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Christian Farmers Market Quietly Closes Stores in MainPlace Mall and Fullerton

June 14, 1989|MARY ANN GALANTE | Times Staff Writer

Christian Farmers Market in Santa Ana has abruptly closed its doors.

The upscale, open-air grocery and food court apparently vacated the MainPlace/Santa Ana mall over the weekend of May 27, said Judy Bijlani, mall spokeswoman. "It was a complete surprise. We found out Monday morning (on May 29) when we came in and there was nobody here," Bijlani said.

The store's owners, Michael and Susan Christian, could not be reached for comment.

The couple, who founded the Christian Farmers Market chain, evidently have also closed their Fullerton store. That store's phone has been disconnected and an employee at another Orange County site said the Fullerton site is no longer operating.

Christian Farmers Market stores remain open in Laguna Hills and San Juan Capistrano.

Bijlani said she had thought the Santa Ana store was "doing fine," but added, "evidently they had some reasons for doing something like that."

The Santa Ana store opened in October after some delays. Once in business, Christian Farmers Market gave a festival atmosphere to MainPlace, with its hanging baskets, bins brimming with quality produce, and decorative overhead crabs and lobsters wearing laced shoes.

The Christian's chain started 11 years ago in Anaheim, when the couple opened their first market. The original site has since closed.

MainPlace/Santa Ana officials hope to have another market operator in the former Christian site within the next 90 days, Bijlani said.

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