The recently opened Grocery Depot on East F Street is offering shoppers one more way to save a few bucks on their monthly grocery budget — and judging by the enthusiastic turnout within their first week of opening, shoppers are pleased with the additional choice.
Owned by Dan and Debbie Fox, The Grocery Depot is a discount grocery outlet that offers close-outs, shelf pulls, overstock, salvage, and package damaged goods at a steeply discounted rate.
For example, a box of cereal is always $1.50 and they restock the shelves every day with new shipments so everyday has something new to offer.
With prices like that, it’s not hard to see why budget-minded shoppers are quickly finding themselves perusing the aisles to see what other good buys can be found.
“We’re not going to make everyone happy. It’s not for everyone,” Debbie Fox admitted. “But for people looking for a good deal, it’s a great choice. We’re very happy to be here. The people are excited and feel we made the right decision to come to Oakdale. Everything just fell into place.”
This is not the first discount grocery store the Fox’s have owned, having opened similar stores in Manteca, Stockton, and Modesto with great success, so when they saw the former diesel garage space up for lease, they knew it was the right space for a new store.
“Finding the right building was important,” Debbie said. “We wanted something community-based and a lot of our Riverbank, Oakdale and Sonora customers were shopping in our Modesto store, asking us when we were coming to Oakdale.”
At the time, five other people were already eyeing the building but once Debbie and Dan met with the owner and shared their vision, it was a done deal.
They updated the parking lot and went to work transforming a former repair shop into a place where shoppers not only get good deals but enjoy walking through the doors.
Debbie said she wants the store to have a comfortable, homey feel and she also plans to create a section that separates the gluten-free and organic items for ease of shopping for those who need to check labels.
“I just wanted to bring something a little more to Oakdale,” Debbie said. “People want a good deal and they like to dig to find it.”
Although the down economy seems a ripe time to open a discount grocery outlet, the Fox’s have been doing this for 12 years.
“We opened our first store in Empire when the economy was great,” Debbie said, adding that even when money is flowing, people like to find a good deal. “People who have money, have it because they know how to save.”
For Debbie, one of the most rewarding aspects of owning a grocery outlet is hearing how the customers have benefited.
One customer exclaimed that due to finding items she might not have purchased elsewhere because of the expense, she managed to purchase at the discount store.
“She said I made cooking fun again!” Debbie said, smiling. “That’s what I love right there. I want people to have a good shopping experience and find what they’re looking for but also, maybe something they wouldn’t expect to see at a discount store.”
The Grocery Depot is open seven days a week and accepts cash, credit, ATM, EBT, and checks.
The Grocery Depot is at 1362 E. F St. in Oakdale.