It might be the worst-kept secret in Morro Bay.
Shoppers walking into the Cookie Crock grocery store on Quintana this week are asking the same question: Is it true you are going to close?
The response from employees: Yes.
Management at the Cambria corporate office will not comment nor confirm the closure, but store workers in Morro Bay say they have been told to expect it in a few months, likely by May, preceded by a closeout sale in April.
While there’s not official word, one thing that’s not at all in doubt is that the building is for lease.
The Bakersfield office of Newmark Grubb lists the property at 490 Quintana for lease with a flyer that was first published online last August.
The lease covers 1.16 acres and 19,500 square feet under roof. Brokers with the company say the property is available within 30 to 60 days and that the current tenant will vacate.
What would replace Cookie Crock?
There’s no word yet on who might replace the modest-size store.
Some comments on the popular social media website Next Door — where the news was shared widely in recent days — suggest they will miss Cookie Crock’s hometown atmosphere.
”Where will I buy bird seed?” one commenter asked. Others hope it could mean Trader Joe’s comes in, while responders puff that TJ’s will never happen here.
Cookie Crock’s store in Cambria will remain open.
The location in Arroyo Grande closed in 2014, and its spot is now occupied by the German-owned Aldi discount chain.
Could Aldi also come to Morro Bay?
The town is now dominated by its largest player, Albertsons, just a half-block down the street from Cookie Crock. The other grocer in Morro Bay is the locally owned Spencer’s Market.
Cookie Crock says on its website that it is the longest continuously operated independent supermarket on the Central Coast — locally owned and operated. The store touts that it still bags your groceries with a smile.
“We are your hometown supermarket, serving the Central Coast for three generations.”
Cookie Crock started as a bakery in 1965 in Cambria, which explains the origin of its name.