New Leaf Community Markets' Westside location
New Leaf Community Markets’ Westside location.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Food & Drink

At New Leaf, a foray into self-checkout and a move in Capitola

New Leaf Community Markets’ Aptos, Westside Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay locations have added robot cashiers (and don’t worry, they’re not taking anyone’s job) — as will its Capitola outpost, which is moving up and across 41st Avenue.

This story was originally featured in this week’s Lily Belli on Food newsletter. Be the first to hear about food and drink news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Lily’s email newsletter here and text alerts here.

There are two types of people at the grocery store: those who breeze through the self-checkout line and those who prefer to wait for an actual person to scan and bag their groceries. Now, they can both shop at New Leaf Community Markets. The locally founded grocery store chain has added 13 total self-checkout stations at its stores in Aptos, Westside Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay.

The goal is to reduce customer wait time in line, says New Leaf brand manager Lindsay Gizdich. Short wait times are better for everyone, including store employees, who can better give each customer the time and space they deserve during their transaction and increase service throughout the store. These robot cashiers aren’t taking anyone’s job — in fact, a new position at the store was added to serve customers in the self-checkout area.

And big changes are coming to the Capitola store, currently in the Begonia Plaza shopping center off of 41st Avenue. In 2024, it will move to a larger building in the King’s Plaza Shopping Center on the corner of 41st Avenue and Capitola Road to the space that’s currently a Lucky supermarket. In addition to a larger footprint and expanded services and products, the team plans to open self-checkout stations there as well.