Shoppers at the Diamond Heights Safeway on June 9 were treated to a store festooned with all manner of balloons and other celebratory decor not usually seen in a grocery store. The occasion was the “Grand Re-opening” capping a six-month total remodeling project.
Safeway has 17 stores in San Francisco, two of which are Andronico’s stores.
Several corporate dignitaries were on hand, as was Daniel Herzstein of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Jackie Prager of Supervisor Mandelman’s office, and the construction team.
For the Diamond Heights store, it’s the third time it’s been updated, according to Karl Schroeder, Northern California Division President. “Far and away the nicest outcome is that this store is so much brighter than the last version. It’s so much more open on the front end. We spent a lot of effort trying to dense up the cases with more shelving which lets us put in more selection,” he noted. “We’ve done over twenty remodels in the Bay Area this year, trying to up our game.”
Indeed the place looks very spiffy, with all brand new floors, signage, reset aisles, and overall a roomier and brighter feel.
The Glen Park Association became a surprise participant in the process. Wendy Gutshall, Public Affairs Director, notified GPA president Hilary Schiraldi shortly before the event that Safeway would be donating $3,000 to the GPA. It seems anytime Safeway does a store remodel they like to award a donation to a local nonprofit organization doing great things, so they selected the Glen Park Association to receive the grant. “It’s important to us to give back to the local communities we serve. We focus on organizations that are strengthening the neighborhoods we serve,” Gutshall noted at the ribbon cutting event.
Schiraldi accepted the award with gratitude on behalf of the GPA and said it would be used to continue to support local beneficial projects in Glen Park.
(left to right): Brian Sullivan, District Manager; Steve Hsieh, Store Manager; Hilary Schiraldi, GPA President; Carolyn Deacy, GPA Board of Directors; Karl Schroeder, Division President Northern California (Photo courtesy of Safeway)
Store Manager Steve Hsieh wielded the scissor for the ribbon cutting. Hsieh came up through the ranks and has been manager of the store for five years. He says the company takes good care of its employees and calls his store employees the “Diamond Team.” Hsieh also credited Safeway with innovative approaches, such as using Waymo to deliver groceries straight to shoppers’ homes. “We’re currently the only store in northern California that has self-driving vehicles.”
Daniel Herzstein of the Chamber summed up Safeway’s role in promoting community: “If these past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that our neighborhood grocery stores serve such an incredibly important purpose for our neighbors living within blocks of here.”