2 Orange County stores to stop using pennies

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- To some, a penny saved is a penny earned.

And some consider it good luck if you find one on the ground.

But to Roland Foss, pennies are a nuisance.

Starting New Year's Day, his stores, Mission Market in Fullerton and Mission Market Express in Anaheim, will no longer use them.

"We tell them we're not taking them anymore. We just round up to the nearest nickel or down to the nearest nickel," said Foss.

To some customers, it's not a big deal.

"I'm fine with that," said Yorba Linda resident Alex Guibert. "I usually have a debit or credit card. I don't really have cash on me."

Others, however, were caught off-guard.

"I have a lot of coins. I want them to use pennies," said Fullerton resident Olea Olson, who once collected about $300 in pennies in her piggy bank.

Foss said getting rid of the penny saves time and money.

"Every penny we dig out takes about a second and we're digging out three or four pennies and our customers are digging out three or four pennies to pay us, it really adds up," he said.

His store sits near a high school, and Foss said at lunchtime it's not uncommon to do 100 transactions in 25 minute.

Without the penny, Foss said he can increase those transactions.

"We can fit in two or three extra transactions and that's hundreds of dollars a month that we can save," said Foss.

Canada said goodbye to the penny years ago as the Royal Canadian Mint stopped making and distributing the penny in 2013.

Part of the reason is the rising cost to make the penny compared with its face value.

The estimated savings for taxpayers by phasing out the Canadian penny is about $11 million a year.

"Am I jumping on and doing it for my store? Not quite yet," said Julie Rasmussen, owner of Roadkill Ranch and Boutique in Fullerton. "But I do appreciate his forward-thinking."

Foss said it's about the customer, and he will use pennies, but only if someone requests them.
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