SLO Fresh Market closing

January 18, 2013

slo freshAfter more than 50 years in business, SLO Fresh Market on Laurel Lane is closing. [KSBY]

In about 45 days, the neighborhood market is slated to close its doors leaving 13 people, including one who has been employed there for 44 years, out of a job.

The market’s owner, Gwen Schmidt, told KSBY that the Laurel Lane shopping center was sold and the new owners will be renting her space out to another business. Because her rent has tripled, she was forced to move.

“My customers are my pride and joy I always say,” Schmidt told KSBY. “I have the best customers in the whole world they’re like family to us. I don’t think anyone realizes how important this store is to the neighborhood.”



Most are placing the blame on the new owner, but the reality is that the blame should be on our fractional reserve banking system, which is a pox on society. As long as the banksters can keep us, the 99% blaming each other, they are happy, and can keep sucking away our earned wealth.


Sad story but listen up – yes the new owners are trying to make a profit by raising rents to cover their higher costs. That is the chance they take on buying commercial real estate – they may lose tenants in the process. It is a terrible time to be trying to rent commercial space anywhere in SLO. Just drive around and see.

But to make matters worse, there are efforts underway in the Legislature to create a “split-roll” property tax system whereBY commercial properties would be taxed at a higher rate than presently allowed under Prop. 13. So if you think rents are bad now, just wait! Vote NO an any changes to Prop. 13 as the only people who will suffer are tenants who will bear the increased cost ,and owners who occupy their building – in other words, EVERYONE!


womanwhohasbeenthere, your overview is misleading. Prop 13 allows companies to transfer (i.e., sell) real estate owned prior to the enactment of Prop 13 as part of an investment package and continue to be taxed at the 1978 rate. This exemption is unfair to the rest of us and should be corrected. If you as a property owner sell real estate owned before Prop 13 to someone today, the new owner does not get the same benefit. This major loophole allows corporations to take considerable tax advantage that the ordinary citizen cannot.

BTW: How will this change increase rents? Are you anticipating many companies selling their real estate as part of an investment package and taking advantage of this loophole?


Absolutely correct Dante. If Prop 13 was about keeping grandma in her home, and including all owner occupied residential properties to boot, that’s what it would have said. Prop 13 was backed by the REIT’s so that they could buy and sell commercial properties with no tax increases ever.


You don’t understand how economic markets work. There’s little relation between rents and costs. You can’t charge anything you want and expect to keep your spaces filled. Rents are set by the market. You charge too much, nobody rents your space. It’s that simple. Store keepers aren’t idiots who will pay anything. Unfortunately, however, there are tax writeoff benefits for landlords who keep their properties vacant. Just look at the Copelands and all the downtown properties they don’t rent because of this benefit.


Allegedly, the Copeland family is in the process of purchasing the Lincoln Market and Deli… wonder if they are also buying this one?


This is really unfortunate. I loved this store and they had the best sandwiches in town. They really served this neighborhood well. I feel for the great employees that work there.


Wow…that sucks. I live off Johnson, and that shop is the only walking distance store of any kind on that side of town. Granted I’m not certain a full grocery store would quite fit the bill…possibly a Trader Joes like place would make it. Just don’t close tacos de aculpoco…best mexican in town

I imagine a lot of the senior citizens at area homes liked SLO Fresh for its convenience and location


So goes another neighborhood in San Luis Obispo. The character of San Luis Obispo has thrived for many years because leaders didn’t give in to developers and chain stores. Then came the big box stores on the outskirts. Chain stores pushing the locals out of downtown. Soon every corner of town will be infected with chain retail and restaurants. Although the neighborhood of SLO Fresh may not attract a chain store it has definitely attracted some greedy developer who wants to change SLO for what it’s been.

Think about this if you support chain stores or buy your stuff online:

Remember when there was 12 oil companies and gas was less than $1 a gallon? Then there was consolidation down to 4 mega companies. Gas rocketed to over $3 a gallon within a few years and R&D for alternative fuels came to a standstill. Back in the 80’s the worlds largest solar plant was in Carisa Plains. Soon after it’s completion-Arco bought the plant and dismantled it so that they could keep energy prices high.

Kind of got off the subject. Bottom line-support your locally owned merchant!


If the shopping center was sold, the price was likely so high that the new owners had to triple the rents for this expenditure to pencil out; therefore, who is the truly greedy here? I’d start with the former owner of the center.

It’s the same everywhere, rents go up mainly because properties change hands and no one wants to lose money on a real estate deal, so rents are upped.

I’ve been looking around for a restaurant space for years and nothing in this area is remotely reasonable… which is why we see so many empty stores and buildings. Property ownership, while THE cornerstone of freedom, is a double-edged sword.

Ted Slanders

The previous owner bought it for X amount and was able to offer the rent that he did to his renters so they could both make a profit in the current economy. The new buyer buys it at a higher price, therefore he has to charge triple the rent for him to make a profit. It’s a vicious circle where the last one on the line possibly loses, goes bankrupt, and all at the expense of losing what we once had.

If SLO Fresh Market’s rent tripled, expect Taco’s De Acapulco Mexican Restaurant to be next, and probably all of the stores in this mini mall.

I am sure there is a formula for commercial properties, but at what point does one figure they have to make X amount of profit on their investment and be satisfied? More home town business’ possibly lost all for the sake of greed.


I suppose it also possible that the new owners have different plans for the site but can not just kick the current tenants out, they can however raise rents and force them out. Then when all the tenants are gone they can go ahead with their plans.


This was exactly my thought, too, Ted. Our entire global economy based on (literally) nothing is like this: the last one on the line loses. For our country, it’s the debt monster that has been created; for us individuals, it’s the sale and transfer to the next owner. It also seems exponential.


If they kick out Bob we’ll move his barber’s chair to his garage and wait in line there.


This is really unfortunate. It will be interesting to see who the new owner of the building is going to rent out to, but I have a hard time believing that anyone is going to be able to afford triple the rent in that location. I’m also curious who the new owner is. A lot of San Luis Obispo is getting bought up by people and companies from out of the area whose only interest is how much money they bring in, not how what they do effects the community.


“Getting bought up?” It’s been bought up for years! Still, it has to be SOLD to be bought up. Are we angry because a big developer or company is able to afford a high premium? Or should we be angry that some local family/developers saw this as their cash-out?


What a shame ! Great little store with friendly and helpful people. Prices were a bit higher, but the convenience offset.

Will miss it.