An Interview with Gladys Collins of The Dinosaur Gallery

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If you haven’t been to The Dinosaur Gallery in Del Mar, you’re in for a real treat. This shop owned by Gladys Collins sells and showcases minerals, dinosaurs, shark teeth, artwork, and more!

The Dinosaur Gallery isn’t just a store- it’s an an eye opener and an educational experience. Collins says it’s a little bit like a museum- but as an added bonus, you can buy these incredible pieces and take them home with you.

We had the pleasure of talking with Gladys Collins about her fascinating store.

La Jolla Blue Book: This store is so unique. What made you want to get involved with The Dinosaur Gallery?

Gladys Collins: I liked the product. It’s like a museum type product, so it’s very interesting. It was one of the fossils that blew me away

LJBB:  Wow, which fossil?

GC: It was the Orthocera. It had lived 500 million years ago, and I found that fascinating.

LJBB: How do you collect your products that are in the store?

GC: Well, I meet the people who mine them at Tucson. Tucson has the best presentation of people who mine fossil and minerals from all over the world, and they come from all over the word to buy there, so Tucson has quite a show- it’s usually every February. We’re fortunate in that we can drive there and bring the things back in our car, whereas other people who come from all over the world have to ship them.

LJBB: Has film and television industry affected your business? I’d imagine that it’s sparked some interest.

GC: These things aren’t widely known, but I think they’re more widely known now because of the film industry. Movies like “Jurassic Park” have definitely sparked an interest.

I know Christine Capanelli who did models for “Jurassic Park.” We sold her models when they were through with them. She lives here, so she does many of the models for me now, like the T-Rex head and the Pterosaur flying dinosaur. She’s done many other things- her talents are quite diverse.

We’re fortunate in that little children really love dinosaurs because they do have some TV programs with them in them. Then when they get older, they sometimes really get into the digging and finding of it all.

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LJBB: What’s your favorite item that you sell ?

GC: I like the crystals, but it’s hard to pinpoint what would be my favorite. I hand pick everything. I hand pick every fossil and every piece of mineral I have in the store. I can’t say that I love one over the other.

LJBB:  It’s like your children picking your favorite child.

GC: Yeah, exactly. I have some wonderful fossils though. I have a full crab from Italy that’s 50 million years old, and I have stingray from the green river formation that is absolutely beautiful. I also have a piece of stomata light that is some of the oldest fossil. The piece I have goes back 2.7 billion years

LJBB:  Well you’re so smart and knowledgeable, going into your store is probably more like a science class.

GC:  It’s a little bit like a museum, but everything is for sale. That’s the beauty. If you go to a museum, you can’t buy the big fossils and minerals.

LJBB: Tell us a little about the jewelry you sell.

GC: I have the semi-precious jewelry. They’re nice pieces that you don’t necessarily find in other stores. I have little bracelets of nearly every mineral you can think of. People buy them for the metaphysical aspect. That’s now a big part of my business, as people have become interested in metaphysics. They tell me I have the best collection. I have pieces that are nice polished pieces- not just little tiny ones. They’re nice sized ones that they can hold in their hands, or carry in their pockets, or use to meditate with.

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LJBB: What’s your most favorite part about being located in Del Mar?

GC: Well it’s a tourist area, so I get people from all over the world. They come back year after year just to just visit the store and pick up new things.

LJBB: What a great gift to bring back home – it sure beats a keychain.

GC: Yeah, they like it. Del Mar does have quite a few other stores, but it’s not rampant with shops. One another thing I keep that is quite sought after are our coral and shells. It wasn’t part of the original store, but I put those in and people love them because we’re right off the ocean.

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LJBB: For folks have never been to the Dinosaur Gallery before, what’s one thing you think they should know before they come in?

GC: Not enough people realize that our earth is full of all these beautiful crystals- they think our earth is just made up of dirt. Come and experience some of the beautiful and amazing crystals that are found in our earth. It was an eye opener for me seeing that first fossil. It made me want to find more of these things, and it would really great if people just appreciated what’s in the earth.


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
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An Interview with Richard Walker Jr. of Richard Walker’s Pancake House in La Jolla

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Richard Walker Sr. and Richard Walker Jr.

If you’re familiar with the San Diego area or Chicagoland, you probably know about Richard Walkers. Since 1948, the Walker name has become synonymous with quality family dining. Since then, the family has perfected its reputation for outstanding gourmet pancakes and breakfasts.

Their story begins when Victor and Everett Walker began opening snack shops in Evanston, IL. In 1960, they opened Walker Bros. Original Pancake House in Wilmette, IL.  In 1981, Ray Walker and Richard Walker Sr., sons of Victor, opened Walker Bros Original Pancake House in Glenview, IL.

Cut to 7 years later, when Richard Walker Sr. ventured out on his own and opened Richard Walker’s Pancake House in Schaumburg, IL.. Then in 1996, Richard Sr. opened a second location in Crystal Lake, IL.

In 2006, Richard Sr. made the wonderful decision to relocate to San Diego and open the third location in downtown San Diego, CA

In 2014, the San Diego area got even luckier when Richard Walker Jr. joined the family business and opened the fourth Richard Walker’s Pancake House in La Jolla, CA.

The Walker’s family history and business reputation is admirable, to say the least.

We had the distinct pleasure of talking with Richard Walker of Richard Walker’s Pancake House in La Jolla about his family and his business.

La Jolla Blue Book: I understand that Richard Walker’s Restaurant history goes back to 1948, nearly 70 years starting with your granddad. I took a brief look at your restaurant “family tree” history. Seems it all began with brothers Everett and Victor, then onto brothers Ray and Richard Sr. and then finally onto you, Richard Jr, is that correct?

Richard Walker: That’s correct. It all started with Snack Shops in Chicagoland. Shortly after, the Walker family got involved in serving the best breakfasts in the area. With the family name on 11 restaurants to date between Chicago and San Diego County, it’s been quite the road.

LJBB: There’s two Richard Walker’s Pancake Houses (RWPH) in Chicagoland and two in San Diego County. Have you found a difference between Chicago foodies and California foodies?

Richard Walker: In California, is it far easier to procure our produce, dairy and meats locally year-round. This is a commitment we have to our customers in Chicago but at times it’s impossible. In California, we’re proud to offer the overwhelming majority of products locally and sustainably. And people in California really appreciate that hallmark of our commitment to locally producing our cuisine. In decades past, customers knew our product was superior but local vendors were not the “thing” they are now. The Walker Family has been doing this for over half a century and will continue to operate this way as long as RWPH exists.

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Richard Walkers Pancake House La Jolla.

LJBB: I read that your father trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in classical piano, but then detoured into the food service industry during his studies. That’s quite a transition! You pretty much did the same thing. You were with Ernst and Young for 12 years, then in 2014 you joined the family restaurant business and opened the La Jolla location. Did you always sense that you would eventually join the family business?

RW: Working for Ernst and Young (EY) all those years was an incredible experience. I traveled to 47 states and over 60 countries during that period. I worked in EY’s Advisory Practice (as opposed to Accounting and/or Tax). I had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest – not only my fellow management consultants, but also the clients we served. So many of the lessons I learned at EY have been applied to running a successful business here and now.

As far as a sense of ultimately being involved in the family business. . . I’d say that it was always in the back of my mind. My passion is for hard work, efficiency, human interaction, responsible procurement, customer service, and team building. Having the opportunity to serve the best breakfast in the world creates a perfect vehicle for me to live my passion.

LJBB: Your San Diego restaurants have been described as elegant, with the vibe of an upscale dinner house. Seeing how your father was a classical pianist, do you think there’s a possibility that we’ll ever be listening to classical music while dining at one of them?

RW: We solely play Classical and Baroque music overhead at the restaurant via satellite. You won’t hear the same track twice over the course of an entire week. You’d be surprised how many people really appreciate it! Even our staff has pep in their step when listening subconsciously to the soothing melodies.

LJBB: Tell us about the decor of Richard Walker’s.  I read where you talked about things like the stained glass in your La Jolla location, and I watched your dad talk about the elegant vibe at the downtown location. I also understand that there’s a Frank Lloyd Wright influence that goes back a long ways. Is that where idea for a distinctive type of a decor for the pancake house began?

RW: Both the Downtown and La Jolla locations are similarly decorated and efficiently laid out. Mahogany millwork and high ceilings fill both spaces and an abundance of booths cradle our guests. Mid-Century clean lines and the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright can easily be sensed. However, it’s the original hand-made stained glass masterpieces created by Architecture Magazine’s “Tiffany of this century,” Jeff Smith, which steal the show.   A lifelong Texan, Jeff has become a personal friend to both Sr. and Jr. He actually transports the installations nearly 2,000 miles and does the installations personally. At both locations, challenge yourself to find our iconic Rabbit scampering from one end of the restaurant to the other depicted in the stained glass.

Richard Walker's Pancake House stained glass windows.

Richard Walker’s Pancake House stained glass windows.

LJBB: There can certainly be some interesting dynamics when working with family members. What’s your experience been like working as father and son?

RW: I saved nearly every penny I made when I worked all those years for EY. I sold my Chicago condo and plowed everything I had into the La Jolla location. As a result, I own 100% of the location and all the good and bad that come with it. Richard Sr. owns 100% of his locations. This has kept Father and Son in a great place emotionally. We help each other because we want to. We want to see the other succeed. Sometimes our ideas work, sometimes they don’t. Financial shortcomings and windfalls are all a result of the decisions we ultimately make for ourselves. As a result, our relationship only strengthens with every passing day.

LJBB: What’s the strongest attribute you bring to the table or team?

RW: I think that my staff is happier when I’m around. I am physically present at the La Jolla location about 350 days per year. And every time I’m away for a day or two, I get back to a greater sense of calm when I’m there throughout the staff. And to have your staff appreciate you like that is not an easy culture to establish. The staff knows that everything will be better if the boss is around. I also know exactly what I don’t know. And the staff knows how crucial and how appreciated they truly are.

LJBB: Richard Walker’s has been honored and awarded with some impressive titles, including best breakfast, best new restaurant, best omelette, best coffee, the pinnacle of pancakes, and more! Out of all of these, which one are you the most proud of?

RW: Since opening in La Jolla, we have won the La Jolla Village News “Best Breakfast” and Best Omelette” award every year, along with “Best New Restaurant” the year we opened. However, the crown jewel of RWPH was winning the USA Today’s 5 Best award several years ago. This puts you on the map on a national (an even global) scale.

Richard Walker's Pancake House Strawberry Waffle.

Richard Walker’s Pancake House Strawberry Waffle.

LJBB: What’s your personal favorite item on the menu?

RW: That’s an easy one: Egg White Vegetarian Omelette, add Spinach, Ham and no Cheese. You won’t believe how flavorful this can be! The dish is packed with protein and veggies while being almost void of fat. And for a special change of pace, I love our in-house ground Corned Beef Hash with Scrambled Egg Whites. With a group, you MUST order and Apple Pancake for the table.

Richard Walker's Apple Pancake

Richard Walker’s Pancake House Apple Pancake.

LJBB: What sets Richard Walker’s apart from other pancake houses?

RW: Our diverse menu, local procurement, cleanliness, beautiful decor, happy employee culture – and the feeling that you’re in a classy operation. This is not a snack shop, not a diner, not a café. We’re elegant without being stuffy.

Richard Walker's Pancake House raspberry crepes.

Richard Walker’s Pancake House raspberry crepes.

LJBB: What’s the best part of having a restaurant located in La Jolla?

RW: The best part of being located in La Jolla is the unique opportunity a business owner has to immediately serve the community. I was elected to the La Jolla Merchants Board and served for 2 years between 2014-2016. I also volunteered my time on the Traffic and Transportation Board and assisted with establishing the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD). Those efforts quickly bear fruit in a community like La Jolla. The second best part of being located in La Jolla is the general public that our beautiful village contains. They know what good looks like and appreciate all the great things we’re trying to do to earn and keep their business.

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Richard Walkers Pancake House in La Jolla.

LJBB: Before people enjoy a dining experience at Richard Walker’s Pancake House, is there anything particular that you wish you could tell them?

RW: Order an oven baked pancake or oven baked omelette. You’ll be enjoying something you can’t get anywhere else.

Richard Walker's Pancake House Omelette.

Richard Walker’s Pancake House Omelette.

LJBB: The restaurant business is not easy, but you and your family seem to have found a way to make it seem fun and easy. What’s your secret? What piece of advice would you like to give to budding restaurant owners?

RW: First, YES, the restaurant business is not easy! However, if you do everything right by your staff, you will ultimately do right by your customers – and ultimately be successful. And to do right by your staff, you need to give them everything they need. The definition of “everything they need” is always changing and it’s your job to know what that definition is every single day. Work hard, be patient, be supportive and follow through on what you say you will do.


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
www.lajollabluebook.com
“Find It La Jolla” App

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
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An Interview with Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi of Timeless Treasures.

With over 20 years of experience, Timeless Treasures has produced and sold beautiful custom jewelry for every occasion. From Wedding Bands, Custom Pieces, or Designer Collections, their jewelry experts have the knowledge and skill set to find the perfect piece.

They pride themselves in their carefully and tastefully curated collection of genuine diamond rings, bracelets and necklaces.

We had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi of Timeless Treasures.

La Jolla Blue Book: I understand that you were a certified assessor in the environmental protection department of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia. What made you decide to make such a shift and go into the jewelry business?

Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi : Art and design have been passions of mine since I was a young kid. These passions grew with me, nurtured by my environment and family of jewelers, designers, and jewelry showroom owners.  Once I began pursuing higher education (earning a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Master’s degree) and working in Aramco (the world’s largest oil company), I had no choice but to put my creative passions on hold.

Nevertheless, I took every opportunity life allowed me to send my family some of the infinite designs swimming in my head. Every time they’d hand me the materialized form—whether it be a necklace, ring, or earring—I would be reminded of the sentimental beauty this art form can hold.

When I moved to La Jolla, I had two options: continue with the career I’ve been a part of for 20 years, or tap into the artistic half of me that’s been aching for some sunlight. I chose to unfreeze the hungry passion and reunite with it. That’s the story of how I came to open Timeless Treasures, my jewelry store!

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LJBB: You come from a family of jewelers. Is jewelry something that’s always been an interest for you? Does your environmental science background ever factor into your business today?

SDN: Surprisingly, I’ve noticed many shared elements between my scientific and artistic experiences. I’ll limit my answer to a few:

Firstly, learning about the importance of specific environmental conditions (temperature, pressure, location, etc.) that allow for the creation of genuine gemstones and diamonds is endlessly fascinating. This in itself is environmental science!

In addition, as a certified Operational Excellence assessor, I promoted excellence and high-standard performance in the organizations I worked for. This really influenced my approach to the field of jewelry and gemstones and allowed my business to succeed and be recognized in a very short period of time. I try to apply the basics of pursuing excellence in every aspect of my life.

Finally, I have acquired an important factor in my highly interactive environmental science background: overcoming barriers of effective communication. The jewelry business requires social interaction and communication with people of various backgrounds, with different languages, cultures—even emotions!

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LJBB: For people who may not know, can you tell us a little about Timeless Treasures and what makes it so unique?

SDN: Although Timeless Treasures has existed for many years, 7 months ago, I brought my eye for cutting-edge designs and fine jewelry that embrace unique and enduring styles. I totally reimagined, revitalized, and reopened the store. Now, we house jewelry, especially diamond and precious gems, and high-end watches of all kinds.

We personally supervise the setting and polishing of all our gemstones to ensure the greatest quality. In addition, we house exclusive collections from acclaimed designers, only found in our store. Nina Nguyen, for example, is one of the first designers I had the pleasure of showcasing. Her collection offers a large variety of exquisite designs with precious stones in their natural habitats—a one-of-a kind jewelry line!

Even better, to meet all tastes, we also provide the option to custom make designs, no matter how crazy! We recognize the importance of individuality so we spare no effort to bring everyone’s dream engagement ring, wedding band, fashion accessory, whatever it may be, to life!

LJBB: How do you go about collecting your inventory? Where do you find it? 

SDN: I travel to different countries, including those in Europe and the Middle East, personally choosing items with unique designs as well as precious stones to incorporate into my own creations. Of course, I also attend all the international jewelry shows and events that take place all over the world.

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LJBB: Do you have a personal favorite item or favorite collection that you carry? 

SDN: I’m a personal fan of the hand-made collection and Nina Nguyen collection.

LJBB: In addition to selling pieces from your great collections, what other services do you offer?

SDN: We do all kind of repairs for jewelry: stone resetting, stone matching, pearl resetting, beading, gold plating, rhodium plating, ring resizing, and more.

We also repair high-end watches and change batteries. Cleaning is always free at Timeless Treasures.

LJBB: How long has Timeless Treasures been a part of La Jolla?

SDN: Only 7 months.

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LJBB: What is the best part of having a store located in La Jolla? 

SDN: The absolute best part of La Jolla is, hands down, the amazing locals and tourists.  Everyone is extremely welcoming, friendly, and appreciative of the hard work put into Timeless Treasures and its unique designs. In fact, I’ve had customers from other states visit repeatedly, letting me know that stopping by Timeless Treasures was the first activity on their San Diego action list!  Hearing this was the greatest accolade I have earned being here.

It is sincerely an honor being a part of the La Jolla business family. I wake up with a smile on my face, every day.

LJBB: What’s one thing you would like for people to know before they visit your store?

SDN: I appreciate every one of you. You make this city the little paradise it is.


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
www.lajollabluebook.com
“Find It La Jolla” App

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
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Grand Opening Event at YURU

21616412_292920654520415_1809785000721586101_nMarci and Eric Adams are the founders of YURU. Of course, with tongue in cheek, Marci is the epitome of beauty and brains behind the prosperous partnership.  Eric is the photographer extraordinaire and has been continuously refining his technique for more than 25 years, staying abreast of the latest technology and tricks of the trade. It’s certainly no surprise that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were also photographers! The combined skills of these state-of-the art pros resulted in Marci and Eric creating, nurturing and succeeding in building a flourishing, high-volume photography business and photography academy in Utah, the likes of which they continue to operate on a remote basis.

In a nutshell, YURU may be described as an evolution of what all it means to be a portrait studio. Indeed, it is the fulfillment of a long time passion and preoccupation to capture the stunning authenticity of the greatest generation. The YURU masterpiece is a 24×36 wall portrait face mounted behind a 6mm acrylic panel. For this, they chose acrylic for mounting because of its UV protection and enhancement of the original image. The colors are crisp and brilliant and the details are highly refined.

Marci and Eric invite you to their grand opening event on Saturday, September 30th, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Come on out and enjoy an evening of music, light refreshments, and drinks. For additional information, drop by and check out YURU online at www.yurustudio.com

An Interview with Chef Maeve of Sugar and Scribe

chef-maeveChef Maeve Rochford, The Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship winner is the owner and executive chef of La Jolla’s Sugar and Scribe.

Rochford is enthusiastic and furthermore dedicated to bringing the longstanding baking traditions of Ireland to La Jolla, California.

A descendant of a lengthy line of exceptional Irish bakers dating back to the 1930’s, Chef Maeve carries on the family tradition of the Rochford women, by providing Southern California baked goodies and savories based on recipes that have survived generations of wars and emigration.

Sugar and Scribe focuses on serving breakfast and lunch with sweet and savory Irish cuisine, replete with a measure of attitude straight from the magical Emerald Isle.

What a pleasure it was chatting with Chef Maeve about Sugar and Scribe, her roots, and her decidedly successful career to date.

La Jolla Blue Book: Maeve, we’ve heard through the fresh grape vine that you have some huge fans in La Jolla and way beyond as well, and you’re somewhat of a rockstar with food.

Chef Maeve Rochford: I don’t know about that, but I do love creating food in my own unique way, and then making it from scratch with only fresh vegetables and fruits. I’m just one of those people who was born for a specific task. I’ve loved cooking since I was two. The task of cooking does take being creative, and to some degree inventive. Running a business in a commercial setting takes good leadership as well, and most importantly good team work. As an only child I loved working with a team, and I love working with my team here at Sugar and Scribe now. They’re a melting pot of forty two invaluable individuals, and they’ve been my partners in crime for a long time.

LJBB: You seem you have a great sense of humor, and you mentioned that laughter is an important part of the restaurant business. Why is laughter so important?

CMR: Laughter is critical, especially in the restaurant world. You spend ninety percent of your time either being critical or criticizing. It’s every plate, every egg, every leaf of salad. It’s every detail, every heartbeat. It’s very rare that you allow yourself to hear the positive. Everything you do is gray, and you’re constantly questioning yourself and hearing the negative. So if you don’t have laughter, you will not survive. I’m a non-drinker, but laughter is my bloody mary. I have staff members who know just when to say something that will crack the inner ice queen in me and bring out the Disney girl.

LJBB: For folks who haven’t been to Sugar and Scribe before, what would you like for them to know?

CMR: The most important thing I’d like for people to know is that every single item on the menu here is made in-house daily. From croissants, to our jams and syrups, it’s all made from scratch- that is why I have a huge kitchen staff. They are like my crazy family, and I just can’t live without them. I love my guys on the line. They never call in sick, and they’re are always ready to go. My entire staff is devoted.

Because we make everything from scratch, there’s this very scary feeling of things going wrong because I can’t possibly taste everything myself. I am really dependent on my staff to get it right, and so I’m lucky that they successfully give it their very best every single day. I mean that with all my heart. They have true grit.

LJBB: What do you love most about having a business in La Jolla?

CMR: I love La Jolla! It’s become my home. The community has taken me in like I’m one of their own, the same as if I was born and raised here. It’s insane how nice they’ve been to me from the beginning.

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LJBB: Can you name two items off of the menu that you really love?

CMR: If I’m going to go with sweet, I would definitely say my lemon curd pancakes. I think my pancakes are the reason I have a husband. Others seem to love them too. I won an award for one of the best pancakes in Southern California, because they’re just a whole new way of thinking about eating a pancake. I’m more of a savory gal, so I’d definitely have to say our California Benedict with barbacoa is off the charts. With it you get a house-made english muffin, avocado, red onion, house-made mustard ground hollandaise with baracoa, and of course poached eggs. No one really even takes the time to make english muffins anymore. It’s a lost art because it’s a four part process, and most restaurants don’t wanna deal with anything that takes more than two parts.

LJBB: I read that your Irish heritage influences the recipes you create and that they’re generations old. Is it true that you’re still using those recipes? 

CMR: Absolutely, I do use them. Our shepherd’s pie and Guinness beef stew recipes have been in our family for hundreds of years, and passed down from mother to daughter for generations. I’m officially the only American in my family. Everyone else in my family is from Ireland, and most are still there, except for a few cousins that live in London or neighboring cities of Europe. When people ask me where I’m from, I say that I’m American. However when I think of my heritage, I am my heritage. I am Irish.

The baraco I use on the eggs benedict is Mexican, but that’s a good influence of where I currently live.  Avocado is not happening in Ireland, but it is here and in my life now. The hollandaise sauce for the benedict is made with Coleman’s english mustard powder, and there’s nothing more Irish on earth than Coleman’s. Then the english muffin is clearly owned by the Europeans, and I make that from scratch. So, I feel like almost everything I do is a compilation of my heritage and my life now here in La Jolla.

Another example is the lemon curd pancake. Lemon curd in Ireland is like breathing. The Irish love anything that has the word “curd” on the end of it. So when I started to think about making pancakes and how to make them different, I thought of lemon curd. I start my pancakes with a wet ingredient. Pancakes have become very Americanized, but not the way I do it! I made and Irish pancake and I’m winning the hearts of many.

LJBB: You’ve come out with your own bakery line. Can you tell us a little about that?

CMR: Yes, my cakes stands, cake platters, dessert platters, and all of the bakeware comes out in late October. It’s really exciting. I’m excited about the seasonal colors that I chose for the seasons. A lot of the colors I did in an amazing grace celate silicone ware, which is really fun. It will be available online, at Home Goods, and select Bloomingdales.

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LJBB: Congratulations on winning the Food Network’s holiday baking championship with your elegant three tiered cake, top with a sleigh. That’s exciting! What was it like, and what have things been like for you since the show? 

CMR: Thanks, it was a very exciting experience. I had a lot of fun on the show. I think that in terms of bakeries, since winning the show, I’ve become known best for my interesting seasonal changes. We don’t have a set menu. What you see on the menu today may not be on it tomorrow, and that’s because we make everything with fresh produce only. My chefs cook with whatever fruits and vegetables are fresh, fun and different that day. One day they’ll be preparing quince muffins and the next dutch apple turnovers.

LJBB: Competing on a huge network show and opening your bakery in the middle of a recession turned out to be a huge success for you. Both of those were probably risks for you as well. Would you consider yourself to be a risk taker?

CMR: I would say that I am a risk taker by nature. I’m a jump now and learn to grow wings as I fall type of a gal, but I would say this: take the risks that are calculated. I know when I started I did not do the best job. I was not the best business person.  

However, I also knew that I was willing to outwork anybody on planet earth. There was just no one who was willing to put more hours in than me, and there was nothing that could detour me from reaching my goal line. I was determined to get there some how, some way. There was no bridge, almost, that I was not willing to burn in my own personal life to succeed and flourish. That’s something that i don’t think a lot of people are willing or even able to do. I don’t have children myself, and so that’s made a big difference for me. From what I’ve learned since I’ve been in the business, if I did have children I would have given it much more consideration, because opening a restaurant of any kind can absorb your life.

The second thing I knew was that I would need a strong team behind me to support me when things became a struggle. I had that team, and they seemed more determined than me to succeed. Thanks to my mother Mary Margret, my husband Andrew and my investor Patrick, I was able to take a risk and jump into the abyss of restaurant life. I’ve had their support from the very beginning, and they’ve been right by my side ever since. I’m here because of them. I’ve always had somebody.

LJBB: What advice would you give to up and coming chefs and restaurateurs?

CMR: My advice would definitely be to find your team, and find people who are willing to take a risk and jump with you. People who are willing to pick you up when you think that you’ve given your last service, or can’t work one more hour. When you’ve work hard on something and it fails, or heard your last bit of criticism. It’s going to happen- I can guarantee it. Just when you think that everything is in place, right there where it should be, it’s all gonna swirl up like a big tornado and say, “nope.” You’re going to need a team for all these reasons and more. You’ll need them so that you can do this- I sure did. Be tenacious. Keep digging and then dig even deeper. Work even harder. Refuse to give up. That’s the one thing I’m blessed to have.

LJBB: What are some upcoming events that we can look forward to?

CMR: We have Willy Wonka Day coming up on September 30th, where we’ll change our menus and transform Sugar and Scribe into the Willy Wonka Factory.

Our head cake decorator Ray will be competing on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Champion starting on September 25th.

And of course our bakery rebuild continues, which we’re all very excited about. We’re redoing the first floor so that it’s more like a high-end coffee bar, and we’re making the pastry section twice as big. When it’s all finished it will amazing!

Come on out to Sugar and Scribe today, Thursday September 21st for complimentary house-brewed coffee and cardamom cookies. Full breakfast & lunch menu will also be available. Doors open at 7:00am!  


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

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An Interview with Lisa Jacobsen and Jonathan Gall of Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery

CFA Gallery - Orlando & Richen

CFA Gallery – Orlando & Richen

Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery isn’t just any art gallery. It’s a highly acclaimed spot for the passerby and irresistible for the art guru. They feature Paintings, Sculpture and Limited Edition works from Internationally acclaimed artists. Located in Downtown La Jolla, their locations provide unparalleled services in Fine Art Acquisitions and Consulting, Custom Framing, Art Installation, Corporate Collections and Award Design.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Jacobsen and Jonathan Gall of The Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery.

How long has Contemporary Fine Arts been in La Jolla?

This will be the 25th year for Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in La Jolla.

For people who aren’t familiar with your gallery, what kind of artwork does CFASD showcase?

We feature contemporary art including abstract, figurative and landscapes. We showcase a wide variety of mediums including oil and acrylic paintings, mixed media paintings, wood, glass, bronze and resin sculpture and also ceramics. We represent both local and internationally known artists. We tend to have long term relationships with our artists. Several have been with us over 20 years. Our sons who are now 23 and 25 have grown up knowing our artists. In fact our eldest son just flew down to Colombia last year to spend a week with the artist we originally opened the gallery to represent: Orlando Agudelo-Botero. Our younger son attends NYU but when he is home in the summers he hangs all of our art exhibits for us. We have also developed long relationships with many of our collectors who have become friends as well.

What is the best part of having a gallery in La Jolla?

We have a loyal following who attend all of our artist receptions and are very supportive of the gallery and any new artists we decide to exhibit. We get to meet a lot of interesting people who share our love for art.

In addition to your gallery, you offer framing. Can you tell us a little about that?

We have two picture framing businesses in the area. Our little design showroom: Art in Framing just moved after 25 years on Wall Street to The La Jolla Village Square on Fay Avenue across the street from “The Village Corner”. We are very happy in our new location. We actually do the framing in our large facility on Morena Blvd: JAG Art, 4390 Morena Blvd just one block before Costco.

We also feature an art showroom at that location. It is very enjoyable to get an opportunity to see the wide range of art and photography we get to frame for our clients. We frame work for many artists and interior designers and also for other galleries.

One of the most enjoyable aspects has been framing children’s art projects for many local schools who then auction off the art for their yearly fund raisers with great success.

Is there anything coming up at your gallery that you would like to mention?

If you have not yet visited the gallery check out our website contemporaryfineartsgallery.com where we always post our upcoming events and artist receptions. Or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We hope to see you soon!

For more information on Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery, 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

GDC Construction: A Long La Jolla History

The Dewhurst family and GDC Construction have been utilizing their collective know-how and exceptional skills to turn ideas and concepts into reality for nearly a hundred years.

It all began when Ernie W. Dewhurst founded a construction company in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England. Subsequently, he immigrated to the United States through historical Ellis Island. Ernie soon settled in Hollywood in the early 1900s, where he utilized his extraordinary skills to construct movie sets. He was asked to build a home in La Jolla and instantly developed an affinity for the then-relatively uninhabited, quaint seaside town.

Ernie relocated his family to the village in 1920 and started work as one of the only builders in town. Due to hard work and commitment, by 1929 the Dewhurst passion for constructing elegant homes flourished and became a full-fledged, successful construction business.

Ernie’s son Walter Dewhurst teamed up with the business in 1948 with a thirst to sustain the family tradition throughout the 20th century. Much like his father, Walter was an innovator, mover and shaker in the construction industry in La Jolla, constructing several of the community’s finest residences.

Some of the community’s enduring hallmarks were built by Walter. The Athenaeum, a veritable La Jolla landmark, was remodeled by Walter in 1956. Today it houses an art and music library. Moreover, Walter built the Mount Soledad Cross in 1954. Adding to the cross, in 2001 the war memorial surrounding it was inspired and developed by Walter’s son, George, and built by GDC Construction. An annual Memorial Day celebration is held in the shadow of the cross every May.

In 1976, Walter’s son George joined the business, carrying it into the 21st century. Previous to the union with GDC, George heeded President Kennedy’s call and joined the Peace Corps in 1962. Subsequently, George completed his MBA at renowned Thunderbird University before returning to La Jolla where he assumed the reins of the family business.

George’s continuous dedication to remain true to the Dewhurst reputation for quality and craftsmanship is observed with the many homes he and his group have constructed. Additionally, he continued the family tradition in business, sport and civic commitment. Stirred by his visit to the National War Memorial in Washington, D.C., George conceived and then built the Mount Soledad War Memorial. This is a local testament to the brave men and women who have served the nation with honor.

George led an effort to modernize the YMCA La Jolla Firehouse in the historic district as a center for youths in 1984. Furthermore, as the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club president, George planted the seed for many of La Jolla traditions that continue to this day.

In 2001, Pancho Dewhurst joined GDC construction to carry on the institution of constructing quality custom homes in La Jolla and throughout greater San Diego County. Influenced by the modernists and his studies in Italy, Pancho made his mark in the family business. In 2008, he assumed the leadership at GDC Construction. Pancho and his father are the 3rd and 4th generation of Dewhurst builders in La Jolla.

“Being in the construction business for four generations, we have developed a considerably strong group of sub-contractors and associates that we work with on a daily basis” said Pancho. “I am very privileged to have such a vigorous and robust group of individuals. Some of these people have worked alongside with my grandfather and father. It’s been a significantly huge boost to GDC Construction.”

The renovation of the Community Center epitomizes Pancho’s contribution to the La Jolla community as well as the unrelenting commitment to dedication by the Dewhurst family to the local community.

“In addition to building beautiful homes in the San Diego area, what I’m really truly most proud of is all of the effort that my family has extended to give back to the La Jolla community.”

From building Fire Station 13 to the La Jolla Community Center, the Dewhurst family has been an essential part to what the community of La Jolla is today.

The Dewhurst family and GDC Construction also go out of their way to bring Christmas blessings and cheer every year to San Diego residents. Additionally, they have sustained one of the oldest and most esteemed traditions in La Jolla, that is, decorating and lighting the tree at the La Jolla Recreation Center each and every holiday season. The custom was initiated in 1984 while George Dewhurst was serving as Chairman of the Christmas Parade, as well as President of the Rotary Club.

The Dewhurst collaboration with the La Jolla community continues with GDC’s contribution to the La Jolla Christmas Parade each and every year. Walter Dewhurst, who was named President of the La Jolla Town Council in 1965, initiated the very first La Jolla Christmas Parade in the 1950s together with the Council. Thereafter, he was present at every parade and became known as the “Mayor of La Jolla” because of his all-encompassing patronage and support for the La Jolla community.

When Walter initiated the parade in 1960, it served to bring the village together in a new way during the Christmas and holiday season, and today it remains one of La Jolla’s most beloved customs. The annual parade attracts participants and visitors from all over San Diego as well as outside the county.

GDC Construction participates in the parade every year. One of the trucks is actually converted into a festive float to the delight of onlookers. Pancho Dewhurst and his family ride alongside much like his grandfather did well over a half-century previous.

“My philosophy is not about just building custom homes; it concerns building long-term relationships within the La Jolla community. This concept was taught to me early on by my family. As a four generation builder, I have a great commitment and great pride in being afforded the opportunity to give back to the La Jolla community.”

Pancho has two Children, Ava and Austin, who are the fifth generation of Dewhurst’s in La Jolla. I believe we can speak on behalf of everyone in La Jolla in saying that we hope the family tradition continues for many more years to innovate and shape La Jolla.

For more information on GDC Construction, CLICK HERE.