Millennials take over Grocery Outlet in Carson City
Special to the NNBV
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Entrepreneurial millennials Tommy and Kaley Basham hope to give fellow millennials and customers of all ages additional options when it comes to grocery and wine shopping in our city.
If anyone would know the tastes of the generation now coming into their own, this is the couple.
Owners of Carson City’s Grocery Outlet Bargain Market since June 28, both are settling in nicely while busily making changes to update and upgrade the store giving it their personal touch.
Thus far, customers will notice an additional 20 feet added to the wine section, a cleaner store, more racks to hold additional inventory and new grocery carts.
They retained the employees and have made their jobs easier by purchasing new equipment to make the task of filling shelves and stacking items less tasking.
Notice, too, all 25 employees — and the owners — now wear new uniforms with the Carson City logo because, as Tommy stated, “we are committed to Carson City and want everyone to know how pleased we are to be a part of this community.”
Tommy, 36, is not new to the grocery business and brings a wealth of experience from his 18-year career with Holiday Markets of Northern California, starting off as what is now referred to as a courtesy clerk (bag boy). He moved up the ranks to store director before being recruited and selected by Grocery Outlet Bargain Market Corporate to buy the Carson City franchise.
Kaley, 29, also had a successful career as a graphic web designer and is proficient in marketing and communications. She currently attends to the back-of-the-house details and fills in wherever she is needed.
The couple relocated with their two fur babies — Bassett hound Abbott and Dachshund Rustie — from Pollock Pines just outside of Sacramento and love our part of the world. Kaley loves the mountains and the scenery.
It’s not easy to become an owner of a Grocery Outlet. Tommy and Kaley were recruited to bid on the Carson City store along with four other couples. Most came in to the Chamber office to learn more about our city before making the final commitment.
Tommy and Kaley were the most enthusiastic and have the right background to make a success of this store. As a former grocery store manager, Tommy fit the corporate requirement of having “a track record of success making other grocery store, big box retail or restaurant owners money.”
The couple went through six months of the immersion-based Aspiring Operator Training Program in Rockland, Calif., learning from an established independent operator to gain real-world experience before venturing out on their own.
All Grocery Market Outlet Stores are independently owned but purchase their products from Grocery Outlet, Inc., allowing them to offer prices between 40 and 70 percent lower than similar stores.
With more than 300 outlets across the nation, this translates to great prices. Tommy states, “We recently were able to sell a wine that retails for $26 for $3.” He added there are many such “bargain blowouts” and loves hearing customers say “Wow” when they see the prices.
With all the emphasis on health and organic foods, expect to see more NOSH items. That’s Natural, Organic, Sustainable and Healthy food items that won’t bear the much higher prices often found when food is labeled organic.
Since Grocery Outlets do not operate like most cookie-cutter corporate-run grocery stores, owners can respond to the tastes of the community. Fresh items are delivered four times weekly.
There will be more emphasis on the expanded wine and beer selection as Tommy and Kaley soon expect to hold twice monthly wine tastings to get to know the community. Also, expect to see them expand their reach into the community as they participate in events.
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is located at 1831 N. Carson St.
Whole Foods Market South Lake Tahoe will open for business on Nov. 6 and will reportedly employ approximately 100 full and part-time staff.