“There is no way we can absorb two supermarkets in the same area,” he said.
The store was once the area’s lone grocery outpost and has existed at 2931 Honolulu Ave. since 1950, although under various names and owners, Malouf said.
It regularly fills its shelves with items like Lebanese olive oil and Middle Eastern biscuits that customers special order, something that an independent store can do much more quickly and spontaneously than a corporate market, Malouf said.
But with Vons renovating to position itself as a more attractive Montrose grocery option, and as Trader Joe’s negotiates with Glendale officials for a ground lease agreement at Orangedale and Honolulu avenues, some of the business that Cordon’s Ranch now relies on could soon be moving down the street, Malouf said.
“Any business that comes in selling the same products is going to take some business away,” he said.
Malouf complained that the lone independent grocer in town was not notified of talks with Trader Joe’s and argued that the proposed store would only produce revenue for the city through a ground lease agreement without regard to the impact on existing businesses.
Dale Dawson, president of the Montrose Shopping Park Assn., disagreed.
“It’s going to be a tremendous draw,” Dawson said. “I don’t see any downside.”
While a Trader Joe’s would create competition for Cordon’s Ranch, it already competes with other nearby corporate grocery stores, he said.
Ralphs and Vons are both within a two-mile radius of the store, he said.
Customers who frequent the store have likely made the decision to go there because they like it, he said.
“I think Cordon’s, being a neighborhood market, probably has its own clientele that it’s had for many years,” he said
Improved grocery offerings nearby could also force surrounding stores to improve their approaches, he said.
“We are in a free-market system and competition makes you sharper,” he said.
Councilman John Drayman, who also serves as chairman of the Redevelopment Agency, argued that the market would continue to have its own draw, regardless of a nearby Trader Joe’s, which would bring more grocery shoppers to the area, he Cordon’s Ranch shoppers agreed that the market’s selection of items and its low prices were often the main reason they came to the store.
“Sometimes I find things over here that I don’t find in other stores,” said La Crescenta shopper W. Sagedi, referring to the ethnic breads and sweets that she frequently adds to her shopping cart.