2020 Outstanding Independents, Multistore: Woodlands Market

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
2020 Outstanding Independents, Multistore: Woodlands Market

If you Google “Woodlands Market in Kentfield, California,” here are some of the reviews you would read on social media sites:

“The meat is always fresh, delicious and the counter is always kept clean and neat, unlike most other butchers’ departments at other markets. We love, love, love Woodlands Markets meats!!!”

“They sell the world’s best peanut butter cups.”

“I just want to give a shoutout to the wonderful service of their employees during the blackout!!  ESPECIALLY the baristas!!  They absolutely ROCK!!  Hundreds of people in line for coffee and yet they still smiled and got us through the lines as quickly as possible!! Thank you Woodlands!!”

When you have customers taking the time and effort to go online and write phrases such as “love, love, love”; type exclamation points; and use all caps in relation to your store, you must be doing something right.

In 1986, Don Santa, his parents and three sisters returned to their family’s roots in the grocery business by opening a market in Kentfield, nestled in the beautiful Ross Valley area of Northern California. The Santa family’s mission was to provide customers with high-quality products and top-notch service. Today Woodlands has become a Bay Area institution.

“At Woodlands Market, we feed a sense of community and pride ourselves on the ability to forge deep relationships with our customers and employees,” says owner Don Santa. “We strongly believe that nourishment stems not only from our delicious house-made prepared foods or quality grocery offerings, but also through supporting youth educational programs that focus on healthy eating and caring for the environment.”

Over the years, Woodlands has been recognized locally and nationally for being an industry innovator by focusing on natural and sustainable products, supporting local suppliers, and maintaining a steadfast commitment to its surrounding communities. Since its founding, Woodlands has contributed millions of dollars in cash and in-kind donations to help engage, support and improve the communities where its customers and employees work and live.

Since opening its first store, Woodlands has expanded to include Woodlands Café; Woodlands Foundation (supporting schools and education); an additional Woodlands full-service market, at the Boardwalk shopping center in Tiburon, Calif.; and a San Francisco store in the Lumina Tower, which includes a Woodlands Pet Shop.

As Woodlands continues to grow, all locations continue to embrace the Santa family’s traditions of world-class products and personalized service. “Woodlands has not been closed one day since we purchased the neighborhood market, and we intend to ‘be there’ for all their customers’ needs, 365 days a year,” Santa vows.

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