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Gelson's For the discerning Pasadena shopper, Gelson's is food for thought

A more appropriate fit for Paseo Colorado than Gelson's Market is hard to imagine. In keeping with TrizecHahn's goal of building the project into a genuine community, the Encino, Calif.-based grocery chain is not just a place to shop but an old-fashioned market where customers can be known by name, request special orders and learn about the food they are buying.

Founded in 1951 as a single store by brothers Bernard and Eugene Gelson, the business has grown to a chain of 18 stores between Santa Barbara and southern Orange County, in the process developing a reputation for excellence that extends far beyond its geographic boundaries. Though small compared to today's standard supermarket, Gelson's nonetheless offers an exceptional range of high-quality fresh, prepared and packaged foods from all around the world.

According to a company spokesperson, each of the existing locations is known as the area's best market for superior produce, the highest grade meat, seafood and deli items and an unparalleled selection of wines and liquors. And Gelson's, which bills itself as “The Super Market,” likes to boast it provides “an extraordinary shopping experience for discerning customers,” exactly the kind of tenants anticipated for the residential portion of Paseo Colorado.

It's not just food that makes Gelson's special. The grocer has a registered dietician on staff to offer expert menu planning advice, and it maintains a regular schedule of floral classes and workshops as well as an array of food and cooking demonstrations designed to give customers the opportunity to regard the store as a true community resource.

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