New Speaker Talks Grocery with CGA Representatives
Asm. Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) has known Danny since he was a boy. Danny, a longtime produce manager at Hollister Super, was in the store working when the future Assembly Speaker stopped by the community grocer for a meeting and tour. The two embraced, before quickly catching up and posing for a picture with Hollister Super owner Chang So.
These are the types of connections that make the grocery community, and Hollister Super in particular, so special. Whether it’s the grocer’s role as job-provider or a brick-and-mortar store’s ability to offer a place to find nourishing foods and maybe bump into a friendly face, grocery stores are one of the few public spaces that are truly communal.
“Our stores have been in the community since 1983, and we joke that almost everybody in Hollister has worked here at one point or another.” Hollister Super owner Chang So said. “In fact, it’s even true for me. I left my job in tech world in 2003 to come back and run my family’s business. It’s a special experience to be such a vital part of a community like Hollister, and we were thrilled to have Assemblymember Rivas pay us a visit.”
The future Assembly Speaker joined Hollister Super staff and representatives from the California Grocers Association for a store tour to learn more about the grocery industry’s operations and the challenges facing independent and ethnic grocers. They discussed a number of issues impacting stores up and down the state.
“Independent grocers like Hollister Super feed and nourish communities across the state,” said CGA President and CEO Ron Fong, who attended the store tour. “They really are our lifeblood, and they add so much to the diversity and bounty of food options we have available to us in California.”
When Asm. Rivas becomes Assembly Speaker, the top leadership position in California’s State Assembly, on June 30, it will be the first time since the late 1990s the Speaker role has been held by an elected official outside the Greater Los Angeles Region. It’s an important point of distinction for Hollister Super owner Chang So.
“I’m excited to have someone ascend to the state’s leadership from Hollister,” he explained. “Someone who understands the opportunities and challenges of small communities and community-minded businesses.”