Grassroots effort paid off

By From page A6 | April 12, 2013

Thanks to The Davis Enterprise for covering the Common Grounds Coffee story — a cautionary tale of a small, independent business whose long-standing lease was precipitously canceled and the grassroots community effort that followed.

A blog post by former Davis Enterprise staff writer David Weinshilboum describing the abrupt closure of the popular SoDa (South Davis) hangout gave rise to a spontaneous effort challenging Regency Centers, the Florida-based corporation that owns Oakshade Town Center. Owners Son and Michelle Chong, hundreds of loyal and frankly outraged customers, Mayor Joe Krovoza and city of Davis staff, and a local Assemblymember who has regularly enjoyed her Common Grounds java jolt since its doors first opened 12 years ago engaged in a weeklong series of phone calls and negotiating efforts with various Regency Center officials, some of whom returned contact, and others who have yet to respond.

While the new lease is a positive outcome, getting there was bittersweet. As we look forward to Common Grounds’ reopening, I can only wonder if other Regency Center tenants are facing similar treatment. Thank you to all who helped save a Davis small business.

Mariko Yamada
Assemblymember, 4th District, Davis

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