Home » Poco Loco Combines ‘Tradition, Family, Fun, Festivity, Freshness’

Poco Loco Combines ‘Tradition, Family, Fun, Festivity, Freshness’

Poco Loco

Shoppers also drawn by variety of unique products, services 

by Mary Margaret Stewart, staff writer

Evolving from a convenience store format, Poco Loco opened its first grocery store in 2009 in Kyle, Texas. In the ensuing 11 years, Poco Loco has expanded to nine stores in Austin, San Marcos, Buda, Uhland and Dale, Texas.

And for someone who’s never shopped a Poco Loco, CEO Mike Momin said the environment in the store is “one of tradition, family, fun, festivity, freshness and cleanliness.”

“We feature a carnicería, a scratch bake bakery, kitchen and produce department,” he added. “We have a diverse workforce that represents our customer base and meets the needs of all our customers, while providing great customer service.

“Poco Loco offers a unique shopping experience to our customers. We offer a variety of unique products and services that our customer base identifies with. We focus on fresh/quality product at a value to our customers.”

Poco Loco caters to the Hispanic population in Texas, which Momin said is “diverse within itself.”

“Our customer base reflects a first- and second-generation Mexican shopper,” he said. “In addition, other Hispanic cultures we cater to are from Central America, South America, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

“The products we carry in each store specifically reflect the demographics in close proximity. We utilize Facebook to advertise our store/events and weekly ads. Word of mouth within the Hispanic culture plays an integral part in our advertising of the Poco Loco brand name.”

Poco Loco
(From left) Hector Garcia, GSC; Jason Momin, Owner of Poco Loco; and Roy Perez, Poco Loco supervisor.

And Poco Loco is more than just a grocery store. Momin said the stores’ role in the communities they serve represents something larger than that.

“Our role in Texas is to educate ourselves on who the Hispanic shopper is and the diversification of the Hispanic shopper, while catering to their unique needs,” he said. “We must provide the Hispanic shopper a place where they can shop and feel that their voices of what they request are heard and met, and their cooking tradition carries on.

“We also, as first responders, provide the residents of Texas a safe environment to shop in. While we are currently specializing in servicing the Hispanic customer, our customer service goal does not stop there.

“We also want to become a role model for the smaller chains on how to effectively compete, regardless of size, with other grocery retailers, emphasizing and understanding who we are and who we serve.”

Yet, as a smaller operator, some of the challenges that Poco Loco has encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic were being a true competitor with the larger grocery chains, according to Momin.

“We had to overcome our exposure of name recognition and establishing customer loyalty from a new base of shoppers who were not familiar with Poco Loco,” he said.

“The change that has resulted because of COVID-19 is that we have gained a more diverse customer base, in addition to the Hispanic shopper. We have reviewed our current plan-o-grams and have made adjustments, based on demographics, by introducing new products to Poco Loco, to meet the needs of the new customers we have acquired.

“We now also have a warehouse facility that we can utilize to store key/fast-moving items to help with improving in stock conditions on these demanding and faster-moving items.”

And with the holidays arriving, Poco Loco headed up one of its major community involvement initiatives at Thanksgiving.

“We participate in an event called Paveton,” Momin said. “Poco Loco donates approximately one-half the cost of the turkeys to be given away to residents in need in these communities.”

As for the future, Momin said part of his role as CEO is to provide direction and leadership to put initiatives in place for growth and success. And he is paving the way for just that to happen for Poco Loco.

“Our focus over the next five to 10 years is to aggressively expand the number of stores Poco Loco has from its current count of nine to 25,” he said. “We expect to be a player of significance not only in the Hispanic market, but also diversifying our growth into the destination shop for all customers.”

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