Every morning, Maggie Luckerath wakes up, takes a stroll down Zuma Beach and before visiting her local grocery store, Vintage Grocers.
She particularly likes to shop for bacon, which she said she could smell from the Malibu Beach Club, where she parks her car before going to the store. She also shops for fresh vegetables, milk, eggs and baked goods.
Luckerath was one of the patrons in attendance for the one-year anniversary celebration of Vintage Grocers on Saturday, March 7, and said the store has brought a “total sense of community.”
“You always see somebody from the neighborhood or from town you know,” Luckerath said. “Not only one, but at least four or five people that you know from the town of Malibu. It’s just a wonderful addition to our neighborhood.”
Malibu community members lined up outside of the grocery store before 10 a.m. to receive gift bags containing products such as chips, snacks, drinks and other items. Each bag had slightly different variations of items inside.
Eric Fuchser, the director of the market, greeted patrons with hugs and handshakes as they entered, and expressed gratitude to them for helping the store remain open throughout its first year.
“I’m very grateful to the whole city of Malibu and the communities that are adjacent and the folks shopping here,” Fuchser said. “We’ve been blessed beyond our means.”
Luckerath described the store as “Whole Foods on steroids,” to which Fuchser laughed heartily.
“That’s quite a compliment,” Fuchser said. “Any time you’re associated with a successful market like Whole Foods, you know you’re doing something right.”
Inside the store, product representatives set up tables and gave samples to shoppers. Products included the local Bloody Mary mix, Malibu Mary, and Naturinque Energizing Tea.
Outside the doors of the store, local band The Roman Helmets played classic rock cover songs until 2 p.m.
A miniature petting zoo, which included a donkey and two goats, was available for shoppers or others in the area outside the store.
Fuscher said he’d love to see the business grow, and will be looking for expansion opportunities in the future.
Brooks Stewart, a Malibu resident, likes to shop at Vintage Grocers because she is able to buy products that can’t be found in regular grocery stores, such as certain candies, cheese and other things that are found in Italy and Spain.
Stewart also feels the store has become an integral part of the Malibu community.
“I think it’s brought people together,” Stewart said. “You know, everybody hanging out and just bringing their dogs or kids, giving everybody a decision to eat healthier.”