I have lived in the Johnson Avenue area of San Luis Obispo for 40 years. During most of that time, there has been a small, convenient neighborhood market on Laurel Lane. It has been well stocked and convenient. Most importantly, it has provided a place for elderly and handicapped residents of the nearby retirement facilities to shop.
Eleven years ago, Gwen Schmidt took over management and made it even more special. She stocked foods for people on special diets, bought local organic products, and held events for neighbors to meet.
Recently, new owners raised her rent to an unaffordable level. She is being forced to close. I hope Gwen and all employees know how much we will miss them. Hopefully, in the few days remaining for SLO Fresh Market, people will shop there, say “goodbye,” and buy items remaining on the shelves to minimize Gwen’s financial loss.
Gwen will survive and be successful in whatever her next endeavor is. The other employees will find jobs in which to use their talents. The real loser is the neighborhood! Hopefully, the new owner will take community needs into consideration when he opens a new business in that location.
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