Thu12182014

Business & Real Estate

A new beginning : Dittmer’s market ends 19-month hiatus with Los Altos opening


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Friends and customers greet Dittmer Bubert as he opens the doors to his Los Altos market Aug. 8.

Petra Silva distinctly recalls the last time she saw her father shed a tear.

It was the day Dittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus Inc. founder Dittmer Bubert watched a two-alarm fire destroy his market at 400 San Antonio Road.

Nearly 19 months later, Bubert shed a few more tears – this time, of joy – as he opened the doors to the new Los Altos location for an eager crowd of customers Aug. 8.

Customers and friends shared countless hugs and handshakes with Bubert as they streamed into the new 5,000-square-foot space at 4540 El Camino Real. Silva, the market’s manager, likened it to “a receiving line at a wedding.”

“It was wonderful,” said Silva, who took to Facebook the day before to announce the market’s opening to 4,500 “friends.” “It was a celebration, like a wedding almost. The customers came up and thanked every single one of us, which was great.”

Bubert called the moment “unreal” and said the warm reception was beyond his expectations.

“I know we have a lot of loyal customers and they’ve been asking us and asking us when we’re going to open,” said Bubert, who opened the family’s original market in Mountain View 34 years ago. “Now we’re finally here.”

Inside the store, customers lined the meat counter as they eyed the market’s offerings, including various selections of sausages, liverwurst, hams and other deli treats displayed in numerous cold cases. Others enjoyed sampling a selection of products offered by Silva’s mother, Margaret, positioned near the main entrance.

Outside, a musician played polka music while employees manned a grill next to the parking lot and dispensed sausage samples to arriving shoppers.

Silva said the reopening had a reunionlike atmosphere, with several longtime customers striking up conversations with various staff and family members while shopping.

“We saw kids and families we hadn’t seen in a year-and-a-half. We saw a few customers come in with new babies we hadn’t met before,” said Silva, who noted that the new market served more than 400 customers its first day.

At the end of the day, Silva added that the 19-month hiatus – which included transforming the former site of a Wells Fargo Bank into a European meat market – was worth it.

“It’s a new beginning,” she said. “It’s rewarding because of all the time spent building this place and all the obstacles we faced. It’s a very good day for everyone.”

For more information, visit www.dittmers.com.

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