New grocer is marked improvement for Farmersville
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
FARMERSVILLE – For the first time in three years, Farmersville residents walked, biked, and drove to the grocery store last weekend without having to leave town.
Sam’s Foods Supermarket opened its doors at 250 E. Visalia Road at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. Store manager Abel Ahmed said more than 1,500 customers came through the store for its first day of business and possibly as many as 2,000 people on Sunday.
“The people coming in have been so happy that they have a grocery store,” Ahmed said. “They talk like I’ve known them for years and this is something they have been waiting for for years.”
The 18,700-square foot store offers a full range of meat, baked goods, produce, and taqueria with signs in both English and Spanish. Ahmed said the store employs about 30 people and he is looking to hire as many as 10 more to keep up with the demand from local shoppers.
The former Farmersville Market was purchased by entrepreneur Adnan Obaid after Lupita and Jose Sanchez closed it down in spring 2016. The Sanchez’s, who also owned Don Joe Carnicieria in Strathmore, purchased the former Nickel’s Payless building in 2010 and attempted to hold events throughout the years prior in the hopes of bringing more business to the town. In February 2015 the couple even started holding a farmers market in the parking lot but were unable to maintain and stock the large location.
Obaid began a massive remodeling effort in 2017 inside and outside of the store with the most visible change being a façade renovation to match the western style architecture the city has been emphasizing since 2015.
Obaid is also in the process of building a new location for this Amigo Market in Avenal. Last September, Obaid filed an application with the City of Avenal to build a 12,500 square foot store at 316 E. Kings St. to replace the existing 600-square foot grocery store at 161 E. Fresno St. in Avenal. His largest grocery store is a 30,000-square foot store in Atwater, Calf. Obaid also owns a 10,000 square foot grocery store, Fiesta Latino Market, in Firebaugh, Calif., and Huron, Calif.
“The customers here are some of the nicest people I have ever met,” said Ahmed, who also managed Obaid’s store in Atwater. “We have new everything, so when something wasn’t working people had to wait 10 minutes the first day and never said a word. They are very nice people.”