El Rancho MarketPlace to open Wednesday in Pismo Beach

El Rancho MarketPlace will open Wednesday in Pismo Beach. It's moved into the old Scolari's spot on Five Cities Drive.
El Rancho MarketPlace will open Wednesday in Pismo Beach. It's moved into the old Scolari's spot on Five Cities Drive.

Workers on Thursday were busy stocking shelves, training on cash registers and making other improvements to get a new supermarket in Pismo Beach ready to open next week.

El Rancho MarketPlace will open its doors to the public on Wednesday with a soft opening, followed by a grand opening on Nov. 16 at 555 Five Cities Drive.

The store fills a void in the Pismo Coast Plaza center that was created when Scolari’s vacated the spot in May.

“We can’t wait for them to open,” said Glenn Martin, property manager of Pismo Coast Plaza.

The store is the second on the Central Coast for Alfred Holzheu, owner of El Rancho MarketPlace located between Solvang and Santa Ynez.

Holzheu’s father immigrated to Santa Barbara from Germany in the 1950s. He later acquired and renamed El Rancho Market. Holzheu bought the business from his father in 1988.

The Pismo Beach venture is a partnership between Holzheu, Chief Operating Officer Greg King, and Chief Financial Officer Sean Walwick.

They’ve signed a 15-year lease with Pismo Coast Plaza LLC for the Pismo Beach site, with three five-year extensions. Holzheu declined to disclose the lease amount.

Holzheu estimates the total cost of the project, including improvements, equipment and inventory, at $3.5 million to $4 million.

He said he expects to hire 125 to 150 full-and part-time employees. Some additional seasonal hires are expected to be added during the summer months, he said.

In the past few months, the team has made extensive upgrades to the roughly 40,000-square-foot store (including a 28,000-square-foot sales floor).

They’ve stripped and sealed the sales floor, installed more than two dozen skylights, and are using LED lights throughout the store, including in overhead lighting and food cases, to conserve energy. Art on the walls was hand-painted by Avila Sign & Design.

They’ve added a new service deli and meat counters, a coffee bar, sushi bar, bakery, full floral department, and a large selection of beer and wine, including Central Coast varietals. King said the store will offer a full line of conventional as well as natural and organic products.

“We try to provide a choice … to serve the whole community,” he said.