Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hemet, California

Hemet is a small city in California.  It is 315 miles (507 km) from Prescott and about 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Downtown Los Angeles.  From Prescott it's about a 5½ hour drive.  My grandparents retired here back in the early 1980s and this was the first stop back in Cali in order to visit my uncle.

Hemet was founded in 1887 and incorporated in 1910.  It's a small city with +78,600 people.  It is basically a working-class retirement town.

The biggest claim to fame that Hemet has is "The Ramona Pageant".  It started in 1923 and is California's official outdoor play.  In fact it is one of the longest running outdoor plays in the USA.  Aside from the play, Hemet also now has the new Diamond Valley Lake.

For my Euro crew, everyone knows that Tesco is the UK's largest retailer.  Is is actually the world's 3rd largest retailer.  Well, despite the fact that the U.S. market is tough for UK business, Tesco opened its first "Fresh & Easy" in Hemet back in 2007.

Fresh & Easy is modeled after Tesco Express so it is meant to compete with convenience stores.  The stores are 75% smaller than the average American supermarket.  Today, you can find +185 of these stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

My visit to Hemet was really nice because I finally got to meet Francis.  She was a very good friend to my grandmother.  After my grandmother passed away last year, I started sending her postcards to Francis.  She is just the sweetest person.  It's nice to finally be able to put a face to a name.

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