The vacant supermarket in the Monterey Plaza shopping center had many Hermon and Monterey Hills residents lobbying for a Trader Joe’s or a Fresh & Easy to replace the former Double Savers market. Instead, they got a Fresco Community Market, which plans a “soft opening” as soon as next week if it receives the necessary permits. Never heard of Fresco Community Market? That’s because the 24,000-square-foot store in Hermon will serve as the first outlet for what its Mount Washington owners hope will be a new chain of Los Angeles markets offering a mix of traditional supermarket staples, specialty items and a chic industrial design.
Customers will be able to shop for Latino foods, organic produce and meats, take a break at a full-service coffee bar or pick up some prepared foods under the same roof, said Gary Orona, vice president of operations for Fresco.”We are a full blown store in a smaller, easy-to-shop environment.”
The store was founded by husband and wife Jon Murga and and Helena Jubany of Mount Washington. Murga is a contractor whose East Los Angeles-based company is involved in numerous commercial projects. Jubany is an architect and member of the city’s Building and Safety Commission. The store will be seek to cater to first and second generation Latino shoppers and customers looking for items that they normally might find only at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, Orona said.
Fresco is already working on securing sites in other parts of Los Angeles, perhaps opening a second outlet next year. But, first, Orona said he needs to focus on training the Hermon store’s 80 employees to work together in a totally new environment. Orona said he expects Fresco, which features an interior dominated by exposed metal duct work and shiny steel shelving, to open for a trial period next Wednesday before a grand opening is held, probably in February.