Robert M. Piccinini
Bob Piccinini earned his first grocery store paycheck from his father’s store, Mike’s Market on North Main Street, at age 12, earning 50 cents per hour pressing labels onto packaged meats. A 1959 graduate of Manteca High School, Bob now owns Save Mart Supermarkets, the highly successful chain of grocery stores started by his father and uncle.
Although he followed family footsteps into the grocery business, Piccinini has clearly left his own imprint on Save Mart. With more than $1 billion in annual gross sales, the company has 8,000 employees working in stores from Vallejo to Tehachapi. In the 18 years since he became chairman/CEO at Save Mart, he has seen the Modesto-based company expand from 30 stores to 102.
He has expanded into the warehouse grocery market with 10 Food Maxx and Food 4 Less outlets, and was instrumental in developing a processing plant that produces both the Sunnyside Farms dairy line and Sunny Select dry goods and deli products. Piccinini is also chairman of Yosemite Express Co., a trucking company better known as SMART Refrigerated Transport, and is a board member of the Western Association of Food Chains.
Piccinini has served as president of both state and national grocery organizations and, in 1997, was honored by being named to the California Grocers Association Hall of Achievement.
His love for sports got him into professional baseball where he owned California league franchises in three Valley cities. A few years back he assumed sponsorship of the Save Mart 300, California's best-known NASCAR race, held annually at Sears Point in Marin County.