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LA Firm Buys Valley Grown Save Mart Grocery Chain



The company's 82 Save Mart, 68 Lucky, and 53 FoodMaxx stores were bought by a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm. (savemart,com)
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Save Mart said Monday morning in a news release that it has been acquired by a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm, Kingswood Capital Management LP.

No purchase price for the Modesto-headquartered grocery chain was revealed by the partners in the transaction.

The company operates 82 Save Mart,  68 Lucky, and 53 FoodMaxx stores in the Valley, Northern California, and Nevada. And, its name has graced Fresno State’s 16,500-seat arena since the sports and entertainment venue opened in 2003.

Save Mart Employs 14,000

“I’m excited for this opportunity with Kingswood to invest in and grow The Save Mart Companies family of stores,” said Chris McGarry, CEO of The Save Mart Companies. “The Piccinini family did a tremendous job in fostering commitment to innovation and service as they built and grew this company in the Central Valley and throughout California. As a result, we have great stores and a committed team of 14,000 employees who provide fantastic local products and are wonderful stewards of the communities in which they live and work.”

Kingswood is expanding its Northern California presence with the purchase. It owns Alameda-based Cost Plus World Market, which it acquired in 2021 from Bed Bath and Beyond. Two months ago, it acquired Lind Marine, a diversified marine services business headquartered north of the San Francisco Bay.

“At Kingswood, our goal is to make good businesses even better, and The Save Mart Companies presents us with a great opportunity to do so,” said Alex Wolf,  managing partner and founder of Kingswood. “Their 70 years of history in the Central Valley provides a strong foundation for future profitable growth, and we look forward to working with Chris and the team to position these iconic grocery brands for the future.”

Robert M. “Bob” Piccinini, who oversaw Save Mart’s growth from a homegrown chain into a regional powerhouse, died March 24, 2015, at his Modesto home at the age of 73,

He purchased Save Mart from his family and the Tocco family in 1985 after starting out as a box boy.

Piccinini at one time owned minor league baseball franchises in Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, and Sacramento. And, in 1999, he made an unsuccessful bid to buy the Oakland A’s.




Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email