If all goes according to plan, this Sunday will see the opening of Gourmand, a new European market, at 4605 Geary Blvd.
The location—formerly home to Russian market and deli Eliseevski—has changed hands, but will continue to provide Richmond residents with a convenient spot for fresh produce and European imports.
Owner Olga Shpakova told us that her family was motivated to open the store after many regulars who shopped at Eliseevski said it was more difficult to get to its new location at Geary and 17th Avenue.
“Many of them are older, and for them it’s harder to take public transportation,” she said. “Taking care of these customers is my number one concern.”
Gourmand, which refers to “one who enjoys good food,” will offer fresh produce, a deli counter, and a wide variety of imported food from Russia, Bulgaria and Israel. Shpakova tells us she hopes to eventually dedicate a section of the store entirely to kosher foods.
It’s been hard work renovating the space, prepping for inspections, and getting familiar with food distributors, said Shpakova, who has kept her day job as a software engineer.
“We’ve been spending all our time at Home Depot,” she said with a laugh, noting that her husband Vladimir, a product manager at a manufacturing company, has been instrumental in replacing the ceiling, floors, and shelving in preparation for the store’s opening.
Although this is the family’s first time opening up shop in San Francisco, they are no strangers to running a business.
Shpakova's parents managed a large supermarket in Ukraine, where she grew up. Since moving to San Francisco, her mother, Alexandra, a longtime Richmond resident has become a well-known figure in the neighborhood. Customers will soon see her assisting behind the counter at Gourmand.
Eventually, Shpakova and her husband would like to pass on the shop and their family's tradition of small business ownership to their children (who are 24, 11 and 4), though all three are currently busy in school.
“I hope someday they might appreciate what we’re doing and keep the business going,” she said.
The opening is planned for this Sunday, but Shpakova tells us there's a chance that it could still be delayed. Potential customers can confirm with the shop at 415-702-6787 before heading out. Once open, Gourmand's hours will be Monday through Friday from 9am-8pm, Saturday from 9am-9pm, and Sunday from 9am-7pm.
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