Palou Market, located in the heart of the Bayview neighborhood in San Francisco, is not your typical corner store. Four years ago, Palou Market partnered with Healthy Retail SF to design a store that gives back to the community and helps people to eat healthier. Ali Saeed, owner and manager of Palou Market, runs a family friendly store that offers a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables instead of alcohol.
Ali decided to partner with EatSF in 2015 as a way to further encourage community members to make healthier food choices while also helping his business. “It’s helped me a lot,” explains Ali, “with the voucher, people, they buy more.” EatSF provides Palou Market with a customer base to support his healthy store model. As a result of increased demand and feedback from customers, Ali increased the diversity in the produce he offers. Ali also comments on how he restocks his produce more frequently as a result of EatSF. Before the program, he restocked his produce once a week, but now he is restocking almost every other day!
“This is good. It makes me feel good, you know…Because I saw people before who now with the voucher they buy fruit and they like it,” Ali explains. While many new customers started to shop at Palou’s since our partnership began, many existing customers changed their purchasing habits. Instead of buying only snacks and packaged foods, Ali has observed an increase in customers that choose to purchase produce.
This partnership mutually benefits the residents of the Bayview and local stores like Palou Market. This is perfectly depicted by Ali: “I like the program…I wish to see more people coming in, more vouchers is good. And I think it is a very successful idea. It has helped people. Honestly, it has helped to make people eat healthier.”