Stump’s Village Market will leave Rancho Santa Fe by the end of 2015.
According to Susan Woolley, who owns Plaza de Santa Fe, which houses the 10,000-square-foot market, Stump’s move will mark the end of a 21-year run in the village.
“We all wish the Stump’s family well in their new endeavor,” Woolley said.
The move comes after years of legal battles between the market and the landlord. The first lawsuit concluded in 2010 and according to Mark Mulkerin, the attorney for Stump’s, it was “overwhelmingly” in favor of the market.
A second lawsuit began about five years ago. Mulkerin said that Stump’s Market did not feel any issues were left open, but the landlord had different views.
Franco Simone, the attorney for Plaza de Santa Fe, said the second lawsuit has been settled. A major area of contention in the lawsuit was over who was responsible for common-area maintenance.
“There’s no chance that they can stay,” Simone said. “They agreed to move out by the end of the year because we bought out their lease.”
Mulkerin has not stated that the market will move or when that move could occur. He said they will know more in April, and from there they will be able to dictate their next steps.
“We’re waiting to see if the landlord will perform under the terms of the settlement,” Mulkerin said. “At this juncture, we’re in a holding pattern.”
Mulkerin said his client has greatly enjoyed serving the Rancho Santa Fe community as a family-oriented business for more than 20 years.
“They would love to continue to operate the market, but it’s become clear that the landlord is very much intent upon getting Stump’s Market out of that location,” Mulkerin said. “I just wish the lawsuits weren’t necessary, but it’s very difficult for them to continue to run the market with the animosity they’ve had with the landlord over the past five years.”
The market’s departure will mark the first time there has been available space to rent in Plaza de Santa Fe since 1974. The building owner is interviewing six or seven potential replacement markets, according to Woolley.
“It is expected that in 2016, Rancho Santa Fe will welcome a new market,” Woolley said.