Thanks for sharing your story with us Sara and Steven. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Sara’s Market has been around for nearly 60 years. It first belonged to my great uncle in the 60’s. He owned it for 25 years, formerly known as Hilda’s Market, which was then passed on to my parents.
Once my parents took over in 1986 they renamed it to Sara’s Market. They worked the business for 30 years, and when they were getting ready to retire, they approached my husband, Steven Valdes, and I and asked us if it was best to sell the business or if we would like to take over. We decided to take over and keep the business in the family! We have been running the store since 2014.
Along the way, my husband had a vision to make this store a community destination and a staple in East LA where people could come for great beers, great food from our food pop-ups and of course great customer service. We love it when people come by and have long and interesting conversations with us about anything and everything. We pride ourselves in making people feel welcomed and a part of Sara’s Market family!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When we first took over the business, it was difficult for us to establish a routine and how to successfully run a business. When we decided to expand our beer selection and introduce craft beer to our customers, we received a lot of pushback.
Our customers were afraid we were no longer carrying their products or service them. It took us a while to explain to them we were adding new products and not eliminating existing merchandise.
When we began hosting food pop-ups, we struggled to get vendors to come out and have food events at our store. We were rejected by many vendors in the beginning. Once our first food vendor, Carnitas El Momo, took a chance on us it became a snowball, and the food pop-ups took a course on its own.
Please tell us about Sara’s Market.
We carry almost everything from dental floss, hair dye, party bags to milk, eggs, tortillas and of course beer and wine. We sell our beer in singles, which we are known for. This gives our costumers a chance to build their own six packs and try different styles of beers.
We carry organic tortillas and masa from Kernel Of Truth. We also carry Aguas Frescas from Agua Lucha, which are made from real agave and cane sugar. Through our food pop-ups, we try to introduce a variety of food options to our community and our customers. All these small details and options are what we feel sets us apart.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If we had to start over, I feel we wouldn’t change anything. All the ups and downs, trial and errors, and rejections and success are what made us and Sara’s Market what it is.
Failure and struggles only makes us stronger and gives us the strength to push forward and become bigger and better!
- Address: 3455 City Terrace Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90063
- Phone: (323) 268-6809
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org