Tracking Down Rumors that Foodland Will Be Moving into the old Apple Tree Market Site

by on November 14, 2012 · 12 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach

Photo by Gail Powell

Editor: The following was sent to us by Gail Powell, an OBcean and occasional contributor here at the Rag. This could be good news – it’s just a rumor now, and we’re trying to track down its validity.  Others have heard the rumor, such as Denny Knox, Executive Director of the OB Mainstreet Association.  But so far, that’s all this is … a rumor.  But the OB Rag has made a call to the owner of the property and we are awaiting a response.

By Gail Powell

This could be GOOD NEWS for OB residents:

My niece and I shopped at Apple Tree market,located at 4949 Santa Monica Ave. on Monday, Nov. 12. She saw someone she knew from high school who is employed there.

We all started talking and discovered that, according to this unidentified employee of Apple Tree, after the aging store closes in late November, a Foodland Market is coming in.

Foodland is an IGA store–Independent Grocers Alliance, and they have several other Foodland locations around the county. There are Foodland markets in Chula Vista, National City and East San Diego. Foodland stores sell shoes, socks, and scarves along with many ethnic cuisine items–very similar to a Mexican mercardo.

Perhaps the appeal from the Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association worked: a full-service market seems to be staying in Ocean Beach.

The Hirmez brothers assumed the Apple Tree store lease from Safeway on Aug. 28, 1988 and have served this beach community for over 25 years. According to a story in the Peninsula Beacon, “in 2001, the Hirmez brothers purchased the former Bank of America building on Newport Avenue, which now houses Ocean Beach Surf & Skate.” The Hirmez brothers are good friends with the owner of the Surf & Skate Shop, who now is on the lookout for another spot to move his popular sports business, because the Hirmez brothers now plan to move into that location at 4976 Newport Ave. The plans are to remodel the space into another full-service, though smaller, grocery store and the word is an upscale deli and bakery is also planned.

The Peninsula Beacon story noted the brothers are intent upon putting “together a nice, new store, but it’s going to take time.” Specifically, seven months. That is the time schedule that the brothers are hoping to keep in order to keep their Ocean Beach grocery vision alive.”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

liveinob November 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

if the owners were smart, they’d have already started with the new place, I’m afraid that when I am forced to shop elsewhere, I’ll get used to the change and move my loyalty to the new place that I choose or was forced to choose.
the current owners are making it hard for me to want to stay loyal to them
they are cutting empoyee hours, even after they have been with them for the whole 24 years they have been in OB, the current employee’s are not getting anything when they lock the doors! Nothing !!!
it makes me sad


Goatskull November 15, 2012 at 7:53 am

You can check it out for yourself when and if a store actually goes in there, and then make the call. Was the AT really your main source of grocery shopping?


Seth November 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Yeah, I wish them luck, but (re-)opening a new grocery store in a neighborhood that will already have People’s, Foodland, Rite Aid and a weekly farmers markets might not be a sustainable business plan.


Goatskull November 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

Assuming this rumor is actually true, it’s too bad it won’t be a Trader Joes or Sprouts or something else along that line. Oh well, at least it will still be a grocery store and that’s better than nothing but condos going in its place.


jim grant November 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

“We all started talking and discovered that, according to this unidentified employee of Apple Tree, after the aging store closes in late November, a Foodland Market is coming in.” the rumor is just that a rumor……I spoke with a demolition contractor yesterday in OB at a local pizza place on Newport he was having pizza and drinking a beer …..he was putting his final bid together on the demolition on the site. Seems strange to me if the building is staying why contractors would be fine tuning their bids ….


Terrie Leigh Relf November 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hi Jim!
Great to see you here. . .It sounds like it’s business as usual with the players not wanting to disclose their plans. . .I’m for a Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, or something along those lines. I spoke to Trader Joe’s, though, and since there’s one at Liberty Station, they don’t think OB is a viable location.


Phil Lawrence November 15, 2012 at 9:43 am

Every time I go to Apple Tree Market, I am reminded of why I haven’t been there in a long time, fruits and vegetables bordering on rotting, etc. I really hope the space stays a foodstore, but I don’t understand how the Hirmez brothers could possibly be considered sympathetic figures that deserve the community’s support. I don’t see their commitment to the community any more than I see a slum lord in City Height’s commitment to that community. The last thing we need is for the Hirmez brothers “to keep their Ocean Beach grocery vision alive.”


Frank Gormlie November 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

I just made my 2nd call to the owner of the property, Elliot Megdal & Associates in LA. I was told that Elliot would be calling me back. The first call on Tuesday, 11/13 was never returned.


John November 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm

90% of my grocery expenditures go to Smart & Final and Ralph’s. Because of their consistently higher prices Apple Tree gets about 2%, usually when I just need a few things to get me through till I get to the others.
This “shop local” thing is nice for a feel warm and fuzzy moment but the reality is most of us don’t mind going outside the local community to companies that are doing things with enough efficiency and competence to make it worth our time. If we’re in that area already it’s a no brainer.


OB Dude November 16, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I noticed your 11/16 post on this item indicates a return call from the building owner. Good to hear the building won’t be demolished but I hope the owner will invest in building improvements for the new tenant.

On another note, why do grocery stores always block their front windows? I know space is precious but it sure looks unappealing.


John November 17, 2012 at 12:48 am

Can’t speak for all grocery stores but that one has shelves with merchandise that comprise the blockage.
Or maybe they are false fronts for the vaults where they hide all their filthy capitalist lucre. Nothing would surprise me any more.


Terrie Leigh Relf November 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I’m disturbed to hear about Surf and Skate. Is that a rumor? I hope so. . .Surf and Skate provides a valuable local community resource. Multiple resources, actually.

There’s The Vault, and Java Joes, and the mini-restaurant as well as offices upstairs.


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