Richmond’s Grocery Outlet building reputation for solid bargain wines

Grocery Outlet in Richmond is becoming known among locals for its tasty bargain wines selection.

After nearly a year, the Grocery Outlet in Richmond has made a name for itself in a city suffering from a lack of full-service supermarkets.

And it’s Richmond’s wine lovers who have benefited the most.

“We’ve received nothing but great feedback” about the store in general, said Ruth Vasquez-Jones, president of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. “Everybody is really impressed with the wine selection, especially the reds.”

Before the grand opening on June 1, the “extreme value” chain store at 12010 San Bruno Ave. was welcomed with open arms by the supermarket-starved city. Now, some residents say the tasty bargain wines rival the selection at the more-established Trader Joe’s.

While shopping at the store Wednesday, Richmond resident Ruby Grayson said she browses the wine selection almost weekly at Grocery Outlet, partly to test wines she’d never had before without depleting her bank account. She said she was “scared at first” to taste wine from 750 ml bottles that cost as little as $2.99.

“I find the wines not only nice, but nice for the price,” Grayson said.

Sonia Rivas, who works in Richmond and said she regularly shops at the Grocery Outlet, recommended the Red Velvet collection by Cupcake Vineyards.

The Berkeley-based Grocery Outlet, with more than 200 locations in six states, offers the same selection of wines at multiple stores. However, the Richmond store offers a wider selection than sister stores in San Pablo and Pinole and sells them faster, said Sopheap Yin, co-owner of the Richmond store. As a result, Yin said, the store’s shelves are more frequently re-stocked with new offerings.

“We’re one of the fast-selling wine stores,” Yin said. “Every week the shelves are replenished.”

Yin wasn’t totally sold on the Trader Joe’s comparison.

“Personally I think our wine selection is better than Trader Joe’s in terms in value,” Yin said.