Vintage Spokesperson Melissa Darpino Responds
Circling the News emailed Vintage Grocers spokesperson Melissa Darpino several times about the circulating rumors that the store on Sunset Boulevard which had been well-received by many residents was closing. CTN’s emails started in February and the last inquiry was sent March 15: “The store is closed. Why? What about employees, what happens to them?”
Today, March 18, I received the following reply from Darpino: “Thank you for emailing, and I apologize for taking so long to get back to you.
“I am still learning myself, but this is what I was told– some team members were transferred to the Malibu store, and others will be transferred to Erewhon. Others–-and I do not know the number-–were given a severance. Personally, I only knew of the closings hours before they happened. [The Vintage store in Thousand Oaks also closed.] I am with the team for at least the next three months, to help the company adjust to the changes.”
“We will be sending an email out to our Rewards card members, to let them know that we are accepting Rewards checks at our Malibu store, and any rewards that have been accumulated thus far will be honored. More details to come but suffice to say that Vintage Grocers will be honoring gift cards and rewards checks in our Malibu location.”
CTN explained via return email that a former employee had written, saying he had no advance knowledge. He was supposed to go to work and received a phone call not to come.
“To my knowledge, no one had advance notice on the closure, but yes there were rumors,” Darpino wrote. “I was told that team members were receiving severance, and that our human resources director, Carlos, should be contacted if any team member has a question. Anything I can do to help, I am happy to do.”
Darpino added that “we have amazing people and guests that filled our store. And, I hope to keep in touch with the many Palisadians that I have gotten to know over the past year.”
She said her daughter is sad that she won’t be part of the Pacific Palisades Fourth of July pie-eating contest, which was held last year for the first time and sponsored by Vintage.
“I told her we can still be part of the parade watching, and the 5K too!” Darpino said. “I am a better person for the time I have spent in your lovely town.”