Confirmation Received That Upscale Health Food Market Coming to the Trancas
• Erewhon Natural Foods Has Applied for Conditional Use Permit for Wine and Beer Tasting Area and a Deli and Juice Bar
BY BILL KOENEKER
It's official. Erewhon Natural Foods is coming to the Trancas market shopping center.
The rumor had circulated for months that the Los Angeles-based market was coming to the west end location, but nobody was able to confirm the store had become the anchor of the remodeled shopping center currently under construction.
However, that changed when the City of Malibu issued a public hearing notice last week that Erewhon is seeking a Conditional Use Permit from the Malibu Planning Commission on Monday Oct. 1.
At nearly the same time, the shopping center's commercial broker, Tony Dorn, announced in an ad he had signed Erewhon to a lease and was seeking other tenants for the expanding shopping center.
The market owner wants to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits for offsite consumption and the request includes a beer and wine tasting area, a deli and a juice bar.
The proposed market, according to city planners, will be located in the area of a former full service market (HOWS) that also sold beer, wine and distilled spirits for offsite consumption.
According to its website, Erewhon's roots are in the macrobiotic movement of the 1960s. "Macrobiotics, meaning large or long life, is a philosophy of living a balanced life, which includes a dietary regime centered around whole grains and vegetables from land and sea and based upon the opposing/attracting forces in nature referred to as yin/yang."
In the 1960s, Michio and Aveline Kushi, macrobiotic teachers from Japan and students of George Ohsawa, the founder of the modern macrobiotic movement, formed study groups in New York and later in Massachusetts.
As the groups of students increased, the demand for macrobiotic products increased, but such foods were in short supply in this country, according to the website.
To fulfill the need, the Kushis began to import food from Japan, worked to develop American organic farming and opened shops to supply their followers.
The website reports that in 1968 Aveline established a study group in Los Angeles and opened a one-room shop on Beverly Boulevard called Erewhon.
One of Aveline's students, Thomas De Silva, began working in the store in 1969 and in 1980 became the owner of Erewhon's Los Angeles store.
In May of 1991, the store moved to its present location. After 30 years, it is still family-owned and operated, according to its website.
"Today, Erewhon Natural Foods Market occupies 12,000 square feet and has become a model store in the natural foods industry offering the finest selection of organically-grown produce, groceries and macrobiotics staples. A wide variety of natural remedies including vitamins, herbs and homeopathics is also available," the website states.
There already have been grumblings by some west Malibu residents that a natural foods store is not a good fit for the families in the area.
Others have said they welcome a natural foods store with open arms, and can't wait for it to open.