SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Lucky Bayview has opened up a first of its kind store to fill a much-needed gap in the Bayview community.
This San Francisco neighborhood was known as a food desert before Wednesday's grand opening.
The store is open daily 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. off of 3rd Street and Fairfax.
Three years ago, Walgreens shut its doors, packed up and left the Bayview location after more than 30 years of service. Now, a breath of new life has returned to the community.
"We're just a walk away from a lot of people's homes so it's really nice," Bobby McDowell, Vice President of Operations at Lucky Supermarkets said.
Although it's less than a fourth of the size of an average grocery store (10,000 total square feet compared to about 40,000 square feet), McDowell says they picked this location to serve a greater purpose.
"The opportunity actually came to us because this is actually deemed a food desert where there's a lack of fresh produce available and fresh products available," he said.
Lucky Bayview was greeted with a line of shoppers before they even opened at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
"The reason why I came, got some avocados, because I like to have avocado toast," said Ettie Rogers, a shopper and longtime Bayview resident.
Rogers says before Wednesday, she had only two options of stores to get to, by bus.
"Oh there is a lack, it is, we've just got two, just two over here, we have Foods Co. on Williams and we have Lucky here," she said.
Complete with convertible check stands to serve as self-checkouts or a full service check stand, the small format store is filled with just about 15 percent of their SKU count of regular items.
"It's a fresh forward store, when you come in, you come in right to fresh produce and to fresh bakery and back into the fresh meat department so it's all about fresh here and that's what this community really needed," McDowell said.
And shoppers ABC7 spoke with, just hope Lucky Bayview, is here to stay.
"I'm glad they're here in this neighborhood, I'm glad we have a Lucky's," Rogers said. "I just hope it stays here, God please let it stay."
San Francisco Mayor London Breed was there for Wednesday's ribbon cutting for Lucky Bayview. She says this store is taking a major step in improving food access and food security, in what has historically been a food desert.
Ninety percent of the staff at this location is from the Bayview community directly.
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