Building Town Squares

July 1993

Alfalfa's, one of the country's most progressive and influential grocery-store chains, can trace its roots to Hass Hassan's dream of a simple life on a Mediterranean town square.

Shahid M. Hassan - "Hass" to everyone who knows him - once dreamed of being a Mediterranean fisherman. He envisioned a simple life, Pulling just enough from his netes each day to feed himself and a few close friends. He'd share poetic tales of his travels with the kids of the village. And he'd make time for the pushcart bread man, the woman who brews coffee in that little cafe, or anyone else who happened by the town square to chat.

Things didn't exactly work out that way. Born in Kashmir and raised in London, hass moved first ot the northeastern United States and later to Denver. But he never lost sight of the drea, especially the idea of a town square where people could meet, shop, chat, and think in a fresh, inviting environment.