Country Squire Gifts to close in May

Carolyn and Peter Jensen are retiring after 34 years running Country Squire Gifts and Linens.
(Karen Billing)

Country Squire Gifts and Linens is closing its doors after 55 years as part of the fabric of the Rancho Santa Fe village community. Owners Peter and Carolyn Jensen are retiring and will close up shop after 34 years of running the store.

“It’s been 34 years and we’re not getting any younger so we decided that it was time to take a little time for ourselves,” Carolyn said.

The last official day for Country Squire will be May 1 and starting this weekend, everything in the store will be 50% off as part of their retirement sale.

Tucked behind Thyme in the Ranch and Mille Fleurs in a picturesque courtyard known as The Country Squire Courtyard, the shop was a local spot to find a perfect gift, filled with children’s clothing and books, dinnerware, linens and decorations to mark every season.

Country Squire Gifts and Linens has been in the village for 55 years.
(Karen Billing)

The Jensens have been in retail all of their lives. They were living in Los Angeles and Peter was working in sales when he came to call on Country Squire and saw a “For Sale” sign in the window. He called Carolyn: “How’d you like to move to San Diego?”

She would like it and they did, taking over the store from owner Bette Cunningham Cope, who had owned the shop for 17 years. At the time, the store was much smaller and located in the upstairs portion of the building. In 2005, they expanded on the ground floor where the merchandise is sectioned off into spaces, something unique to find at every turn.

With their departure, the Jensens hope that the space will remain a retail shop of some kind although they admit retail is very challenging in the village —parking has long been an issue.

“There’s so many wonderful people here, it’s a delightful area to be,” Carolyn said. Many regulars have been regulars so long that they now know their grandchildren.

The tears come easy to their eyes in these last days. It is hard to say goodbye and they have so much gratitude for the community and their customers.

“Thank you,” Peter said to the Rancho Santa Fe community. “It’s been fun.”

“Thank you for your loyalty and your friendship,” added Carolyn. “It’s been wonderful, a big family.”

Country Squire is located at 6009 Paseo Delicias C in Rancho Santa Fe.