515 Third Street
What do they offer?
United Markets is a full shop market. They offer everything a shopper needs, including fresh organic produce priced low enough to compete with any other markets in town. There is a full deli, freshly baked goods, wine and beverages, pre-packaged meals, a sushi counter and seasonal gifts and foods. The meat counter offers USDA choice cuts and the seafood section offers a wide variety of sustainable options. There is also a garden center on the lot, making it easy to pick up plants for the garden or bushes and flowers for the yard.
Who are they?
Owner Bill Daniels was born in California and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in his teens. He entered the grocery business in 1958 and bought the current store locations in the 1980s. After realizing he wanted to focus on Marin County, Bill closed the stores in San Francisco and became a full-time advocate and supporter of local residents. This is a family operation as his daughter and son-in-law are currently working for United and many of Bill’s grandsons have worked at the market after school and over the summer break.
How long have they been there?
The Third Street market has been in operation since 1955 and the San Anselmo store has been serving Marin residents since 1959. Although the business has seen three name changes over the years, United Markets is synonymous with quality and community involvement.
Why are they in our Business Spotlight?
This is a business catering to local clientele. The mom-and-pop shop feeling is still prevalent but Bill and his team are dedicated to staying up to date on current food and shopping trends. They find new items after hearing suggestions from customers. They have sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan sections not to mention hard to find international foods and spices. This is an uber-local operation, as Bill strives to promote local businesses and farms. Bill and his family are very proud to be business owners and residents of Marin County and do whatever they can to give back to the community of San Rafael. Every year they count upwards of $250,000 in donations to local schools and non-profits.
Did you know?
Bill’s buying day is also a day of the week when local start-up companies have the opportunity meet with him. New owners have the chance to brainstorm about their business and gain knowledge from one of the best in town.