By Elena Kadvany
In response to staff and customer demand, Andronico's returns to Los AltosUploaded: Feb 27, 2020
Four years after Andronico's at the Rancho Shopping Center in Los Altos became a Safeway Community Market in a sale to the supermarket giant, the local grocery store is returning to its former name.
Safeway is renaming four stores in Los Altos, Berkeley and San Anselmo, effective Friday, Feb. 28. Safeway spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall said the change was prompted by feedback from employees and customers.
"Over the past few years, we've seen that maintaining the unique Andronico's heritage and the essence of a local specialty neighborhood market is important to our customers and employees,” Brad Street, resident of Safeway's Northern California division, said in a press release. "We're excited to bring back the quaint character and charm of Andronico's, while enhancing the customer experience with an emphasis on more local choices, natural groceries and specialty items."
This will mean the return of Andronico’s foods prepared in the store and local specialty items. Each store will have up to 2,000 new items, Gutshall said. Products and offerings will vary by location and be tailored to "meet the needs of customers," according to the press release.
Andronico's, which was founded in Berkeley in 1929, filed for bankruptcy in 2011. Safeway, a division of Albertsons, purchased the local company five years later.
Last summer, the supermarket chain confirmed it planned to revive the Andronico's brand.
"It's going to feel much more like a neighborhood store where decisions are made locally, rather than a big corporate store," Street told Berkleyside last July.
To celebrate Andronico's return, the Los Altos market (690 Fremont Ave.) will on Friday host a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony and present a $2,500 donation from Andronico's to Special Operations, which raises money to prevent sex trafficking in the Bay Area.