Sunday, February 27, 2011

And The Award Goes To.....

Tonight is Hollywood's favorite night.  Stars from all over will descend on Hollywood, walk down that red carpet and a few of them will take home that coveted golden statuette.  Now, let's take a moment and think about who really deserves an award.  While I'm sure there are countless worthy individuals, I think the small business owners who have struggled through these hard times and are still open deserve a shout-out.  These businesses owners who contribute to their community's well-being by hiring local employees, use local services, pay local taxes and recirculate their hard-earned dollars in that community.

The video posted above (also posted on our store's Facebook fan page) shows one town in Georgia that has thrived despite the downturn.  I recommend watching this video to see what would be possible here if we all worked together to make it happen.  I'm speaking about Altadena, of course, but you can make this happen anywhere in the country if you happen to live elsewhere.  If I'm being repetitious, forgive me, but it bears repeating that our recovery from the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression won't happen until it happens with small businesses.  We are truly the bedrock of the American way of life.  If small businesses keep disappearing at the alarming rate they're disappearing now, our lives will be changed forever, and not in a good way.

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know how strongly I feel about this.  It's particularly important now, in light of the recent fracas with our Fancy Food Truck Fridays event and the County of Los Angeles' Planning Department.  For those of you who aren't aware, our gourmet food truck/open house party for the community that we held on Feb. 11th and was very successful.  So successful, in fact, that we must've ticked off a few people and complaints were lodged with various County agencies.  The County, as far as we can ascertain, has told us we can't do it again because it violates Title 22 of their voluminous Civil Code.  As the wrangling with the County goes on towards some kind of resolution, I will also recommend they watch this video as well.

Let's all work together for a better Altadena.  Let's do it now.

Have a wonderful week, my friends,

Lori & Scott

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Full Plate

One of these days I'll report to you that we had a quiet week. This is not that day, however. Another week has whizzed by so fast, with so much happening, I can say with all honesty that I'm tuckered out!

Valentines Day was fabulous and I thank you all for that. The giant red hearts and the accompanying pink, frilly props have been packed away, waiting to make an appearance next year. Next to come are Spring and Easter displays highlighting some of our newest products! I'm very pleased by our renewed commitment to invest in more sustainable merchandise and we're getting in some very exciting things that I think you'll adore. One of these fabulous new lines just arrived and we've enjoyed setting up these sketch pads fashioned out of vintage record album covers. Old Motown and R & B favorites such as The Commodores, Gladys Knight and The Pips, Michael get the idea. What a wonderful use for these old record covers, and the drawing (or journaling) paper is bright white and acid free!

Meredith Miller, one-half of the new owners of Webster's Community Pharmacy, and I had lunch the other day with Altadenan and photographer/videographer Deb Halberstadt at the wonderful Amy's Patio Cafe. We talked about our Fancy Food Truck Fridays and the possibility of filming the event as a live stream, which I think would be awesome! We're still in the early stages of planning, so we'll keep you informed of our progress. This next Fancy Food Truck Friday, on March 11th, will be so much fun, I can hardly wait! More trucks, more tables & chairs, and even all spells one heck of a good time!

There was a great turn-out for the Altadena Urban Farmers Market today. Molly Tierney and I drove over for a stroll-through and I'm sure glad we did. Lots of yummy goodies being sold and I was finally able to connect with Earl, of Earl's Gone Wild Barbeque Sauce fame. We'll now be carrying his tasty sauce and other products that he's soon to come out with. We tasted his Jalapeno Pepper Jelly and loved'll be ready for the market soon, and when it is, you can be sure WFS will be carrying it. Earl's barbeque sauce is being offered at the low price of $7.99....come in and get a bottle before it's gone!

Dinner is past done, my friends, so must run. Have a great week and we hope to see you in the store sometime soon!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Life In The Fast (Food Truck) Lane, or, How Webster's Got Their Groove Back

This past week has been a flurry of getting our very first Fancy Food Truck Fridays event up and running. This event is also the very first collaborative effort between all the Webster's stores and we're very glad it went off so very well!

For those of you who hadn't heard about it, Fancy Food Truck Fridays is being held on the 2nd Friday of every month. At 5:00 pm, the parking lot behind the Shops at Webster's Center transforms into a gourmet food haven, with family-style seating nestled in between the bustling trucks. People came, people mingled and conversed while they waited in the long lines; they sat and ate and seemed to really enjoy themselves!

Our collective hope is that this will become a mainstay in Altadena, something that our community can look forward to. We'll be tweaking and improving as we go along, so hopefully all our residents will be able to enjoy the event, together. Pictures of the festivities can be found at Altadenablog, here: and on Altadena Patch, here:

Our thanks go out to both Webster's Community Pharmacy and Webster's Liquor, and also to Sheldon Katz of Rolling Bistros. Working together we were able to put some positive excitement back into our little town, some life back into the store as a whole and had a lot of fun doing it! Working together, we have debuted something that has the potential to draw people from the outlying areas to Altadena and enliven our local economy.

We welcome your suggestions about how to make this event more enjoyable for all. The trucks are now aware of how popular this event will be, so are making plans to be better supplied, and there will be two more trucks. Which ones will come next time? Stay tuned to find out....the next event will be held on Friday, March 11th!

I'd also like to give a shout-out to our friends Michael Holland and Anne L. Bannon of, who hosted our Champagne & Port tasting on Friday. They poured over 100 glasses of Champagne or Port on Friday night....I think that might be a record! They handed out over five pounds of chocolate covered strawberries and about as many chunks of dark chocolate along with the wines and still managed to cheerfully extol the virtues of each to an audience of rapt listeners. I'm always amazed by them and want to thank them for their partnership!

Until next week, my friends....enjoy!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Reviewing History For The Future

Today was one of those rare days for us. Because it's traditionally super slow on Superbowl Sunday, we decided not to open the store and were able to stay home and relax. Scott got to putter around his poor, neglected garden and cut back our old-growth roses. I got to clean up a bit and get to the neighborhood pet store like I've been meaning to do all week. Then we went to the Superbowl halftime festivities and commercials at my daughter's home in Santa Monica.

It was nice to have a day of rest....of not fighting traffic or worrying that the animals won't get fed on time or if we have time to stop at the grocery store because we're out of something. Most of all, it was nice to just relax and have some fun with family. While we haven't, and won't, close on Sundays very often, this day was very much appreciated.

Because of our relatively store-free day, I thought I'd give myself a little blogging break, too. I rethought that, though, because there's some things I wanted to mention. Next Friday's Fancy Food Truck Fridays is one of them. All of us here at Webster's hope you'll be able to stop by to check it out and do a little late-night shopping....we'll be open until 9:00 p.m.!'s Anne Bannon and Michael Holland will be here pairing Champagne and various dessert wines with chocolate, perfect for a warm up to Valentines Day!

It'll be great time to meet Mike and Meredith Miller, the new owners of Webster's Pharmacy. Find out what their plans are for the renovation of the pharmacy. Then stroll down to WFS and come meet us! Find out what we're all about and our plans to work with the community. Scott and I are looking forward to meeting you and seeing old friends. I'd like to leave you with this link to a story our friend Petrea Burchard, of the Pasadena Daily Photo blog, wrote about us way back in September of 2008. We'd been the new owners of the former Stationery department at Webster's for almost exactly one year when she wrote this. Maybe you didn't read it back then, so here's your chance to do so. I think it gives some perspective on the changes at Webster's, and would like to extend my thanks to Petrea once again for the post.

Have a fabulous week, my friends....hope to see you on Friday night!