A group of residents sat outside Stump’s Village Market last week and collected more than 1,000 signatures in an effort to save the store. Stump’s will be moving out of the village by the end of 2015 after years of legal battles between the market and the landlord.
Michelle Weinger, one of the proponents of saving the market, made an emotional plea to the Rancho Santa Fe Association at its May 7 meeting.
“Members of this community are extremely upset at the possibility of not having the convenience of a grocery store in the village,” Weinger said, noting that over the 18 years she has lived in RSF, she has watched as small business owners in the “charming and quaint” town have been replaced by banks and real estate offices. “Let’s not let landlords remove our heart and center out of this wonderful haven we call Rancho Santa Fe.”
RSF Association President Ann Boon said they plan to place the topic on the June 4 agenda.
Susan Woolley, the owner of Plaza de Santa Fe, where Stump’s is located, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
Weinger said the loss of the market will drive new families away and affect home values as well as destroy a village tradition of picking up mail and groceries.
“The market and the post office are our city center,” Weinger said. “This is the only place our villagers converge daily with a chance meeting amongst friends and neighbors.”
Weinger grew tearful describing how, in the process of collecting signatures, she had the chance to speak with many of the seniors who live in the area.
“They have expressed that they bought their homes so that they could walk to Stump’s every day to pick up their meals and collect their mail. They want to have their independence and not burden their families with their daily needs,” Weinger said. “Our seniors are very concerned that they will no longer have a grocery store in which to shop. They don’t know what they are going to do.”