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Forden's to move after 78 years in Downtown San Luis Obispo - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Forden's to move after 78 years in Downtown San Luis Obispo

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It has been a part of Downtown San Luis Obispo for 78 years.

Now, kitchen and fireplace shop Forden's is closing its doors on Monterey Street and moving to its warehouse location on Sacramento Drive.

Co-Owner Dean Moore tells KSBY they have been planning a move for quite some time.

With the two-story building up for sale, a developer came along and offered them a deal they couldn't pass up.

When one door closes, another one opens and this holds true for Forden's.

"It's sad to see, especially like here in San Luis. It's neat to see all the little stores and stuff," said Richard Barnett.

As more chain stores move in... 

"I just have these memories coming in here as a kid and shopping in here with my mom and dad and seeing the clerks, it's definitely a landmark," said David Bowin.

Bowin, a San Luis Obispo native, says one of his best wedding gifts was a $30 gift certificate to the store.

"Which was huge back in 1984 to Forden's... and that was our most fun thing, to come down and shop at Forden's," continued Bowin. 

"They became known for fireplaces, so if that's what you needed, you just knew you went to Forden's for that," said Lauren Bowin.

Moore, who has co-owned the store for 28 years, says it's just time. "We're moving because it's just a change of an era," he said.

All 18 to 20 full-time employees, some who have been with the shop for decades, will keep their jobs.

"So it's all good and no one is forcing us out. We had a great year last year," Moore said.

They are going to focus on fireplaces and ditch the kitchenware. The decision to move, we're told, had nothing to do with their new neighbor - Williams Sonoma - moving in directly across the street late last year.

"In a small town, we don't like to see so much corporate as is going on downtown but it has nothing to do with us. We are going to move because we have chosen to move," he said.

Some customers say they still value locally-owned brick and mortar stores.

"You can't do everything online," said Barnett.

And the plus side to all this...

"I don't even feel like it's that far our of town and possibly it's even easier because there's parking," concluded Lauren Bowin.

Moore says they are working with the City to add an additional 4,000 square feet to their warehouse location on Sacramento Drive.

Their current lease on Monterey Street is up in February. The earliest they will move is this September.

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