April 10, 2018 – A Morro Bay family has stepped in to save the 40-year-old Cornucopia Community Market at Carmel Rancho Shopping Center.
“They were just going to close it and we felt it was a good opportunity to save something the community really needs and keep it alive,” says Greg Barnard, who reopened the health food shop last week with his brother Tanner.
The family also own Sunshine Health Foods and Shine Cafe in Morro Bay. Cornucopia was purchased by the Salt Lake City-based Nutraceutical vitamin company in 2008 as part of a nationwide expansion, but after being acquired by a private equity firm last year the firm has shuttered 33 markets.
“We’re going to try to keep it similar to what it has always been and preserve the old-style health food store,” says Barnard. “We knew what we were getting into.”
Although the brothers have no plans to add a café like the one next door to the shop in Morro Bay, they want to focus on improving the fresh produce aisle and the vitamin section. They plan to keep the grab-and-go fresh foods prepared by super natural chef Kari Bernardi.
Barnard says it takes two and a half hours to drive from one market to the other door-to-door and that the brothers plan to alternate a few days a week each in Carmel.
KION television reported in February that Cornucopia would close if a new buyer was not found within days and that the entire business plus inventory was going for $150,000. Barnard said a grocery distributor tipped them off to the opportunity.