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Future in flux at Orcutt’s iconic grocery store

Patricia Martellotti/KEYT

ORCUTT, Calif. - Eyman Batta is getting snacks at Old Town Market.

He was afraid the building would close for good after being sold earlier this year.

“I love it. I would hate to see another small local business neighborhood business close,” said Batta.

Not only did the new owners known as the Fadel brothers keep the previous owner’s manager on staff, they also kept the “Old Town Market” name.

“It’s been great. The community has been very welcoming and we’re very appreciative of their warm welcome,” says co-owner Ibrahim Abboud at Old Town Market.

The owners have big plans for the local gem like turning part of it into a food court.

“So the hope is to grow it to be that type of concept where you come, you do your shopping, you get your groceries, and then you also get to enjoy different types of food," says Abboud.

But the future of the store remains in flux.

Director of Public Affairs Joe Armendariz at Natural Healing Center says the company is still seeking a license to operate a retail cannabis storefront at the site of the store.

The application is currently under review by the County, and the new owners have agreed to turn the building over if that license is granted.

"As for the next steps in the process, the county is in the “scoring” phase of their review process. We anticipate it to take another couple of months to complete the scoring of the competing applications. We are obviously hopeful, and also confident, that our application will rise to the top allowing us to secure a license to operate at the location of the Old Town Market," says Armendariz.

Meanwhile, the current owners of the market are investing in new inventory for the store.

"Our hope in the future is to continue to grow the business within the community to give back to Orcutt. Our number-one priority is being part of the community and giving back to the community. That’s what we believe in," says Abboud.

The Fadel brothers say they hope to keep the place open as a market to meet the community's needs.

Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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