Readers Jim and Kim let me know that Vons at 3855 State Street next to La Cumbre Plaza is closing September 14th after 51 years in business and will be replaced by Bristol Farms. I called a representative and confirmed the news. Bristol Farms Inc. is an upscale California grocery store chain. that operates fifteen stores, twelve in Southern California, and one in San Francisco. The fourteenth and fifteenth stores operate as Lazy Acres Market on the Mesa and in Long Beach, respectively. Another Lazy Acres Market opened in 2016 in Encinitas.

Bristol Farms opened its first store in 1982, in Rolling Hills Estates, the company having been started by Irv Gronsky and Mike Burbank, who had worked together in the food industry for almost twenty years. In 2004, Bristol Farms was purchased by Albertsons, Inc. In October 2005, Bristol Farms purchased Lazy Acres on the Mesa. In 2006, Bristol Farms’ parent company, Albertsons was purchased by Supervalu, Inc. In 2010, SuperValu announced that it had sold the Bristol Farms chain to a new company formed by a private investment firm, Endeavour Capital, and the chain’s management team.

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  1. Christine says:

    I’ve lived nearby for the past 20 years. I shopped at 5 Points as my primary spot for groceries and many other things until the Albertsons turned into a Smart & Final. Then I switched to Vons at La Cumbre. With this announcement, there will be no regular grocery store nearby, the closest will be Vons at Turnpike. Well, bravo La Cumbre Plaza, now I will have ZERO reasons to come to shop. First 5 Points, now La Cumbre Plaza.

    We’re just a regular family of two here, trying to make our way in our hometown. Not interested in a 2 bed/2 bath $3500/mo apartment at The Marc, just interested in making my $1400/mo mortgage payment. I suppose these merchants believe everyone living nearby is serviced by the S&F (low income, huge families), or is a multi-millionaire who wants high-end retail. Guess what? Most of us nearby are neither!

    Maybe if I’m smart, I’ll turn my property into 6 AUD units and charge beaucoup rents to Chinese foreign students. Won’t my neighbors love that! The nearby retailers certainly will, that’s who they are catering to – and who they are shaping MY neighborhood into!

  2. E says:

    I’ve only been in a Bristol Farms once, but I’m hopeful they’ll have something good to offer. I do most of my shopping between this Von’s and the TJ’s on De La Vina and I’m not really a fan of either. Von’s had good prices but can have depressingly poor quality (e.g. I can easily find multiple expired items on their shelves at any given visit) and TJ’s never has everything I need. Gelson’s and Lazy Acres have premium prices but I rarely find their food to be better than average (saw defrosted Costco crab cakes at Lazy Acres’ seafood counter). Upper State Whole Foods is somehow significantly worse than any other Whole Foods I’ve seen (can you even consider the one in Oxnard the same store?).

    If SB ever got a single good grocery store it would make a killing. Downtown Ralph’s seems ok, but it’s not worth the drive. Something like Central Market by HEB would be amazing.in terms of quality/cost balance.

  3. VT says:

    Very excited about Bristol Farms coming to town. Always a must destination when we’re in Palm Desert. Hope its just as nice.

  4. Toni Jones says:

    Does it seem like a bad idea to have a Whole Foods type of store (Bristol Farms) a block away from the actual Whole Foods? …and two blocks from Gelsons, for that matter.
    ….just sayin

  5. Bob says:

    I would venture that Bristol Farms is more competition to Gelson’s than Whole Foods

  6. Rex Of SB says:

    This is TERRIBLE news! As Christine says, there will now be NO reasonably priced supermarket on the Northside. It was bad enough when the Five Points Albertsons became Smart & Final Lite, but to have another high-end market (Bristol Farms) so close to two others (Whole Foods and Gelson’s) is absurd.

    A few years ago, La Cumbre Plaza decided to reinvent itself as an upmarket shopping mall, bringing in pricey stores such as Tiffany and Coach, which pretty much turned it into a ghost town. Despite its proximity to Hope Ranch, not all La Cumbre customers had Hope Ranch incomes. I fear this whole Bristol Farms fiasco is going to end the same way. Since the Five Points Albertsons went away, the La Cumbre Vons is always crowded with customers, regardless of time of day. What in the world is the thought process behind this horrible idea?

  7. Dan says:

    I don’t understand all the Smart and Final hate on all these Vons threads. The store at 5 points is nicely stocked and has a full supply of regular grocery items. Sure, you can get a 50lb bag of flour, but you can also get a 5lb bag. That Vons was among the worst stores in town with surly employees, poorly stocked shelves, especially the butcher and just a generally unclean feeling.

    • Gerald Bostock says:

      I’m not happy with La Cumbre Vons. Been using it since Ralph’s on De la Vina closed. And that store was considered trashy, and other words I won’t use. I have never seen more interested, friendly, invested employees as at that Ralph’s. I miss it terribly.

      So now that I know 2 people by name at Vons, they’re closing. Talk about unhappy employees! Or help that can’t be found? That’s my experience of La Cumbre Vons.

      But I’ve been shopping there off and on since any grocery opened there. I’m a few blocks away. So it’s my go-to. I do remember the empty lot before ’67.

      Dammit. I’m bummed and pissed. Ha! I could rephrase that to sound current and sociable.

      • Gerald Bostock says:

        Dan, I agree about Smart & Final.

        And yes, I occasionally shop at Ralphs at Magnolia. Will regularly now.
        Will also check out new store, but that’s not my kind of weekly shopping.

        I again recommend a monthly or more often trip around Grocery Outlet on De la Vina.

  8. Ted says:

    Just had a Bristol Farms go under down in Westlake. The prices were astronomical and the quality not as good as WF or Gelson’s. Santa Barbara is nuts.

  9. Chaz says:

    After reading all the various corporate iterations described in the press release, I can only assume the location will become a Haggen’s in the next year or so… LOL!

  10. dave says:

    The reason for the hate on that Smart and Final is that it SMELLS. As soon as you walk in and go to the right toward the produce it literally smells like feces for about 10 to 15 feet inside the store. Then if you go to the left of the cashiers on the front side, it SMELLS like raw sewage.

    When Albertsons had that location it NEVER smelled like that.

    I have no problem with S&F but that smell is enough to make my family never walk into that one.

    And before people go off on me, yes I have told the management a couple of times about the smell.

  11. Karen says:

    Not only does S & F smell terrible, a couple other reasons to hate it: more sugar-filled items on every aisle than anyone needs, even their bins are stocked with unhealthy and sugar-laden foods, And they organic produce goes that literally goes bad in a day and isn’t worth purchasing,

  12. Sara says:

    Another american hu$tle. Another overpriced us dump to replace a decent place for the locals. Stupidity excites me!-Gore Vidal

  13. Optimist says:

    FWIW, Bristol Farms has a good reputation in Orange County. They probably will deliver the same items to Lazy Acres. Let’s give them a chance!

  14. Diane Waterhouse says:

    I am so shocked and saddened to hear this. I have shopped at Von’s since 1975, find their prices so much lower than Gelson’s and it is so convenient at La Cumbre. With Whole Foods down the road this is a terrible decision. The end of an era. Customers will have to go to Ralph’s on Carrillo to replace them.

  15. Anita Sonquist says:

    I go to Von’s for staples. Can’t imagine buying laundry detergent at Bristol Farms. I also feel I do really well with their Just 4 U. Years ago, when the grocery strikes were on, I became a huge Gelson’s fan. Some prices are lower than Vons. Best meat department ever! They are truly The Nordstrom of grocery stores. I won’t be a Bristol Farms customer.

  16. Gerald Bostock says:

    They’re doing a pop-up for Santa Barbara Bar. lol


    what the hay? Is the “creator” from SB?

    Just looking for info/flyers as an example of the store.
    The menu of their locations is … interesting. It sure ain’t a store for the rest of us, or Festivus.

  17. Gerald Bostock says:

    It looks like Gelsons. More or less expensive. Sheesh, the only thing I’ve ever bought at Gelsons is oil/dry-cured black olives and scrap ham in the Easter season.
    I just laugh when people say Gelson’s is comparable to a “normal” grocery store. No, their prices are much more expensive. Dammit!

    No thanks. Screw these expensive stores. Not what I patronize, because I’m not a fool.

  18. Gerald Bostock says:


    Evian is Naive spelled backward.

  19. Eric says:

    I feel like Vons (Safeway) has gone downhill ever since merging with Albertsons

    Having Target/Smart & Final at one end of the spectrum and Bristol Farms/Whole Foods at the other will leave a void in this area of town. This Vons is always packed so I know it’s not closing for lack of business.

  20. Deb says:

    I do my regular shopping at TJ’s, Grocery Outlet and the big Ralph’s on Carrillo St!! I’ve never been a fan of Von’s….Try the main Ralph’s instead!! We don’t need another WF, Gelson’s or Lazy Acres!! $$$$$

  21. Jim says:

    The word is that the shopping center bought back The Marc property and need the higher rent that will come from Bristol Farms. They are also thinking that The Marc residents will fit the profile for that type of store customers. I’m sure most of them will stop in to pick up some organic tofu on their way back from shopping at Tiffany and Co.

  22. Garrett says:

    I have always shopped at Vons and can’t believe they are closing. The store has great meats and produce and the employees are very helpful I can’t shop at While Paycheck or Gelsons for all my needs and Bristol FRms is just another overpriced store that charges outrageous prices. Here comes the $7 milk. I’m going to the Turnpike Vons now

  23. Scott Hosmer says:

    There will be plenty of parking for the doctor’s wives Range Rovers at the new Bristol Farms.Just as I avoided Haggens & the rest of the high dollar markets in town this will be on that list.Sucks that this town keeps pushing expensive Gucci markets on us but I’ll go elsewhere.If I win the lottery maybe that’ll change.

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