Big Saver — Cypress Park’s biggest market — is closing

Big Saver in Cypress Park


Cypress ParkBig Saver Foods is wrapping up business and closing its doors after serving as the neighborhood’s largest market since the early ‘90s.

The upcoming closure is no secret. Big white signs are posted all over the entrance and inside the store announcing its new hours and storewide closing discounts.

The store at 2619 N. Figueroa Street near Avenue 26 could close as soon as the end of this month. But it could remain open until December 15 due to inventory liquidation, said company officials.

“The landlord has sold the property to another entity,” said Jose Huerta, Vice President of Operations/Marketing of Big Saver Foods. “We attempted to purchase the property but the landlord did not take our offer … so we are vacating the property.”

Huerta said he does not know who purchased the property. Several other storefronts in the same Figueroa shopping center are already vacant.

Big Saver stores in nearby El Sereno and Lincoln Heights will remain open.

The Big Saver in Cypress Park — its sign topped by a green sombrero — has catered primarily to Latino customers. In fact, the company found its success early on by catering to niche markets. Other Big Saver Foods cater to African-American and Asian-American shoppers.

In 1977,  Uka Solanki, an immigrant from India, purchased Big Saver Foods and expanded it into a chain operating across the region, according to a company history. There are currently 11 stores in Los Angeles County, Orange County and Riverside area.

Solanki passed away in September due to complications from a lung disease.

The upcoming closure of the market has met with mixed emotions. On social media, users reactions range from sadness to being totally unsurprised by the news. Others wish a Trader Joe’s takes its place.

One Facebook user said there had been signs of a change in the works. “Especially when they closed down the pharmacy and pan dulce store. I’m sure apartments are coming soon.”

The other rumor is that a Walgreens drug store will be moving into the space. However, nothing has been confirmed.

What would you like to see takeover the location? What do you think Cypress Park needs?

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  1. How about a place that offers craft cocktails and ethnic vegan food – preferably run by Caucasian transplants from outside of California? Or wait – how about a store that sells succulents in modern looking white ceramic pots? Or perhaps a coffee shop (yes, preferably transplanted whites from the east coast…) that also offers organic food at inflated prices to a customer base that doesn’t YET exist in the area. I mean I can hope for this but it’ll probably just be a Walgreen or CVS (yawn). Ugh.

  2. Sprouts !

    • I know! What about a comparable but better grocery that serves the same people who shopped at Big Saver because of transit access and price. Vallarta anyone? Grocery Outlet? I know, I must be crazy to suggest something the current neighborhood would value and use (as well as other folks passing thru)

  3. I like to see a Lucky’s or Albertson’s market. Just an old school market would be really cool.

  4. As a frequent shopper at Big Saver, I’m glad that they’re closing this location. The produce generally sucked, and the place was run down. Other Big Savers are much nicer. Vallarta would be cool.

  5. We already have so many great markets nearby. I’d love to see a restaurant plaza like Mercado la Paloma. A place where you can get local ready made stuff. We don’t have enough restaurant diversity in the neighborhood.

    • Trader Joes would be the best option to increase property value 🙂

      • amen, paul!!! happy thanksgivings, all. will be back, if it’s still there. lol. peace!

      • How much more increase on property value do people need? Average 2 bedrooms in Cypress are up to $600k + and are displacing the community who can’t afford the extremely high rent prices. Displacement isn’t community development.

        • Property value can go a lot higher! Jk, for me that’s not the issue, doesn’t matter if it goes higher or not, but a boom of quality commercial necessities, a boom of updating, in my opinion would be fantastic for everyone. And I get its expensive, but its expensive everywhere.

  6. This was one of the La Bianca’s Gateway Markets when the Manson Family got them.

  7. pasty white kimberly

    It HAS to be another food market because there is none other in the area. Many seniors and disabled people WALK to this store using their WALKERS. The closest market for produce is 2 plus miles away.

  8. You folks from the midwest may think its racist to challenge the gross destruction to the neighborhoods done by developers. But as some one grown here not flown here, its not.
    I can tell you as an anglo most of you will fly back home after the first earth quake , riot , job loss ect, after paying too much for your mod con condo con job, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces and rebuild the fabric of our neighborhoods that you have homogenized. If you want krogers and walmarts just stay in ohio instead you come here with your dreams of making it big in Hollywood (Oh look dad I got a job as a pa at collage humor can you buy me a house now?) Good luck back in Ohio.
    Just leave our supermarkets alone so we can have great carne asada and you can go to the urban taco fabricator.

    • so true, tho. peace. pathos is a great name for the next 6 mo.-restaurant. lol. peace.

    • YES! Keep out those midwesterners and their whitebread and other things I don’t like! They are the racists — the locals can’t be racist and they’d know that if the read anything other than Fox News!

  9. I mentioned store closure to someone who works for Big Save. They told me that the property was for sale for 8 million. Big Save offered 8.5 million but someone else out bide them. I was told they was going to demolish the site and turn it into a residential project.

  10. If I am correct, wasn’t Big Saver a Gateways market back in 1970? it was owned by the La Bianca couple murdered by the Manson family. Whatever ends up here, I hope it benefits the community. PLEASE, no more leggoland “lofts” that many people cannot afford to live in because of the ridiculous rents!

  11. An organic green grocer would be fantastic. I’m thinking something along the lines of Cookbook in Highland Park and Echo Park but with a larger selection. Ultimately I suppose what I really want is a Berkeley Bowl close to home. THAT would be awesome. I’ve read the Berkeley Bowl family is considering an LA outpost location in Lincoln Heights so fingers crossed we actually will have one here and Lincoln Heights is close enough for me!

  12. Anyone know about the Fallas store on Fig? Was an Alpha Beta years ago, better place for Trader Joe’s

  13. The best Grocer Market for this location which has 2 Metro Gold Line Stations nearby is https://www.northgatemarket.com
    Someone should let them know ASAP

  14. That lot is zoned for Commercial use, so if an apartment building is planned, the new owners will have to get it re-zoned which isn’t easy. Too bad Big Saver wasn’t able to buy the property. They could have knocked down the building and remodeled it like the one in El Sereno.

    • Its unfortunate the Solanki Family could not acquire the property. The Los Angeles LDC help them open this store after the LA Riots. Its more difficult for a small grocers to invest in major improvements into a property they do not own. They tried to buy the shopping center 20 years ago. The El Sereno Big Saver is an example of local investment by businesses with a long term working relationshop in the communities they serve.

  15. They need to keep Yum Yum Donuts open. This location is historic. Yum Yum Donuts is currently the largest donut chain on the West Coast. The location on Ave. 26 and Figueroa was the first to open it’s doors in the early 70’s. It still stands today as the original location. Let’s hope that the entity who bought the Big Saver location didn’t also buy the rest of the property with empty businesses to build apartments.

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