Shopping app startup moves to Davis

By From page A9 | August 26, 2012

A San Francisco Internet startup company founded by a UC Davis graduate is opening an office in Davis.

The founder and CEO of ShoppingScout, Ken Ouimet, moved his family to Davis and is remodeling the former UCD Occupational Health Services building at 501 Oak Ave. for its headquarters. It has a temporary office at 231 E St. until it’s finished, hopefully by January. Ouimet is working with the UCD architecture department to maintain some of the building’s original design.

“He wants to give back to the community by bringing new jobs,” said spokesman Daryl Silva. “UC Davis students will have a lot of internship and part-time opportunities to apply their knowledge in a technology company. Ken also sees huge potential of conducting joint projects with the research and academic community of UC Davis.”

Initial plans call for about 10 people in the office, with hopes to grow quickly, Silva said.

According to its website, “ShoppingScout is a Web and mobile application that finds the best value for your everyday purchases across local stores and online retailers to maximize savings for the entire shopping trip.”

The free app recognizes a user’s location and presents them with a list of local and online stores available. Shoppers establish preferences and shopping lists, and the app helps them find the best deals. Users may choose to shop at several stores or fewer to save time.

For now, the service is available in Northern California, from Fresno to Lake Tahoe. It deals mostly with national grocery and drug stores like Safeway, Target and CVS.

When I asked about incorporating local stores such as Nugget or the Davis Food Co-op, Silva said, “We are creating a platform where independents can list their stores, products pricing and promotions for free.”

Ouimet’s parents, Roger and Colleen Ouimet, own Comparative Prices International in Sacramento. Ken “grew up helping them check prices in grocery and drug stores,” Silva said.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UCD in 1991 and later a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara, he and his brother Tim started KhiMetrics, a software company that specialized in pricing optimization software.

Seven years later, “they grew the company to a multi-million dollar enterprise, and successfully sold it to SAP,” according to a news release. “His passion for pricing and technology drove him to start ShoppingScout.”

Tim Ouimet serves on the board of directors for ShoppingScout. Their parents’ company remains a partner.

For information, go to www.shoppingscout.com.


Panera Bread is holding to its Friday, Aug. 31, opening date, spokesman Luke Lambert said Monday. The bakery/café is in the former Blockbuster site at Third and F streets downtown.

Customers order breakfast, lunch or dinner at the counter from a selection of sandwiches, salads, several daily soups, fresh breads and sweets. Beverages include coffee drinks and smoothies.

Hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. For more information and a menu, go to www.panerabread.com.


Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop in Oakshade Town Center in South Davis may open “around” Monday, Sept. 10, a company official said Saturday. A grand opening would be the following weekend.

The sandwich shop fills the spot where Davis Creamery was. To see the company website, go to www.mrpicklesinc.com.


And there’s more good news for Oakshade Town Center. Teabo Café is coming to 2191 Cowell Blvd., Suite E, where Quizno’s was. It’s a Thai – or bubble – tea shop that may open as early as mid-November or early December.

Owner Adam Mah graduated from UCD a year ago.

“I decided to open Teabo Café because I knew a lot of my friends who lived in South Davis had to drive up to The Old Teahouse (in University Mall) or Quickly (in Anderson Plaza) to get their milk tea fix.”

He said he heard lots of suggestions for a boba shop in South Davis, “so I went for it.”

He said if things are delayed, he may schedule a soft opening over winter break in mid-December and a grand opening after UCD classes resume in January.

The drink menu will include teas, milk teas, smoothies, ices, Italian sodas and coffee. Items like tapioca pearls and/or various jellies may be added to the drinks, creating what is known as tapioca (milk) tea, bubble tea or boba. It will feature food like popcorn chicken, fries, nachos and various Asian snacks, Mah said.


Raley’s announced Aug. 17 that the Bel Air grocery store at 1885 E. Gibson Road in Woodland will close in mid-October.


El Toro Bravo Mexican Kitchen should open this fall, a co-owner said. It replaces the closed Baja Fresh at 237 D St.

“We were finally able to get our plans ready and approved,” Derar Zawaydeh said last Sunday. “You should be able to see some noticeable progress this coming week. An estimate for completion — barring any last-minute hitches – would be about mid-October.”

The food will be a Mexican fusion style. It will have the same “value-driven concept” he and his partner offer at nearby Burgers & Brew and Crepeville. Lunch patrons will order at the counter, while dinner guests can expect full service.


The Secretariat may no longer have a storefront at 340 G St., but it’s still going strong as an Internet-based service, owner Janet Gift reports.

Gift, who has owned the business since 1995, does thesis and dissertation editing, proofreading, transcription and bookkeeping. It was at G and Fouth streets for 38 years. Its website is www.secretariatdavis.com.


Nearby, in the former site of Zehnder & Associates payroll service, Bubble Belly maternity and baby store will open Wednesday, Sept. 12.

The store sells “Designer maternity jeans, hip baby clothes and cool accessories.” Owner Silvie Truong plans a grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Its online store has been open for a while at shopbubblebelly.com.


The owners of Black Dragon Brewery in Woodland expected their licensing to be complete by Wednesday. If so, Jason and Heather Breatt planned to start brewing by the time this column prints. The address is also home to their Woodland Homebrew Supply, which opened in November.

“We will open up in the next few weeks with one or two Black Dragon brews and some great guest taps,” Heather Breatt wrote in an email. “As Black Dragon brews become available, we will keep adding on our own beers and let people know when they will be available.”

She said to check the website, blackdragonbrew.com, for the latest.

Eventually, plans are to add appetizers, sandwiches and live music.

Its phone is (530) 666-KEGS or (530) 668-HOPS.

— Wendy Weitzel is a Davis resident. Her column runs occasionally on Sundays, but her Comings & Goings blog at www.davisenterprise.com has more frequent updates. Comings & Goings is also on Facebook. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact Wendy at [email protected].

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel is a longtime journalist and Davis resident. She is a former managing editor of The Davis Enterprise, working there from 1998-2008. She has written her Comings & Goings business column since 2001. Today, she does freelance writing, editing, marketing and design.
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