New supermarket for shuttered Sanger Save Mart

Sanger's Save Mart building, vacant for more than two years, will get a new retailer.Sanger's Save Mart building, vacant for more than two years, will get a new retailer.After a substantial renovation to repair the aftermath of vandals and thieves, State Foods will open a new location and move its corporate headquarters to the former Save Mart building in Sanger by the end of summer.

The store has been described as cross between Save Mart and Vallarta’s grocery stores with a substantial selection of traditional American groceries and Hispanic foods.

“We don’t just focus on one group, we tend to have all kinds of products,” said Mufid Alamsi, the owner and operator of the new location.

The store, first reported by the Sanger Herald, will hire a staff of approximately 80 employees, which will be comprised almost entirely of Sanger residents.

“Our focus is to hire as much as we can from Sanger. It might be close to 100 percent, but the main priority is to find the most qualified people for those positions,” Alamsi said.

Alamco Inc., State Market Foods’ parent company, purchased the property and the 45,000 square-foot building.

Alamco operates grocery stores in the Tulare County towns of Tipton, Pixley, Poplar and Richgrove, one in Kern County as well as another State Foods in Avenal, where the company headquarters is currently based.

The building was barren for 2 ½ years as a reminder of the ravages of the recession. Copper thieves came through and stripped the building of reportedly $30,000 worth of copper, but caused $227,000 of damage in the process.

Since the incident Alamsi, installed a state-of-the-art security system with a wireless alarm and motion sensors throughout the store.

“If anything goes on there, I’ll know about it,” Alamsi said.

According to Sanger Mayor Joshua Mitchell, when the store opens, the city will have every major storefront filled for the first time in four years.

“It means we’re turning the corner in the City of Sanger,” Mitchell said. “We’ve balanced budget, unemployment numbers have dropped, businesses are coming here and Sanger businesses are growing.”

Mitchell also said the new location will be beneficial to both the residents and local growers.

“We have a grocery in town to keep local growers local and people don’t have to go to Clovis or Fresno to buy their produce,” Mitchell said.

Alamsi, who is buying a house in Sanger and will live there, echoed a mutual sentiment.

“Sanger so far was by far the best city we’ve dealt with,” Alamsi said.


This article originally ran in the May 10 print edition of The Business Journal. Don't get your news a week late. Subscribe today.