Want to support local charities and save pennies on every item you buy? You might want to aim for the “First Street” private label brands at Smart & Final Extra.
The store, which opened at 150 B Ave. in March, has announced a new charitable giving campaign, “First Street First Percent.” Under the program, the first 1 percent of net profits from the sale of First Street products at Smart & Final stores in California, Nevada and Arizona will go to the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation.
The foundation focuses its giving criteria on four key areas — health and wellness, education, hunger relief, and team sports and youth development. Coronado nonprofits working in these areas are encouraged to fill out a funding request at sfcharities.versaic.com.
Marisol Marks, Smart & Final’s director of corporate communications, was in town to point out the wide array of First Street private label products, ranging from grocery, frozen and dairy to packaging and cleaning products — more than 2,000 products in all and representing more than 23 percent of Smart & Final’s total sales.
Marks, who has been with the company for 11 years, has been traveling extensively as Smart & Final opened 34 new stores in the last four months in Southern California (the last was May 11 in Carlsbad). She said that employee retention and development is part of Smart & Final’s DNA, adding that “We retired a 46-year employee last year.”
Smart & Final has involved its vendors in past charitable giving, but the new program allows greater visibility of the First Street brand. In addition to giving a boost to charitable causes, Marks noted that the First Street brands are sold at an appreciable discount over name brands, “And we vouch for the quality of all our First Street products,” she added.