Los Feliz health food store Nature Mart officially closed in late October, replaced by Lassen's, a small, locally-based chain. Some residents are crying foul because the new owners supported Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage initiative, and are vowing to boycott the new incarnation of the Hillhurst Avenue store. A petition on Change.org asserts that “Lassen's, the company which recently took over the Nature Mart health food store on Hillhurst Ave.” spent about $30,000 to help pass Prop 8.
They draw their figures from the Los Angeles Times Proposition 8 campaign donation records (which shows “Lassens Health Food” donating $27,500 in support of Prop 8) and SF Gate's database of Proposition 8 contributions (enter “Lassen's” with the apostrophe in the contributor field, and it lists Lassen's as having donated $3,000 to support Prop 8).
Urging locals to boycott Lassen's, the petition reads:
A huge number of local residents (of all backgrounds and orientations) don't want our money being used to promote discriminatory laws. We plan to exercise our freedom by not giving ANY money to Lassen's and by telling our neighbors why.
The open letter to Lassen's also reads:
If you ever decide you want to take real steps toward undoing this wrong, we're wide open to positive change, and we'd be thrilled to have a neighborhood health food store that we can support in good conscience.
As of late last night, the petition had 41 signatures.
Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at email@example.com.