Mark & Stephanie Baldwin
Point Loma Grocery Outlet
The Baldwins came to Grocery Outlet with extensive experience working for conventional grocery retailers. Mark started the Aspiring Operator in Training (AOT) with over 29 years of experience from traditional grocer Safeway. His 23 years as a store director gave him a great perspective on how to be a GO operator. Stephanie is a classically trained pastry chef with numerous years as a small business/bakery owner. Their combined experience makes them a strong operator team.
Mark learned about Grocery Outlet from a former associate who had taken the leap to Grocery Outlet ownership a few years earlier. The Baldwins were at a point in their lives where they wanted a big a change, and this sounded like the perfect opportunity to take their family in a new direction. They did their research on the company and in 2011 started the AOT program with Brookings, Oregon operators Hal and Lori Panter. In 2012 they opened the Point Loma Grocery Outlet.
The Baldwins were attracted to the Grocery Outlet culture, which is a radical change from what Mark had experienced in the conventional grocery world. GO operators and employees are close, like extended family. Owners engage with their employees, listening to their suggestions, making the store friendly and welcoming, and encouraging community building. Families work together and the Baldwins’ adult children now work side-by-side with their parents.
“We found that there really is ‘life after’ conventional grocery. If you decide to step outside of your comfort-zone, the reward is well worth the risk. It was the best decision we made because we love going to work everyday.”
– Mark Baldwin