MOUNTAIN HOUSE - Sharon Roberts stood across from the main doors outside the new Safeway store in Mountain Tuesday afternoon with a small group of people waiting for the minutes to pass by until the store would open to shoppers for the first time.

“It’s been a long time coming and we’re all excited about this,” Roberts said. “it’s going to be very convenient.”

The new Safeway store held its grand opening ceremony followed by a soft opening for residents as it was welcomed the Mountain House community.

Roberts has lived in Mountain House since 2013 and knew the store would open someday.

“I think it’s going to bring needed revenue to our area, needed jobs for teenagers in our area. The kids don’t really have anything until now where they could work and walk or ride a bike to work,” Roberts said. “So everything was dependent on the parents to take them to and from everywhere and that could be quite a hike.”

The new 55,562-square-foot store located at 1955 South Mountain House Parkway officially opened Wednesday in the Market Mountain House shopping center. Construction on the store and shopping center began with a groundbreaking in May of 2021.

Karl Schroeder, Safeway Division President of Northern California, acknowledged the long wait to bring the community their first grocery store since the first meeting he had about it around 2007.

“I have to just do a reality check, tell me that I’m not dreaming that were finally opening the Mountain House store,” Schroeder said. “It was very much worth the wait. We’re so excited to be here, I wished I lived in Mountain House so I could shop here.”

The Mountain House Safeway, named store 55, is the 289th store in the company’s Northern California division.

Schroeder said he was excited about the future of the store in the community.

“I think about what we’ve got in this community; what you’ve been doing to shop versus what you can do now. And I just sort of think about, if there’s a birthday and you need a cake, we can do that for you. If it’s a romantic evening and you need flowers and wine we’ve got that for you,” Schroeder said. “So we can be the vehicle to make your lives easier, make your lives more enjoyable and if you haven’t had a chance to swing around yet you really have a world-class shopping center here and just a terrific store.”

Vidal Yerena was introduced as the store’s director to lead more than 100 employees at the store which will be open from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

“I’m very excited to share this beautiful new store with you and the community,” Yerena said.

He started with Safeway as a courtesy clerk when he was 16-years-old and worked at different positions. He said he left the company and returned after going to school and worked his way up to management.

“My team and I are very excited and look forward to meeting your needs and helping you with whatever you may need for different occasions, it’s been a long time coming. The wait is over,” Yerena said.

The new store features a deli, full-service butcher, a bakery, wide selection of fresh flowers and blooming plants, an in-store Starbucks and a pharmacy featuring a drive through pick up, one of only two in Northern California.

A Safeway gas station built adjacent to the store in the shopping center opened earlier.

The Market Mountain House, developed by Shea Properties, is more than 80,000-square-feet and includes retail, restaurant and service business. A Mountain Mike’s Pizza and Starbucks have already opened along with Safeway on the shopping center.

Robert Rickman, 5th District San Joaquin County Supervisor, welcomed the store to the community.

“I’m a life-long Safeway shopper and I love Safeway and you can see the reason why. Look around this store. It’s just absolutely phenomenal,” Rickman said. “Being born and raised here in San Joaquin County and in the city of Tracy and I remember it was just 20 years ago you would come by this area and all you would see is row crops and dairies. And now look, we have beautiful homes, we have beautiful commercial facilities, and we finally have Safeway here so those of you that live in Mountain House won’t have to get on Byron, won’t have to get on 205 to go shopping.”

He said the store will also help on the economic side.

“This is jobs for the Mountain House community and San Joaquin County. This is the economic base. You come, spend your dollars here in this store, it stays in San Joaquin County, and it stays here in this community which will help it grow,” Rickman said.

Manny Moreno, president of the Mountain House Community Service District Board of Directors, said it was a momentous event in the history of Mountain House and urged residents to shop at the store.

“To all of my Mountain House residents I encourage you to support the business, support the store, come here, help the employees, be a resource for them make this store flourish,” Moreno said. “We’re about 28,000 residents right now -- growing by the day, literally growing by the day -- but we’re still such a small and tight-knit community. We really want to welcome the Safeway family to our Mountain House family. You are one of us now.”

As part of the grand opening, Safeway made a $5,000 donation to the Lammersville Unified School District which was received by Superintendent Kirk Nicholas.

• Contact Glenn Moore at gmoore@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4252.

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