Our Independent of the Month for April is Jimbo’s! They are a small chain based in San Diego county and a key member of the natural food industry. Their conscientious stores are many customers’ local favorites!
Their first location, the North Park store, was opened by Jim (Jimbo) Somek in 1984. Since then, they have opened four other locations. All products sold at Jimbo’s are held to the highest standards. Within the categories of organic, non-GMO, and good for you – you will find only the finest items on the shelves. Our questions below provide a detailed look inside Jimbo’s stores.
An Exploration of Jimbo’s
Q: Jimbo’s has been in business for 36 years, what do you think has contributed to your long-term success?
A: There are many factors that have contributed to our success, but two immediately come to mind. First, our staff members. Over the years, we have cultivated a working environment that continues to attract those who align with our values and have a true passion for the natural foods industry. The energy and knowledge they provide on a daily basis continues to build a strong and loyal customer following. Secondly, we are proud of the relationships we have grown over the years, not just with our local organic farmers, but with various manufacturers, vendors, and brokers. The landscape of the natural foods industry continues to grow and evolve, and we are proud to support the brands that have been with us since day one, along with new innovative brands who continue to elevate our commitment to organics.
Q: What is something unique about Jimbo’s?
A: Our produce department is 100% organic, and we pride ourselves on offering one of the largest selections of organic produce that you can find anywhere in the country! From the very first day we opened our doors for business, Jimbo’s has been committed to supporting local organic farmers and organic growing practices. It’s a commitment that touches the very heart and soul of our business. It’s a commitment to the best: the highest quality, freshest, healthiest food from farmers who work in concert with nature. Also, our ingredient standards! We strive to provide our customers with the highest quality natural foods available. Accordingly, we ask that any sales representatives that call on us observe the ingredient standards list (found on our website) before presenting new items. The list emphasizes those standards that will most often need to be observed before items are presented to our Buying Team. The specifications are not negotiable. We strongly encourage the use of organic ingredients and will give preference to those products that contain organic ingredients.
Q: What are some popular items sold at your locations?
A: In our Food Service department, where everything is made from scratch using organic ingredients whenever possible, we definitely have some customer favorites: cauliflower enchiladas, tofu spring rolls, lemon sesame kale salad, and The Lone Star sandwich!
Q: How do you help the community?
A: Jimbo’s supports the community in numerous ways. Whether it’s a free educational seminar offered at our locations, organic produce for the numerous runs and walks in San Diego to feeding over 1,300 teachers and faculty during the holidays, our roots really do run deep in the community. Since 1999, we have donated over $1,750,000 to local community organizations and charities in San Diego. In December of 1999, we designed the It’s in the Bag! Wooden Nickel program which promotes the recycling of shopping bags, by rewarding those customers who reuse their bags (paper, cloth or plastic) and by passing the money that Jimbo’s saves on grocery bags on to local charitable organizations. To date, we have saved over 6,541,000 bags from going back into the environment and over $327,000 has been donated to local charities!
Q: You currently have 5 store locations; would you like to open more in the future?
A: Yes, we continue to monitor potential sites throughout Southern California.