Konstantinos “Gus” Vardakastanis, the grocer known for his family-run grocery stores in San Francisco, was killed early this morning after a hit-and-run in the Bayview. Over thirty years ago, Vardakastianis started a humble grocery store with his wife. They’ve since established three locations and touched the lives of many. The tragedy is felt across many neighborhoods and is undoubtedly a loss for San Francisco.

Vardakastanis was hit while crossing the street at the intersection of Jerrold and Toland streets at 2:17am and passed away at the scene. According to the San Francisco Police Department, the unknown vehicle was speeding and fled the scene.

Mayor Ed Lee released a statement today summing up the sentiments of many.

“I am heartbroken at the loss of our beloved Gus Vardakastanis, a dedicated small business owner, immigrant entrepreneur and community leader. He provided healthy and affordable produce to the neighborhoods he served and employed many residents at his three local markets. His welcoming and entrepreneurial spirit will be missed by the many people he touched.”

SFPD investigators are looking for a silver sedan with windshield and front-end damage. Anyone with any information about this incident is encouraged to contact SFPD via the department’s anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444, or text TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.

Related article: Local Biz Spotlight: Gus’s Market, 30 Years of Family Business (Interview with Gus’s sons, Dimitri and Bobby Vardakastianis, released alongside the opening of )