Made In Kern County: Foodmaxx


“Maximize your savings” 

It’s the slogan of one family owned grocery store still going strong today exactly three decades after opening it’s doors to kern county at just the right time, when many family’s were looking to stretch every dollar.

It was 1986 and oil prices hit rock bottom forcing many Kern County family’s to cut back even more. It was the same year a small Bakersfield grocery store later known as Foodmaxx would open it’s doors to eager family’s looking to make every penny count during tough financial times. 

Mark Tillett now a senior director for the company, was there from the very beginning. “When we opened this store in 1986 there was no pre-advertising that we were coming to town,” Tillett said. “We just unlocked the doors we started with 400 shopping carts.” 

After just 45-minutes Tillett says all those carts were gone, in the hands of customers shopping in the store. 

That customer demand from the very beginning a clear sign that the price-saving-format, no frills grocery store would be a success in Kern County. 

Since opening it’s first store in Bakersfield back in 1986, Foodmaxx has exploded in popularity. Now the company operating 55 stores up and down the state, with plans to open two more locations in Nevada by the end of the year. 

Foosmaxx known for having the lowest prices in town, and for price-matching. It’s what has kept MaryJo Kvasnicka coming back since the day they opened. “So this place is perfect,” she said. 

That concept of saving money not lost on Shari Tovar, who as a single mom would drive from Lamont to Bakersfield—looking to save every dollar for her young family. 

“I would come all the way from Lamont because I couldn’t afford to buy the milk for my daughter,” Tovar said. She also says Foodmaxx was the first local store to carry a special form of milk for her second child who had a lactose intolerance. 

Just one of many reasons many people choose to shop at Foodmaxx over their competitors, Tillett told us as we toured the store. 

Tillett believes Foodmaxx has been so successful because they haven’t strayed from their original mission to save family’s as much money as possible. “We’ve worked hard to maintain that focus, and work to keep that concept pure.” 

A concept of saving money on your grocery bill, that started right here in Kern County.

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