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Tracy King's Blog

The Eagle Rock Business Model and How It Works

These are difficult times for businesses of almost any kind. We all were holding on, looking forward to the day President Obama was inaugurated and lo! The stock market dropped 300 points! How mean. So everyone continues to cut back, economize, bargain, and figure out what they don't need to buy.

Needless to say we see a number of stores in our fair town hurting and even going out of business. Case in point, it looked like Regeneration (1690 Colorado Blvd, 323-344-0430, ) was going away, the sign in the window even said so. I felt bad because I believe in the idea of the store -recycled materials turned into beautiful goods like purses made from gum wrappers, shoes made from recycled rubber, even wine glasses made from recycled glass. Their tagline is "recycle, repurpose, rethink" - great idea, right? But the prices were a bit high and today, the price is everything, isn't it? And the need for something is really essential. Do you need a pair of shoes made from old whatsits? Well, maybe if they cost $5.00 you would, but for $45.00, not so much.

Then, hooray! The sign in the window said "Staying in business!" I went over there and met the new partial partner, Jeff. He is the former owner of Silverlake's "The Sniveling Sibling," an antique furniture store which was driven out of business when the real estate boom drove up the lease price. Not so today, right? And the furniture he has is affordable! He had a cool set of 4 dining chairs for $185! In fact, every chair in the store was under $200, and every one was really special, in my humble opinion. Jeff showed me through the store and filled me in on his ideas for some stylish home accessory displays and even an art gallery section.

So I say, give Regeneration a second look.

But back to the Eagle Rock Business Model. What is it? It's Good Value. Who has it? Oh, so many stores and restaurants. Top of mind is the Colorado Wine Company with its motto "Wine for Everyone." Their original model was no wine over $25 a bottle. They do have some higher end wines now, but you can generally go in there and taste something and not have to sell your house in a short sale and move under a bridge to pay for it.

There are so many more places to check out: Casa Bianca, the best Pizza Pie in Southern California. Armon's Cafe. Auntie Em's for dining, take out, catering, and even organic home delivery. Oinkster, really slow fast food with pastrami made on site. Dave's Chillin' and Grillin' - no one makes a better sandwich. Brownstone Pizza , where you can actually get pizza by the slice! George's Shoe Repair - he makes copies of keys that actually open the door you want, plus he can restore, polish, adjust or fix your shoes, purses, briefcases - very "green" wouldn't you say? Of course, our Trader Joe's is like Eagle Rock franchised. Plus we have the French bistros Cafe Beaujolais and Petit Beaujolais. Fatty's for gourmet vegetarian food with great wines and incredibly inventive and sinful desserts. Larkin's for soul food in a juke joint setting. Pollen for stylish and fun orchid and other flower arrangements at affordable prices (plus Craig does wedding flowers, landscaping and sells soy candles and so on). Eufloria is great for flowers too. Camilo's for very tasty and stylish food and surroundings, plus catering. There are other businesses like Eagle Rock Montessori, the best pre-school you will ever find at affordable prices. Ballroom Blitz, with affordable dance classes. Lady, a charming and quirky clothing store with cool hip clothes and jewelry and stuff on consignment. How about Don's Music, where you can find old vinyl favorites and all kinds of retro musical fantasies? Then there's the Cactus Gallery, Toro's Pottery, and Jose Vera's Fine Art and Antiques.

Gee, I wish I could refer you to the Eagle Rock website that would give you a place to check all these places out, but we don't have that! has the most, I think. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce will step into the 21st Century with a complete listing of businesses with their websites and contact information. I can't list here all the nifty stores we have. I do have a restaurant guide that has all the local eateries I like in it. Click the tab above to view it, I update it every few months or so.

What are your favorite Eagle Rock spots?  How about Highland Park?

Green Community Event this weekend
Iku Kiriyama's Presentation, "The Box"

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