Highland Park corn man retires after 23 years

HIGHLAND PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Highland Park corn man, Andres Santos from Mexico, has decided to retire after 23 years.

"It's a little bit sad and happy, too," said Santos, while he stood next to his corn cart. "All the time I made my job with the heart."

Santos, 59, has been selling corn on the same corner, Figueroa Street and Avenue 57, in front of a fashion store since 1997.

"We are losing a person who is very loved here in this area of Highland Park," said Andres Contreras, a customer, in Spanish. "Many people know him for selling his corns."

One of the top reasons why Santos will retire is love.

"My future wife is in Mexico," said Santos.

Santos said another reason is that business in this area isn't the same anymore.

"I lost maybe 50 or 40 percent of my customers," said Santos. "Like gentrification is one problem here. The rent is expensive."

The money Santos has saved up from selling corns, he's already used some of it for the next chapter of his life.

"My wife and me get one house in Mexico," said Santos. "I need to close one circle and start a new life."

Santos' last day selling corn is Thursday, February 27.

"Sad, and at the same time...if it's better for him, I'm happy he's going back to Mexico," said Patricia Garcia, a customer, in Spanish.

And Santos will take a one-way plane on Saturday to Mexico.

"I want to say thanks to all of the people that support my business of all the time, 23 years ago and right now," said Santos.
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