By KAREN VELIE
The Fidel brothers bought Orcutt’s iconic Old Town Market from marijuana mogul Helios Dayspring in October with plans to continue selling groceries while also providing a food court. Plans that delighted locals concerned with the closure of Old Town Orcutt’s only grocery store.
However, that depends on Santa Barbara County. If Dayspring is successful in garnering a coveted retail pot shop permit for the property, the Fidel brothers agreed to sell the property back to Dayspring, said co-owner Ibrahim Abboud.
For more than 70 years, the western style building on Clark Avenue has housed a grocery store, and for 18 years, Mark and Wendy Steller ran the market.
On April 24, Dayspring purchased the Old Town Market building and several other parcels for $1.6 million. A week later, Dayspring sent the Stellers an eviction notice.
The Stellers were stunned when they received an eviction notice to vacate the property within 90 days after the end of the shelter at home order.
Dayspring then rejected the Stellers’ request to let them keep the Old Town Market open while he went through the permit process.
Since late 2019, multiple marijuana business owners have showed interest in opening retail pot shops or delivery businesses in Orcutt. None have been approved.
After learning the Stellers were facing eviction, dozens of members of the small community voiced objections to housing a pot shop at the location, during a July 9 cannabis retail storefront workshop put on by Santa Barbara County.
On Oct. 9, the Fidel brothers purchased the property for $1.5 million, according to a property profile. They are hoping to keep the Old Town Market open and to continue serving the community.