Prime Time Nutrition’s prime location in San Pablo

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Prime Time Nutrition and Joe's Brew opened Dec. 18 next to the San Pablo Library.

Last week, we told you about how Prime Time Nutrition and Joe’s Brew just opened at San Pablo Library.

Today, the Standard visited the new business that is creating a buzz in the community.

This is the 86th store opened by Nutricion Fundamental, Inc., which also has a Prime Time location in Richmond. But the new store at San Pablo Library is the first to have a coffee shop. The café, which offers outdoor seating, serves delicious brew by family-owned McLaughlin Coffee in Emeryville.

Launched in 1994, Nutricion Fundamental, also a family business, aims to provide fresh, quality produce at affordable prices to underserved communities across California.

The store’s opening is good timing, as it occurred one month after the grand opening of the nearby Contra Costa County Women, Infants & Children (WIC). The grocer invites shoppers participating in federal nutrition programs such as WIC and SNAP.

“We primarily open stores that cater to families on the WIC program,” CEO Mike Amiri said. “So when the WIC program that was originally in Richmond relocated here, it was natural to open a store nearby.”

After the Library space was identified for the store, the city of San Pablo asked about adding coffee, Amiri said.

“And we said, ‘Why not?’”

Joe’s Brew is named after Amiri’s father, Joe, who started the first Prime Time store.

How affordable is Prime Time?

“Every day our price points are 20 to 40 percent below a traditional grocery store,” said General Manager Jon Giannini.

Bananas that are $3 per pound at traditional stores are $1.50 at Prime Time, Giannini said. Garlic typically selling for $2.99 at usual stores are $75 cents. At Prime Time, garden salads are half the typical price.

General Manager Jon Giannini

And, yes, they are fresh every day, Giannini said. The produce is sourced in California and enter the store three to five times a week, he said.

How do they keep the prices so low?

“As an organization, we run our retails at a very low margin,” Giannini said. “We’re not about making a 30 or 40 percent margin as a traditional grocer would, but about making much lower margins to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are getting to every member in our community.”

On Thursday, Jan. 17, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony are set to take place for Prime Time Nutrition and Joe’s Brew. The San Pablo Economic Development Corp. is hosting the event.

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