Touching Lives in the Community: Point Loma Grocery Outlet

by on February 19, 2013 · 6 comments

in Economy, Ocean Beach

Grocery Outlet PL jc owners

Spencer, Alex, Mark, Stephanie, with Faith in front. (All photos by Judi Curry)

 Point Loma Grocery Outlet
3948 W. Point Loma Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110

  You know a place is successful when you cannot find a parking space at 1:30 in the afternoon. I am one of the patrons that missed LONGS DRUG STORE when it closed and became CVS. I still miss LONGS and seldom shop CVS. I still go to that shopping center because there are several stores that I like to patronize, but with the opening of the “Point Loma Grocery Outlet” I think I will be there often.

What an exciting store. There is an array of merchandise, from fresh meat to fresh produce, to fresh flowers, wine, beer, health foods, to almost every canned item a person would want. And, contrary to what someone told me when the word went out that the Grocery Outlet was opening, I found no out-dated food; no dented cans.

Grocery Outlet PL jc store3The store is truly a family-run enterprise. Mark and Stephanie Baldwin are the husband/wife owners of this particular store. Along with the 30+ employees, mostly full-time – their daughter, Alex, Spencer, her fiance, all work there. An added feature was the youngest daughter – Faith – who “works” with the family on a part-time basis while going to school in Mission Hills.

Mark worked for Safeway for over 29 years and Stephanie owned her own pastry business in Humboldt County. As time went on, Mark became disillusioned with the emphasis on stock market profits at the expense of quality and personalization and decided it was time to move on.

Stephanie found that she was “burning out” because most of her business was in wedding cakes and people only tend to get married on the weekends. She found that she was cramming 6 days of work into 3 days because all of her products were freshly baked and it took its toll on this mother of six.

Grocery Outlet PL jc storeThe grocery outlet works similar to the big box stores like CostCo. Large companies find themselves with too much stock and sell it to stores that can offer discounts to their customers. And, like the big box store, what you find at the Grocery Outlet today may not be there tomorrow. If you find something there today and you like it, there is a good chance that others liked it also, and it will be gone tomorrow. Although it may happen, if a product comes close to a “sell by” date, the Baldwin’s will run super sales to sell that product before it expires. They pointed out to me that many “seasonal” items have “sell-by” dates, but are still good for months to come.

The corporate office likes to have husband/wife teams working their stores. It brings a unity to the family, and encourages support from each other. Although the couple have all the employees they need right now, it is fair to say that in another few months they may be looking for more employees. Many of their employees are full-time, although about 25% of the workers are part-time students.

Grocery Outlet PL jc store2One of the organizations that my husband belonged to is “Veteran’s for Peace.” Frequently I get an e-mail from them telling me of a great buy on fruit at one of the local markets. We are encouraged to purchase these items, and they are given out to the homeless, veterans, etc. I asked Mark and Stephanie if this was also available from their store. I was assured there are “no limits” on anything, and, if in stock at the warehouse, more of those items can be ordered for almost immediate arrival. That goes for large party items also. If you need it – if it’s available – they can order it for you.

They order fresh meat cut to order from options that are offered to them from the warehouse. They want to sell the meat quickly and do not want any waste.

Likewise, the produce is fresh 4 times a week. I noticed their prices for oranges and bananas were below any price I had seen at Ralphs or Vons this week, and looked very tasty. Dairy products are also delivered fresh 4 times a week.

I want to point out that there was nothing I looked for that I didn’t find. I did purchase two bags of doggie treats for Buddy, and saved a whopping $12. All of their items show prices that you might pay at other markets. My advice? Try this new concept. I think you’ll like it!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie February 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

Right on…and welcome. That shopping center was dying without Longs (sorry to see them gone also….CVS not my kind of store). Now the empty Blockbuster and Chinese restaurant needs to be filled:-)

Will you be doing a review on the new Mexican restaurant that opened where Embers was?


judi Curry February 19, 2013 at 11:03 am

Thanks, Debbie. Went back to the grocery store this am – 9:30am and it had a goodly number of people buying things. Nice staff also. Very helpful.

I did a review on Las Olas – you can find it here –

It was packed a few nights ago – must have more liquid money than I have!



judi Curry February 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I wondered – someone just called me and asked if the review that I did was so good because Stephanie Baldwin is my daughter. I do have a Stephanie Baldwin as my daughter, but not this young lady. It was a true – “up and up” review.


Debbie March 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Finally got to this market and they had the three items which were on my list…yeah! I think everyone will find it convenient, reasonable $, with a decent selection. The staff was great and they had nice greeting cards :-)

Thank you for all your reviews and letting us know about new places in or near our community.


judi Curry March 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Thank you for your comments. I appreciate it greatly. Judi


Carolyn May 3, 2019 at 7:41 am

I’d also like to add that Mark and Stephanie are very supportive community partners. They generously donate to fundraising causes like PLHS’s Music Program. As a family, we consistently shop at Grocery Outlet as the products are both unique and traditional, new items are always available and the employees very helpful. The organic food selections are abundant. Thanks to Mark and Stephanie, we have a locally-owned business that serves from the heart.


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