Atascadero Grocery Outlet Awarded 2017 Business of the Year

Posted Apr 4th, 2018

Pete Novak and Teresa Hughes are another Grocery Outlet success story.

Just over six-and-a-half years ago, co-owners Pete Novak and Teresa Hughes left their dead-end jobs in the corporate grocery world and opened their own Grocery Outlet store in Atascadero, California.

Teresa and her husband Pete had each spent over 40 years in the grocery business when they decided to take advantage of the flexibility and autonomy of the Grocery Outlet business model. The wisdom of that decision was highlighted when the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce named their store 2017 Business of the Year.

Teresa couldn’t believe what she was hearing when she answered the phone. “It was surreal!” she said. This was an outcome she and Pete, a former Raley’s store manager, had never envisaged when they moved from Sacramento in 2011 to open the Atascadero Grocery Outlet.


Finding Their Home with Grocery Outlet

Hughes and Novak spent years working their way up the ranks of companies like Raley’s and Safeway, giving them a keen insight into the lack of opportunities within the large grocery chains. Flexibility and autonomy, the bywords of Grocery Outlet, are notably absent in the big corporate chains.

This is Grocery Outlet’s biggest success secret. Our business model puts each independent operator in the driver’s seat, allowing them to put all their business acumen and skills gained through experience into practice. They have autonomy over merchandising and store procedures and take care of customers and employees as they see fit.

For Pete and Teresa, it’s been a circuitous journey, starting out as baggers and culminating with their present position as successful independent operators.

They manage a staff of 30 to 35 employees. These are the people they credit for the positive way the public sees their store. A lot of their success can be seen on their Facebook page, where happy customers have left comment after comment praising the service they’ve received at Atascadero Grocery Outlet.

It is also a family affair. Teresa’s son, Michael Hughes, and her aunt, Betty Land, both work at the store, something Grocery Outlet welcomes. Fostering family participation effectively trains the future grocers of America. This is one opportunity where independent operators are encouraged to involve the family in the business.


Leverage Your Experience and Knowledge

Unlike the majority of grocery store managers, controlled and micromanaged by a distant company, Grocery Outlet independent operators can count on freedom and autonomy. Their enterprise and vision aren’t being shackled by faraway corporate interests.

You’ll find Hughes and Novak at the store six days a week, working hard at delighting their customers. Their store is popular with shoppers who appreciate the great prices on normally costly delicacies, organics, and the ever-present deals for “treasure-hunters.”


This is possible because at Grocery Outlet, “buyers buy opportunistically — surplus items on the market. They take advantage of that, and source it for pennies on the dollar, and we go through an order guide a couple times a week, making sure we are picking up many of those deals, especially the organics, and the freshest products that we can,” Novak explains.


Creating a Community and Giving Back

While Grocery Outlet is popular with consumers and the community alike for their friendly staff and great stock, philanthropy is an important element for Hughes and Novak. The many local causes that the couple supports through their work add immeasurably to the community. It was this charitable attitude of giving back that brought them to the attention of the Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a really big heart for the kids,” Novak said. “We do a cash-back for the schools to make sure they are funded where there are shortages. It goes directly to the PTAs — to the parents.”

With Grocery Outlet’s cashback for schools scheme, a share of the grocery bill goes straight to schools benefiting both the Atascadero and Templeton school districts.

The couple supports many local charities with regular contributions and volunteer hours. Among them are the Salvation Army, Loaves and Fishes Food Bank, SLO Food Bank, RISE, and the Firehouse 5k.


Grocery Outlet franchise

“We serve a niche here on the north end of town, which is great,” Novak says. “Grocery Outlet is always expanding. We are pretty much looking at status quo.[…] so we’re looking at maintaining our position here and meeting the needs and hopefully finding new customers that want to save money on their groceries.”

Looking forward, Novak and Hughes are in it for the long haul. As Hughes said, “We love the community we’re in. The freedom we enjoy with Grocery Outlet, the ability to work for ourselves, and a great partnership with Grocery Outlet, I can’t describe how great it is.”


Isn’t It Time to Change Your Life?

At Grocery Outlet, we offer a remarkable opportunity to be your own boss and have unlimited earning potential. No longer will you be locked into a fixed income. Get complete autonomy and the freedom to run your business as you know best.

Grocery Outlet leverages the experience, the indisputable industry expertise, and the dynamic business ideas of every Independent Operator.

“The payoff for our Independent Operators?

Unlimited earning potential and a direct share in the profit of the stores they run.”

There actually is no limit to what an independent operator can earn.

Do you have retail or grocery management experience? Do you want to realize financial freedom?

Isn’t it time you see the results and quality of your work mirrored in your salary?

You and your family deserve a better deal. Get in touch today to discover the path to financial freedom and find out how you too can become a Grocery Outlet Independent Operator.

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