Save Mart Taps Local Restaurant for Guest Chef Program

Jenny McTaggart
Contributing Editor
Save Mart Taps Local Restaurant for Guest Chef Program Chef John Surla Surla's
Chef John Surla, a local restaurant owner, will take over The Tipping Point, the in-store restaurant at Save Mart's flagship store in Modesto, California, on Nov. 7-8.

In response to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on locally owned and operated restaurants, The Save Mart Cos. is developing an innovative guest chef program that kicks off this weekend at Save Mart’s innovation flagship store at 3401 Oakdale Road, in its hometown of Modesto, California.

On Nov. 7-8, from 8 a.m. to noon, Save Mart will turn over its in-store restaurant, The Tipping Point, to one of Modesto’s most popular restaurants, Surla’s, and its much-loved chef, John Surla. His pop-up brunch menu will feature three popular items -- Stuffed French Toast ($10), Eggs Benedict ($12), and Steak and Eggs ($15) -- all served with country-style potatoes and fresh fruits. One hundred percent of the brunch’s sales will go directly to the restaurant (less alcohol).

“Our intent with this pilot program is consistent with our evergreen focus on the local communities we serve, and we’ve extended that approach to neighborhood restaurants impacted by the pandemic,” said Hal Levitt, SVP of retail operations at Save Mart. “We developed a program to assist local chefs and their restaurants, at the same time, our guests can enjoy some of their favorite dishes, discover new ones and share in helping our local restaurants.”

Note Surla: “This Save Mart pilot program means the world to my staff and me, and we can’t thank Save Mart enough. It will help us financially, keep our staff employed, and keep us busy while we get to share our culinary creations and flavors with more people.”

The grocer said that it would reveal additional restaurant participants in the coming weeks.

The Save Mart Cos. operates 207 retail stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky/Lucky California and FoodMaxx. The company is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.


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