Organic foods store coming to Echo Park

Peter Lassen in future Lassen’s Natural Foods store in Echo Park

Lassens store in Los Feliz

Lassen’s,  a  small, upscale chain of grocery stores specializing in organic foods  and vitamins,  is expanding into Echo Park, taking over the vacant space that was to become a Fresh & Easy.

The Echo Park store, which will have a deli, salad bar and other amenities, is expected to open early next year, said Peter Lassen, whose 10-store chain opened  a small Los Feliz store on Hillhurst Avenue in 2011. Lassen, who was inside his future Echo Park store today, said more details about the outlet at Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street will be coming soon.

Lassen’s will occupy a space that has been vacant for more than two years after the discount grocery store Save A Lot closed suddenly in early 2011.   Plans to open a Fresh & Easy grocery in the same space collapsed when the chain’s British owners announced they were pulling out of the U.S. Lassen said his firm recently finalized the lease to secure the space.

The opening of Lassen’s in the former Nature Mart in Los Feliz was met with picketing and a boycott to protest  donations made by the Lassen family in support of Prop. 8.

Lassen’s would operate out of the same building  that was once home to Pioneer Market, which closed in 2004 after more than 60 years in business.

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  1. Awesome… except for the closed on sunday part.

  2. Wow, great news! I hope it’s open into the evening, for those of us who get home from work on the late side.

  3. Oh great, the bigots are moving in.

    • For those who aren’t familiar with the history, the Lassen family apparently supported Prop 8, and have been protested at their Hillhurst location for that reason: http://echopark.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/picketers-protest-lassens-prop-8-funding-saturday

    • Echo Park resident

      Yuck! I’m all for a new business to fill this vacant eyesore — but hopefully our neighbors speak with their dollars and refuse to shop at this store. People can believe what they want to believe, but I personally don’t like knowing the money I spend on products goes right back to being donated to Christian movements and anti-gay political campaigns. Something like that might fly in Orange County; just hope it won’t fly here.

      • I wish this were the case but the Los Feliz location is always packed. People obviously don’t care.

        • …or don’t know.

        • Thank you and I this this store will be packed as well! I just think there are a lot of people who agree with Peter Lassens views and values. I am one who totally agrees and I will bring all my friends and family and I am hoping the store will do well. I say we need more people like Peter Lassens who have Christian Traditional Values. That is the only hope for this country. Thank you Peter Lassesn! I will supprot you and I thank God for you!

          • Well, @Fran Rushie, Peter Lassen and his family are Mormon. Somewhere in that Mormon belief system there lies polygamy. And magical underwear. Enjoy your gate hate and convoluted religious jumbo jumbo.

            Lassen’s can suck it.

            From a 30 plus year Echo Park resident.

      • I like their political views! I think it will fly here in Echo Park. I will appreciate Peter Lassen’s and his political views and shop there and tell all my friends and I think the store will do well. We are close enough to Silver Lake and they look for healthy restaurants and health food stores. Thank you Peter Lassen for being a man of courage and good character. your views are right and decent people will support you. I say more power to you

  4. Lassen’s is owned by a vicious hate-monger and Mormon militant, Peter Lassen, who helped finance the Mormon attack on Prop 8 here in California. Rural, backward Lassen County, the reddest county in California, is named for his great grandfather, also Peter Lassen. The county voted 71.3 % for Proposition 8, amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriages. Lassen’s store in Ventura alone contributed $27,500 to the anti-gay jihad. His store in Camarillo ponied up another $3,000 and his store in Simi Valley gave more. In the end, Lassen gave tens of thousands of dollars towards institutionalizing bigotry and hatred in our communities.


    • Correction, he helped finance the Mormon SUPPORT of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. He’s hoping the neighborhood will forget his treachery and spend their money in his store. It’s important to let everyone know what he stands for. Organic food isn’t so hard to find that we have to buy it from someone who would deny us equality under the law.

    • Wow.. I had NO idea.. BOO!

    • Thank you for enlightening us all on the Lassen’s. The irony is, I was in Susanville Penitentiary, and they had me on level 3-“Lassen yard”. My first day there the gun went off, they loved taking shots at inmates, we referred to it as Klansville.

    • I don’t call a person who stands up for good values a hate monger. I say he is a man of courage who cares about the community! I say Thank you Peter Lassens for opening a store in Echo Park and I am so looking forward to it. I will tell everyone I know so your store will do well. Thank you so much!

  5. Two gay managers. Work+ manage at the Hillhurst store of Lassens this lassens store is very busy + the Echo park Lassens will be too. Hours are 7am -10pm sundays + Holidays all Lassens stores are closed

    • ..two gay managers who don’t deserve equal protection under the law? Sorry — that doesn’t help.

    • what the hell does that mean?!? that’s even worse-hypocritical! so it’s ok to employ LGBT’S, but to not ok to support them in having equal rights?!?!? do they get paid less? because as far as he is concerned, they do DESERVE less….uff! such effing bu**crap.

      • Paulina just so you know Its actually against the law not to hire LGBT’s. I think Jay is trying to say that this is a much bigger and larger issue….The issue of equal rights with regards to Prop 8.

    • Big deal, they hired two gay managers. I’m not giving that bigot one penny of my money! They’ll out of business as soon as the Wholefoods on Glendale Blvd. is finally open. (Not that I care much for Wholefoods either.)

  6. Damn, I have waiting for this forever–why Lassen’s. Do they think we don’t know?

  7. I still won’t shop at the one in my Los Feliz neighborhood. It’s not okay with me that money I spend there ends up going to support the repression of people’s civil rights. They gave 30K (not as individuals — as the store entity itself) to support Prop 8. I’m glad not one of my pennies is in that 30k — nor will it be in the future unless they make some sort of amends. Problem is, I’m sure they don’t think they did anything wrong. Oh well. Kudos to this article for mentioning this important fact.

  8. I am still shocked that Peter Lassen has the balls to not apologize for donating three donations totaled just over $30,500 made between Aug. 21, 2008, and Sept. 15, 2008 to help pass prop 8.

  9. Well, I’m gonna go buy some assless chaps, pink leggings and a big fake handlebar moustache and go shopping for organic lube there as soon as they open. Arf.

    • Is that how you perceive gay people Mitz Y Tops? Not cool. BTW, all chaps are assless, otherwise they’d be pants:)

  10. Lassesns is unapologetically anti-gay. If you value equality, you should not shop there. I hope Whole Foods is truly moving into Siilver Lake so we’ll have more choices for organic food.

    • So the libertarian jerk who runs Whole Foods who equated Obamacare with fascism is okay in your book? I’m not saying I support Lassen’s hateful stance, but anytime we give money to a corporate entity, they’re probably using the profits in ways we don’t agree with.

      • Dude, I don’t shop at Whole Paychecks, won’t shop at this place either. I suspect there are others who feel the same way.

      • I stopped shopping at Whole Paycheck when I read that OpEd, that The Whole Paycheck CEO penned in the Wall Street Journal lambasting the Affordable Care Act. Me, knowing full well how high the deductible is on the medical insurance available to his employees. And not a comprehensive plan, I might add. The bare minimum. John Mackey is another backwards, self indulgent, Libertarian ding a ling.

    • Peter Lassens has a right to his views and it should not stop people from shopping in his stores. I think he is a man of character and courage and I think enought people will shop there to keep the store strong. I know the owner of Starbucks said he did not want people who are anti-gay to shop in his stores and Starbucks is booming. Even thought it is not the case where, certain people are asked not to shop at Lassens, however even if they did not shop there I think there will be enought people that love his views and agree with his point of view. I say Thank God for people like Peter Lassens who stand up for traditional values! I will be there every day and bring my friends! Thank you Peter Lassens!

      • @Fran Rushie

        There is religious belief and then there’s funding legislation to make your religious beliefs law. Which would effect the lives of millions of civilians who do not share your beliefs. Taxpayers. Individuals with families, that own homes and property. I’m talking about LGBT Americans and their extended families.
        And in regard to the Lassens, their religious beliefs should not become law for the state of California. Period. End of story.

        When are you people drinking the Jesus juice going to get caught up to the real world?

  11. $35k to support prop 8!!! I won’t be shopping at this “haters” market.

  12. Rotten news. Was so excited about Sprouts or TJ’s or another market opening in this space, but will absolutely spread the word that Echo Park will not condone, support this bigot’s business in our neighborhood.

  13. Grahm Wellington

    I was totally excited about this until I read about the anti-gay stuff. Too bad he waisted all that money on a losing battle. Gay marriage is definitely coming like it or not.

    I think I’ll donate 35K to the kick-mormons-out-of-CA fund.

  14. Crap. Why cant we just get a Trader Joes in that spot?

  15. We protested when they opened in Los Feliz… perhaps we should get our signs out again. Get your organic juice and gluten free carob brownies somewhere else….. Don’t give the bigots your money.

  16. As tolerant, loving progressives in Echo Park we must take down this piece of trash market, pushing their hateful and ancient backwards religion on everyone. We might as well burn it down right when it opens and kill everyone inside for not supporting gay marriage. Old Lassen should know better than to have views that differ from those in the neighborhood. He probably prays to some made-up, flying spaghetti monster that lowlife crap eater.

    • Silver Lake resident

      He believes in the Book of Mormon — which, to me, is the same as praying to the flying spaghetti monster.

      • Hey, I’m offended by your statement. My devotion to the almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster is my business. May he rain his farfalley wrath upon you.

      • Why single out Mormons? ALL religions are praying to flying spaghetti monsters…

    • Your angry and a spiteful comments show zero compassion for others that behave differently than you. Its your sub conscience attempting to out yourself as exactly that. If we ask that others promote equality by non-support of their beliefs then you should be doing the same.

      • awesome! many folks who profess to be “tolerant” are very intolerant of folks with different views. A bit hypocritical, imho.

      • Echo Park resident

        I personally do not think “tolerating” someone else’s bigotry is taking the moral high road. “Tolerance” is a Christian respecting the beliefs and practices of their Muslim neighbor. “Tolerance” is not judging the goth kid in your son’s high school class. Calling people out for being racist or homophobic? That’s being a good person.

        • You said: ‘“Tolerance” is a Christian respecting the beliefs and practices of their Muslim neighbor’

          Homosexuality is against the beliefs and practices of your Latter Day Saint neighbor (as it is with your Muslim neighbor) yet it does not sound like you have “tolerance” given your own definition.

          I do not follow the LDS doctrine; however, if they believe homosexuality is wrong.. that’s their prerogative. Of course, if their beliefs cause them to act in a manner inconsistent with law (ie hate crimes), then we have issues.

          • I do follow the LSD doctrine… OMMMMMMM….

          • @True Freedom. The issue is that the Lassen Family will the donate to anti-gay causes using money that they make in our neighborhood. You don’t have to like or approve of gay people, but when you attack their civil rights you have crossed the line. I seriously don’t approve of your Mormon lifestyle, I think it’s a cult, but you don’t see me trying to take away your rights.

        • Calling people names makes you a good person? Perhaps its time you put the keyboard down, walk around the lake and take time to reflect on your words.

          • Echo Park resident

            Calling someone a “bigot” isn’t calling them a name — it’s pointing out facts.

            From the dictionary: “Bigot – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance”

            Donating money to a campaign to restrict gays (“members of a group”) from marrying? Yeah, I think that’s a textbook definition of a bigot. It’s not like I’m calling him an asshole on a public forum. Just stating facts.

            And in regards to saying your “beliefs” telling you it’s OK to demean an entire class, race or group of people? Well I don’t think they’re really paying attention to what Jesus taught.

          • Go back to the lake and keep thinking about what you wrote.

      • Opinions are one thing. But funding to make your opinions part of law is another. That now falls into the category of buying and influencing legislation. And Lassen crossed the line. But he’s too full of Jesus or Joseph Smith, Jr. or Brigham Young to see the fault in his glaring indiscresion. I’m pretty much over it with all of the ‘God’ folk. Always a problem. History does not lie.

    • “Tolerant”??? If you were to judge every equally business by the way they or their employees spend their money you would go crazy. I do not have to agree with the owners political/religious belief but I am educated enough to know that the money being spent at the register goes into many hands. This is not 1935 Germany and treating those that are not tolerant with intolerance is also not being tolerant. It is just another form of bigotry. BTW, I never knew where the Natures Mart money went to but I still supported them. See the light people.

    • Your tolerance is overwhelming! Its nice to see that you can be the bigger man.

  17. Great, now we know where not to shop! I’m 33 and have a hard time going into Barney’s Beanery knowing its history of hate toward the LGBT community. They have made strides in the right direction, but sometimes scars can run deep–even if you weren’t born when the majority of the bigotry occoured. Luckily we live in a city that allows us alternatives for where to spend money.

  18. Los Feliz resident

    Lassen’s did a great job renovating the old Naturemart in Los Feliz but I am sad to see the parking lot is always packed–apparently most people don’t know about or don’t care that they money they spend there is going straight into the pockets of bigots.

  19. DON’T give these bigots your money, even after Prop 8 gets repealed.

    Good thing they are closed on the busiest grocery shopping day of the week.

  20. sad to wait all this time for this. just speak with your shopping dollars and not go there. I used to go to nature mart and dont go since it became lassens.. same for not shopping at rite aid or chick filla or any place that I learn has some discriminatory or harmful policy or business practice… it’s a small gesture but at least one less dollar that goes to their coffers..

    • Also timely is the recently Supreme Court decision on DOMA, and what’s coming up with prop 8, it just show how out of step they are with times. When Mike Huckabee tweets “Jesus weeps” in response to trying to give 2 people equal access to rights and benefits, and Lassens is trying to push organic products trying to promote health and well being meanwhile contributing to groups and efforts that take away all sorts of things that disallow health and well being between to people, I just don’t under stand why they don’t see the contradictions… religion is such a poison pill sometimes or at least how some people interpret it.

      • It was a one-off donation of $30k four years ago, mandated by the church. The owner publicly regretted making the contribution. I am firmly against DOMA and what Lassen’s religion stands for, but the outcry against his business seems way excessive. There are plenty of businesses whose leaders have religious and social beliefs I don’t agree with. Should I be boycotting all of them?

        • Echo Park resident

          Actually, if you really stand behind your beliefs, you should boycott businesses that donate to less-than-savory causes. What if Lassen donated to the White Supremacy Party? Would you tell us all to look the other way, too?

          Also, his half-assed, after-the-fact apology is SO TYPICAL of people who hold these sorts of beliefs. I bet he still things gay marriage should be illegal; he was just upset he got caught.

          • Sure hope you never shop at Ralphs or Target, drink a Pepsi, eat at KFC, or consume any number of corporate products. You’re supporting Republicans, who have “traditional” marriage enshrined in their platform.

            So I hope you’re “standing by your beliefs” 100% too.

  21. Bigots. It’s true, and in writing. Tell your friends.

  22. hahahhahahahah

  23. It’s pretty well documented that LDS realized the error of their ways earlier this year:


    Institutionalized bigotry is pretty awful, but what does anyone really know about the personal views of any profit-motivated business owner at the end of the day?

    The CEO of Vons is a huge Republican… wonder what causes he is donating to?

    • Oh please. I read the Mother Jones article when it came out and a few weeks later the church had yet another HUGE fundraiser (sponsored by the Osmonds, minus Marie) in support of Prop 8. The LDS will say anything to the press to keep the money coming in. Do you realize how much money they fueled into Prop 8? Millions and millions. They bascially created the entire fiasco, and they haven’t changed their position in a few short weeks. Nothing will repair the damage of DECADES of imbred hate and intolerance that they are responsible.”We are better than you” is their motto. Here’s their bigoted documents filed with the Supreme court last February… http://gaysaltlake.com/news/2013/02/03/mormon-church-weighs-in-on-prop-8-court-battle/
      “You can be gay, but you can’t act on it” is top 10 in the most retarded things ever declared by a cult.

  24. Can we get a Mother’s Market in LA already??

  25. I gotta say, it’s a brilliant move by Lassens. By putting their store here they just took money out of the new Whole Foods moving into Silverlake. I would have to drive past this place this place to get my hippy on a WF and that is not going to happen. I would also have to drive past this place to get my gross/dirty on at Vons and that is not going to happen. Well played Lassens, well played.

  26. So the church of LDS, who’s original views on traditional marriage was polygamy, which was historically criticized to the point of LDS ending that ‘tradition(?)’, has felt the need to discriminate against others regarding what a legal marriage is?


    Hypocrisy is alive and well in religion.

  27. I wanted a Trader Joe’s. Did anyone else write TJs to request a store at that location? I won’t shop at Lassens based on their support of Prop 8.

  28. Wow, had no idea of the history. Thanks for filling me in.

  29. Let me make myself perfectly clear.

    As a former old-school Nature Mart customer, it was disappointing to see a bigoted, homophobic institution like Lassen’s take over. The accidental plus side of this, is that I bought my own juicer, shop at the small, local produce markets, grow my own wheatgrass and buy bulk yerba mate at the local Argentinean market, and have saved a TON of money in the process.

    And it’s true: Unless one is a multi-millionaire, we are without immediate political and legislative influence. Our only “vote” is where we choose to spend our money. If we shop at Lassen’s, then yes, we are blindly supporting right-wing homophobia and other similar issues.

    But let me ask you this, Dearest Eastsider Reader:

    How many of you choose to shop at Urban Outfitters? It’s likely more than one of you does or has. And if so, you’re supporting homophobia and other GOP zealots. Richard Haynes, CEO of Urban Outfitters is a mega-GOP donor who previously gave a ton of money to Rick Santorum’s campaigns, among others. Read on:


    And while we all love to feel good about sweatshop-free American Apparel clothing, the fact of the matter is, Dov Charney is a sex-crazed chauvinist who uses his power to stick his “thumb in the plumb” of any woman stepping through his door for an interview. He may be Libertarian, but it’s still shitty, selfish behavior any way you look at it. Is it “okay” to support his practices?? If I was to start feeling up any of you Sexy Eastsider Men and Women while waiting in line for a show at The Echo, I’d get my teeth kicked in and be tarred-and-feathered on various social networks. Think about it.

    While we’re on the subject of where our money goes, how many of you have the internet in your pocket, via some fancy iGadget? Let it be known I’m a huge fan of the company founded by Mr. Jobs and Mr. Wozniak. But we all know the company’s FoxConn factory is an epicenter of human rights violations. They put up suicide nets around the perimeter of their factory, for crying out loud! Do you support this???!!? You are when waiting in line for a snazzy new iPhone 5. Read on:



    And if Apple or any of these tech companies really cared, they could bring these jobs back to America, but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic. But we’re having a fireside chat about where our hard-earned money goes, who to support, where to spend it, etc. Let me ask you this:

    Do you drive a car? This is Los Angeles. It’s safe to assume many of you do. And to drive a car, one must put fuel into it. Petrol. Gasoline. Oil. You know – that $4.99 per gallon stuff. (Unless of course, you’re a super-multi-mega trust fund kid who owns an all-electric Tesla Roadster … and there’s a few of you in this part of town).

    With that in mind, do you support BP, Chevron, Halliburton and two, 10+ year ongoing wars happening in the Middle East? Do you support the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians, so that some people can drive and pay less than $18. per gallon for a few more years? Do you realize the Gulf Coast and surrounding eco-systems are still TRASHED from the BP oil spill in 2009? It’s quite a mess, this folly of ours, isn’t it? Read up a little bit, please:





    You all know it’s true. You can use those iPads and Androids to search for further info on how these wars-for-oil bankrupted this country, destroyed the lives of well-intended (but not well-informed) U.S. soldiers and National Guardsmen, and other statistics.

    Our society is fucked over and fucked out. You and I and everyone we know are to blame for not being more engaged and better informed citizens.

    My point is this: If you’re all going to boycott a Mormon-owned health food store opening up in a violent crime rampant, extremely overpriced neighborhood, you all may want to do some deep soul searching in regards to other facets of your day-to-day lifestyle(s).

    In the meantime, there’s some woman with a 40+ hour a week government job, who resides in the Silver Lake (a.k.a. Beverly Hills East) who desperately needs donations for her vet bills, since the attacking dog’s owner is too much of a spineless coward to come forward and take responsibility for their violent pet. Talk about “community”!

    Please pass a bucket I can vomit into. It would be uncouth to sully the floor of a $1250. per month east side condo.

  30. So how many of you financially continued to suppot BP when they destroyed the gulf or spend money at Wallmart or voted for a Bush? You might also consider that millions of Christians not just Mormans supported prop 8 in votes and dollars. Do you still continue supporting the too?

    • You have no practical choice but to support BP. They operate the only refinery in LA. All gas stations buy fuel from this refinery in it’s basic form (ARCO) then add the “additives” to make it their own brand ie. techron. (Chevron)

  31. I have done a lot of research here when they came into Los Feliz. I also spoke to two of Mr. Lassen’s sons. It seems that the mormon church asked a certain amount of everyone, depending upon how much they made in the first days of the Prop 8 campaign. Mr. Lassen, trusting his church, did what was asked of him. This was a personal donation, not connected to the store. As far as I can see, the family has given no additional funds to support any anti-gay movement since those first few weeks, several years ago. This was a time when President Obama said that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Over the years many people have had awakenings, including our president, so, unless I find out something different, I am going to believe that so many people have come around, including mormons, to realize that this was a mistake, and I am going to move forward. I have found them to have many LGBT employees and patrons. People were fed horrible information from their places of worship years ago, when Prop 8 began. Growth, love, and acceptance is all part of love being love.

  32. angeleno heights mom

    Thank you Ike for taking the time to spell it out. Your sentiment is right on.
    PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW your MONEY is your only vote. If you care about organic produce and are anti GMO, then you know about MONSANTO.
    Bee’s are dying at an alarming rate, our food is being systematically poisoned and the choice is UP TO YOU!!
    $$$ is your only voice. Use it wisely.

  33. sad that people hate in the name of God

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