GREENWOOD (CBS13) — Residents of a rural El Dorado County town are rallying behind the owners of its only grocery store, who are fighting to keep it open.

The renters of a 160-year-old building wanted to make it a store, so they put in new shelves, coolers and painted the walls and floors, but the county says they should’ve checked the zoning laws first.

When Vincent Cal retired from his contracting business of 50 years, he wanted to bring life to this quiet, yet scenic town in the foothills.

“I came up here for a drive, it was in foreclosure, weeds neck high and I thought, ‘I have to have something to do,’ so I overdid it,” said Vincent.

Cal’s market has been running for about nine months, and every day they’re open, he and co-owner Jamisa Fletcher are breaking the law. See, they don’t exactly have a business license.

“We don’t like being outlaws. We don’t like breaking the law. That’s not the point. The point is we can’t afford $20,000-$30,000 to re-zone it,” said Jamisa.

El Dorado County says Cal’s is zoned for residential even though old pictures of the building show it used to be a store. Rezoning would cost thousands, according to the county.

“Anyone who signs a contract like that outta be really rich or really stupid or one or the other,” said Vincent.

So after a year of leasing the place and getting nowhere with the county, Cal says he felt the right thing to do for Greenwood would be to open up anyway.

“I have to drive five miles that way, five miles that way to get to anything, so it’s very convenient,” said Rebecca, a customer.

Families hang out on their newly-built porch eating Cal’s now-famous $.99 hot dogs.

“We’re all backing it up. We all want to keep it here,” said Rebecca.

When the sheriff ordered Cal and Jamisa to court, the community followed.

“The whole whole half [of] the courtroom’s us; DA’s going, ‘Wow’,” said Jamisa.

It was a show of overwhelming support for outlaws who say they simply want to run a business.

“We just want a store. How simple is that? A store is already up and operating,” said Jamisa.

County supervisors are considering waiving some of the re-zoning fees. Cal’s owners have a trial set for the end of the month for staying open without a license.

Comments (17)
  1. Carol says:

    This story is unreadable.
    Could someone please attempt to proof read these articles before posting?
    This is embarrassing! Whoever wrote this and posted it needs to be handed a pink slip.

    1. frank says:

      Carol, you are absolutely right about this article: A poorly written article. I guess the good news is the fact that people, with less than an eighth-grade education, are getting jobs.

      1. ROB says:

        LOL, I was thinking I was having a stroke.

  2. Patrick says:

    Thank you! I was thinking the same thing!

  3. Carol Treadway says:

    I think everyone got the picture, proofreading or not.

  4. Mr A says:

    He has to follow the laws in place just the same as every other business that has failed gue to over regulation in California. Maybe if he gets some illegal immigrant co owners, they will let it be.

  5. Wayne says:

    Grammar and spelling in the 21st century. That’s what today’s graduate is missing. Git you some users to IT. I hits to get me jobs at a gnaws appeal. Were do I sine up???

  6. Lori says:

    Not all outlaws are bad. It’s just the Govt. once again dipping their hands into the cookie jar to get their share of the money. If the people want it open, then it should stay open. Did they ever think of raising the money as a county? And the article reads just fine…….sheesh are you a bunch of retired grammar teachers or what? You are discussing an article written for a paper, not Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Get a life.

  7. Kim says:

    That’s proofread, Carol, LOL….

  8. Descartes says:

    If illegals don’t have to follow the law then why should he.

  9. America, Love it or Leave it. says:

    The Rich get Richer & The Poor get Poorer.

  10. Tapestry says:

    Sounds like since it was sa store before it went into disuse it would be simple to just grandfather the ‘zoning laws’ and let them have the little business. If this state, let alone this country, would give people a chance to do what this country used to allow them to do without charging them outrageous fees to just start up a business they might actally make money on the sales tax!
    But no ‘Moonbeam” and his minions can’t see that nor anyone that runs this country anymore. All they want to do is increase taxes and put it in their wallets. It certainly isn’t going to the poor; with all the money colllected there shouldn’t be one impoverished human being on this planet unless that is their chose way of life. Many people like being bums, ie homeless, they chose not to be productive members of society.. you can’t change those who are ambitious like these wannabe store owners either its what they do!

  11. Trying says:

    The city of Stockton paid, yes, paid Macy’s 2 million to move into the Gottshalks bldg at their mall. Kinda ironic

  12. Sharon says:

    I think you did very well. I am sorry that these people are bullies. I like to think good constructive criticism would have been a nice way to help you improve if they don’t like the way you wrote it. You got to the point, and a very nicely done job. Thank you!

  13. Sharon says:

    Vincent Cal did apply and filled out all paperwork. However, the County wanted an open ended contract and two years to decided yes or no. Do you have two years of rent to throw away while you wait for an answer? He had the guts to stand up. I bet most of the people in the area have never even heard of Greenwood till now.

  14. europcar car rental coupon says:

    You’re truly right on this one!

  15. backlinks says:

    Thank goodness some bloggers can write. Thanks for this piece of writing!!

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