Why I Won’t Support Spencer’s Fresh Market

Aaron Ochs
4 min readMay 6, 2020

Spencer’s Fresh Market has two grocery stores located in Santa Maria and Morro Bay. Before I knew how extensively involved they were with CalCoastNews, I used to shop there regularly. Objectively speaking, they have a great inventory and customer service. Even though grocery trips are understandably far and few between these days, I still can’t support them.

We are slowly getting accustomed to the “new normal” with COVID-19. When it comes to grocery shopping, we’re either using apps like Instacart to have groceries conveniently delivered to us or we’re braving the supermarkets, hopefully wearing a mask and socially distancing, at the risk of infection. More than ever, we should be grateful for all the essential workers, including grocery store employees, for serving the community while risking their lives on a daily and hourly basis. In the larger picture, small businesses everywhere deserve all the love and support we can give them during this difficult time.

When it comes to advertisers, there’s a plausible deniability factor. They may advertise somewhere because it gives them exposure, but it’s difficult to presume they’re keeping tabs on the website they’re advertising on. But owners Beatrice and John Spencer are involved in the shaping of CalCoastNews’ content, tacitly approve their defamatory content and illicit activity.

From 2014–2018, the City of Arroyo Grande’s mayor was Jim Hill. Hill, a listed CalCoastNews contributor, urged volunteers to write CalCoastNews on hand-painted neon campaign signs as a way for people to learn more about his campaign. For his initial mayoral run, Hill relied heavily on their coverage. CalCoastNews wrote about a “sex scandal” between two city employees drunkenly spending the night in Arroyo Grande City Hall. While the city employees were reprimanded for improperly using city resources and creating the appearance of additional impropriety, there was no evidence that the scandal was actually a “sex scandal.” But Hill’s campaign used the controversy to propel himself into office, replacing incumbent mayor Tony Ferrara.

Beatrice (left) and John Spencer (Source: Facebook)
Aaron Ochs

Author, artist, advocate and entrepreneur from Morro Bay, California.