While still without a response from the City of Kelowna or his building’s property management group, Taco Time owner Ray Heathcote said the response to his petition from the community has been incredible.
The Taco Time at Dilworth Shopping Centre is set to be replaced by a Starbucks in the near future—the coffee giant’s 16th location in Kelowna.
Heathcote started the petition to nix the Starbucks and “help save your Taco Time” on June 27, and at the time of publication of this article it has over 7,500 signees, with the next goal being 10,000.
“To put it in one word: overwhelming,” Heathcote said. “In the best way.”
Comments on the petition are plentiful and show the community’s immense support for the local business.
“I used to live in Kelowna and they were always fast and good food. Save the tacos!!” James Chevalier wrote in support of the petition.
“Safeway behind has Starbucks in it. This business is just fine where it is. People need to eat a burrito or taco and get off the stimulants for a long while. VIVA TACO TIME!” James Brychun wrote.
“It’s a great family place!! And a longtime landmark!!” Linda Price wrote.
And “longtime” it certainly is. The petition states Taco Time has “served your community for over 40 years.”
“Never missed a lease payment and always been a great tenant,” reads the petition. “But overnight there was a demolition clause in the lease that the property management company is trying to enforce.”
It continues, “We paid our dues in rent, taxes and more than enough blood, sweat and tears to survive. Longstanding businesses deserve more than a pat on the back and a kick in the butt from corporations that aren’t part of your community.”
The closing date of the restaurant has not yet been announced, and if the Heathcote and his staff have their way, it won’t be any time soon. It is believed the restaurant has more than two years left on its current lease at the Dilworth Shopping Centre location.
Heathcote claims he is still waiting on a response from the city to the petition which continues to grow on a daily basis.
The property management group, the Peterson Group, has yet to respond to a request for comment.
— Michael Rodriguez (@MichaelRdrguez) July 2, 2019