Save Mart Owner Bob Piccinini Passes at Age 73
MODESTO, CA - Save Mart Owner and industry veteran Robert “Bob” Piccinini passed away in his home on Tuesday, March 17.
“In my mind, his life was cut short, but it was a terrific life,” Dan Kiser, General Manager of the Modesto A’s from 1971 to 1989 and a friend of Bob’s since their days as students at the University of San Francisco, according to a report from the Modesto Bee.
A passionate, lifelong lover of sports, Bob owned several minor league baseball teams and was a minority owner for the Golden State Warriors. Often seen courtside on Monday nights at the Oracle Arena, Bob was there for five of the Warriors’ six-game homestand.
Bob retired as CEO of Save Mart last September, entrusting the day-to-day operations to his daughter, Nicole Piccini, as well as Steve Junqueiro and Greg Hill. Bob’s health had been declining over the past couple of years, according to those close to him.
According to the Modesto Bee, Bob is credited with taking Save Mart from a homegrown, Central Valley chain “to the regional competitor it is today.” Now owner and operator of more than 240 stores in Northern and Central California under Save Mart, S-Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx, and Maxx Value, he left a resonating mark on an industry he spent the majority of his life in.
“His father, Mike, was in business for himself and was a good instructor,” Kiser said in the article. “Bob worked himself through all the positions at Save Mart. He had a good foundation and carried it throughout his career. He just knew what was necessary to make it work."
Bob began in the industry at the age of 12 working in his dad’s store, Mike’s Market, starting his empire by pressing labels onto packaged meats for 50 cents an hour. A humble beginning for the man named 243rd in the 2013 Forbes List of Wealthiest Americans.
Bob was able to celebrate his 50th anniversary with Save Mart last summer.
“Either you have it or you don’t,” he once said. “It’s more of a case of how to make more good decisions than bad. You could go to school for 12 years and never get it.”
He is survived by children Nicole Pesco, Joseph Piccinini, Alexandria Piccinini, and Dominic Piccinini; he was preceded in death by son Michael Piccinini.
AndNowUKnow would like to offer our sincere condolences to Bob's family, friends, and the community affected by this loss.