It’s a sad day when Spencer’s in San Luis Obispo closes. We are losing our only locally owned grocery where all money spent here stayed here, and the only market offering a delicious barbecue, which perfumed its lot each Saturday.
Its service was like no others — the only one that got a special Greek cheese I requested. And when no fresh-cut pineapple was available, a clerk picked out the sweetest one and had it cut without being asked. It was where two ladies from the deli taught me how to make posole, and then critiqued my efforts. When it ran out of fresh rhubarb last spring, I went to Ralphs, only to find out that the store, three times Spencer’s size, never carries it. Last week, when I called the deli to ask for fresh tuna salad, she said theirs was old and, unasked, made some fresh — for a customer she would never see again.
The staff’s kindness made it feel like family. Others may have gained a few cents on groceries from other stores, but what we have lost is much deeper; this is how a town loses its soul.