INCOMING: Hanson's Market
Two-story organic grocer coming to Little Italy
Ariel Suites is coming together in Little Italy, and the residential high rise is looking real promising. First the guys behind Craft & Commerce and Underbelly announced they had plans for a spot in the 22-story building going in at Kettner and Beech, next to the civically embarrassing whale mural. Now Hanson's Market out of San Clemente has signed on for a two-story organic grocery store. Owner and SDSU grad Ron Castruita dreamed of returning to the city. “We choose San Clemente because it’s the city most like San Diego up here,” he says.
Hanson’s doesn’t carry anything with preservatives or coloring. Their produce is 95-percent organic and Castruita already sources a good amount from small farms in SD. All their meats are grass-fed, something that sells out almost daily at their current location. The Little Italy spot will be 6,200 square-feet on the bottom floor and another 2,500 in the upstairs mezzanine, mostly dedicated to the deli. That deli is consistently ranked among the healthiest options in San Clemente, serving raw juices plus vegetarian and carnivorous sammies. The SD spot will run food through the evening with Asian and Mexican dishes pumped out of restaurant-style kitchens. Being in San Diego, of course they'll naturally have craft beers on tap. But more interesting is the handle with kombucha, making Hanson's one of the only places (along with Local Habit) in San Diego—and in the country—to have the fermented tea on tap.
We try not to get too slobber-excited about grocery stores, but Hanson's is a uniquely attractive one. Take their stocking approach in San Clemente, for example. Castruita only stocked 60% of his shelves himself. The remaining 40-percent he stocked based on feedback from his customers. “It’s essential for a neighborhood market to express the needs of the people in that neighborhood," he explains. "Even today, after being open for more than a year, I still bring in 20-30 new items a week.”