Save Mart Supermarkets Names Chet Graska
Store Manager of the Year

Top 10 Nominees for 2010 Nicholas J. Tocco Award Honored

Modesto, Calif., January 25, 2011– Save Mart Supermarkets – Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx stores – recently honored Chet Graska, manager of the FoodMaxx on Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa, Calif., with the prestigious 2010 Nicholas J. Tocco Store Manager of the Year Award. During the company’s annual management appreciation gala, 10 nominees for the award were presented.

“Chet Graska has grown as a leader over the past two years to be champion of our best practices. This simply reinforces that his leadership is not just at store level. Chet continues to inspire many as a global leader in the FoodMaxx banner,” said Save Mart Supermarkets Chief Sales Officer, Frank Capps.

Chet Graska started his career at a Food4Less as a high school student, working his way up to store manager ten years later. Along the way he was in charge of dairy box, frozen foods, assistant night crew manager, and then accepted the position of receiving manager at a proposed new store. He helped build and open the new Ukiah Food4Less from the ground up. He earned an Associated Degree in Business Administration from Mendocino College while working and was heavily involved in the Boy Scouts, achieving Life Scout. He came to FoodMaxx in 2003 when Save Mart Supermarkets purchased the Fleming stores in Northern California. His store won a Food Safety & Sanitation award from Sonoma County as being one of the top facilities for cleanliness and food safety in 2008 and 2009. Mr. Graska also served on the Sonoma County Economic Development Board’s business crime task force. This is Mr. Graska’s first nomination for Store Manager of the Year.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award out of so many deserving managers. My store team, and supervisory/buying team, have both been key factors in my success as a store manager, and a leader. ,” says Mr. Graska. “My motto — the more ‘potential store managers’ we have running around our store, the better we become. It also makes our job, taking care of the customer, that much easier. This is a very tough business, and settling for less than the desired Save Mart Supermarkets Honors 2010 Store Manager of the Year Page 2 of 2 results is not acceptable for my team and me. We continue to focus on getting better at what we do every day. If you focus on the little things, the big picture is sure to be very remarkable.”

John Bettencourt – Lucky store on Portola Ave. in Livermore – and Roy Torres – Save Mart store in Atwater – were named first and second runners-up, respectively.

This year’s Nicholas J. Tocco nominees included:

Ryce Hopkins – Save Mart store in Grass Valley
Pat Lee – Save Mart store on W. Walnut Ave. in Visalia
Ruben Perez – Lucky store in Pinole
Jeff Wester – Save Mart store in Hanford
George Chatfield – Lucky store in Daly City
Mike Moreno – Save Mart store at Scenic and Oakdale Road in Modesto
Patrick McBride – Lucky store on MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland

The Store Manager of the Year award, presented by Save Mart Supermarkets Owner and Chairman Bob Piccinini, was created in honor of the late Nicholas J. Tocco, co-founder of Save Mart Supermarkets. Nominees for the award must meet the company’s standards for store performance, customer service, and community involvement. The winner receives an etched blown glass vase, travel certificate, and cash. Runners up receive a cash award and all nominees receive a framed certificate.

Save Mart Supermarkets operates over 240 stores throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky, Maxx Value Foods, and FoodMaxx banners. The privately-held company was founded January 17, 1952 and has always been headquartered in Modesto, California. More information about the company and its banners is available at,, and Its consumer relations group can be called toll-free at 800-692-5710.

Pictures or interviews of nominees and winners available upon request via email to or