“It’s been pretty positive,” general manager Drew Russell said in a July 8 phone interview. “We’ve had quite a few comments about having a new store in the neighborhood.”
Saar’s opened June 30 and is a 24-hour store. This is Saar’s ninth location in the Puget Sound area. The other stores are in Auburn, Tukwila, Renton, Seattle (White Center), Parkland, Bremerton, Oak Harbor and Port Angeles, the most recent opening in 2018 prior to Kent.
“Our niche in the last 10-plus years is we are a grocery store not unlike Safeway or Fred Meyer, but almost half of the stores have international food,” Russell said. “We try to cater to that community where we can. We have Middle Eastern, European, Asian and Hispanic foods. We offer a lot more variety than you might see in a regular grocery store.”
In a diverse city such as Kent, that appears to be a good fit.
“It seems like a lot of people are liking that,” Russell said.
Business has been going well in a location near where many people live.
“So far, so good,” Russell said. “It seems like a lot of houses and apartments and a lot of people are in this area.”
The family owned company, which started in 1988, according to its website, employs about 450 across its nine locations and is looking to hire for various positions, including cashier, bagger, night crew, meat/seafood clerk, produce clerk, deli clerk and management.
The Kent store manager is Pat Senn and the assistant manager is Joe Hodge.
”We are excited to be here,” said Russell, the general manager. “After the pandemic that was a rough year. We are just trying to put our best foot forward and hopefully the community will like us.”
Early reviews on google.com indicate that people do like the store.
“They have such an excellent array of food,” one customer posted. “Every ethnicity is included and it all looked very fresh. I was almost overwhelmed with all the stuff they have! I’ll absolutely be back!”