PLEASANT HILL – Jason and Kathy Olson, owners of the local Grocery Outlet store, remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, posting daily Facebook Live updates of the merchandise on their shelves so customers could see if they had the items they needed while practicing social distancing. In recognition of their effort, Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, today named their store Contra Costa County’s Small Business of the Year.
“The bottom line is, this is our community and we are trying to be a resource for people,” said Jason Olson, who along with his wife, bought the store in 2011. “We were getting so many calls asking if we had toilet paper or this or that. People were scared. We just figured there’s so much uncertainty in the world right now we could come up with a better way to help.”
“I’m proud to honor Jason and Kathy for their important service to our community,” Sen. Dodd said. “They’ve really gone the extra mile. It is reassuring to know that when times are tough, we can count on our essential small businesses.”
The Olsons are supporters of community events including the annual Chamber of Commerce Art, Wine and Music fundraiser. They have donated food for the Community Awards ceremony, the town’s Fourth of July parade and Rotary’s Night of Merriment event. They previously owned a Grocery Outlet in Elk Grove. Jason Olson is a Rotarian, Shriner, local Boy Scout leader and a Marine. The couple has three children and live in Pleasant Hill.
Chamber president Ramona Macintyre called the Olsons’ store “an amazing community resource.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.