Vallarta Supermarkets (Carniceria Vallarta) was founded in 1985 by Enrique Gonzalez Sr., who was later joined in the business by his four brothers, his son and a nephew. Their family roots and humble origins began in a very small town named Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, Mexico where meals from the four basic food groups (dairy, meat, grains, and vegetables) were not common to the Gonzalez family. The five brothers were raised on a meager farm the majority of their impressionable years. The parents instilled into their children at very young ages a strong work ethic which enabled them to overcome any obstacles that came their way. Subsistent farming was a normal way of life in this part of the world; everyone had to contribute to the daily activities to make ends meet for the household. When the opportunity arose to immigrate to the United States in 1960’s, the Gonzalez family was thankful to stake their claim in the “land of opportunity”, the United States of America. The five brothers’ strong work ethic was immediately put to use by accepting jobs in restaurants, either as short order cooks or bussing tables. Even though some of the brothers were younger and still going to school, they all were working for wages to help the family make ends meet.
In 1985 Enrique Gonzalez Sr. began his journey into the grocery business when he opened the first Vallarta Supermarket (Carniceria Vallarta) in a comfortable 1,000 square foot market in Van Nuys, CA. With weekly sales of $3,500 - $5,000 and 5 employees, it was difficult to maintain. With the opening of the second store in Van Nuys, the other Gonzalez brothers began to get involved in the business. Vallarta Supermarkets embarked on an arduous, but successful adventure to build a reputation of service and excellence. The key to Vallarta’s success was the dedication of the ownership to focus on customer service with a smile, and to offer only the highest quality products to their customers. The Gonzalez family capitalized on serving the Hispanic community, a niche that was not addressed by the big chain stores. Vallarta Supermarkets offered a wide variety of Latin foods and products which could only be found at its store: meat cut to order Latin style (ranchera, diesmillo, lomo de res), spices, hot foods ready to eat, sweet breads made daily, and fresh produce in addition to everything else you would expect from a traditional grocery store.
Since then, Vallarta Supermarkets has grown to a total of 41 stores through out California (Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Kern, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare, Orange and Fresno counties). The company employs approximately 8,000 employees. Vallarta Supermarkets intends to positively impact 100 communities by the year 2030. That means opening new stores at a rate of 3 locations per year. As the business has grown, great customer service and providing the highest quality products at great prices has remained their constant goal. The Gonzalez family has adhered to their strong work ethic and has made it part of their company culture ensuring that all their employees strive for excellence. For over 25 years Vallarta Supermarkets has maintained an image characterized by family values, service, cleanliness, beautiful decor, a pleasant shopping ambiance and a large variety of products in all departments. Vallarta Supermarkets offers its clientele exceptional quality, outstanding service and great prices that keep them coming back to the stores. The Gonzalez partners meet weekly to discuss business strategies and how to continue improving customer service.
Vallarta offers the following departments:
*Full and Self Service Meat (Carniceria) - Wide variety of beef, pork and chicken
*Freshly made Tortillas (Tortilleria)
* Mexican Kitchen (Taqueria) - Hot Foods with in-store dining area
*La Isla (The Island) - Aguas Frescas/Drinks, Ice Cream. Juice Bar/Jugos Frescos/Atoles y Champurrados
*Cremeria (Salsas, yogurts, Latin style cheeses, store prepared “chorizo”) Sliced deli meats
* Health & Beauty Care and General Merchandise
*Specialty foods from Mexico, Central & South America
Vallarta supports the Children’s Miracle Network, Aisles of Smiles and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In addition, Vallarta is very involved in the communities where the stores are located. Local non-profit organizations ranging from churches, schools, charities and other non-profit groups are some of the many different organizations that Vallarta Supermarkets supports.