Photos by Richelle Chen
Hundreds of Malibu residents came out Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of Vintage Grocers, a new independent grocery store in West Malibu.
Customers arrived early, and by opening time they were standing in a line wrapping all the way around the back of the grocery store.
Vintage Grocers’ market manager, Eric Fuchser, began the ribbon cutting ceremony and explained that although the store is not yet 100 percent complete, the service will be “perfect.”
The first 250 shoppers in line at Vintage Grocers received gift bags filled with grocery store products, and special prices were offered throughout the store.
Event attendees consisted of locals, Malibu City Council members, Malibu Chamber of Commerce members and even a couple celebrities. Supermodel Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber attended the opening, as well as actor Kevin Dillon.
Vintage Grocers is offering many local and sustainable products through partnerships with local companies such as Malibu Honey and Zuma Organics. It also has a juice and coffee bar, and some ready-made meal stations, such as the hot buffet, garden-fresh salad bar and homemade soups, to name a few of the many food options.
Looking forward to the hot buffet, local resident Kevin Cohen explained, “I go to Malibu High School, so I’m excited to come here and eat lunch every day.”
Fuscher explained that the store is planning to make Vintage Grocers somewhere that Pepperdine students can use their meal cards off campus. He also said that they will be offering a phone app so people at Zuma Beach can order food that will be personally delivered to them on the beach by bicycle.
Located in the Trancas Country Market, Vintage Grocers is the first grocery store in the West Malibu area after HOWS Market closed in 2011.
Malibu Mayor Joan House explained, “The people of West Malibu are thrilled and the city is thrilled…It’s very important that you don’t have to get in your car and drive five miles for a cup of sugar.”
Fuchser echoed the sentiment, saying, “[The people of West Malibu] have been without a store for two and a half years, and [Vintage Grocers] keeps people from having to drive down to the point or even up in the valley to get quality food.”
He explained that 60 percent of the product in Vintage Grocers is all natural, gourmet and organic. Forty percent of it is conventional products like chain stores carry.
Vintage Grocers will continue to offer special pricing of products through March 19th as a continuation of the Grand Opening celebration.
Community support for the store was evident as Heidi Bernard, Pepperdine University’s Executive Director of Crest Associates smiled, saying, “Malibu is a special place and I think that this market shows the community working together to provide a good service for those who live here.”
Fuscher revealed that after years of waiting it was a thrill to witness the business open. However, he explained that it’s more than just a business. “Food to me is near and dear to my heart. I love cooking, but I love serving more than that.”
Correction: March 10, 2014
In the March 8th online version of this article, it stated Vintage Grocers is planning to allow Pepperdine students to use their meal cards off campus. Vintage Grocers will be offering “House Accounts” where students can charge their purchases as a bill to their parents or themselves, but it will not be connected to Pepperdine meal plan options.
Follow Gretchen Andsager on Twitter: @gmandsag41