Island Pacific Opens 3rd Store in Northern California
01 May 2013
Filipino-owned supermarket chain Island Pacific formally opened its 3rd store in Northern California last April 26 in the City of Pittsburg. It now has 12 stores in California.
The grand opening festivities featured a ribbon-cutting led by Island Pacific owner Jeff Lim and his celebrity wife, Krista Ranillo-Lim; City of Pittsburg Mayor Nancy Parent, Vice Mayor Sal Evola and City Manager Joe Sbranti; Contra Costa County District V Supervisor Federal Glover; Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce’s P.J. Quesada, who is also Vice President of Marketing for Ramar Foods; Consul Reginald Bernabe of the Philippine Consulate General San Francisco, Tourism Director Rene de los Santos and Debbie Gallano of the Philippine Department of Tourism Office in San Francisco; Trade Commissioner Michael Ignacio of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center San Francisco/Silicon Valley; Jay Diaz and Malou Garcia of ABS-CBN International; valued suppliers and vendors of Island Pacific; officers and members of the Filipino American Association of Pittsburg; and other invited guests.
The event also saw Fr. Rolando Bartolay of Good Shepherd Parish in Pittsburg conduct blessing ceremonies in the entire store.
After the grand opening ceremonies, guests partook in a luncheon specially prepared by staff of PhilHouse, the food service brand of Island Pacific. Gift baskets were also given away to special guests; the items were provided by Mandalay Trading, Asian Commodities and Northridge Foods.
“We are pleased to open our third store here in Northern California and the 12th store in the State of Californa,” Jeff Lim told the Asian Journal after the blessing rites. “We couldn’t be happier with the way we have been welcomed by the City of Pittsburg. This is the best city to open a business in.”
According to Jeff, while the Pittsburg location, which measures 16,000 square feet, may not be as big as their other stores, it still offers the complete grocery shopping experience for the Asian consumer.
“This is a smaller store format, but the selection is up to par with our bigger stores,” Lim revealed. “We decided to concentrate on products that generate a majority of our revenue. We did away with many American products and concentrated more on Asian products so we can offer a huge variety to our customers.”
The decision to open in Pittsburg, Jeff said, was borne out of the idea of Island Pacific making the shopping experience more convenient to its main clientele.
“Many of the cities nearby, including Pittsburg and Antioch, are underserved,” said Jeff. “Consumers have to travel far in order to buy the products that they need in their homes. Instead of them going to us, we decided that we will go to where they are, and make grocery shopping more convenient for them.”
Despite just having a soft opening a few weeks earlier than the grand opening salvo, consumers seem to be relishing the presence of Island Pacific in this part of the East Bay.
Pittsburg Mayor Nancy Parent seems to think so based on a recent visit to Island Pacific prior to its formal grand opening.
“I was here a week ago and was mildly surprised to find the place was packed on a Sunday afternoon,” Parent revealed. “I certainly did not expect it.”
Mayor Parent, a long-time Pittsburg resident, said that Pittsburg boasts a long-standing history of Filipino American presence with many of its Filipino residents settling in the city after their tenure in the US Army. Pittsburg was home to Camp Stoneman, which served as a staging area for the Army in World War II and the Korean War.
She is thankful that Island Pacific decided to open in Pittsburg, as Island Pacific is the first large grocery store of its kind to set up shop in the city. And Mayor Parent is impressed with the store’s layout and the selection of products.
“It is a really nice place,” she commented. “I am impressed with how they set it up. People will come in and see a variety of products. I, for one, was surprised to see that they have at least 10 different kinds of coconut juice on their shelves. And they have a variety of fresh fish which customers can choose from.”
Mayor Parent has this to say to Island Pacific’s owners and management: “We appreciate that they have brought a superior store to our community and we wish them well. We are ready to help them promote their store whenever we can.”
Island Pacific’s Pittsburg branch is located at 2100 North Park Plaza Blvd., just off the Loveridge Road exit along Highway 4. It is located next to the Staples store.
The store features fresh fish, seafood, meat and produce; shelves and shelves of Asian grocery items; prepared, hot food to go from PhilHouse (Sarap ng Lutong Bahay); a soon-to-open Pan de Isla bakery; and select vendors, including M Lhuillier Financial Services and Alas Cargo.
As part of its grand opening weekend, Island Pacific offered a taste of select products on sale on April 27 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Among the products offered at the food sampling event were Ramar Foods’ Magnolia Brand Cured Pork Longanisa Meatballs, Hobe Special Bihon, Pampanga Brand Lucban Pork Longanisa and Chicken Longanisa, Mr. Swifts Pork Hotdogs, Islands Best Pork Hamonado Cabalen, Gold Medal Brand Kikiam, Chicken with Shrimp Lumpia Shanghai, Chicken Lumpia Shanghai and Pork with Shrimp Lumpia Shanghai, Mama Sita’s Tinola Soup Base Mix, Moondish Bicol Express and Laing, Barrio Fiesta Plain and Marinated Sarangani Milkfish, and Tabasuk (Spiced Natural Coconut Vinegar), and UFC Spaghetti Sauce (Filipino Style).