BOISE, Idaho — Granny C's Bakery had to close early on Wednesday after selling out of nearly all of their baked goods.
The overwhelming community support comes one day after KTVB reported on a lawsuit filed against the bakery by Albertsons.
The lawsuit was filed due to concerns over illegal competition, and argues that the bakery is breaking the covenant code and restrictions that help guide what businesses are allowed in the shopping center.
The CC&R dates to 1987, and states:
"No portion of the Shopping Center other than the Leased Premises shall be used as a supermarket (which shall be defined as any store or department containing at least 5,000 square feet of floor area, including aisle space and storage, primarily devoted to the retail sale of food for off-premises consumption); as a bakery or delicatessen; for the sale of fresh or frozen meat, fish, poultry or produce for off-premises consumption; or for the sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption."
Granny C's owner Brad DeBoer told KTVB that he's not violating his lease. In his letter of intent, he stated that he would be running a bakery that would bake bread, cupcakes, specialty cakes, pastries and pies, and serve specialty coffee.
His lease doesn’t have the same restrictions the CC&R has. It instead states: "no supermarket exceeding 5,000 [square feet] that includes a bakery" can open in the shopping center. There’s no mention that a smaller bakery on its own cannot operate there.
The difference between the lease and the CC&R comes down to the semi-colon in the CC&R separating the clause about the size of the store and the prohibited uses. This has left DeBoer in a frustrating position.
"Then the property managers, how they can tell me and send out a lease that they say isn’t in violation of the CC&Rs,” he said.
Because of this lawsuit, people showed up to the bakery in droves on Wednesday to show their support - buying up just about everything in the store.
"It makes me happy actually, I'm glad we're not the only ones that want to come out and give them support and make sure we can do everything they can so they don't get shut down and show them love,” said Andrew Maynard, a supporter of the bakery.
The people who showed up to support the bakery were surprised by the lawsuit from Albertsons.
"They don’t have anything that can compare to these guys to be losing business,” said Jessica Hammer, another supporter. “They don't have the cupcakes that these guys [Granny C’s] do, they have generic cupcakes and muffins.”
DeBoer was emotional when speaking with KTVB about the community support.
“There is no way that I could not say thank you,” he said. “There has been a huge outpouring, from the community. The amount of appreciation showed for our business has been immense.”
Because of this lawsuit, the future is up in the air right now for Granny C's.
"I don't see a way out for us - it's here or bust," DeBoer said, noting that he hasn't talked to his landlord about this issue.
On Wednesday, Albertsons released a statement regarding the lawsuit:
“Albertsons Companies operates grocery stores with other small businesses and tenants in shopping centers locally and around the country, and we recognize how these businesses can help communities thrive. That isn't what this issue is about. Typically, shopping center businesses have mutual interests, and all can benefit from their neighbors, and our team works hard to ensure we are a good neighbor. All shopping centers are governed by defined covenants—similar to a homeowners or neighborhood association —to protect the value of the respective businesses. This is for everyone’s benefit. In this instance, Albertsons seeks to address its landlord’s failure to follow the agreed-upon restrictions. Prior to filing suit, we notified the landlord of our concerns, and the landlord failed to adequately respond. Our objective here is to fairly resolve the situation to the mutual satisfaction of everyone, which is consistent with our business practices.”
KTVB tried to contact the landlord - FPA Shoppes at Hillcrest, a development company based out of California, who was also listed in the lawsuit. They have not responded.
Granny C's is planning on reopening Thursday morning at 6 a.m. They're planning on having double of most things, so they don't run out.