... I guess I picked the wrong time to open up a grocery store because the Department of Licensing and Inspection is in the process of trying to rewrite codes ... caught in the middle of an open discussion at L&I about what this code actually means. ...I am told that the zoning code has been the same since 1940. Under this code, a C1 building such as 12 W. Willow Grove Avenue can be home to a grocery store. This grocery store can sell meats, pharmaceuticals, confections, packaged goods, dairy, bakery goods, produce and many other things typically sold by grocery stores. Since the people who wrote this code knew that it would be around for a while and that retail evolves, they added a final paragraph that stated a grocery store in C1 can also have "accessory" use to provide the exact services that all other grocery stores have provided that it doesn't take up more that 25% of the square footage of the establishment.
Now, let me ask you: do you know any other grocery store in the United States that DOESN'T have a prepared food case and deli counter?
... So finally, I... called the person that really should know -- Jeanne Klinger, the head of L&I...she answered the phone and she was very polite, so patient and took her time to speak with me. I was bold and I asked her why every other grocery store can have a deli case but I cannot. She didn't say that I couldn't, but she didn't say I could either. Her reply was that L&I isn't sure that THOSE grocery stores should be allowed to have the cases, either.
... why can they continue doing what every grocery store in the US does but I can't?
And I have to complain here, I don't think this is a fair spot to put an already-challenged small business in! If the L&I battle is with corporate grocery stores, why are they using me as the example? Do you think ShopRite cares if I live or die? Do you think shutting my deli case down is going to give the legal precedence to win a case against corporate lawyers?
I'm writing this because I want you to understand that Good Food Market is in danger of extinction and the people who want that to happen are using horribly nasty tactics to accomplish their mission.