“We’re real excited about the turnout that we’ve had for the grand opening,” Kevin Davis, president and CEO of Bristol Farms, which owns the Lazy Acres banner, told The Shelby Report during the grand opening festivities.
The 30,000-s.f. Long Beach Lazy Acres store is the natural and organic banner’s second. It formerly was a Bristol Farms store. The other Lazy Acres store is located in Santa Barbara.
“The Long Beach area has really been one that’s been in transition—from some older homes right around the store to upwardly mobile Millennials, the X and Y generation, a younger-thinking people,” Davis added. “So the lifestyle store here that we’ve built, Lazy Acres, we think is perfectly suited to serve these customers.”
The Long Beach Lazy Acres is located at 2080 Bellflower Blvd.
The Long Beach Chamber of Commerce assisted with Wednesday’s ribbon cutting.
“This company is excellent for Long Beach,” said Joel Perler, VP of membership for the chamber. “It’s excellent for this district and it’s excellent for all the residents and other businesses because it’s just going to attract more people.”
Patrick Posey, VP of sales for Bristol Farms, says the Long Beach opening has been a long time coming.
“It was a really long process,” Posey said. “We’ve owned the Lazy Acres in Santa Barbara for about eight years now.”
Posey said that, while the Bristol Farms store in Long Beach did “OK,” the Lazy Acres banner is a better fit for the community.
“We really think this area is starving for a store like this,” he said. “We hope to be somewhere in the middle in the natural and organic area. We sure don’t want to be the high guy and we’re not going to be the low guy but, when we’re right in the middle, we’re going to offer the best quality all natural and organic products at a fair price.”
Jack Nassie, Lazy Acres store director, agrees, mentioning his excitement about the Long Beach store’s natural vitamin supplement department.
“It something totally new,” he said. “Our offering and pricing in that area is the best.”
In addition to a vast selection across all departments, Lazy Acres’ customer-focus is what keeps guests coming back, according to Jack Sage, grocery manager for Lazy Acres.
The Long Beach store’s appearance also is attractive to customers.
“It’s a gorgeous store,” Sage said. “They pulled no stops in putting it together.”
In fact, Sage reports that, just 48 hours before the grand opening, construction and finishing touches were still under way on the Long Beach store.
“We had hundreds of people working day and night,” he said. “It gives me goose bumps to see Lazy Acres grow like this.”
Lazy Acres Brand Manager Rudy Chavez shared that sentiment.
“Lazy Acres’ brand identity has never been stronger,” he said. “I’m just really excited about the future growth of Lazy Acres.”
Though there currently are no announced plans for a third Lazy Acres, Sam Masterson, the company’s EVP of operations, reveals Bristol Farms is always on the lookout for new opportunities.
“We’re constantly looking and evaluating new sites and…we anticipate there might be some opportunities for us in the very near future,” he said. “But most importantly this (Lazy Acres) concept allows us to bifurcate the trade area and offer up two distinctly different formats that can function and succeed in distinctly different trade areas.
“All of our prices are low, but Lazy Acres prices are a little bit lower (than prices at Bristol Farms),” he added. “It’s definitely more of a value-driven customer that we have at Lazy Acres, at least that’s what we’re looking for an aiming toward. Our pricing is very sharp against competition.”
Store department highlights
• Natural Living Section with affordable prices and a knowledgeable staff’;
• Locally grown and organic produce department;
• Made-from-scratch hearth-style bakery with breads baked fresh daily;
• Organic and free range poultry, antibiotic hormone-free and air-chilled chicken;
• Hormone and antibiotic free American raised all natural beef including prime and aged beef;
• Fresh hand-selected sustainable seafood delivered fresh daily;
• Farm Fresh Salad Bar with only clean, natural and organic offerings;
• Fresh homemade all natural soups, hot and cold;
• Artisan style wood stone pizza oven;
• Made-to-order Sandwich Station featuring fresh cooked all natural Tri Tip, Pulled Pork and Hot Turkey;
• Wine and micro beer selection staffed by knowledgeable beer and wine experts;
• Coffee/Espresso Bar;
• Juice and Smoothie Bar;
• Extensive bulk food section;
• Selection of artisan chesses from around the world;
• Ready-to-eat and prepared foods that are healthy and restaurant quality;
• Olive bar featuring varieties from around the world;
• Full selection of organic and good-for-you dairy products;
• A full-service floral shop featuring locally grown flowers, plants with floral designers on site; and
• Fresh sushi prepared daily by master sushi chefs with many all natural, sustainable items.
Behind the design
The Long Beach Lazy Acres store’s design work was carried out by DL English Design Studio, owned by Deborah English who previously served as VP of design and construction for Bristol Farms. English’s Southern California-based prototype design firm specializes in work primarily for supermarket and food retail.
“We thought it was really appropriate to take more of an adapted reuse, or repurposed, approach (for this store),”English said. “We want the customer, when they walk into the store, to walk into something they know, have familiarity with. That’s very important in food retailing—that you can walk in and figure it out and understand what you’re doing.”
The store, she points out, has a “modern, agrarian feel.”
“We want people to feel very comfortable and, at the same time, feel like it’s current; that it doesn’t speak to an older mindset but a newer mindset. It has nothing to do with age or gender, but it has everything to do with forward-thinking and the whole healthy eating approach.”
That also meant correctly interpreting the word “lazy,” vital to the grocer’s namesake.
“We wanted to make sure that ‘lazy’ brought to mind, not what we usually think of as lazy,” English said, “but slow cooking and real food, a simpler time, to slow down the shopping, wanting people to hang out and linger and feel comfortable.”