Local Mission Market: A Supermarket For Food-Savvy Shoppers Who Think Bi-Rite Is Too Cheap

Ever since the DeLano's at 23rd and South Van Ness closed down, southern Mission has been without a worthy supermarket within walking distance.  So when Yaron Milgrom of Local: Mission Eatery and Local's Corner fame announced plans to open a supermarket at 22nd and Harrison, I was hopeful—sure, it would likely be priced at Bi-Rite levels, but the space was huge and promising, and Milgrom himself proclaimed Local Mission Market would be “a full-service grocery store.”

“Everything you would expect to find at a European grocery store, we'll have here,” he told SF Weekly. “Tomato sauce, apple sauce, ketchup, mustard, pasta, crackers, breads — all house-made from scratch, just like we do at the restaurants.”

After two years of waiting, Local Mission Market finally opened their doors this week.  And wanting something other than expired Clif Bars for breakfast, I swung by this morning to grab something to eat.

It was immediately apparent that this wasn't a supermarket.  In fact, it didn't have any aisles, or really much of anything.  It's really more like a church bake sale with a cold case.  My hopes of getting some cereal or something that appeals to my childish dietary sensibilities was not going to happen.  I pressed on anyway.

I thought about doing yogurt with granola, but the yogurt came in giant jars that resembled boar semen sold in bulk.  Also, $9?  Hahahahaha! Good one, Yaron.

Next on my list of ideas was making an omelet.  The prices of the mushrooms gave me the chills, although I'm told these prices are about right (even if they're more expensive than what you can get at the Mission Community Market).  In fact, their entire produce section seemed reasonable—prices within the margins, quality that was undeniably choice.  But then again, they were trying to charge $4.50 for a dozen Rock Island eggs—the same dozen you can get at Rainbow and Duc Loi for over a dollar less.  And these high prices are from a for-profit grocer that just accepted $50k+ of free money on Kickstarter.

At this point, I resigned myself to eating my expired energy mash, but perused the store out of a sick desire for journalistic completeness.  $8 spaghetti, $12 tomato soup, $10 jar of pickles, San Andreas cheese for $45/pound. I rushed around to find a case of booze to make it all more tolerable, but they didn't even stock that.

In an interview with The Atlantic Cities, Milgrom reiterated the claim that this is a “one-stop market” with “prices that undermine or are at minimum competitive with other stores in the area.”

“People with a range of incomes should be able to shop here,” Milgrom says. “If you come here, you can shop affordably: talk with the butcher, talk with the staff, and see what great food you can make for less.”

Good luck with that, but I'll be holding out for a real grocer to revive the old DeLano's.

Comments (26)

The pre-packaged and gourmet items are expensive, of course, but when I stopped in yesterday, the raw ingredients actually seemed quite reasonable — vegetables, fruit, meat and fish are all on par with other supermarkets, and cheaper in many cases.

The $12 Pumpkin soup is amazingly good and is quite large and meant for 2 people. I think that is cheaper than whole foods. Big fresh baguette was $3. I had half of that and the small soup ($7). The burritos at the Taco truck cost $7. So no it’s not super cheap but it’s not too crazy expensive. The quality is 1st class and comes from small local farms. I’ll still buy fruit from my local mexican store but fresh herbs and things they don’t have I can get here now.

What a fucking joke, enjoy it techies.

Techies? They eat at restaurants… no one cooks!

This is correct.

I love sweeping generalizations as much as the next person, but come the fuck on.

The Ferry Building has finally come to the Mission.

What would you do differently?

Yup, well said. This place is just lame.

No thanks, enjoy it techies. BTW, the author of this article dresses like Winnie the Pooh.

neg, I am Winne the Pooh.

Wow. That’s bullshit. Fuck overpriced f00d.

Who buys that sh**?!

How did “European Grocery” not tip you off?

Have you ever been to a grocery store in Europe? They aren’t particularly different from Safeway or Trader Joe’s.

That’s not really true. The Germans founded Aldi and Tesco and Sainsbury’s are British but there’s a reason why ‘supermarche’ is the best the French can do for this type of store. Smaller, simpler markets are the norm in Europe and Bay Area joints such as Milk Pail Market, Oakville Grocery, and I guess Bi-Rite are modeled on those.

Can I get a kombucha? I really want a fucking kombucha.

Wow, Mission Mission, what a bunch of crap!. Just pushing regular Joe out to pasture, see the
writing on the wall.

heheh white people all crazy!

What started the “Arab Spring”? Soaring food costs, probably caused by climate change. Get ready, here it comes!

I’ll check it out when I find out when they do the docent tours.

I’m sure this will attract a better class of dumpster diver.

I am glad you took that break, your review was soooo funny(and spot on).
Thank you

Look people, everything costs a lot in Europe and the world isn’t ending nor are there food riots (well, sometimes there are…)

There’s a price to be paid for cheap food. Also, I’m supposing that item-for-item comparisons are hard for a totally new market vs. one that’s amortized sunk costs and has longstanding relationships with suppliers.

Anyway, what’s wrong with more fresh food in the neighborhood?

Speaking of Europe, I wish these guys or someone would have the resources to revitalize the Mission Market and make it like Oxford’s Covered Market or Barcelona’s Boqueria–now THAT would be life-changing.

Markets for the elite that travel all the world and know only the best places.

Good thing the owner is in trouble for sexually harassing women as well as not allowing Latino families to eat in his restaurant otherwise I might feel compelled to buy a $46 block of cheese.