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Opening date delayed for a new grocery store in Oak Park

"We've been a food desert for a while," said Michael Benjamin II, board member of Oak Park Neighborhood Association.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The opening of a new grocery store in Oak Park is being delayed. The Rancho San Miguel Market was supposed to open this month on Broadway, near Stockton Boulevard, but now the store won't open until Jan. 26, 2022.

According to PAQ Inc., a Stockton-based company that operates the Rancho San Miguel Market chain, the opening date is being pushed back due to construction and supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Currently, there are six Rancho San Miguel Market stores throughout the Central Valley and Central Coast regions. The anticipated Oak Park location would be the first Rancho San Miguel Market in Sacramento. 

"The Company was excited to have the opportunity to open a Rancho San Miguel store in the Oak Park community," said Bill Cote, president and CEO of PAQ Inc. "The Company as aforementioned has had a long history to meeting communities of color's needs as it pertains to affordable groceries. We are looking forward to partnering with the community, hiring local, partnering with local entrepreneurs to source products the community is seeking in order to provide affordable groceries to the Oak Park, Tahoe Park and Elmhurst communities."

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The new store is replacing the old Food Source, which closed last year. Once the store opens, it will serve not only people living in Oak Park but Elmhurst and Tahoe Park neighborhoods, too. Community leaders say the grocery store is desperately needed to help fight hunger in those underserved areas.

"We've been a food desert for a while," said Michael Benjamin II, board member of Oak Park Neighborhood Association. "It puts a strain on the community, where there's no access to food immediately, especially when you thought there was going to be. People are looking to be able to go somewhere locally and get food that they can afford. It's a problem, especially for Black and Brown people."

At least 18 employees have already been hired to work at the new store. But, until the store opens, employees are being offered positions at a Food 4 Less grocery store.

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