PALO ALTO — A local grocer with a focus on organic produce has signed a lease to become the new market at a prominent mixed-use center in Palo Alto’s College Terrace district.

Real Produce International Market has leased 11,000 square feet in a Palo Alto complex at 501 Oxford Ave. next to El Camino Real.

“Our market will offer locally sourced produce with a focus on organic, as well as groceries and specialty items sourced locally and internationally,” said Khaled Taffi, owner and manager of Real Produce International Market.

Procuring a market for this location is expected to be a major boost for Palo Alto generally and the College Terrace area in particular.

In June 2018, a group headed by Palo Alto-based developer Blox Ventures and New York City-based realty investment firm Angelo, Gordon & Co. paid $78.3 million in cash for the property, which is in the bustling College Terrace district of Palo Alto.

“The combination of offerings and services fulfills the wants and demands of our Palo Alto community,” said Jason Oberman, chief executive officer of Blox Ventures, one of the principal co-owners of the property where Real Produce International will open its market.

The new owners entered into a preliminary deal with another market in 2018, but that transaction fell through and the space remained empty.

The new market will bring to the College Terrace neighborhood a new deli, grab-and-go area, fresh flowers, and a coffee area.

Real Produce International will offer customers the ability to shop inside the store as well as order online. The new grocery also intends to provide delivery services to Palo Alto residents.

“The market would provide high-quality goods at reasonable prices,” according to a Palo Alto city staff report.

In a letter to the city, Mary Bartholomay, a Palo Alto resident who lives in the College Terrace area, expressed support for Real Produce International Market.

“I believe the new owner will be the one to finally overcome the poor location, the parking situation, the past lack of signage, and the current pandemic, and will give College Terrace the vibrant market it has been missing for these many years,” Bartholomay wrote in a Nov. 16 letter.

Taffi, the principal owner of the new retail outlet, wrote in a letter to the city that he enthusiastic about the prospects for Real Produce International Market’s new store, despite an array of restrictions on how businesses can operation amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“We take the long view and have signed a long-term lease for the grocer space,” Taffi wrote. “We are excited about the opportunity to serve the community.”

  • Real Produce International Market site at 501 Oxford Ave. in the College Terrace district of Palo Alto, concept.
    The Hayes Group, SWA Group

  • Mixed-use complex at the corner of El Camino Real and Oxford Avenue in Palo Alto’s College Terrace neighborhood where Real Produce International Market has leased 11,000 square feet.
    Blox Ventures

  • Palo Alto mixed-use complex at the corner of El Camino Real and Oxford Avenue in the College Terrace area where Real Produce International Market has leased space for a new market with an organic focus.
    Blox Ventures




The family-owned operation is in the grocery, fruit, and vegetable produce business.

Real Produce’s first store is in Almaden Fashion Plaza in south San Jose. Real Produce International Market also operates fruit and wholesale businesses in Oakland and South San Francisco.

It’s likely that the market will be open within weeks, according to the property owner.

“We look forward to their opening here in the holiday season,” Oberman of Blox Ventures said.

The market urged Palo Alto city officials to provide whatever assistance might be possible in gaining approval from the Santa Clara County Health Department to enable the store to open swiftly, possibly as soon as Thanksgiving weekend.

The retailer also hopes for city approval for temporary and eventually permanent signs for the store.

“It is very important that we open as soon as possible,” Taffi wrote a letter to the city. “We hope that you agree that during these hard times, how important it is to have a successful local neighborhood market.”


By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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