The iconic Mario’s Westside Market, a beloved fixture in the community, officially introduced its new, larger supermarket during a grand-opening event on October 30. Situated right by its former location, the new store is a significant improvement for the neighborhood and hundreds of people welcomed the store to the area.
This new location and enhanced store offering are the fulfillment of a long-standing dream for founder Sam Johnson. Mario Berlanga, a co-owner of the market located at 1425 W. Lake Mead Blvd., shared his thoughts on this momentous development. When he assumed the reins of what was then Jimmy’s Westside Market in 1999, his vision was clear: to provide the community he grew up in with access to affordable food. Mario’s journey was driven by personal experience, as he emphasized, “I know the struggle. I know how hard it is to survive, and that pushes me to want to help others because I’ve been there and gone through it.”
Over the course of 26 years, the market has thrived and has successfully tripled its space. The expansion means more than just extra square footage; it signifies a commitment to community well-being.
Mario explained, “The aisles at the location we are at now are about 20 feet long, but here the aisles are about 55 feet long. So in linear feet, we went from 125 to almost 600. This expansion means that we can now better serve our community members who rely on the WIC program. They can purchase what they need without having to commute far from their neighborhood.”
The modern Mario’s Westside Market is the realization of a dream that has been meticulously designed and carefully crafted over the past year. For Mario Berlanga, it’s better than he could have ever imagined. “You can imagine things, and you don’t know what goes into all that until you start doing it,” he remarked.
The remodeling of the building, previously a CVS store, is complete, with brightly lit aisles, new refrigerators ready to be stocked, and meticulous outdoor decor. Jennifer Hawkes, the project manager with Associated Food Stores, shared her perspective, saying, “The heartbeat of the store got stronger and stronger.”
The expansion of Mario’s Westside Market is more than just a business endeavor; it’s a lifeline for a community situated in a “food desert,” an area lacking access to affordable and nutritious food for lower-income residents. Clark County and the city of Las Vegas invested to the tune of approximately $2.5 million in this project, with Mario providing additional financing.
The new market features a larger kitchen, a bakery and a deli counter, ensuring the community has access to an even wider range of fresh and affordable food options.
“This new market not only marks the fulfillment of a dream but also stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of community, commitment and service that defines Mario’s Westside Market,” said Jared Mitchell, vice president, construction and facilities for AFS. “It’s a promising new chapter for both the market and the community it serves.”
Below are several links to news coverage of the new store: