Under pressure, grocery store changes name

DOWNEY - With pressure mounting from residents and city officials alike, the former Beach's Market site, located at 7900 Imperial Hwy, will reopen as Fresh Mart, not El Valu Food, this fall.According to one of the Fresh Mart owners, the city encouraged them to change the name of the supermarket, which was originally slated to become El Valu Food. The new store tenants, who owned and managed an El Valu Food store in Atlanta, Georgia before moving to the Los Angeles area, decided upon the new name last week. Fresh Mart will open its doors in three to four months after the building's interior is completely remodeled. The new tenants will also paint the front of the grocery store and put up a new sign in the coming months. Ron Beach, vice-president of the family company that owns the 4.13-acre lot on the southwest corner of Imperial Highway and Paramount Boulevard, said the new store tenants took control of the building on July 6 after nearly three months of negotiations. "We talked to several people, but in the end their offer was the best offer we had," said Beach, who used to manage the Downey store. "They have plans to make it a Hispanic operation." According to Beach, now manager of the Beach's Market location in Rosemead, Pepe's Tacos, Crown Cleaners, and Streit German Bakery will continue leasing space from the company. Last month, a large banner was placed on the front of the 30,000 square-foot supermarket announcing the new store's arrival. This week, the new tenants changed the banner to read "Fresh Mart" instead of "El Valu Food." Beach's Market, established in the early 1950s as Downey Farm and Home Center, closed its doors last November, citing a sluggish economy and competitive business market. Prior to its closure, the grocery store played host to several corporations and production companies who used the traditional market for a variety of commercials and films. Fresh Mart is scheduled to open around Thanksgiving. -Christian Brown, staff writer

********** Published: August 18, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 18