Fresh and Easy + Fresno

I was recently invited to attend the grand opening of one of Fresno's newest Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Markets by the Fresh and Easy marketing/Twitter team.  The grand opening was open the the public, however there was a special invite only portion of the morning that included a sampling of F&E's delicious breakfast foods, a presentation by Fresh and Easy's corporate head of marketing and a performance by students from First Church Christian Academy.

I decided to attend in support of Fresh and Easy and also business and a healthy economy for our city.  I've been doing about 80% of my weekly grocery and supply shopping at Fresh and Easy since they opened the store near my house in April.  I've been a big fan of the store, which I don't think is a secret if you look back through my Twitter feed or my blog archive.  However, I thought I'd share why I like Fresh and Easy so much, as I have many friends and relatives that have either yet to try shopping at Fresh and Easy or will be getting a Fresh and Easy store in their area soon.

Reasons I've been shopping at Fresh and Easy:
1. The store is eco-friendly and is operated in a way that allows for low overhead (no flashy displays, uses sky lights for much of day time lighting, uses efficient (read: they work WELL) self checkouts but employees are happy to assist and bag groceries for you.  These factors keep product costs low.  And while the store is not flashy, it doesn't feel like a big, cold warehouse store either.  It's smaller, more like an actual neighborhood market.
2.  Piggy backing on #1, the prices are GREAT.  Since I started shopping at Fresh and Easy, I've been able to cut my weekly grocery budget by about $30 per week. 
3. Fresh and Easy's store coupons (mail, weekly ad, email) offer $3, 5, 6 or 10 off of purchases of $20, 25, 30 or 50 and can be COMBINED.  Most weeks I am able to use two coupons and save $6-16 off of my total grocery bill just like that!
4. Fresh and Easy carries both their own private label products and a wide selection of nationally branded products.  The Fresh and Easy product line does not use artificial colors, sweeteners and only uses preservatives when absolutely necessary.  All products are trans-fat free.
5. The people who work at Fresh and Easy are friendly, helpful and seem happy.  Anytime a new non-union grocery store opens, you will see union picketers out front trying to convince you to shop union and that the non-union stores do not treat their employees properly.  I spoke to two different employees at my local store, and was told they have excellent benefits, and that full benefits are offered for anyone working 20+ hours. 
6. Just a little extra touch here- F&E has designated up front parking spots for hybrid vehicles (a nice perk for me, since I didn't benefit from other hybrid incentives like tax incentives or carpool stickers) and also designates spots for families, which is great considering the added hoopla involved in getting your brood in and out of the store.

Here's what I learned about at the grand opening event:
1. Fresh and Easy donates $1,000 to a non-profit organization every time they open a new store.  They ask people from the neighborhood surrounding the store to nominate organizations and one recipient is selected.  At the Cedar and Shields store opening, I was very pleased to see First Steps Home presented with a check for $1000.  First Steps Home is an organization in partnership with the City of Fresno/Mayor Ashley Swearengin that is helping homeless Fresno natives on the path toward a better life through the following steps. 
· Outreach – Case managers trained in street outreach and serving the homeless population reach out to homeless individuals to begin the process.
· Assessment – Case managers assess the needs of each individual, including health concerns, family background, criminal history and education. This provides a snapshot for future planning and support.
· Housing – Case managers find transitional housing for the individuals at reduced rates, as long as clients show measurable progress in the program for up to 18 months.
· Action Plan – Case managers create an action plan that puts individuals on a path to self-sufficiency. This plan is monitored and evaluated on a regular basis.
· Monitoring and support – Using the action plan, case managers track the progress of individuals and provide support services as needed.   (from the City of Fresno webpage)
First Steps Home believes that if each Fresno resident donated $1 per month (rather than giving money to panhandlers on the off ramps), then we could dramatically decrease homelessness in the valley.


2. Fresh and Easy supports local schools through their Shop for Schools ProgramFor every $20 spent at Fresh and Easy, schools can receive a $1 donation.  Parents, school staff and community members just have to save their receipts and submit them to participating schools!  (Schools must be within a 3 mile radius of a Fresh and Easy store, and complete a simple enrollment packet to participate)  Fresh and Easy donated as much as $10,000 to some schools last year, and will also donate an additional $5,000 to the school with the highest receipt value.  (If you work with a school get ON this!  Deadline is October 1st!)


3. Fresh and Easy stores have created 180 jobs (with benefits) in the last year for Fresno area residents!

I thought I'd snap a few photos in case you've yet to shop at Fresh and Easy, and are curious.  Definitely give them a try though, I really think you'll be pleased!  Thank you to Fresh and Easy for the event invite! :-)











3 comments:

  1. hey...I was at fresh and easy today and they wouldn't let me combine my coupons...is there a trick to doing it??

    ReplyDelete
  2. To use more than one coupon, you need to spend the combined purchase requirement of each coupon. For example, today, I brought a $5 off of $25 and a $10 off of $50 coupon, spent $80 (greater than 25+50) and was able to use both and save a total of $15. Hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete

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