Biz Buzz: Carrows to close, reopen as Coco’s

The Carrows restaurant at 7300 El Camino Real in Atascadero will close its doors Jan. 10 and reopen approximately three weeks later as Coco’s Bakery Restaurant.

Both chains are owned by Catalina Restaurant Group Inc., which is based in Carlsbad.

The Atascadero Carrows has been in business for more than 20 years, according to general manager Ken Dias. “They’re gutting the front and putting in all new booths, carpets, pie cases. Everything is being redone.”

The company felt reopening as a different restaurant would breathe new life into the area and draw a larger customer base.

The construction project is expected to cost between $300,000 and $500,000.

During the remodel, Carrows’ staff will be retrained as Coco’s employees.

If everything goes as planned, Coco’s Bakery Restaurant will reopen on or before Jan. 30.

Both restaurants are known for their home-style comfort cooking and pies.

— Stacy Daniel

Spencer’s joins Independent Grocers Alliance

Spencer’s Fresh Markets has joined the Independent Grocers Alliance, a buying group of more than 4,500 independent grocers nationwide. Based in Arroyo Grande and owned by John Spencer, Spencer’s Fresh Markets operates grocery stores in Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.

Joining a buying group such as IGA helps smaller chains like Spencer’s to increase bargaining power to obtain lower prices from wholesalers, so that savings are passed to customers.

Founded in 1926, IGA is one of the largest buying groups in the nation and partners with companies such as General Mills, Kraft Foods and Hershey.

— Julia Hickey