After 64 years, Valley Food Super Center in Kerman moving to new location

KERMAN, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's the end of an era for a Kerman supermarket forced to move after the owners couldn't reach a lease agreement with the landowner.

Valley Food Super Center sold off the remaining items in the longtime grocery store for half off before closing its doors.

"It's the end of the chapter but it's not the end of the story. The next chapter is going to be bigger and better and brighter," says Valley Food co-owner Jerry Yep.

For a final day, the Yep family opened their doors at Valley Food on Whitesbridge Avenue.

A long line of grateful customers waited for the last of the bargains since the entire store was marked down to 50% off.

"This is a small little grocery store, like the one I grew up with. They slice meat and if you want a special order they would do it for you. Very nice family. The family's been around for a very long time," said Fresno resident Grace Hernandez.

The closure was bittersweet for brothers Gary and Jerry Yep. The family-owned and operated grocery store would have celebrated its 65th anniversary later this year.

"It's really heart wrenching, you know. The community has been very good to me, and to my family. I've known no other city. I was born and raised here. My parents started the business in 1955," said Yep.

Since late last year, the family has been in a legal battle to stay at the location. A notice to vacate was served earlier this month.

When the pandemic began, business picked up steadily and the Yeps ordered $400,000 in products.

Amidst it all, their brother and business partner Mark suddenly passed away.

Despite the crushing blows, the family decided they would continue their longstanding tradition of serving others, only at a different but familiar location.

"We're moving on and we're moving forward with the business so hopefully the city of Kerman will support us," said Gary Yep, co-owner.

He added: "We're ready to start a new chapter for the residents of Kerman and the surrounding community. And the employees especially. We couldn't have done it without the employees. They were phenomenal the last few days and just glad to see that that's our second family."

Over the past decades, the 30,000 square foot building was perfect to grow along with the small town.

The family has been proud of the friendly smiles and personable service they've been able to provide along the way.

Longtime customers will have something to look forward to at the new location that will open in about a month.

The property is owned by the Yep family and was home to the original store.

It's about a quarter of a mile from the current location and will feature an outdoor farmer's market with fresh fruit and salad.
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