Transparency Needed - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2044428

Transparency Needed

Having just read your front-page article on the possible demise of Schmidt’s Market [“Schmidt’s Market Will Close After 43 Years in Business,”, October 5], I would like to voice my sadness and displeasure at this news.

As a longtime customer of the store and friend of Dennis Schmidt for the past several years, I’m sure I speak for many members of our community when I express my outrage at this regrettable turn of events.

Schmidt’s has had that unusual trifecta that we rarely see but appreciate so much: excellent produce and hot food/deli offerings, reasonable prices, and friendly and effective service. What more could we ask for, especially from a longtime local business owner?

While I can appreciate that an owner of an asset is free to negotiate its terms of sale or rental in accordance with legal, current market practices, to throw out the Schmidts without the courtesy of trying to negotiate a new deal is outrageous. Not returning calls is mysterious; do the current owners have a buyer already lined up?

If so, why do they insist on posting that demeaning “For Sale” sign on the store’s front lawn? If there is a sale already in the wings, wouldn’t it behoove the prospective new owner to approach the Schmidts and at least try to enter into a new lease agreement? That cannot happen unless there is a bit more transparency in the process.

We, as a community, should expect town leaders to try to intervene and help resolve this matter. If the owners maintain their asking sales price, or if a new lease is too expensive and the Schmidts are forced to leave, in a respectable manner, then so be it.

But I wonder why we can’t do something to help preserve an institution that has been a part of the fabric of our town for so long. I, for one, will boycott any new box store or dental practice that might find a home there.

Jean-Yves Baudoin