The Save Mart Companies Develops Innovative Program to Provide Much-Needed Support for Locally Owned Restaurants

In response to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on locally owned and operated restaurants, The Save Mart Companies is developing an innovative guest chef program to support struggling local restaurateurs and. The program will be tested at Save Mart’s innovation flagship store in Modesto (3401 Oakdale Road) on Saturday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.


The Tipping Point, Save Mart’s in-store restaurant, will be turned over to one of Modesto’s most popular restaurants, Surla’s, and its much-loved chef, John Surla. Surla’s pop-up brunch menu will feature three popular items – Stuffed French Toast ($10), Eggs Benedict ($12) and Steak and Eggs ($15) – all served with country-style potatoes and fresh fruits.  100 percent of the brunch’s sales will go directly to the restaurant (less alcohol).

“Our intent with this pilot program is consistent with our evergreen focus on the local communities we serve and we’ve extended that approach to neighborhood restaurants impacted by the pandemic” said Hal Levitt, senior vice president of retail operations. “We developed a program to assist local chefs and their restaurants, at the same time, our guests can enjoy some of their favorite dishes, discover new ones and share in helping our local restaurants.”

“This Save Mart pilot program means the world to my staff and me and we can’t thank Save Mart enough,” said Surla.  “It will help us financially, keep our staff employed, and keep us busy while we get to share our culinary creations and flavors with more people.”

The Save Mart Companies will be announcing additional restaurant participants in the coming weeks.

About The Save Mart Companies

The Save Mart Companies operates 206 stores throughout California and Northern Nevada under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California, and FoodMaxx. The Save Mart Companies is committed to sourcing a wide variety of local products to communities throughout California and Northern Nevada. In addition to its retail operation, the company also operates Smart Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries (SSI), which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop and the Sunnyside Farms dairy processing plant in Turlock. For more information on the company, please visit: