Lizette Gomez Discusses Vallarta Supermarkets' Vendor Relationships and Fresh Produce Vision

Lizette Gomez Discusses Vallarta Supermarkets' Vendor Relationships and Fresh Produce Vision

PACOIMA, CA - As retailers evolve to make the produce department a sensory experience—bringing consumers the taste, touch, smell, and stories behind fruits and vegetables—one company is relishing in its own expanding fresh concept as it looks to 2024 and beyond: Vallarta Supermarkets. The company recently opened its new Carson California, location, which gave me the opportunity to dig in with its Director of Marketing, Lizette Gomez, to learn more about the new developments from the progressive format.

My first question to Lizette is centered around its vast sourcing program, which brings in produce from local growers, as well as those across the U.S. and around the world. These regions include Mexico, Chile, Canada, Peru, Guatemala, and New Zealand. With such a wide global network, I wanted to know how Vallarta chooses its vendors and cultivates its relationships.

Lizette Gomez, Director of Marketing, Vallarta Supermarkets“It is an exciting time for Vallarta Supermarkets, and maintaining high-quality standards is part of the execution,” Lizette begins. “We select vendors based on a mix of quality, sustainability, reliability, and consumer demand. The process involves rigorous quality checks, ensuring that the produce meets certain standards. For cultivating relationships, we focus on long-term partnerships that involve regular communication and collaboration, including visits to the growers' farms and facilities. This helps in understanding the growers' practices and ensuring they align with our standards. Additionally, we have a system to regularly review vendor performance and make sure vendors meet standards.”

Already taken in by Lizette’s passion for the process and the relationship with growers, the conversation naturally turned to focus on how local and regional products as well as seasonal items play their unique and important roles.

Vallarta Supermarkets recently opened a new store in Carson, California

“We emphasize local and regional products to support local communities and reduce the environmental impact associated with long-distance transportation. This focus also allows us to offer fresh and seasonal items, enhancing the quality and variety of produce available to our customers. This purpose is communicated to the shopper, who then makes it their own,” Lizette shares. “Take The La Fruteria department in Carson, which was conceived as an opportunity to empower our customers with the ability to create their own dishes using a selection of fresh ingredients from our produce. This initiative aimed to provide a personalized experience, catering to individual preferences and tastes.”

Vallarta Supermarkets has a vast sourcing program, which includes growers from around the United States and across the globe

The Fruteria concept offers customers the opportunity to create personalized fresh fruit bowls in-store. Customers can select from a variety of fruits, including watermelon, cucumber, pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, honeydew, and more.

Additionally, they can customize their bowls with toppings like Tajin, Chamoy, lime juice, and salt, adding a delightful twist to their fruit selections. These recent changes to the Vallarta strategy are only the beginning.

When it comes to choosing vendors, Vallarta Supermarkets chooses based on a mix of quality, sustainability, reliability, and consumer demand

“Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, Vallarta is focused on expanding its presence by opening new stores in areas that are currently underserved. A key aspect of this expansion is maintaining our core company values, especially in terms of product quality and consistency, across all locations,” Lizette reveals, excited for the new year ahead.

With so much change across retail, Vallarta is continuing to close the gap between the vendor and the consumer, ensuring that the stories its suppliers share, become the shoppers’ kitchen table tales as well.

Vallarta Supermarkets