Shop Till You Drop in La Jolla

Photo: Shutterstock/MJTH

Photo: Shutterstock/MJTH

If you love to shop and you love the sun, La Jolla is for you. From trendy fashions to sparkling jewelry, from art galleries to children’s clothing boutiques, La Jolla has something for all tastes and budgets – and meandering down our boutique-lined streets under the warm sun makes the experience all the more pleasurable. La Jolla is a great year-round shopping destination featuring unique stores and friendly vendors.

With ideal weather year round and the beautiful coastline nearby, La Jolla Village offers a wonderful setting for a day full of shopping. There are few better places to stroll through shops, get a bite to eat and take in the sights, than in La Jolla. From eclectic boutiques and antique stores, to florists and popular retailers, La Jolla shopping has it all.

Shoppers, who are seeking one-of-a-kind home décor, can browse through a variety of art galleries, antique shops or furnishing stores. The La Jolla Village is also home to world class jewelers and specialty shops featuring high-end merchandise including pianos, formal wear and chandeliers. If you are attending a special event and need the perfect gift for a friend or family member, you will find just what you need at the unique gift shops in La Jolla.

Many stores in The Village have been open for decades and are family owned, such as the local book store and hardware store. While shopping in La Jolla, check out the local clothing stores for men, women and children, including several consignment stores with designer labels. La Jolla Village offers a great alternative to crowed shopping malls in San Diego. With hundreds of stores within walking distance of the beach and local hotels, residents and visitors who are shopping in La Jolla can have a unique and enjoyable experience.

In addition to La Jolla Village, you can find more La Jolla Shopping in Bird Rock, the La Jolla Village Square and University Towne Center malls.
To learn more about La Jolla’s shopping, click HERE

An Interview with Dennis Wills of D.G. Wills Books

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A veritable one-of-a-kind, it’s easy to see why D.G. Wills Books is a true charm in La Jolla. What is more, in our contemporary, progressively and increasingly impersonal, digital society, the attention paid to personalization and the sheer aesthetics of text is simply inspirational and stimulating.

Dennis began advertising with the La Jolla Blue Book back in 1979 when La Jolla was yet the budding seaside beauty of a community it has grown into. Wills has a complete understanding of what it means to construct a business from the ground up, which is precisely what he set out to do and achieve on La Jolla Boulevard the same year he began advertising. Moreover, his community roots in La Jolla complement the little store’s enduring allure and charisma

The diminutive edifice began on a shoestring budget and with an idea born of love. With a couple of borrowed hammers, a rusty old saw, a few friends that believed in his vision, and a smattering of lumber, work began in 1979. Wills began to craft bookshelves from scratch with painstaking dedication and attention to detail. And with his visualization entrenched in his mind for the La Jolla community, he began to stock the store with various books he located and or stumbled upon at area garage, yard and estate sales.

The dream grew quickly and the bookstore came to be a serene haven for lovers of books, intelligentsias and academics, and rankly, right down to the local who was merely seeking an unobtrusive place to sit and peruse a tome or novel away from the noise pollution life often brings.

Dennis’ undying devotion and commitment to knowledge has drawn various scholars, literary critics, myriad students, and professors from universities from around the contiguous United States. With authors such as Plato, Shakespeare, Darwin, and the Bronte sisters, Wills’ rests assured that he stocks a most inimitable selection of books in the literary world. Indeed, the old, antique and difficult to locate books one may find in his store are certainly not carried by the impersonal chain and corporate stores that pander to frivolity. Perhaps best of all is the place he maintains in the hearts of his clientele, those thousands upon thousands who have found this La Jolla niche and veritable treasure trove, and who have had occasion to interact with him on a personal and intellectual level.

We had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Wills about his remarkable bookshop.

The genesis of D.G. Wills Books is really interesting. Did you ever imagine it would become what it is today?

Well, one is never sure when opening a business how long or to what extent it might last; but that said, I chose La Jolla specifically to be near UCSD and the Salk Institute on the premise that the educated community’s interest in scholarly books would make it more likely that we would survive for thirty-six years now;  and that good libraries from retired professors would emerge. We were lucky and honored, for example, to have acquired Nobel Laureate Francis Crick’s library.

Out of all of the literary celebrities who have spoken at D.G. Wills Books, do you have any personal favorites?

Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens were clearly the most entertaining and witty. Francis Crick and Freeman Dyson were the most brilliant scientists here. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins was the most entertaining poet, although Allen Ginsberg drew the largest and most chaotic crowd, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the funniest. Playwright Edward Albee’s appearance was like attending a graduate seminar on theater. Pulitzer Prize journalist Maureen Dowd and Jill Abramson, then Managing Editor of the “New York Times,” were a brilliant team when they appeared here together.

Some may argue that the printed word is dying due to all of these technology advancements. What keeps your passion alive for what you do?

While Kindle and other e-book options have their use, many also continue to prefer to handle the printed page. The passion ever remains as we continue to discover the wonders of knowledge and mystery contained within books.

For people who have never been to your store, what should people know before going to D.G. Wills Books?

We carry new, used and antiquarian books, mainly within academic categories, and “backlist titles” that have passed the test of time, like Shakespeare, Darwin or Isaac Newton.

Is there anything special coming up at D.G. Wills Books that you’d like to mention?

Our Thirty-Eighth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open Reading of Irish Poetry and Prose is coming up, on 17 March 2017, from 7 P.M. until it ends.

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers today?

My advice to aspiring writers is to read, read, and read; then practice, practice and practice with your revisions, constantly fine tuning.

D.G. Wills is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to drop in at D.G. Wills, give Dennis a whispered holler, and see for yourself why indeed you’ll want to come back time and again seeking those hard to find gems, as well as enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

For more information on D.G. Wills Books, Click HERE

The History of Adelaide’s Florists & Decorators

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In the era of the Great Depression, with a working budget of a modest $6.00, Adelaide Phillips took a bold step in the midst of uncertainty and opened a small flower stand on a lot that was bought along highway 101 in Encinitas, California. Flowers by Adelaide was thus began as a single operation until her son, Harry Jr., constructed an edifice that was to become Adelaide’ first full service flower shop. It was her great affinity for flowers and her determination to succeed in business in the true American spirit that has now blossomed into a love that has continued over three generations.

After working as a partner with Adelaide for over thirty devoted years, Harry bought out the business in 1974 and became the sole proprietor. Adelaide and Harry shared the same thirst for serving people as well as the industry and Harry was resolute in his efforts to cultivate Adelaide’s to be the foremost floral shop in the Southern California area. When Harry passed away in 2009, his daughter Gina took up the reins with the same dedication to quality and perfection and filled his footsteps.

With the combined efforts of Adelaide, Harry, and all of the faithful employees, a robust team of people provided Gina with an opportunity to grow Adelaide’s into what it is today.

As with time and how things change, Gina, with considerable care, thought and affection, sold the abundant business to the Newell family in November of 2010, with the belief that they would continue the heartfelt family tradition that Adelaide, Harry and Gina had built. They ultimately hired Jerry Parent and Larry Anhorn in 2011 to assist in building on the past traditions and in the end sold the business to them in 2016.

Adelaide’s has come a considerable way and has entered its 80th year of servicing La Jolla and the San Diego community with the best in floral designs, plants, giftware and events. Jerry and Larry each look forward with a mutual desire to serve La Jolla and San Diego community for many years to come. This is being accomplished by remaining true to past traditions as well as a focused vision to establish new directions in order to serve the needs of multiple generations to come.

Last Minute shopping opportunities featuring some of La Jolla’s oldest businesses

The Ascot Shop

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The Ascot Shop commenced business in La Jolla, California in 1950. It has continued its superb operations with its alluring double Dutch front doors and excellent staff that have continued to welcome friends and customers alike since the initial day of opening its doors.

Jack Matzinger was the originator of the Ascot Shop, while Bill White began working at the progressive business when he was attending college at San Diego State University. Jack exerted his efforts not only towards the business but additionally prepared Bill to ultimately take over the store. Bill formally acquired the shop from Jack once Jack retired.

Created as a traditional, conservative men’s haberdashery, the store began to outgrow its repute and was in need of some modernization. The efforts towards that end are now obvious to those in the know.

Bill’s son Andrew teamed up with his father during the mid-1990s and has continued to be an essential aspect of the flourishing business. He has been accountable for fashioning a measured swing towards more contemporary clothing while simultaneously upholding the quality the Ascot Shop built its reputation on and which continues to this day.

In 2000, the Ascot Shop undertook a comprehensive store modernization under the direction of world renowned architect Robert Mosier. Robert was responsible for designing the celebrated Coronado Bay Bridge in San Diego. The Ascot Shop now showcases its one-of-a-kind products surrounded by stunning hardwood flooring, state of the art lighting, antique tables and Honduras mahogany cabinetry.

The Ascot Shop is continuously progressing in order to meet the desires of the ever faithful consumers. Towards that end, the managements and staff are observant of the shifting lifestyles as the fashion industry changes from day to day and year after year. Nevertheless, one unbroken promise that remains with the Ascot Shop is that it exudes efforts to retain the standard of quality and customer service that the people of the San Diego community will receive from the devoted staff of experts at the Ascot Shop.

Bowers Jewelers

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Since 1945, Bowers Jewelers has been providing the La Jolla community and surrounding San Diego area with stunning, exquisite jewelry. When you as a lover of quality jewelry behold an item and spontaneously fall in love with it, there is a certainty you won’t leave the premises unrewarded. When individuals step into the expansive and sophisticated store, eyes typically gravitate to the considerable selection of high-end jewelry. This is because Bowers Jewelers has made it a steadfast love to provide clients with want they seek to adorn themselves.

When people step into Bowers Jewelers they are treated like family. The staff is always customer oriented and know the value of relationships. The accommodating staff will assist you in choosing that picture-perfect and seamless engagement ring, set of earrings, a striking necklace, or a wristwatch that matches your personality. In short, when you enter the store, their loving staff will go out of their way to ensure that you find what you’re looking for.

Meanley Hardware

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Meanley Hardware is your one-stop shop to find everything you need, even at that last moment when you cannot find what you need when you need it at the most. Replete with gourmet cooking wear, appliances for your kitchen from A to Z, dependable and long-lasting Ace and Frazee paint, provisions for your everyday cleaning needs, as well as garden, electrical, plumbing, miscellaneous hardware, and all the thingamajigs, fasteners, glues, and what-have-you’s you seek and expect, Meanley & Son Ace Hardware is a quality stockpile and veritable treasure trove for your everyday wants and needs.

Ellen B. Scripps became a legend in the La Jolla and greater San Diego community as a result of her generous devotion to the service of others. Back in 1948, her niece, Nackey Scripps Meanley, together with her husband Tom and son William, established Meanley & Son Hardware which was devoted to maintaining an unprecedented standard of service.

Now 65 years later, the institution continues. In 1997, Meanley’s teamed with ACE Hardware Co-op., a cooperative of autonomously held and operated hardware stores piecing together a service to afford patrons with first-rate service and always competitive values. Meanley’s endeavors to embrace the needs of its 21st century clientele with a devotion to providing their needs with a well-informed, knowledgeable staff.

Journey Through San Diego’s Landmarks with (All Ages) Coloring Book from Hi Sweetheart

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A brand new collaborative creation has been added to the shelves of Hi Sweetheart in La Jolla! “My Colorful San Diego” is a coloring and activity book (for all ages) complete with original illustrations by local artist Matt Perdoni and an original story line created by the store owner, Molly Rossettie, herself. Continue reading

Shop Local for Small Business Saturday on November 28

small business saturdaySmall Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. The day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It first began in 2010 as a way to encourage people across the country to support small, local businesses; since then, it’s grown in leaps and bounds, and in 2014 an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses! Here are a few local La Jolla stores that will be participating this year. Continue reading

The Ascot Shop Celebrates 65 Years in La Jolla

ascot shop la jollaTwo companies began in 1950 and have been working side by side ever since, finding success and forging a partnership that would end up lasting more than sixty-five years. The Ascot Shop was founded in the beautiful community of La Jolla by Jack Matzinger; Robert and Audrey Talbott began hand-sewing ties in the picteresque town of Monterey, which they sold to menswear stores up and down the California coast. Continue reading

Gallery at Land’s End: Shop Local This Holiday Season

gallery at land's endThe Gallery at Land’s End has called a cozy bungalow in northern Pacific Beach home since 1973, when it began as a small custom framing shop. Since then, it has nearly doubled its merchandise and blossomed into a staple in the community, now offering locally crafted gifts and jewelry in addition to custom frames. Thayne Yungman, previous employee and now-owner, is excited about the direction the shop is taking — and with the holidays quickly approaching, they’re gearing up for some awesome new items to hit the shelves. We sat down with Thayne to check out what’s new and what to expect this year at the Gallery. Continue reading