Foothill community reacts to the closing of Fresh & Easy

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Foothill community reacts to the closing of Fresh & Easy

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After five years, the “mutual relationship” between Fresh & Easy and Foothill has come to an end as the chain closes stores across Southern California. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Traffic congested Day Road last week as many customers heard of Fresh & Easy’s closing, and rushed to take part in the store’s 50 percent off sale of all merchandise. The closing of the five-year-old Fresh & Easy leaves many students disappointed, wondering what will replace their lunchtime sandwiches and after-school snacks.

The Fresh & Easy on the corner of Day Road is one of about 30 stores that the chain is closing throughout Southern California.

A Fresh & Easy employee of five years, who preferred to stay anonymous due to company policy, reflected on the relationship between Foothill and Fresh & Easy. 

“You guys [Foothill] did excellent for this store. We thrived off of you guys, and I know you guys thrived off of us. It was a real mutual thing that we had. We always had a good partnership with Foothill as well as the staff there and students,” he said.

One group that contributed to this mutual relationship was members of the Speech and Debate team.

Alexia Khodanian, senior and Speech and Debate member, is disappointed to see the end of the weekly tradition of walking to Fresh & Easy before Speech and Debate practice. 

“I can see how it will affect underclassmen because on the team, during seventh period, we’ll go down there sometimes and buy a lot of food that we eat during practice, which is always a lot of fun because we just eat whatever,” she said. “It was always so convenient because you could go together, like grocery shopping, buying cake on sale every Tuesday and Thursday.”

The employee said that students from Ventura College, directly across the street, also relied on Fresh & Easy.

According to this employee, he saw approximately a thousand transactions from Foothill and Ventura College a day, sometimes seeing certain students twice a day.

“It will be awful, honestly. The college’s opportunities for food are awful there. They have a choice between Top Ramen and a couple other things, and when they come here they can get some really good food, for decent prices too,” he said.

The concern for healthy alternatives is not just a concern for those at Ventura College. Senior Ethan Tan believes that Fresh & Easy provided healthy alternatives for students at Foothill and as a result of its closing, there may “be a lot of kids just not eating lunch, or going and getting pizza or Snapper Jacks.”

While some are concerned about the loss of healthier alternatives, others, like sophomore Zachary Castro, will miss the days of last year, when he and his friends would venture to Fresh & Easy almost every day.

“I went pretty much every day last year. We bought giant bags of Tapatio chips, Arizonas, and we’d go to the tree at Ventura College and eat them. It was awesome,” he said. 

Castro thinks that an effect of Fresh & Easy’s closing may be that upperclassmen will begin spending more money on gas to get to other destinations that provide cheap food.

While many students are disappointed to see Fresh & Easy close, the question of what will replace it is still up in the air.

According to the Fresh & Easy employee, the store was renting their spot on Day Road, so they have no say in what will replace it.

If he had any hope, Castro wishes Fresh & Easy would come back.

Featured Photo Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press 

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