The probation, originally scheduled to expire in January, was extended
to this month because of a probation violation last year.
On Monday, the store's probation ended despite store management's
refusal to allow an inspection at a craft fair Saturday.
Pat Markley, a health department spokeswoman, said the Piecemakers
refused to allow unimpeded regular health inspections throughout the
The Piecemakers, who have been fighting court battles with the health
department since 1992, responded that the health department has a history
The group also is suing two health department officers who conducted
an inspection at an October craft fair, claiming the duo harassed the
vendors and violated the Piecemakers' civil rights.
The Piecemakers view the end of their probation as a victory but said
they still have a long way to go.
"We're off of probation, and we feel free as a bird," said Marie
Kolasinski, owner of the store. "It was something that was always hanging
over our heads, and now we can get on with our lives. [The health
department] has been harassing restaurants all over Orange County with
the tyranny of the law. It's time to go back to the Constitution.
Restaurants have the right to run their businesses the way they feel fit,
and the judgment on [a restaurant's cleanliness] will rest on the
clientele that eats there. Hopefully, making a stand will bring common
sense to our laws."
Elisa Plummer, a deputy district attorney, stressed the Piecemakers
will still have to comply with the law and allow regular food
"Everybody has to comply with law, whether they're on probation of
not," Plummer said. "The Health Care Agency is just trying to do its job
and inspect. It had problems trying to get the Piecemakers to comply and
to be cooperative. Its job is to make sure the law is complied with to
protect public health and safety."