Merced County Times Newspaper
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New sushi bar becomes highlight of Pioneer Market makeover

Sushi Chef Sai Pi keeps pace with grab & go and made-to-order sushi.

 

By LYNDA BROMMAGE

Who can believe it? 

A sushi bar in Waterford?

Pioneer Market has just opened a sushi bar with its own dedicated experienced sushi Chef Sai Pi to complement its already fabulous deli and bakery department. 

There have been many new upgrades and renovations in the last month at Pioneer, as shoppers and patrons may have noticed, but the opening of the new sushi bar is one of the biggest highlights. 

“Here in Waterford there are no sushi restaurants,” said general manager Aaron Matheson. “There is Mexican, Chinese, and other types of food but no Sushi. And sushi has become more popular everywhere.”

Matheson added, “There was always a plan for a sushi bar at Pioneer since it opened eleven years ago. We were just waiting to get the volume up.”

Chef Sai Pi, originally from Myanmar, has been keeping pace preparing grab & go and made to order sushi for customers and since the word has gotten out he seems to be getting busier and busier.

Local resident Ron Ogle has been living in Waterford for 55 years and only recently discovered the sushi bar at the Pioneer Market. 

“I just found out,” said Ogle as he held up the first part of his made to order sushi lunch. “I love sushi. Otherwise it’s a long way to Modesto.”

Trisa Jeremy, a long time resident of Waterford since 1963, has been shopping at the Pioneer Market since it opened. When asked about the new sushi bar, she exclaimed: “The sushi is always gone.”

Along with the new sushi bar, which seems to be getting more popular by the minute, there is also a well stocked deli with hot and cold delights. They are also a few tables for folks to enjoy their meal with a nearby, self-serve, fresh-squeezed orange juice machine.

And let’s not forget the prized bakery department lead by longtime employee Nancy Perez with beautifully decorated cakes of her own creations, ready made or made to order. 

When asked her favorite part about her cake baking, Perez said: “I love the customers.”

Meanwhile, Pioneer Market has been getting a real make-over with upgrades, remodeling and decorating. Folks will also notice new food and beverage cases, and a new flower case display. There are also lots historical Central Valley pictures big and small all around the store. 

“When we did the remodel we wanted to keep it simple and represent the town,” Matheson said.

Matheson continues to make make leaps and bounds at Pioneer. “I do lots of negotiating with vendors to give customers better prices and get a good mix of products in the store,” he said.

A jovial Matheson takes real pride in his work and his staff. He says he is dedicated to giving his customers the best possible shopping experience with the best value for their money.

Employee Brian Garmon said, “I can’t imagine a better place to work. It’s family like. Great people. You’re treated well. It’s an easy going environment to work in.”

“It’s like shopping with family,” said Jeremy.  “I like all the new stuff they’re doing [decorating and renovation]. The employees are very nice and personable.”

With eight new hires and more business pouring in as the pandemic eases, Pioneer Market is poised and ready to welcome sushi lovers at its newly opened sushi bar and more shoppers with the same dedication to quality and savings its customers have come to expect.

“The feedback has been positive,” said Matheson.

Waterford Pioneer Market is located on 12138 Yosemite Blvd., and is open seven days a week.

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