Rubidoux store owner fights city's redevelopment plans


La Noria Market in Rubidoux has no shortage of customers. The store has built a name for itself in the community, known for its array of fresh produce and Mexican cuisine.

"I have many customers," said owner Silva Riestra through a translator. "We've worked very hard these six years and our customers are happy with us. We've invested a lot here."

Riestra bought the business six years ago and had plans to begin expanding the store's size. That is until she discovered her lease with Riverside County's economic development agency would not be renewed.

The agency is planning a major revitalization of Mission Plaza where the market is located.

"We're creating new retail space, restaurant space," said Tom Freeman from Economic Development Agency. "So that community which has been underserved for years and has very little choices of where to go for shopping for retail opportunities or restaurants, will have a brand new center."

The brand new center will include a Cardenas Supermarket, which also specializes in Hispanic goods. The county says it will generate more jobs and sales tax revenue for the community.

It has also offered to help relocate La Noria Market.

"You don't have to eliminate jobs to create more jobs," said Concepcion Powell, president of Hispanic Women Grocers of America. "The ladies are already here and they deserve the opportunity to grow like the Cardenas did 30 years ago."

Powell is helping Reistra fight the move.

"We're ready to grow," said Reistra. "We want to have the same opportunity as other chains might have to grow because we are ready to take that step."

La Noria Market's lease is up on Oct. 31, and the owner says she has no plans on leaving.

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