‘It’s coming together!” Grocery Outlet manager Tom Jensen said as he opened the front door for a sneak preview.
Jensen, with 25 years of retail experience, relocated with his wife, Jennifer, from Twin Falls, Idaho to Seaside. The 18,000-square-foot store on U.S. Highway 101 southbound near Avenue N will open its doors June 11.
On Monday, the store was busy with crews setting up amid finishing touches.
Jensen anticipates hiring about 30 employees.
Unlike a franchise, Grocery Outlet stores are owner-operated. “I have the control to have my own employees, to feel free to merchandise as I see fit and to bring in products in the store that I know will sell around here,” Jensen said.
Grocery Outlet management provides a “support structure,” he said, as an investment partner, marketer and product buyer.
“They are really good at finding opportunistic prices,” Jensen said. “They’re looking at the good deals. They’re looking at companies that are repackaging items, or they have extra items they want to move on. We’re able to get that good deal and pass it on to the customer.
“We call it ‘treasure hunting,’ because it’s always changing. We may have one product today and it will be gone and on to something new.”
Born in Pendleton, Jensen grew up in Milton-Freewater and lived in cities throughout the Northwest during his grocery career, the last four years as owner of the Grocery Outlet in Twin Falls. Jennifer Jensen takes care of the book work and administrative items.
As much as they loved “Twins,” the couple jumped at the chance to move to Seaside, a longtime vacation destination.
“In the several few years we’ve vacationed in the wintertime when it’s slow,” he said. “This is our vacation place where we really like to go. We said, ‘OK, if we left Twins, that’s the only place we would want to go, Seaside.’ We liked all the local people and the whole community.’’