Gelson’s customers shared birthday cake and decorated paper hearts | Photos by Jennifer Pellerito

Gelson’s Marina del Rey Turns 30

When Gelson’s opened its Marina del Rey location in 1989, the specialty grocery store changed the way much of the community shopped. One of the first markets of its kind, Gelson’s expanded local residents’ access to a variety of high-quality produce, meats and gourmet foods. Back then, the store had a clear sightline to the marina. Now it’s surrounded by the high-rises on Del Rey and Maxella avenues.

This past Saturday, Gelson’s Marina del Rey celebrated its 30th anniversary with a celebratory cake cutting, free grocery giveaways, and live music. Shoppers who made their regular rounds through grocery aisles encountered demo booths offering complimentary tastings of gourmet cheeses, jams and coffee. Kids were given the chance to decorate paper hearts with glitter and sequins while parents shopped.

Along with its selection of organic options, full-service deli, salad bar and Viktor Benês Bakery, Gelson’s frequently partners with local schools and nonprofit organizations to help with fundraisers.

“We try to go above and beyond,” said store director Derek Nishimoto. “It’s our customers that are important to us.”

With a business model prioritizing superior customer service and quality goods, Gelson’s shelves stay fully stocked throughout the day to make it easier for customers to find items. There’s also a staff dietician on hand on certain weekdays to consult with shoppers about nutritional information.

“We have our crews here during the day, so there’s always someone here who can pull something off the shelf for you,” Nishimoto said.

— Jennifer Pellerito

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