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New grocery store coming to this San Francisco neighborhood

A man walks past a multi-story building with a "Duc Loi's Pantry" parking sign overhead.
Mi Rancho Supermarket, a family-owned Mexican grocery chain has taken over the former Duc Loi pantry storefront at 5900 Third St. in the Bayview. | Source: Estefany Gonzalez/The Standard

Residents of Bayview-Hunters Point have long suffered from a lack of access to fresh groceries in an area the government considers a food desert. But a new tenant coming to a long-vacant space could help change the tide. 

For its first San Francisco outpost, Mi Rancho Supermarket, a family-owned Mexican grocery chain with five locations in Redwood City, San Jose and San Leandro, has taken over the former Duc Loi pantry storefront at 5900 Third St. in the Bayview.  

A representative of Mi Rancho confirmed that a new store is slated to open at the location in the coming months. The company did not respond to questions about what products it plans to stock, but other Mi Rancho locations have a butchery counter, a bakery specializing in Mexican bread, a dairy section, a fresh produce department and a kitchen with grab-and-go hot food items like tacos.  

For longtime residents, the promise of a new grocer coming to the space at the corner of Third St. and Carroll Ave. is liable to create a bit of déjà vu. Duc Loi Pantry opened up its 14,000-square-foot location at the site in 2016 to great fanfare and with the help of sizeable financial support from city officials. A little more than two years later, the store was closed, with the owners citing a lack of business. 

Neighbors, however, said the grocer failed to ingratiate itself in the largely Black, Latino and Asian community by stocking culturally relevant items and offering affordable products. Since 2019, the storefront has remained boarded up and vacant. 

Previously, the site was the location of a Fresh and Easy grocery between 2011 and 2013, when the company went bankrupt and shuttered the store. 

There’s a hope that this history of false starts will fade into memory with the new market. Earl Shaddix, executive director of Economic Development on Third, a Bayview nonprofit focused on improving the corridor, said his organization just learned of the new grocery store coming in, but is optimistic about its ability to serve the neighborhood.  

“Hopefully, the third time will be the success in this long-vacant location,” Shaddix said. “We’re pleased that many of our seniors and residents in the area will have a full-access grocer within walking distance.”

The store would actually be the second large grocer to move into the Bayview in the past few years. The Lucky Bayview grocery store opened in a former Walgreens space in Bayview Plaza at 3801 Third St. in 2022. Although Walgreens primarily functioned as a pharmacy, the retailer was also a quasi-grocer because of the food products that it stocked. 

After the Walgreens shut down in 2019, the site was pitched as a potential cannabis dispensary location—an idea that triggered strong community pushback, including from Supervisor Shamann Walton, who made opening up a full-service grocery store in the neighborhood a key priority. 

Fairly soon, the neighborhood’s main Third Street thoroughfare will have not one market, but two.