Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thank You....Thank You Very Much!

These days, it's very easy to forget the word "thank you".  The picture above is a book we sell at the store and it reminded me that I need to be more aware of what I'm grateful for.  I'm grateful for my family, for my friends and for everything that the Lord has granted me in life thus far.  Both Scott and I are grateful for the chance to bring our dreams to reality, even though the road seems unpaved and perilous.  Most of all, we're grateful to you!  Every day, we welcome the opportunity to delight you, so here's a big thank you from us to you!

Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Lori & Scott

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Song For My Father

A collection of rooms - four walls
a floor, some furniture - a house
a shell, no soul, empty....waiting

For someone to fill it - waiting
for a family's love, laughter - dreams
A home....a solid foundation.

You gave that to me - my father
You stood inside it and said yes
This is the place - this house.

A collection of rooms - four walls
a floor, some furniture - my home
echoes with the gifts you gave....


             ----Lori Elliott Webster

Scott and I hope all of you had an enjoyable weekend and Father's Day!  Enjoy the coming week, my friends, we'll be back with normal blogging next week.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dollars For Scholars!*

WFS Grand Re-Opening Notice In Pasadena Star News, Sept. 27, 2008

This little blurb made it into the Pasadena Star News back in September of 2008, and was about the only mention of our "new" store ever in print when ownership changed.  Although it's hard to make out, the bottom of the paragraph shows that we dedicated a portion of the day's proceeds to The Quality Of Life Center, of which the Bright Future Scholar program is a part of.  This was the start of our wonderful relationship with the visionary head of the Center, Dr. Sandra Thomas, and her entire staff.

As I mentioned on our store's Facebook page this morning, Scott and I were honored to attend the graduation ceremony of the Bright Future Scholars, held this afternoon at the Pasadena Convention Center.  I say honored, because this is such an incredible program for high achieving school kids who would otherwise be unable to take advantage of such opportunities.  In academic achievement, the Bright Futures Scholars Support Program, when compared to others with similar demographics, ranks at the top state-wide.  100% of the seniors enrolled in the program go on to enroll in college.  Today's graduating seniors are going to a variety of top colleges, including Harvard, Columbia, USC, UCLA and UC Santa Cruz  - and we couldn't be prouder of them!

It costs nothing but high grades to become part of the Bright Future Scholars.  It does cost quite a bit, however, to mentor those kids and take them on the yearly retreat to Washington, D.C., or to Sacremento, CA.  It costs a lot to make sure there are people from the Center ready to help whomever needs it, whenever they need it.  It costs the students themselves, and their families who have little to spare, a tidy sum to attend college and to provide for living and school expenses as well.  When the question of who would like to pledge a scholarship for a Bright Future Scholar graduate in 2012, Scott and I had to step up!

We pledged not just one $500.00 scholarship - we pledged two!  One scholarship will be from Webster's of Altadena, in honor of the Webster family's long tradition of service to the Altadena community.  The other will be in honor of my grandfather, Dr. Robert I. Elliott, who was Superintendent of Schools, State of Nebraska, Broken Bow County and was later president of Chadron State College for 40 years.  Chadron State College is celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year. 

As you can see by my family's history, education is important to us.  It's even more important that those who are doing well in school be able to go on, despite their economical or situational challenges.  You know I've been saying that our businesses should all be working together toward a healthy community, and making sure that our non-profits stay viable is a top priority.  No longer can we think of ourselves only - I advocate for a more holistic approach.  That's why we're putting our money where our mouth is.  Now, we've got to get busy and make enough so that we can honor (there's that word again!) our commitment.

In other news, this next Saturday is our monthly wine pairing event with  This time it's "Cabs For Dads And Grads" and we'll highlight different combinations of Cabernet Sauvingon with grilled meat (or grilled vegetable) sliders.  Amy's Patio Cafe will be providing the sliders and there will be much merriment as we learn which wine tastes best with what!  Mark your calendars now - the fun starts at 4:00 pm and lasts until 7:00 pm - a whole hour later than we normally close.  If you haven't been to one of our wine tastings, you're really missing out - Anne Bannon and Mike Holland of are lively, funny and extremely knowledgeable about the vino!

Have a fabulous week ahead, my friends!

*We have collection jars in our store, at each register, for customers to drop their change into, to benefit The Quality Of Life Center.  Please make it a point to drop yours in next time you're at the store - we appreciate it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Community At The Table

We're celebrating the fifth Fancy Food Truck Fridays this week and in honor of the occasion, I'd like to take you on a little history trip - one that looks at food truck origins, their sudden  burgeoning popularity and the way food binds us as humans together.

One of the earliest pioneers of mobile kitchens, entrepreneur Charles Goodnight, was primarily a famous Texas rancher.  Deemed the "Father of the Texas Panhandle", Mr. Goodnight was also a banker, silver miner and the founder of a college, among many other things (entrepreneurs back in those days were serious multi-taskers and were themselves most likely the model for today's venture capitalists).  In 1866, Mr. Goodnight saw the need for food-on-the-go for his ranch hands as they worked the cattle drives and thus, the "chuckwagon" was born. 

Of course, food vendors had been on crowded city streets since time immemorial.  From ancient Greece and Rome to Paris' storied Monmartre, purveyors of salty, savory, sweet and spicy deliciousness from carts abounded.  The genius of Mr. Goodnight's invention was putting size into the food cart equation and making it a place where food was prepared and cooked.  First the patrons of the chuckwagon were the cowboys of the day, then others followed suite and the ubiquitous lunch wagon (more commonly known as the roach coach) was born.


Fast forward to 2008, when Mark Manguera, a Filipino married to a Korean woman, his sister Alice Chin and  friend, chef Roy Choi, started Kogi BBQ Taco Truck.  Mark's concept of Korean barbeque (or Bool Kogi) in a taco, arrived at while drinking with friends, took off like lightening and today's gourmet food truck was born.  And what a platform it's been, and continues to be, for the enterprising entrepreneur, and how exciting it is for us to experiment with these new recipes! 

As humans, we are hard-wired to gather around good food.  Again, from ancient times to modern, community is found around a dining table.  Breaking bread is one of the oldest human tradition and we all hold true to that psychological imprint.  This is why all of us here at The Shops at Webster's host Fancy Food Truck Fridays.  We hope that by providing this communal experience, Altadena will be enriched.  Enriched by more people connecting, laughing......eating......together.  From our house to yours,  we hope you'll enjoy yourselves this Friday night.  Come by, say hello to your friends and neighbors and meet someone new - maybe even browse in the shops and meet us!  We'll be waiting for you.....

Enjoy the week ahead, my friends!

Lori and Scott