Wednesday, November 23, 2011

50 Monrovia Businesses to Participate in Small Business Saturday

More than 50 Monrovia businesses - including Merengue, Old Town Bistro and California Wine and Cheese - will be participating in Small Business Saturday. Click here to find out where you can save, and click here to register your American Express Card in order to be eligible for the $25 statement credit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shop 'Till You Old Town

The holidays are officially here. So where will you be shopping? In Old Town Monrovia, a number of events have been lined up in an effort to keep holiday spirit high and sales tax dollars local.

These events will kick-off on the busiest shopping day of the year – the day after Thanksgiving – with Santa and his elves arriving in Old Town at 9 a.m. on Friday. The festivities will continue throughout Friday and Saturday with the ABC7 Eyewitness News “Spark of Love” Toy Drive outside of Krikorian Theater, 410 S. Myrtle Avenue.

Also on Saturday, there will be the Small Business Saturday campaign in Old Town Monrovia, as well as at participating businesses throughout the City. This is part of a national campaign headed by American Express that promotes shoppers to buy local by reimbursing card holders $25 when they buy equal or more items at participating stores.

Then, on Dec. 1, there will be the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m., followed by the “Santa, Snowmen and Song” parade at 7 p.m., featuring Grand Marshall Sid Garcia of ABC7 Eyewitness News. There will be lights, music and holiday events throughout the rest of December.

All of these events are designed to not only promote the holiday spirit and sense of community, but to also attract people in the downtown shopping district. Of course, there are shopping opportunities throughout Monrovia, including along Huntington Drive and on Foothill. Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monrovia Company Lands 'Time' Cover Story

Monrovia based AeroVironment, the company that created the Hummingbird Drone, is featured on the cover of Time as one of the year's top 50 inventions. Read more.

The Hummingbird Drone is featured on this week's edition of Time Magazine.                   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Firm! Media is Newest Company in Old Town

"Search engine technology is mindbogglingly sophisticated - but still, sometime the algorithms need a little bit of hand holding." And that's where Firm! Media comes in. 

The company - which specializes in website design, social media marketing, and search engine optimization - celebrated its grand opening last week with an open house and ribbon cutting. It is led by Christopher Suchanek, who according to his bio has a background in marketing in the music and entertainment industry before progressing into Internet marketing.

Firm! Media is located at 139 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 2. Not surprisingly for a company that specializes in social media, you can also find them online at, on twitter @firmmediaSEO, and on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time to Celebrate: New Year's Eve Party Planned for Old Town

Who needs Times Square when you've got Myrtle Avenue?

A band, a ball drop and a beer and wine garden will all be included in the First Annual New Year's Eve Party on Myrtle Avenue.

Starting from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Myrtle Avenue from Lemon to Olive will be closed off to traffic and open to party goers.

The event is being sponsored by the Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board, and the beer and wine garden on the 500 block of Myrtle Avenue will be sponsored by the Cinco de Mayo Association. Drink tickets will be $5, and only those 21 and over will be allowed into the garden.

Of course, while the Myrtle Avenue festivities are occurring, Old Town businesses will also be hosting their own New Year's Eve celebrations.

More details will be released as the event draws nearer.

If you want to co-sponsor the event, or have questions, call Diane Delmatoff at (626) 303-6600, or be on the lookout for more information at Old Town Monrovia's website over the next few weeks.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Business Profile: Meet 'Q-Gifts'

Quick and quality. That's what the "Q's" stand for in Q-Gifts, a screen printing business that makes custom t-shirts and promotional products. Coming up on its 14th year of business, Q-Gifts has operated at its current location at 1013 S. Mountain Avenue in Monrovia since February.

Q-Gifts owner Willie Leung, an Arcadia resident, said he selected Monrovia as the place do business because he is a regular at the Santa Anita Family YMCA in Monrovia, just down the road from Q-Gift's current location.

The company began as a t-shirt graphic design company and then involved into t-shirt printing. Today, their clients range from national chain retailers to local churches and schools.

To learn more about the business, visit their website at

To profile your business, contact Jennifer McLain at (626)303-6601, or send an email to

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cafe LuMar to Open on Colorado in Old Town

Cafe LuMar will be the newest restaurant on East Colorado Avenue.

Located next to La Adelita Mexican Food, across from Big Shrimps Fish Grill and the Peach Cafe, and down the road from Merengue Cafe, this restaurant will serve homemade baked goods, crepes, sandwiches, and salads. A part of the store will also include the selling of Croatian imported goods. And according to the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce's directory in an entry by the owner of Cafe LuMar:

My sister will be the Chef and my children, Lucia and Mario (Lu..Mar..) are teenagers now and old enough to come in and help. Café LuMar will be known for its friendly atmosphere, consistently great food, made in-house from scratch and from the freshest ingredients. 
It looks like the restaurant owners are still working on the store. When it does open in December, hours will be from Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed on Sundays. It is located at 136 E. Colorado.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monrovia Video: "It's a Place for Business..."

This KGEM produced-video played at the 16th Annual Eddy Awards, where Monrovia won the award for "Most Business Friendly City" for cities with less than 60,000 residents.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Filming Roundup: Car Commercials and "Crush"

October was a busy month for filming in Old Town. It began with two car commercials and ended with a week-long filming of the independent movie "Crush," which utilized multiple locations throughout Old Town including a vacant building, Mundial Restaurant, and exterior scenes on the 400 to 500 blocks of S. Myrtle Avenue. 

Here are the details:

  • Oct. 3 and 4: A commercial for a Lincoln prototype was shot. One day was an action-driving scene, and the other day included still photography of the same vehicle in the 300 and 400 block of S. Myrtle Avenue. These were both done in the middle of the night/early morning hours.
  • Oct. 11: A Honda commercial was shot in Old Town on the 400 block of Myrtle Avenue. This was also shot in the middle of the night.
    • Side note: As you can see, Old Town is used for its picturesque location, and is ideal for driving scenes similar to the Harley Davidson commercial (see below) which is currently running on network television. 
  • Oct. 24 to Oct. 29: Crews filmed parts of "Crush," a teenage thriller about love gone wrong, during these dates, but a week prior crews conducted preparation for their filming activity. Locations included Old Town Monrovia, including using a business front at 405 - 407 S. Myrtle as a record/comic store, Canyon Park, and residential areas near Recreation Park. Filming continues this month for the film in Monrovia.

This vacant storefront at 405 - 407 S. Myrtle Avenue in Old
Town was transformed in late October to a record/comedy
store for the movie "Crush."
To learn more about filming in Monrovia, visit the Office of Filming.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Business Spotlight: Something Healthy Goes Greener and Greener

City Beat host Dan Bell interviews the owner of Something Healthy, who talks about the latest ways his business has become more and more environmentally friendly.

Episode 11 Business Spotlight Something Healthy from KGEM-TV on Vimeo.

Award Winning Photos

Here are some of the action shots taken during the "Most Business Friendly City" awards ceremony on Nov. 3, where it was announced that Monrovia had won the award for cities with populations under 60,000, and West Covina was the winner for cities with populations over 60,000:

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz gives her speech following the announcement that
Monrovia was the 2011 "Most Business Friendly City."

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Mayor Pro Tem
Joe Garcia pose with the award on Thursday.

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Garcia accept the award from
LAEDC President Bill Allen and the ceremony's emcee.

West Covina City Manager Andy Pasmant (left) and council members Shelley 
Sanderson, Steve Herfert, Karen Armbrust and Mike Touhey  join Monrovia
City Manager Scott Ochoa, Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Mayor Pro Tem Joe
Garcia following the announcement that West Covina and Monrovia
were selected as the winners for the "Most Business Friendly City" award. 

Monrovia Profiled on "Strong Cities, Strong State" Website

Monrovia is the newest city to be profiled on the "Strong Cities, Strong State" website, an online site created by the League of California Cities. The site features cities up and down the state, and is intended to highlight local government success stories.

To view the website, visit

Highlights of city of Monrovia’s profile include
·         Old Town Monrovia;
·         Monrovia Public Library;
·         Monrovia Area Partnership;
·         Business Friendly Atmosphere; and
·         Redevelopment on Huntington Drive.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

UPDATED: Monrovia Wins Most Business Friendly City Award

Monrovia has long had a reputation as being business friendly, and now it has an award to prove it. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation awarded Monrovia tonight with the "Most Business Friendly City Award" for cities with populations under 60,000 residents.

Monrovia beat out four other finalists -- Commerce, Duarte, Gardena, and La Mirada -- for the coveted award.

Meanwhile, the City of West Covina won the award for cities over 60,000 residents.

UPDATED: Here's the release from the LAEDC. And here's the release on the City of Monrovia's site.

And the Winner Is...

Back in September, Monrovia was named a finalist for the "Most Business Friendly City Award," distributed by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

Well, tonight we find out whether we can officially call ourselves the most business friendly city in Los Angeles County.

Monrovia is competing against four other cities in the category of cities with populations of 60,000 or less - Commerce, Duarte, Gardena and La Mirada. The award will be presented at the 16th Annual Eddy Awards.

The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m., so check back later to see how Monrovia fared.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Business Showcase Video Highlights Participants

The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce commissioned this video by local shop owner Rick Keshishi at the Business Showcase event Sept. 30. Check it out to learn more about the event, its participants, and some of Monrovia's local businesses...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flame Broiler Opens in Monrovia

The Flame Broiler, the Fullerton-founded restaurant known for its grilled chicken and steak, is officially open in Monrovia. The restaurant opened nearly two weeks ago at 446 W. Huntington Drive, and will celebrate this with an official "Grand Opening" celebration on Wednesday.

This brings the tally up to 92 restaurants in California.