By CECILIA PADILLA BRILL
SILVER LAKE — For more than 30 years, Silver Lake resident Mike Aceto has regularly shopped at Ralphs supermarket. The Glendale Boulevard store’s convenient location, competitive prices and friendly staff were some of the reasons why Aceto kept returning. “It’s close to home, I can ride my bike here,” Aceto said with a bagful of recently purchased groceries in his hand.
Aceto’s longtime loyalty to the supermarket chain forever changes on Sunday, March 15, when Ralphs officially closes the doors of the Silver Lake store, which will be replaced by a Whole Foods market. Where will Aceto and other Ralphs customers go to shop for groceries?
“Other places are further away. I’ll probably shop at Albertson’s on Hillhurst,” Aceto said. “I can’t afford Whole Foods,” he added regarding the Whole Foods Market that will move into the space after its renovated and expanded.
Maria, an Atwater Village resident and longtime customer, would come to the store on a weekly basis to shop for her family. “I guess I will shop at Vons or Super King,” Maria said as she searched for fish fillets in the frozen section with her daughter. “I really don’t know where I will shop. I’m sad to see it go. I don’t like the idea that they are leaving but they have to do it,” said Maria, who withheld her last name.
Charlie Sarroff, a camera operator from Silver Lake, shopped at Ralphs for staple items such as eggs and milk and specific items, such as wild-caught salmon. “Ralphs covered all basis,” Sarroff said. “I will shop at Vons or Gelson’s, which is farther away from me. Gelson’s is more expensive. I’ll shop at Whole Foods for specialty items.”
Bella Tolentino, a Silver Lake resident, shopped every other day for her family at Ralphs on Glendale Boulevard for more than 30 years. The convenient location, parking, competitive prices and cat food are what she will miss.
“I am very disappointed to see it go. I can’t leave this place. That’s why I am still here,” Tolentino she said while scanning for coffee creamer. Although other supermarkets are closer to her home, Tolentino’s loyalty to Ralphs shows through her willingness to drive to the Ralphs on 3rd Street and Vermont Avenue from Silver Lake for future grocery shopping.
For some Ralphs customers, saying good-bye in not an option. “I’ll stick with Ralphs,” Tolentino said.
Cecilia Padilla Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999.