Want a new Silver Lake market? Sign here, please

Photo by Michael Swan/Flickr

From Wal-Mart to the corner cafe, business owners of all sizes know first-hand how difficult and costly it can be to open or expand a business  in the City of Los Angeles.  Business owners must cut through red tape,  obtain building permits and alcohol licenses, hire expeditors, deal with inspectors and win over politicians, neighborhood activists and zoning administrators.  Now,  in a preemptive strike against possible opposition, the owner of a grocery and delivery chain planning to open a Silver Lake outlet is asking residents to show their support by  signing an online petition well in advance of a store opening.  Yummy.com, which has leased the Natural Mind salon building at Griffith Park Boulevard and Sunset boulevards, launched the online petition partly in preparation for seeking city and state permission to sell beer and wine.

“It’s very difficult to open a grocery store in the City of L.A. because you must apply for a ‘change of use’ and a conditional use permit for the sale of alcohol,” said Yummy.com owner Barnaby Montgomery. “Community input is important to the City’s process. For example, I believe the Neighborhood Council would like to know that the community wants another grocery store.”

But will a petition filled with signature sway a zoning administrator or a planning commissioner?  Well, it can’t hurt, said one City Hall official involved economic development.

“You don’t have to do it but it can be helpful,” said the official, who requested not to be identified.   Projects that will most likely need a beer and wine permit or generate traffic are also likely to generate opposition, and a petition could help. “It’s a preemptive strike against” potential opposition, the official said.

Montgomery said he has not faced any problems yet as he begins the process of preparing to open the store but is taking no chances.

“It’s not clear to me how a zoning administrator or hearing officer considers community support for our application,” Montgomery said.  “On the other hand, it is very clear that opponents have an effect on the process.  For example, it’s very difficult to get supporters to take a day off of work to attend a zoning administrator hearing.  It’s more common to find opponents who will invest their time to attend the hearing.  Accordingly, 1 opponent will be heard over 100 supporters if the supporters remain silent.”


  1. Will the owners commit to selling non-GMO foods? After a few minutes on their website it looks like they do offer some organic choices but it’s very limited and I would say that over 85 % of the food is from companies that mass produced genetically modified and packaged foods…pepsi, campbells, heinz, crisco, betty crocker, progresso, etc.

    I would much prefer supporting one of the small organic markets that have opened recently. Not to mention Trader Joe’s which has a no GMO policy for everything with their name on it.

  2. Just a hipster Pink Dot?

  3. I agree with J. We need more stores with a conscience.

    • @DVG

      I hear they’ve got a bunch of those types of “stores with a conscience” in Fantasy Land.


      Hipster Sheep so easily taken in. “Trader Joe’s has a conscience because they don’t sell Pepsi products!”

      Baa Baa, Hipster Sheep.

      • I never said Trader Joe’s has a conscience. I have no idea. I only stated the fact that they guarantee that nothing with a trader joe’s logo has artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, no genetically modified ingredients, no MSG, no added Trans Fats. I just want to know what I’m eating and if TJ’s can tell us then the rest should be able too also.

  4. USH! This store is waaaaaaaay too generic for the neighborhood. All of the cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals ( um, go across the street to $. 99 store for that). Minimal organic produce & food. Very limited vegetarian and vegan options The frozen food is unhealthy and made from corporations which use GMO and non-organic ingredients.

    Low common denominator chain-store. Not needed, not wanted!

  5. jeez its a nice little store. it’s a little generic but its clean with the basics and they have a good deli. If there are other products that will actually sell like organic, vegan, etc i don’t see why they wouldn’t be willing to sell them. Anyway i don’t see a bunch of great organic stores lining up to put in markets.

    • Exactly, it’s the choice between a corner store that sells a mix of organic and mainstream products VS. no corner store at all… In a perfect world I’d prefer a Nature Mart style organic store, but this will certainly do!

  6. Stfu dj bento box. Everything you say is stone cold stupid. Willing to fight you physically if it means you will go away. I know for a fact that you are pudgy.

    • So you want to fight me “physically”.

      As opposed to with our minds? Like we’re going to shoot mind bullets at one another? Maybe we can try to choke one another out with the force like Darth Vader?

      Were you watching pro wrestling when you wrote this? Did you want to fight me at the Sports Arena on sunday! SuNdAy!! SUNDAY!!!!!!

      What a maroon. I laugh and point in your general direction.

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