Saturday, March 24, 2012

Trader Joe's CEO Gives Interview to USC Magazine

Dan Bane, CEO of Monrovia-based Trader Joes, has a reputation for avoiding the limelight when it comes to requests for interviews from the press. That is unless you're a Trojan.

The USC Alumni Magazine landed an interview with Mr. Bane, and what we learn is his accounting background has proven to be invaluable to his career, that he got an education in management by sitting on the bench and observing his USC baseball coach, and that he is an avid Trojan fan and supporter - almost as much as he's a fan of "Two Buck Chuck," which is the popular Charles Shaw wine.

The interview also reveals that he is the recipient of a USC Achievement Award.

Check out the interview by clicking the link below:

A Conversation With Dan Bane | Spring 2012 | Trojan Family Magazine

Friday, March 23, 2012

ITT Exelis Opens Doors to Monrovia Chamber of Commerce Members

The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce has had a busy last couple of weeks with both welcoming new businesses such as Sherwin-Williams and visiting longtime businesses, including the mixer it held at ITT Exelis, a contractor for JPL.

ITT Exelis is a Monrovia-based business that employs hundreds of people, and houses the administrative services to support the Deep Space Network used by JPL and NASA.

The original ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph) was created in 1920. Over the past few decades, the company has grown significantly and seen many changes, including the purchase of more than 350 companies during its conglomerate years in the 1960s and 1970s, according to its website.

Among the more recent changes occurred earlier this year, when ITT announced a plan to divide the company into three separate assets: one for water technology, another for defense, and the third as a stand alone, highly industrial company.

Last Thursday, ITT Exelis gave Mixer attendees a tour of the facility, which included a demonstration of a rover that is used to traverse Mars, a high powered telescope that was clear enough for us to see Jupiter (yes, this is the same telescope used for the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers), and a glimpse through the monitoring rooms where engineers observe the satellites that are located in places around the world.

To learn more about ITT Exelis, visit their website. They also have posts that inform people of available jobs.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Michelin Man Makes Way to Monrovia

Ever think twice about the Michelin Man? You're probably not alone if you answered "No."

Photo courtesy of Gary Ghazarian.
But seeing the bright white Michelin Man dance around on Huntington Drive as its 20-foot brother hovers over him may give you pause this weekend, and make you wonder: How did THAT come to be the mascot? 

Since we'll be seeing the Michelin Man until March 24 at Huntington Tire and Auto Center, 511 W. Huntington Drive, now is as good a time as any to get the background of the Michelin Man, or in French, "Bibendum."

It turns out that he was born in France in 1898. The creators were the Michelin Brothers and O'Galop. The source of their inspiration - and why am I not surprised - was a pile of tires and a caricature of a beer drinker.

It has seen many different types of illustrations over the years, and these can now be viewed in a digital gallery here.

Photo from
As far as Huntington Tire and Auto Repair, their history is a little more recent than that of the Michelin Man. It has been operating in Monrovia since 1990, and was established by owner Gary Ghazarian. Click here for information about their services.

According to Ghazarian, the Michelin Man is here promoting a deal on...wait for Click here for infomation on the promotion, and click here for their Facebook page.

In-N-Out Truck Helps Welcome New(ish) Paint Store

Paints, primers and double-doubles.

That's what Sherwin-Williams was serving up alongside the In-N-Out truck on Wednesday at the paint store's official grand opening event and Monrovia Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony.

The ceremony came nearly three months after the store first opened its doors at 503 W. Huntington Drive. Today, this is one of five San Gabriel Valley stores.

This paint-product store was founded back in 1886. According to its website, the store has not only grown to become "the largest producer of paints and coatings in the United States, but is among the largest producers in the world."

To find out more about their products, click here.

Hint: If you go to this website, there is also a $10 coupon for purchases on $50 or more. The coupon expires on 4/30/12.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monrovia Businesses: Job Creators, Revenue Generators, Fun Makers

This week, the "Monrovia Report" - a City-issued weekly-report on all items related to Monrovia - provided this write-up on why City Hall values its business community:

A Strong Business Community is a Strong Monrovia

Jobs. Sales Tax Revenue. Entertainment options for our residents, visitors and workforce.

These are just a few of the reasons why we value our local businesses – and why the City of Monrovia has been working hard to attract, retain and grow our local companies of all shapes and sizes.
Monrovia has more than 1,300 businesses – ranging from our homegrown Old Town businesses, to our national retail chains on West Huntington Drive, to the aerospace manufacturers located along our High Tech Corridor.  
Combined, each of these businesses contribute in some way to strengthening our local economy, creating jobs, selling goods that generate sales tax dollars or even by hosting events at our local hotels or restaurants.
From a finance point of view, it’s easy to see the effects of the businesses that sell retail items – such as Living Spaces or Sierra Autocars. 
In 2011, these types of businesses are expected to generate more than $8 million of sales tax revenue for the City – or roughly 42 percent of to the City’s general fund budget. 
These are dollars that are used to help fund vital City services like our police and the upkeep of our streets, sewers and parks, as well as fire operations, and our library and recreation activities.
When it comes to job creation, Monrovia businesses are doing their part to stabilize the regional economy. The top 50 employers in Monrovia – which includes businesses such as Ducommun Aerostructers, Trader Joes and Worley Parsons – generate 8,000 jobs. And that figure does not even include the remaining 1,250 small businesses in our community.
The City values the contributions that our businesses, business owners and their employees make to our community, which is why we will continue to do whatever we can to create programs that will attract, retain and grow business in Monrovia. To learn more about these programs, visit our website at

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Win a $100 in Old Town 'Spring Fling'

Calling all Old Town shoppers: You could be elibigle for $100 in gift certificates to your favorite Old Town business.

All you need to do is bring in proof of purchase from three Old Town businesses with purchase dates from March 2 to March 30. In lieu of one receipt, you could also bring in a Spring Fling Monrovia Weekly coupon published on 3/8 or 3/22.

Drop off the receipts by 5 p.m. on March 30 to one of five Old Town businesses:

The winner will be announced on March 30 at 8:30 p.m.

The event is part of an ongoing campaign to bring shoppers to Old Town Monrovia.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Diggin for Daises: "Eco-Crayons," Organic Diapers and Pre-Worn Kids Clothes

Monrovia resident Shayna Fiore saw a need in Old Town for a store that featured "pre-loved" children's clothes, eco-friendly toys and even organic cotton diapers. So this singer-songwriter teamed up with her husband Michael to open Diggin for Daises, which has quickly become a popular store since it opened in February for parents wanting to save the environment - and money.

The store features a variety of organic and chemical free toys, such as these mini-vehicles (below), eco-crayons, and eco-play doh. It also has a selection of pre-worn children's clothes for both boys and girls. And for your youngsters, the store also has a little play area and toys - so it may be hard for them to leave when parents head to the cashier.

The store is located at 420 S. Myrtle Avenue, Suite C. It is tucked away in a location near Bella Sera and behind Action Footwear. Diggin for Daises is on Facebook.

Monday, March 12, 2012

London Gastropub Thanks Service Industry Employees on Mondays

Imagine 10-hour shifts where you are on your feet the entire time. Where people around you are laughing, smiling and drinking as you are running around to get their extra side of ranch, clean their spilled soda or collect a 3 percent tip on a $100 bill. 

Yes, this is the real life story of those in the hospitality sector - which is why London Gastropub is stepping up to say thank you to our servers, our bellhops, and to any other service industry employee that is need of a little TLC following a long work-week of fake smiles and lots of hustling.

Today is the first night that London Gastropub will host "Service Industry Night," where hospitality workers can get half off any drinks and all food every Monday starting at 6 p.m. 

Owner Jim Read said he was inspired by a similar weekly-ritual at a restaurant in Orange County. And with all the service industry employees in the San Gabriel Valley, he said he thought it was time to find a way to show them how much they are appreciated.

To get more info, check out their Facebook. London's is located at 419 S. Myrtle Avenue, and closes at 1 a.m. on Mondays.

Local Plastics Manufacturer is Hiring

Monrovia-based Roncelli Plastics, which specializes in computer-controlled plastics manufacturing for the aerospace, medical, and transportation sectors, among others, is looking for qualified CNS (computer numerically controlled) machinists. Interested applicants can call (626) 359-2551, or visit their website at 

Roncelli Plastics was founded in 1969, and today owner Gino Roncelli has a customer base that includes Boeing, JPL, Siemens and Goodrich. Roncelli Plastics is located at 330 W. Duarte Road.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Old Town Accessory Store To Celebrate Two Year Anniversary with Balloon Pop Event

Old Town Monrovia accessory store Six-2-Six, at 114 S. Myrlte Avenue near Coffee Bean and Urbane Beauty Care, is celebrating its second year anniversary next week, and owners Brian Germany and Luis Lemus want to use this as a time to honor their loyal customers by offering discounts and even giving away some of their "Cool Stuff."

From Thursday, March 15 through Saturday, March 17, the store will be hosting an Anniversary Super Sale. This will include a balloon pop game, where people have the chance to win free merchandise and discounts on items throughout the store.

Six-2-Six owner Germany has been dedicated to making Six-2-Six a success, and has channeled his long history in retail sales into this small business. He worked at Mervyn's for nearly 20 years, and then with Kohl's.

Owner Brian Germany stands in front of the glasses section.
During that time with those corporate retailers, he managed some of the leading stores, and also walked away with a work ethic that he has devoted to his current store, Six-2-Six.

Germany and business partner Luis Lemus have worked tirelessly at meeting the needs of their clientele - and for the most part, much of that clinete appeals to kids and teens looking for the latest, trendiest, and most importantly, affordable accessories. Plus, by offering these things in Monrovia, the store keeps these tax dollars local instead of watching them being spent outside of the city at similar stores in malls.

Whether its Hello Kitty Bags, Angry Birds t-shirts, colorful suspenders or LED finger light gloves, there is plenty to choose from in this 850 square foot store.

But not all of the items appeal solely to the teens: Six-2-Six also has a variety of items such as jewelry, colored contacts, and body jewelry for adults.
The accessory store has a variety of belts hanging from its walls.

Six-2-Six is at 114 S. Myrtle Avenue, near Foothill Blvd.
Six-2-Six can be reached at (626) 359-6262, or on their Facebook Page.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Get Connected At the Street Fair Tonight

Come by tonight at the street fair in Monrovia. We are getting Monrovians "connected" on and offline. We'll be here from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

See you soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Social Media Blitz: Join the Blog, Dunk the Mayor...or Police Chief...or...

You read right...join one of the City of Monrovia's many social media sites, and for each one you join, we get closer to sending one of our esteemed Monrovia community members in a dunk tank.

Here's the background:

The Business Blog is joining four other City Hall Departments on Friday night in the promotion of Monrovia's Social Media sites.

Police, the Library, Monrovia Area Partnership, City Manager's Office and yours truly - the Business Blog - will be at the Family Festival this Friday from 5 to 9 pm promoting our social media sites.

The goal: to get 1,000 new followers by May 17.

If we meet our goal, we will dunk five of the city's community leaders at Monrovia Day. The dunk tank victims are: Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, Councilwoman Becky Shevlin, Police Chief Jim Hunt, Monrovia High School Principal Darvin Jackson, and Old Town Liaison Dan Bell.

JOIN TODAY: Join the My Monrovia Business Blog by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the blog and enter you email under "Follow by Email."

Let's dunk 'em!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hong Kong Supermarket to Come to Monrovia's Mon-Arc Center

Its been nearly one year since the Mon-Arc Retail Shopping Center on Duarte Road lost anchor tenant, Super A Foods Supermarket. But on Tuesday, it was announced that the Center - which has undergone a complete facade renovation since the departure of Super A - has signed Hong Kong Supermarket at the 25,000 square foot site.


 Both the renovation and the addition of Hong Kong Supermarket - which is slated to open in Fall 2012 - are expected to breathe new life into the Center. Hong Kong Supermarket opened its first store in Monterey Park back in 1981. Since then, it has steadily expanded in Southern California.

At Monrovia's Mon-Arc Center, located at 915-949 W. Duarte Road, the supermarket will join 10 other tenants, including Jim's Burgers (above), Yan's Dance Studio, and Shanghai Bamboo House, pictured below on the left.

Shanghai Bamboo House, left, sits next to the newly constructed restaurant site.

Now, the property owners are working to fill the Center's remaining six vacancies, which range in size from 920 to 3,200 square feet. Among the vacancies is the newly constructed 3,000 square-foot building plus outdoor dining area that owners believe is perfect for a potential restaurant or bakery.

To get more information about the Mon-Arc Center, visit

Nation's Largest Independent TV Station to Feature Old Town Business Owner

Photo from
Mary Winners, founder of Monrovia-based About 
Senior Solutions, will be featured on KCET.
Monrovia-based Gerontologist  Mary Winners has a passion for assisting families that are coping with how to help their aging loved ones. And on Wednesday, this passion can be witnessed firsthand on the nation's largest independent television station, KCET. 

Winners, who opened About Senior Solutions at 525 S. Myrtle Avenue in September 2011, will appear in the first of a four-part KCET documentary series, "Your Turn to Care." 

The docu-series presents heartwarming stories and solutions related to caregiving for an aging loved one.

For Winners, this is a topic that she lives and breathes on a daily basis in her work at About Senior Solutions. In the first episode, Winners will meet with the Urquiza family to discuss plans to assist their 75-year-old mother with Parkinson's disease.  

According to KCET, the documentary explores the challenge of America's growing aging population and support for the baby boomer generation as caregivers, and aims to create "hope and inspiration for million in this segment of the population."

WHEN: The show will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 on Channel 3 for Monrovia's Champion Broadband customers, and Channel 28 on all other Monrovia cable providers. You can also see it online by clicking here

Additional air dates and times include:  on KCET, PST --Thursday, 3/8 at 2:30pm, Saturday 3/10 at 4:30pm, Wednesday, 3/14 at 8pm, Thursday 3/15 at 2:30pm and Saturday, 3/17 at 4:30. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

All About Beauty Supply and Salon: Same Name, New Owner

Old Town Monrovia is home to nearly a dozen hair salons, nail boutiques, barber shops and day spas. But All About Beauty Supply and Salon, which assumed new ownership just a few months back, isn't just another hair salon - it also features an extensive selection of make-up, skin care lines, and men's products such as gels and electric razors, among other items.  

Back in October, All About Beauty, located at 121 S. Myrtle Avenue next to Baskin-Robbins in the Vons shopping center, was purchased by engineer-turned beauty supply store owner Ahmad Abdul. Mr. Abdul brings to the store nearly 14 years in the business: since 1998, he has run a similar beauty supply store in Covina.

As soon All About Beauty's doors opened under Mr. Abdul's ownership, he quickly expanded the scope of his Monrovia store to include other services, such as Brazilian blowouts, having an on-site makeup artist, and adding two new stations for a total of three hairdressers.

Of course, he is also sticking true to the store's name by selling plenty of types of beauty supply products - and he is always willing to start selling new items on the customers' request. His latest item: real hair extensions.

For Mr. Abdul, the timing of purchase of All About Beauty happened to coincide with the closure of long-time business, Monrovia Beauty Supply formerly at 509 S. Myrtle Avenue. Now, it is one of the only stores in Old Town dedicated primarily to selling beauty supply products.

Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone number is (626) 357-7865.