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

OPENING:
L.A.-based sweetgreen opens a new location on Montana Avenue this Friday (Feb. 22) and will donate first-day proceeds to establish sustainable gardening programs at Roosevelt and Franklin elementary schools. Sustainable, local supply chain sourcing drives sweetgreen’s menu of healthy salads and hot-serve protein and vegetable bowls.

CLOSING:
The Venice Terrace closed this month after more than 70 years on Washington Boulevard, but Eater L.A. reports that the same Westside investors behind The Venice Whaler will reopen the space as The Pier House.

COMING SOON:
Downtown L.A.’s popular Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken will soon open a new shop on Main Street in the former home of Books & Cookies, according to Time Out Los Angeles. Expect to see a CBD-infused mint chocolate buttercream donut on the menu.

MILESTONE:
Rustic Canyon steakhouse The Golden Bull celebrated its 70th anniversary with a special dinner and cocktail menu on Wednesday.

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