Photo and Story by Blake Ashley Frino-Gerl

Long-time SLO County resident Michael Wolfe has used his knowledge of working in the grocery business and making connections with vendors to provide a helpful impact for the community as well as starting his own business, Avocado Shack.

At a young age, Wolfe thought he would be a forest ranger because of his love of nature, but his job early on at Williams Brothers market in Los Osos made him rethink that. As a kid, he rode his “dirt bike to work and bagged groceries.” Then he says, once “I got into produce, I went, ‘This is actually kind of fun — I kind of like this.’” He later worked for Vons, Spencer’s Market and then Cookie Crock, and also farmed tomatoes in Cambria.

Working hard enough to retire young to then be able to help the community was his goal. However, when hardship struck his family, they fortunately pulled through, with Wolfe working harder than ever to sustain a living.

The wealth of consumerism know-how enabled him to open Avocado Shack in 2019 in the former location of an old salon at 2790 Main Street. Acquiring customers took a little time, making Wolfe a bit nervous, but he kept going and prevailed through word-of-mouth, his connections, and the need for good produce.

Wolfe’s worry quickly changed as the business quickly grew in nine months and in July 2020, Avocado Shack moved to a bigger location at 2190 Main Street. His storefront is a necessity to consumers getting their produce any day of the week. If one were to miss the weekly farmer’s markets, they can stop by his store and get whatever local finds he has.

Wolfe rarely has imported items and only if certain items are unattainable locally. He also purposely has organic produce available, as well as local goods, such as Etto pasta, flowers, and bread from Bread Bike Bakery.

“The idea is to know where your food comes from,” Wolfe says.

Since working with and giving back to the community is important to Wolfe, he has included a large food pantry space for the Estero Bay Kindness Coalition Organization, run by Bobby deLancellotti, to “provide week’s worth of food for 180 families,” Wolfe adds.

This serves well to what Wolfe’s original plan was — connecting with and helping the community.

In the future, he “would like to have more” Avocado Shacks, but “in time.” Many of his customers come from all over the county. Wolfe says that about “25 percent or his customers come from over the hill” because they see his instagram posts highlighting items that he has available that other places do not. Aside from the hope to expand, Wolfe says “in the meantime I’m just enjoying the ride.” He tells himself to “enjoy the ride getting there, enjoy the story, enjoy the stories we are writing because we get to ride them — we are living them.”