Our community businesses

This is a response to the letter by Andrew Chan, “Decline in local businesses a detriment to our community,” in the May 15 edition. I felt obligated to respond since I own one of the businesses that he referenced when using E Street Cafe as an example of a local business leaving but being replace by “large, profit driven businesses.”

I am an optometrist and a 38-year resident of Encinitas. For most of that time, I have maintained a practice in one of several North County cities, including Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Oceanside and most recently Carlsbad.

However, my lease was just about up when the E Street location became available, so I approached the owner of the building and signed a lease at the end of 2014.

The coffeehouse space was divided into two units with the Bell Realty Group moving into the adjacent location. In honor of the memory of the E Street Cafe, I named my office: E Street Eyes (and use the same font that the cafe used).

I am overjoyed to be finally practicing in the town that I have called home for so long and am contributing to the community as much as possible. I have joined the Encinitas 101 Main Street Association and the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce; I have been a member of the North County Business Group for four years (we meet in Cardiff); I work with the Lion’s Club in performing eye examinations and taking eyeglass donations; I took a booth at the last Street Fair (and signed up for the Fall Festival) and am offering all Encinitas residents a significant discount on all of my services as a grand opening special.

I agree that we need more community development and I contrast my services with the likes of Costco and Walmart on a daily basis.

I also agree that we need to care more about our community but I interact with local leaders who already express a great deal of pride in our town. I believe that this will lead to the “stable local economy, stronger social development and the preservation of our local environment” that you so sincerely desire.

However, ALL businesses need to make a profit so that they can continue to serve the community and put some of those profits back into the local coffers. I feel that I’m doing my part — even if I have to start serving coffee with every eye exam!

Jeff Anshel, OD, FAAO is an Encinitas resident and owner of E Street Eyes.

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