By Jason KUROSU
La Cañada’s Gelson’s Market celebrated one year in the community on Saturday with an event that treated local shoppers to a variety of the market’s selection of goods, establishing what Gelson’s representatives hope will be a continuing tradition, cementing its place in the La Cañada community.
Gelson’s replaced Vons just over a year ago, moving to La Cañada after 13 years of operation in Pasadena, located at the Paseo Colorado.
Hee-Sook Nelson, vice president of Gelson’s Employee Development and Marketing said that many of the Pasadena store’s customers were La Cañada residents and have remained loyal in migrating to the La Cañada store during the past year.
“The community has embraced us and we’re really happy to be part of the small town feel in La Cañada,” said Nelson.
Store Manager Ruben Ornelas said that the event was an opportunity for “everyone to get a taste for what we have to offer.”
A collection of vendors outside the store offered samples of everything from the market’s signature rib eye steaks to coffee to kombucha, while more free samples were available indoors. The store was packed indoors and out with both regular customers and those coming out for the one-year anniversary.
Local organizations such as the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge were also part of the festivities, with a booth alongside the vendors to promote upcoming local events.
Gelson’s partnered with the community center, sponsoring last November’s Turkey Trot, in addition to other events with community groups such as the Flintridge Riding Club and the Chamber of Commerce, which awarded Gelson’s with the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Association’s Business of the Year Award for 2014.