Grocers Won’t Confirm the Ownership Swap
In mid-February, Circling the News heard a rumor that Vintage Grocers was leaving Caruso’s Palisades Village. Rather than print a rumor, CTN reached out to a Vintage spokesperson on February 22, asking for confirmation.
Melissa Darpino responded the same day and said, “I can confirm that Vintage is operating Vintage in Pacific Palisades.” To which the News asked, “So there is absolutely NO truth to the rumor that Vintage is closing, correct?” There was no response.
On March 8, a local newspaper printed a story with no confirmation from either party that Erewhon Natural Foods Market would acquire Vintage. CTN sent another email to Darpino, who said she had heard the rumors and had forwarded CTN’s email to someone in the organization. “I am sure, as this is a lovely company, that the rumors will be addressed at some point,” Darpino said.
Next, CTN e-mailed Erewhon’s co-owners Tony and Josephine Antoci (who live in Brentwood) on March 8. CTN also called and left a message for Tony the same day. Neither has responded.
According to The Real Deal, the Antoci’s bought a home on North Rockingham Avenue in April 2018 that was owned by the late Betty Sheinbaum, a Warner Bros. heiress.
The Vintage Grocers location on Sunset would put the Antoci’s close to their fourth store, which is located on Wilshire near 26th Street in Santa Monica. (Their other stores are in Calabasas, Venice and on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles).
At the Woman’s Club grant night (March 5), one of the awardees told CTN that he had helped a Vintage employee with a resume, and that employees had been told that the store was closing.
More recently, Vintage employees told a resident that someone from Erewhon had been inside measuring the space. And today, another resident drove to the Erewhon store on Wilshire to compare the hot-food counter pricing to Vintage.
“The prices are TWICE what I’ve been paying at Vintage,” the resident said. He reported that one Erewhon employee stated that he would be working in the Palisades store and that he had just learned of the expansion. “He said it would open sometime in May.”
CTN is still waiting to hear from Vintage, Erewhon or Caruso to see if this is a done deal, confirming what employees seem to already know.