Treasures of the Valley

Florencita Market Memories

The Florencita Market was a much-loved neighborhood market at 2460 Florencita Drive just south of Montrose Avenue. It was there from the late 1930s until 1991 when a robbery resulted in the shooting death of the owner of the store Bob Nalbandian. Apparently at that point it was converted into a home. I recently posted a photo of the house on the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley’s Facebook page. I was rewarded with some great memories of the little store. Lots of childhood memories of candy and soda, and traversing an alley that ran from Sunset Avenue to Florencita next to the store. Many remember owner Bob Nalbandian fondly, and some even remember the Mayer family who owned the store before Bob.

“So many fond memories of buying candy and soda there. My teeth are constant reminders of the time.”

“Great penny candy and always super nice to all of us.”

“I used to walk downtown every Saturday from my house on Altura Avenue. My route was down Florencita and would often stop for a treat (budgeting my $.50 allowance and babysitting money). Then I was on to the library, then a $.25 slice of pizza at the Italian deli across the street, and then to Grayson’s Tune Town. Florencita Market was always a friendly place with pop, Hostess cakes, candy and ice cream. Oh, I think they also sold milk and bread!”

“I lived on Florencita from 1974 to 1989. We were pretty poor growing up and Bob used to allow our family to buy things and keep a running tab at his store; sometimes the amount got up into the hundreds of dollars before it would be repaid. In addition to the crazy amount of candy I bought at the store, we’d also buy hotdogs that Bob would cook behind the counter. I was also in the same grade in school as his son Allen. I also recall venturing through the alley next to the store as a frequent shortcut to Sunset Avenue, though in recent years it seems to appear so overgrown that most people probably think of it as part of the property rather than a public walkway. You can still see the alleyway on Google maps.”

“Rode my bike past this store six days a week for two years. There was a pathway next to it between Sunset and Florencita – a handy-dandy short cut to/from Montrose.”

“I was supposed to cross with the crossing guard by Holy Redeemer on my way to Montrose Elementary but sometimes we would go down Florencita instead so we could get candy. Loved going in there and always welcomed. Probably told to hurry along a couple of times so we wouldn’t be late.”

“I used to walk to/from Montrose Elementary School in the ’60s and early ’70s. Walked thru the alley next to the market. Loved going into the store and buying penny candies from the counter. I lived right down the street from the Mayers but never knew they owned the store. I have great childhood memories from their friendly little market.”

“Used to stop and get pomegranates there after school, which didn’t bode well for white uniform blouses. And rode our bikes through the little alley.”

“I used to go there with my friend. We would walk down the little alley next to the store. I lived on Hermosa and Sunset. I remember when the owner was shot. He was a nice man and would let us get candy even if we didn’t have enough money. I was sad when it closed.”

“Was the case ever solved? Someone told me once who might have done it, but I don’t know if it’s true or not.”

“I remember Bob well. We used to go in there almost daily. So sorry to his family moved here for a fresh start and had to live with this tragedy. He was really a nice man.”

Even in the quiet Crescenta Valley, sometimes tragedy strikes. A sad end to a beautiful story.