California’s Central Valley covers approximately 18,000 square miles, bounded by the Pacific Coast Ranges to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east. One of the most celebrated agricultural regions in the world, this is California’s single most productive area, providing more than half of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States. In the heart of this rich and fertile region lies the city of Modesto, where, in 1952, Nick Tocco and Mike Piccinini opened the first Save Mart grocery store.
Enjoying deeply rooted relationships with the area’s farmers, ranchers, and producers, Tocco and Piccinini saw the value in offering the bountiful fresh and local products available at farm stands throughout the valley in a convenient, modern grocery store. And equally important to Nick and Mike, at prices that families could afford. Celebrating local growers and providers long before “farm to fork” became an international trend, Save Mart was born. Mike’s son, Bob Piccinini, took over leadership of the company in the early 1980s. By then the chain had grown to include multiple locations in the Modesto area plus surrounding communities. When a wave of store closings swept the region, Save Mart bucked the trend with additional acquisitions and the opening of its first FoodMaxx stores. Customers continued to flock to the stores, attracted by the winning formula of fresh, local, quality and value.
In 2007, the company purchased a 128-store chain in Northern California and rebranded the stores as Lucky supermarkets, “rescuing” the once prominent Lucky name in the San Francisco Bay Area market. Kingswood Capital Management LP, a California-based privity equity firm, acquired The Save Mart Companies in early 2022. Today The Save Mart Companies serves more than 200 communities across California and Nevada and is headquartered in the heart of California’s Central Valley.
The company has been an essential business for 70 years with Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California, FoodMaxx, and Maxx Value Food stores, distribution centers and a transportation facility employing more than 14,000 team members.