said.

And the owners know the struggle firsthand. Yang and husband Sean Wellons grew up in North Sacramento -- along with all of the 28 employees they've hired so far.

"We were here, you know? We had that struggle," Yang said. "So it's amazing to do that and to be able to see people we know just on their regular daily shopping trip."

They hope Thursday's opening will spark more development along Del Paso Boulevard.

"It's really revitalizing the area. Hopefully, it will bring a lot of good attention," Wellons said.