CONSIGNMENT SHOWCASE BANKRUPTCY HURTS . . . All that remains of Consignment Showcase, Town & Country Village's used-furniture store that closed in August, is a handwritten word on a small pink Post-It note stuck on the glass doors: "Closed." But while the consignment shop may be gone, it is not forgotten -- and with some painful memories. Just ask Joline Lyons, a retired Mountain View resident. The store's shutdown left Lyons high and dry.
"I honestly don't know how much I'm owed, but it's a lot," she said. Lyons had decided to sell her parquet dining room and bedroom set through Consignment Showcase last February. "I never heard back from them, so I finally called in June and was told that my furniture sold and that I would get a check in 30 days. The 30 days went by, and I got nothing. I called again and again and never got a call back. When I called in August, the store's voicemail was full and when I called the next day, the phone was disconnected," she said. "I thought something was really fishy." Lyons sent a letter, but it was returned. "No forwarding address. It seems as if they just disappeared," she said.
Lyons is not alone. Another customer, a Palo Altan who asked his name not be used, dropped off a sofa and loveseat in June. "I came back to the store six weeks later and the place was empty. There was no correspondence of any kind. How am I supposed to recover my pieces?" he asked.
The owners of Consignment Showcase could not be located and repeated calls to their bankruptcy attorney, Patrick Forte, have not been returned. Rumors are they a living in the Danville area.
But there may be some hope. A bankruptcy letter was sent out to customers two weeks ago notifying them of an Alameda County court date for creditors on Oct. 11 in Oakland.
WHOLE FOODS ON WHOLE BLOCK . . . California's largest Whole Foods Market opened in Los Altos last month. The 55,000-square-foot grocery store, at the corner of El Camino Real and Showers Drive, held a grand opening Sept. 18 featuring belly dancers, cooking demos and an accordion performance. The new store, which devotes two entire levels to underground parking for 275 cars, is twice the size of the Palo Alto Whole Foods on Homer Avenue. "We don't do cookie cutter designs here," Walter Roth, CEO and president of Whole Foods, said of the new store. "This store was specifically designed for Los Altos." Perhaps no one was more excited about this area's newest Whole Foods than Carol Milstein, a Los Altos mother of three who was shopping soon after it opened. "I got here at 7:30 this morning. I love this store. I love the company. I just bought their stock," she said. The store offers a variety of ready-cooked foods, including made-to-order crepes. It also has a pizza station and a Tandoori oven. "I may never have to cook again," Milstein said. The new store has already had an impact on another grocer. Safeway on California Avenue, about four blocks away from Whole Foods, has seen a decline in its shoppers, at least initially. "It's way more quiet here than before," said a checker, who is used to having a long line of shoppers at her register. "It's probably because Whole Foods is brand new and people are curious. They'll be back," she said optimistically.