Canyon Market is getting new – though still local – owners.
After 16 years, owners Richard and Janet Tarvlov are ready for a break. So they have sold the bustling business to Gus’s Community Market, owned by the Vardakastanis family.
The sale will be completed on Dec. 21 and the Vardakastanis’ will take over. They plan to maintain the store’s current team of more than 90 staff members and keep operations as is, while also introducing some of their private-label goods through various departments.
Gus’s Community Market first opened as Haight Street Market in 1981 in the Haight. It was founded by the late Gus Vardakastanis, his wife Georgia, and his father. Today, Gus’s sons, Dimitri and Bobby Vardakastanis, who came up in the grocery business under their father, oversee the family business.
They currently has four store locations in San Francisco, on Noriega Street in the Outer Sunset, on Haight Street in the Haight, Harrison Street in the Mission, and Channel Street in Mission Bay. Canyon Market will be their fifth location.
“We could not be more pleased with the arrangements we’ve worked out with Bobby and Dimitri,” says Janet. “It ensures Canyon’s continued success in this special neighborhood of Glen Park, which has always been our priority in crafting a succession plan.”
Richard will continue to work at the store for a period of time to assist with the integration of systems and processes. The store will not close during the transition except for the usual holidays on Christmas and New Year’s.
Janet will continue her work with the Glen Park Merchants Association where she’s passionate about seeing select projects come to fruition over the next few years. She plans to run for reelection as president of the Association in 2023.
For now, the Canyon Market will retain its original name. Eventually, some store branding will include Gus’s Community Market logos.
Growing to be part of a five-store network will help the business and be good for customers, said Janet.
“One of the challenges we face in the independent retail food world is how to operate at a high level of service amidst increasing costs of employee benefits, equipment maintenance, and food prices. By joining a larger organization, we’re able to address these issues with the advantage of scale, while providing more opportunities for our staff and an enhanced experience for our customers.”
In a letter to fellow Glen Park merchants, Janet wrote “Of course, this is an emotional time for Richard and me, but we couldn’t be more pleased to have found seasoned, professional, committed operators who can see Canyon Market into the long and vibrant future we have always envisioned.”