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Our Opinion: Garcia good for Brawley

January 29, 2002

Brawley was a two-supermarket city until November, when Southwest Supermercado closed. That was a loss for the city both because people lost jobs and people had little choice on where they would do their shopping.

Fortunately, Garcia Food — a company with its roots here in the Imperial Valley — has decided to expand into Brawley. Garcia Food will take over the former Southwest Supermercado building and in 60 days will open the new store. Company officials are confident they can succeed in Brawley and we agree.

Garcia Food opened in Calexico in 1985 and later expanded into El Centro. The company has flourished since and the Garcia family that runs it deserves plaudits for making the business work facing competition from other and usually bigger supermarket companies.

As one co-owner of the company said, Garcia Food will have its niche and Vons, which will be across the street, will have its niche. The stores can co-exist and Brawley and other North County cities can support two such markets.


The plan to open Garcia Food seems to fit in with the boom Brawley is experiencing, from the opening of a beef-processing plant and the building of a San Diego University, Imperial Valley campus extension to new housing development and other projects.

Brawley is starting to show signs it is a growing community after years of being dormant, maybe on a decline. That a local supermarket chain has decided to expand into Brawley is a sign of new confidence businesses have in the city.

We look forward to seeing Garcia open its store and even open another full Garcia Center like the ones in Calexico and El Centro. Perhaps it will be possible as growth continues in Brawley to fill the city's Main Street with businesses. We can envision a future where the downtown area is rid of its vacancies and the city is filled with both housing and business development.

It will take some time to reach that point, but it seems to be starting to come together. Garcia Food coming into the city and other new developments are all signs of what is to come. It's about time the people of Brawley see some positive growth, the kind that creates jobs and gives people real choices in their lives.

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