Steve and Kim Smith
East Village San Diego Grocery Outlet
Steve and Kim Smith are second-generation store operators for Grocery Outlet. Their story began in 1989 when both of their parents were preparing to become store operators in a local training store. Steve and Kim met working in the training store and soon married. Kim’s parents have now been store operators at the Placerville Grocery Outlet for 25 years.
Together, Steve and Kim experienced the genuine, family culture while working for a Grocery Outlet. They knew that they wanted to climb the Grocery Outlet ladder and open a store of their own. They worked their way up in four different stores until they opened their first Grocery Outlet in Folsom, CA in 2010.
Steve and Kim operated the Folsom location for two years, but when their children all enrolled in different San Diego-area colleges, they asked for a transfer to move south and open the East Village Grocery Outlet in downtown San Diego. They have enjoyed operating the East Village Grocery Outlet because they have all three children nearby and it allows them to watch their kids compete in sporting events, as well as have them over for family dinners. Additionally, they have continued the tradition of employing all three kids at their store. They enjoy owning the store more and more each day.
Their oldest son, who just graduated from San Diego State University, plans to attend the Aspiring Operator Training (AOT) program and wants to open his own store in the near future. He is eager to become a third-generation store owner. “We are thrilled that our son has decided to take the appropriate steps to become a store operator,” said Steve. “He has grown up working in a Grocery Outlet, so he understands the model and the incredible opportunity in front of him.”
The husband-and-wife team looks at their ownership as a lifestyle, not a career. “You have to be ready to work hard and create a balanced life for you and your family,” Steve says. “My wife and I believe in a work hard, play hard mentality.” Steve and Kim look forward to work because of the customers that walk through their doors each day. They have created a family-friendly environment that is contagious.