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!

    • debbie says:

      Say “Thank You” to our lovely City Council……

    • Jack R says:

      It’s an ADU not aud and perhaps if you had a higher education and/or more ambition you could do more than make a $1400/mo mortgage payment, Don’t get down on the “haves” because you are a “have not”. It’s all about the choices you make. I come from a family of four raised on welfare. We all worked our butts off, received scholarships, have post graduate degrees and have great jobs, How about you quit complaining and simply try harde. This is America the land of opportunity… you just have to be self motivated and make an effort. Voting for a used car salesmen type with orange hair doesn’t make your life better. YOU DO… or don’t in your case it seems, since you’d rather complain about those who do make their lives better. I am thrilled that Bristol Farms is moving in. Ever since Whole Foods was purchased by Amazon the quality has gone down hill, I don’t care to pay for rotten or unripe produce,

      • ???? says:

        Was that really necessary?

      • Christine says:

        I actually did mean “AUD”. Here’s more info from the city’s website about it:
        “Average Unit-Size Density Incentive Program
        On July 30, 2013, the City Council approved the Average Unit-size Density (AUD) Incentive Program Ordinance. The AUD Incentive Program Ordinance carries out a key implementation action of the City’s 2011 General Plan. The intent of the Program is to support the construction of smaller, more affordable residential units near transit and within easy walking and biking distance to commercial services and parks.”

        The Marc was approved under this AUD program, but the rents aren’t affordable to most families here in SB.

        Not sure about the rest of your post, you seem to assume much about me and my family. I have a BA from UCSB and we both work full time. Our housing costs are less than the recommended max of 30% of our income. With the rest, we enjoy traveling and spending time here in town supporting local businesses.

        Not sure about the orange hair comment but I think you’re alluding to Trump? Again, an assumption. And again, you’re incorrect. Have a good one.

        • Angela says:

          Don’t listen to that idiot Christine, some jerks like to attack people personally because they have their own issue’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think your very fortunate to pay a mortgage at such a low payment, you obviously did something very right and smart! My rent is $1,900 for the LaCumbre area and I am not looking forward to another expensive store!!!!!!!

      • Ann says:

        Jack, perhaps we should take a look at a $1,400/mo mortgage for people who live in the immediate la cumbre area. Most likely they are two income family or couple and bought their house when housing was marginally affordable for most aka 15-20 years ago and they worked hard to buy that house while they could. there are very few $1400 mortgages available right now in this town. They are some of the same people who now rent those $1,400/month mortgages to young families for $4000.00/mo for a 3bedroom and do nothing but be greedy and live off of other hard working families. there is more going on out there then you realize and you should aspire to be better informed before spouting off about people and their choices. It sounds like Christine is one of the few who is living below her means and actually being responsible about her choices.

      • j r says:

        apparently you have a complex due to being raised on welfare, and now you have to prove you can be just as loudly arrogant and lacking in empathy as those born well-off.
        see, now how do you like people making ridiculous assumptions about YOU? but really, you do have the kind of attitudes and projections I’ve heard from those who support orange-hair — and also the insecure, newly-upwardly-mobile.
        and apparently you have been too busy “advancing” your wallet to notice that after the 2008 crash, a lot of middle & upper middle class people who worked hard, good education, good jobs, “did everything right” — lost their good jobs, then their homes, and have never recovered income-wise (due to ageism – they’re in the middle – and due to corp boss greed, why pay full-time salary and bene’s, when I can hire all part time, lower-wage?
        It could happen to you too. you did NOT make better choices than they did, you simply got lucky, SO FAR. and hopefully, when it happens to you, some people will show you far more decency and compassion, than you have shown here. you need a humble pill, and a humanity pill. good luck.

    • Kimmie says:

      You can thank the community all around upper state street for chasing away a regular grocery store from being built in the spot where the sandman inn used to stand, now the overpacked site of estancia condos instead!

      • Gerald Bostock says:

        My family has been a few blocks north of upper state for 60 years. Just how did we chase away a “regular grocery store from being built…”?!?! Hell, I wish Cattleman’s was still there, especially their Sunday brunch!
        Are you familiar with residential development? And its profits? What neighborhood do you live in, and what did you do?

        • j r says:

          I think she’s talking about the public comment/input period the city has. I don’t know the result of that, but maybe she does – someone at city hall could tell you.

    • Jared says:

      It’s called La Cumbre for a reason. It was probably designed and developed at this location to compliment the La Cumbre Country Club, which is a shopping Center intended to be directed towards Hope Ranch residents. (Hippy mesa area or whatever area that is has their weird lazy acre pot head store) The Vons in that area is far too outdated and very cramped and small. Monticito Von’s has character with the wine grotto but again, its too small. We don’t like going further North than Hope Ranch and thus, Goleta is out of the question.

      Since Hope Ranch doesn’t actually have a shopping center inside hope ranch(We thought there would be before acquiring our home) then, the ones who can’t afford it should not really be in La Cumbre Plaza to begin with. Finally, after waiting for three years and having to get groceries at that Vons by standing in line listening to mind numbing characters with dim witted intelligence, we can say we don’t need to move back to the Del Mar La Jolla/S.D area. Describing what the democratic legislation has done to allow DT San Diego be overrun by the homeless psychos down there is another subject…….This is a much needed improvement but overall, Hope Ranch should have it’s own large shopping center within Hope Ranch.

  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.

    • Shelley Mc Nellis says:

      Yes, I am sure all the customers will just head to Turnpike, which will make parking there more difficult. We do not need another “ High End” Store. The entire La Cumbre Plaza has changed for the worse, all they have are Luxury stores, and vacant stores except for Sears.

      • L. V. says:

        Yes and judging by the horrible service, shrinking inventory, and shoddy appearance, I doubt that Sears is long for this world. Also,want to mention how La Cumbre plaza parking lot is user UNfriendly. Pedestrians beware.

        • Jerry Mac says:

          Only because some fool painted all the crosswalks blue . . I guess they were out that black paint that blends in perfectly with black asphalt . .

          We take our lives into our own hands just as soon as we step out of our cars . .

      • Gerald Bostock says:

        I’ve had no problem parking at Turnpike Vons and have gotten used to the store. Easier than going downtown, for me. I miss my 4 minute drive to La Cumbre Vons.

        To those who say Gelson’s is a normal grocery store, compare prices. I’ve gone there to get cat food and milk. Those bags of tortilla chips for 2$? Forgot the brand name. They’re $2.50. Campbell’s soup is more than $2. A bag of candy?! Some gummy bears? try $3 or 3.50. Sorry, can’t remember more.

        Yes, I occasionally go there for cooked turkey dark meat — if my cat is hungry. But shop there? No way.

        • Gerald Bostock says:

          Also, I don’t shop after work, only on somewhat off hours. I have that luxury. Truly sorry for those who don’t, but mornings and eves, weekday or weekend, really shortens the shopping chore time.

  24. Shelley Mc Nellis says:

    I loved Albertsons in Five Points, but changed to Vons La Cumbre. Smart and Final does not carry a wide variety of brands, and they never have enough checkers.
    Their bakery and deli at Vons is great and well priced. They have a wide variety of all products. I definently will not shop at Bristol Farms. Gelsons already meets the need for high end shoppers. So, now I will have to go to the Vons on Turnpike . I predict Bristol Farms will not make it, There is not a market for another end market . Don’t they do market research. The families who live in our area are not wealthy.

  25. L. V. says:

    Everyone keeps talking about the Marc as the main people affected. What about the low income seniors next door at Grace Village, who have no cars and just moved there to live by an afforfable grocery store. Now what?

  26. Forages For the Fam says:

    If Target does indeed occupy the space at La Cumbre and State, shoppers will find their grocery selection, while nowhere near as extensive as Vons, to be complete and very well priced. Produce is okay and some organic available. Sad about Vons. Count me with the S & F ‘haters’. Yucky.

    Does anyone know if Bristol Farms owns Lazy Acres? Talk about surly, unprofessional employees! Except the meat/seafood. BF prices make Gelson’s and WF look like discounters!

    • dave says:

      I don’t think the Target will have much of a grocery store if any at all. Most Targets are 100+ thousand sq ft in size and those with full grocery stores are at least 125k sq ft. The Target store that is going in on the corner is a little more than 30k sq ft.

    • El Guapo says:

      Bristol Farms does own Lazy Acres.

      I don’t think the Target on La Cumbre/State is going to have much of a grocery section. The smaller footprint “urban” Target locations generally carry a lot of must-have necessity type items, think of them like an oversized convenience store. I love the grocery sections at normal size Target’s, great selections and pricing, I just don’t think the smaller one will be that extensive but I could be wrong. The Turnpike Vons will get a lot busier now.

  27. Carol says:

    Remember that there is a really nice Von’s on Cliff Drive — near corner of Ciff Dr. and Miegs. For some it might be closer than the Turnpike store. I also will miss the Von’s at La Cumbre–on the path of other places visited often. Unfortunately the change is already in the process. Life seems to be a series of adjusting but it always seems to work out in the end.

    • Daniel Rhodes says:

      Went in to La Cumbre last weekend. The closeout was already underway, i.e. prices jacked up through the roof and none of the weekly ad items available. Went to Mesa and it was a totally fine experience with all of the items I needed. Parking was a bit bad, but where isn’t it these days?

    • Gerald Bostock says:

      Thanks for the reasonable reply. We have no choice but to accept it.

      I now go to Ralph’s Magnolia, and sometimes to Vons Turnpike. The former has employees from De la Vina and is almost next door to Lane Farms!

  28. Susan says:

    Mesa fresh veg section is always a work of art. Love it.

  29. Diana says:

    Please lower the price of the produce at the La Cumbre Vons and let that Vons remain at its present location. Thank you.

  30. Diana says:

    Let’s not have a repeat of the Haggens fiasco that took place when Santa Barbarans drove to other markets to find prices that were more reasonable.

    During those Haggen months their parking lots were dead and people were walking around with long faces because their primary markets were taken away from them.

    I feel sorry for the walkers who moved to the vicinity of the La Cumbre Vons because the Vons was located there. It was one of their simple pleasures to be able to walk to that Vons.

    It will be a hardship for them when that Vons is gone.

    If you’re reading this and you have the power to STOP the September 14, 2018 closing of the La Cumbre Vons — please use that power and keep that Vons open.

    Stop the pending inconvenience. Stop the pending frustration and yes—stop the sadness that will take place if that Vons is no longer at that location.

    I don’t want to see any more dead parking lots. I don’t want to see any more unhappy people because they can’t go where they really want to go to shop for their groceries.

    Leave well enough alone.

    Leave the familiar and the comfortable where it is.

    Let a thriving business keep on thriving.

    Thank you and be well.

    • Tex says:

      The “power” was in the original property owners’ hands – the Lutheran Church. They closed, and sold the land lease of Von’s. The new owners (the mall?) jacked up the rent several multiples, and Von’s decided it wasn’t worth it, with another one so close. Simple economics. I suspect folks will enjoy Bristol Farms – yes, it’s more expensive, but the quality is so much better than Von’s.

  31. Kimberly says:

    This is great news!! Actually all locations of Vons are closing it seems in California. Bristol farms is a great replacement and has surprisingly reasonable prices with higher quality products and customer service help. Everyone should stop being so negative and give it a chance. They have a great rewards program if you sign up and you get free items each week such as superfood smoothie mixes and probiotics, great stuff. I am so excited! 🙂

    • Christine says:

      “Actually all locations of Vons are closing it seems in California.” I’m not sure where you got that info, I can’t find anything online to corroborate that. It’s unfair to employees of Vons to spread false rumors.

      Last time I shopped at the Vons on Turnpike (Labor Day weekend), the manager had opened a checkout aisle and I used it. I asked her about the La Cumbre closing and specifically asked her if the employees would be taken care of. She said ALL La Cumbre employees were being absorbed to other nearby Vons locations, that none would be left without a job opportunity.

      • Kimberly says:

        I’m sorry, you’re right. I just checked on that. Thanks for the updated info! That is great to hear that all of the employees will still have a position in the company.

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