Lunardi’s preventative measures leave students waiting and backpack-less


Ben Romanowsky

Lunardi’s team member limiting the amount of students and directing them where to leave their backpacks.

Lunardi’s Markets has implemented policies to deal with floods of students after school.

Located in Carlmont Village Shopping Center, Lunardi’s is a 10-minute walk from both Carlmont High School and Tierra Linda Middle School, and a 20-minute walk from Ralston Middle School.

Due to Lunardi’s proximity to the three campuses, the market draws an overwhelming amount of students in the afternoon.

The market opened in 1992 and has been a staple for residents and students for more than 30 years. Yet, it wasn’t until earlier this year that Lunardi’s began enforcing rules limiting the types of belongings students could carry into the store.

Lunardi’s requires students to wait in line to limit the number of kids in the store. Once it’s their turn, students must place their backpacks at the front of the store near the magazines.

“We have had incidents that store merchandise was put into student backpacks and left the store without being checked out at the check stand,” said Bill Go, the manager of Lunardi’s. “We ask that students place their backpacks at a designated area after entering the store.”

My backpack has all of my important stuff and the fact that it’s out in the open for another student to easily steal makes me paranoid.”

— Sunehra Pulugurta

Students find this whole system of waiting in line and then parting with their backpacks frustrating, as many are in a hurry and are worried about abandoning their belongings.

“My backpack has all of my important stuff and the fact that it’s out in the open for another student to easily steal makes me paranoid,” said Sunehra Pulugurta, a Carlmont junior.

Though Lunardi’s rules have provoked student frustration, they have benefited other shoppers’ experience.

“The store is much less chaotic and enjoyable since Lunardi’s began to limit the number of students in the store at a time,” said Joanne Sheehy, a local resident. “I’ve been shopping here for 25 years and it’s never been more enjoyable.”

Lunardi’s new rules have also benefited the store and fixed previous issues.

“We’ve had much fewer thievery incidents since we’ve started to limit the number of students in the store along with making students place their backpacks at the front of the store,” Go said.

The market has an employee standing by the entrance during after-school hours to regulate the line and ensure students place their backpacks in the designated area.

A Lunardi’s team member allows an adult to enter the store with a bag. (Ben Romanowsky)

“It’s really annoying how long we need to wait in line,” said Madison Wu, a Ralston Middle School student. “I just want to grab my food and leave.”

As students wait in line though, the team member permits adults to pass without having to wait any time, and they have the right to pass with their belongings.

“I’ve never had to wait in line to enter as the students do,” Sheehy said.

However, Wu feels that by only enforcing the rules on students, Lunardi’s is assuming that they are the only group of people who can commit thievery.

“I don’t understand why non-students are allowed to enter and take their bags in when we, the students, have to wait in line and leave our backpacks,” Wu said.

Despite their frustrations, students still frequently stop by to buy a snack after school. The hours after school remain the busiest time of the day for the market.

“The reality is that a lot of their customers are students, and there are some very untrustworthy students who have stolen items. At the same time, not having the security of my backpack makes me not want to go to Lunardi’s,” Pulugurta said.