Letters to the Editor

Cherishing 29 years of memories as Haggen, once Vons, closes in Los Osos

Fred Dominguez checks out his handy work after installing a new sign in front of  a Haggen grocery store, formerly an Albertsons, located in Palmdale, on March 23, 2015.
Fred Dominguez checks out his handy work after installing a new sign in front of a Haggen grocery store, formerly an Albertsons, located in Palmdale, on March 23, 2015. Los Angeles Times

I have written a number of letters to the editor over the past years.

The last letter I wrote was a request for patience and understanding to the community of Los Osos as Vons transitioned to Haggen.

We the employees began the process full of excitement and anticipation, as our new employer came to town full of promises. We began to become disillusioned as we heard complaints from our customers about high prices. We repeatedly informed corporate of the pricing issues. No response or action was ever taken. We continued to watch customers leave and go elsewhere, unable to pay the higher prices of products they previously purchased for much less. It was very difficult for everyone — employees and customers. But there was nothing anyone, except Haggen, could do.

So now I write this to say goodbye.

I’ve worked at the Los Osos store for 29-plus years. I grew up in that store. I graduated from college, got married and had a baby (who is now a young woman). I have met hundreds, if not thousands, of people and made many friends in both customers and co-workers — friendships that will last a lifetime, I’m sure. We’ve had some great, wonderful, weird, sad and touching memories.

I remember the young mom who came into the store late one night. She was visibly upset with her child in her arms.

She said frantically, “I didn’t know what to do.” Her daughter had shoved a dime up her nose. The employees sprang into action. One calmed down the mom, another distracted the little girl while I used a pair of tweezers to carefully pull the dime out of the little girl’s nose. Then, there was the lady who came in shortly after her husband had passed. It was Valentine’s Day. I had waited on her for many years. I walked over to her and handed her a peach rose and told her a little birdie had told me to give it to her. She quietly told me peach was the color rose her husband had always given her.

There are many stories — too many to list, but all special.

Stories of human kindness, love, compassion and even tragedy that became our story.

But now, like all stories, ours is coming to an end. We came to know many in our community and care about them, and they about us. I guess that’s why saying goodbye is so hard. We’ve come to care about each other. We’re more than a grocery store, we’re family. So, as I say goodbye and close the book on the story of our little store, know I, and all the employees, take all of those special friendships and memories with us. They will forever be a part of me and all of us.

Thanks for the memories, Los Osos. We will miss you. Goodbye.

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