Thursday, August 29, 2013

LA Works Providing Limited Internships and College Exploration

Attention all High School seniors:

LA Works, best known for its federally funded job training and placement services offers a wealth of public services to residents in the eastern San Gabriel Valley.This program will serve 400 high school seniors with paid and unpaid internships, career and college exploration, financial literacy training, leadership skills, work readiness training, vocational certificates, and mentoring.  Students attend job search workshops, learn the process of applying to college, obtain assistance in applying for financial aid, and paid and unpaid internships to match their career goals.  

 For more information youth should call the Youth Hotline at (626) 653-1745, ext. 2242.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Calling All Business Owners!

The City of Monrovia will be hosting a Business Seminar Series on the Affordable Healthcare Act.

It will discuss in depth how the Affordable Healthcare Act will affect you and your business.

Our featured speaker is, George N. Papacalos, the Regional Sales Executive for Kaiser Permanente. 

•             Wednesday, August 7, 2013: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

•             Monrovia Public Library, 321 S. Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia, CA

•             Hosted lunch provided by Café Mundial

•             RSVP by August 5th : Korrine  Ramirez; 626.358.1159 or

We would love for you to join us

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Press Release | Disney Coming to Mt. Sierra College

Directors Chris Takami and Joe Vance of Disney Mobile Games will be guest speakers at an exclusive Mt. Sierra College campus event on Thursday, August 15, 2013 from 6 to 8pm. Students, alumni and administrators will get first-hand exposure to life as an art director at Disney. Takami and Vance will cover topics ranging from necessary industry skills, networking, and portfolio preparation to knowing and excelling in the competition. The speakers will also provide valuable information and forecasting of mobile game development and the interactive media industry. Disney Mobile, a division of Disney Interactive designs mobile applications, content and service. Some of their most recent releases launched are Where's my water? and Wheres my Mickey? The August 15th event is a product of Mt. Sierra College’s long-standing relationship with Disney. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

S'Links Gourmet Hot Dogs opening soon in Old Town Monrovia

That's right! Monrovia will be welcoming its very own gourmet hot dog restaurant in the upcoming weeks. S'Links will be located at 630 S. Myrtle Ave and boasts a family friendly environment, great food, eating competitions, and much more. We hope to see you there.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Another business to open in Foothill Park Plaza

Foothill Park Plaza continues to see new tenants move in. Weight Watchers, Fantastic Sams and a massage business are among the new faces.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Calling Commissioners: Improve Your Old Town, Your Parks, Your Community

The City of Monrovia is seeking 12 Monrovians to serve on one of five commissions and boards. Applications are now being accepted.  The deadline to apply is 6 p.m. on May 22. Positions available are on the:

·         Planning Commission (2 positions available).
Description: The seven members of the Planning Commission are the decision-making body on zone variances, conditional use permits, design reviews and parcel maps.

·         Historic Preservation Commission (2 positions available).
Description: The seven members of the Monrovia Historic Preservation Commission protect and preserve Monrovia’s historic landmarks.

·         Community Services Commission – (3 positions available).
Description: The seven members of the Community Services Commission assess the social service, leisure, park and street tree needs of the community to evaluate and make recommendations on how those needs are or should be met.

·         Library Board (3 positions available).
Description: The five members of the Library Board are governed by the California State Education Code, and are responsible for enforcing all the rules, regulations, and bylaws necessary for the administration, governance and protection of the library and its property.

·         Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board (MOTAB) (2 positions available).
Description: The five member Board is comprised of Old Town merchants and is responsible for making recommendations to the City Council on programs and projects to advance the downtown area through marketing, promotion and overall improvement of the Business Improvement District.

Please visit for a link to the application and additional information about each commission.

For applicants who are interested, there is an informational meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, in the Council Chambers, 415 S. Ivy Avenue. 

If you have not attended one of these meetings before, it is strongly encouraged that potential applicants take the opportunity to learn more about the scope of each of the boards and commissions and take a moment to speak to the Department Directors who work directly with the Boardmembers and commissioners. Each candidate must submit an application and go through an interview process. If selected, the term begins July 1, 2013.

If you plan on attending or have questions, please contact City Clerk Alice Atkins at (626) 932-5505 or by email at

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Positive Press for Monrovia's Economic Development Efforts

Hot Off the Press: League of California Cities highlights Monrovia's Economic Development efforts in a post-redevelopment world.

Here's the link

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lease Me: Paragon

While the residential units at the Paragon Luxury Apartments are nearly 100 percent filled, there are still a couple retail spaces available. And what's not to love about these sites: they have a built in customer base from the Paragon, they are located at the entrance to Old Town, and they have a free parking structure for customers.

 To lease it, call Marie Taylor at 626-204-1520.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Retail Space for Rent

L & G Boutique closed recently, leaving behind a 750 sq ft site. This charming retail space is in the 300 block of Myrtle Avenue - the heart of Old Town - and ripe for a retailer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Old Town Businesses Support Monrovia Day Celebration

Old Town businesses are spotlighted during this promotional video for the Monrovia Day Pancake Breakfast and festival.

From the science of software to the science of vegetables: Meet John Tanner

Death can change people. Just ask John Tanner. This local businessman suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest three years ago. Since then, he has used that experience to not just change himself, but to try to change the world, one person at a time.

Mr. Tanner, the founder of software design company-Tanner Research in Monrovia, has been channeling his efforts into the science of eating healthy by creating a non-profit organization, NuSci. The non-profit group provides access to literature, cooking tips and workshops. 

One of the workshops will be at 6:30 p.m. on April 25 at the  Monrovia High School. It will feature the documentary movie, Forks Over Knives, released in 2011. Mr. Tanner will briefly introduce the film as containing information that could have saved him from his heart attack. He will then show the 90 minute movie, and follow with a question and answer session with Dr. Matt Lederman, one of the doctors featured in the movie. The event will end with some food tasting in the lobby to show how delicious truly healthy food can be. More information is available here.

While the diet he stresses - that of no meat, no dairy, and no oil - may be hard to digest for meat eaters, bacon fanatics and cheese lovers, Mr. Tanner said the ultimate goals are to improve your health, extend your life, get you to your healthy weight and keep you there, prevent and reverse heart disease and minimize cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, acne, and many other diseases.

To learn more about NuSci, visit their website at can even check out a few pieces of literature just by stepping food into the Tanner Research Lobby at 825 S. Myrtle Avenue.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Local Salon Looks to Set Guinness Book of World Records

Old Town's Xylem Salon and Spa - which recently underwent a renovation - will participate in a global 24-hour cut-a-thon on Earth Day, April 22.  

Aveda stylists in salons worldwide – from Tokyo, to Sydney, Moscow, London, New York and Monrovia – will volunteer their time to offer haircuts in return for a donation to Earth Month.  The aim is to set a Guinness World Record for most money raised for a charity by haircuts in a 24-hour period. 

Xylem Salon and Spa has set a fundraising goal. This event is part of a global effort by the Aveda network of beauty professionals to raise $5 million for clean water in April 2013.  

To participate, book an appointment at:  

Xylem Salon and Spa
198 S. Myrtle Ave.
Monrovia, CA. 91016

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Paragon Trucking Opens In Monrovia

Even though Terrence Williams is a long time area resident and long time business owner, his company Paragon Trucking is new to Monrovia.

Last week, Mr. Williams was welcomed to the Monrovia business community by members of the Chamber of Commerce.

Paragon Trucking picks up and delivers excess cargo from China to businesses throughout Southern California.

Welcome to Monrovia, Paragon Trucking!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Run Together. Zumba Together. Cheer Together.

Hey Monrovia fitness businesses!

I'm sure this is on your radar by now, but get involved with this year's Fountain to the Falls 7 Mile Walk/Run by participating in the Health & Fitness Expo. This expo will kick off at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, and will feature:

- Zumba in the Street by the YMCA from 7:01 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
- Free amenities  like health screenings, flu shots and massages
- Giveaways
- Fitness Class Round II: "Body Vive" taught by the YMCA from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

You can participate by having a booth, adding information into the runner's goodie bags, or simply sending out people to run or cheer by wearing your logo.

Here's how you can get involved. Want more information? Contact Jennifer McLain by email at

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

State of California Helps Businesses

Taxes. Regulations. Free money.

These are the three most common topics that come up during business visits of  Monrovia's larger employers when they start talking about how the State of California can help - or how it has hindered - their business.

But the State is working on ways to overcome some of these negative stereotypes by working on proactive ways to keep employers in California.

On Tuesday, City of Monrovia Economic Development staff attended a policy workshop hosted by the LAEDC featuring Kish Rajan, the director of the Gov. Jerry Brown's Office of Business and Economic Development. He provided input on what the State is doing to attract, retain and grow businesses statewide.

Among their areas of focus include:

1) Small businesses advocacy, through programs such as the loan guarantee program and other incentives.
2) A Business Development Team, which looks at how to retain businesses in California.
3) International Business Development.
4) Identifying and promoting "Innovation Hubs" and Entrepreneurship.
5) Infrastructure Development.
6) Improve Marketing of Film, Travel and Tourism Committee efforts.

To learn more about their programs, click here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Monrovia City Manager Talks Business

  Relationship building and business retention.

Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile, right, is joined by
Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck and Duarte Deputy 
City Manager Karen Hererra on Thursday at the 
Foothill WIB's board meeting.
Those will be the two leading priorities of the City of Monrovia's Economic Development efforts in the coming years, said Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile during her presentation at the Foothill Workforce Investment Board's quarterly meeting.

Ms. Lile presented alongside Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck and Duarte Deputy City Manager Karen Hererra during a panel discussion on "Partnering with Economic Development: Creating the Workforce Advantage."

For Monrovia, the community and City Council has concluded during the PlanMonrovia Strategic Planning Process that one of the City's six priorities in the next five years should be Economic Development. Specifically, these actions:

According to Ms. Lile, retention and growth efforts have moved forward in large part through the Business Visits that have targeted Old Town Businesses and top employers. And as far as building relationships - this will be critical in helping to identify need by our local businesses and finding the appropriate resources to meet these needs.

Among the organizations that the City will focus its efforts on include businesses, brokers and economic development organizations such as the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Foothill Workforce Investment Board, and the San Gabriel Valley Partnership, just to name a few.

While redevelopment dollars may have disappeared, the need for attracting businesses, and retaining and growing our existing workforce remains more important than ever.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Free Business Assistance

Are you looking to start a business but are having a tough time with your business plan? Do you own a restaurant but seem to be upsidedown on the budget? Are you in need of financial options? Then the Foothill Workforce Investment Board is here to help.

The Small Business Development Center is one of the best kept secrets in the San Gabriel Valley. On Mondays and Tuesdays, business owners can head into the 1207 E. Green Street Center in Pasadena for one-on-one FREE consulting. All you need to do is make an appointment before you go.

Below is the information:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Substance Abuse Treatment in the Workplace

Students at Azusa Pacific University are teaming up with the Santa Anita Family Services on a project to better assist businesses in Los Angeles County. These students are trying to assess the barriers that exist in making referrals for substance abuse treatment in the workplace in order to better serve the community. 

The survey is open to business owners. Here is the link is:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mayor Joins Efforts Calling for Budget Compromise at Federal Level

With the $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1, news agencies continue to report of the impacts that sequestration may have to governments, cities, states and the nation. Here is one article that details what sequestration is. And here is a link that details what this means to LA County.

The City of Monrovia has been monitoring these cuts for several months. Today, Mayor Mary Ann Lutz joined the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, along with regional economic development advocates, cities and defense companies, calling on our U.S. State Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to find a "grand bargain" with "a balanced and comprehensive package of solutions that include: tax code reform; entitlement reform; Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization; and short- and long-term job growth and economic prosperity strategies," according to the letter.

The impacts of sequestration to Monrovia businesses alone are significant. 

Back in October, the City of Monrovia released information that reported that local defense companies including could be impacted. More than 1,000 people are employed by Monrovia companies that have defense contracts. In some cases, up to 80 percent of the contracts that these companies have are defense related. 

Should the sequestration cuts move forward, it has the potential to curtail defense contracts, which could ultimately lead to job losses at these locations.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hong Kong Supermarket Celebrates Opening

Customers filled the store on Thursday as dignitaries celebrated the grand opening of Hong Kong Supermarket in front of the store, located at 935 W. Duarte Road.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Smoothie, Nutrition Store Opens in Old Town

When you order a smoothie at New Liberty Nutrition, you get more than a $6.50 shake. You also get an aloe drink, an herbal tea and access to free bootcamp, weight management and sport nutrition advice.

Wellness Coach Sherry Shi is now on her second day of running her business at 139 E. Lemon Avenue. For her, the reason she decided to open her business here was that Monrovia appeared to have fit and friendly people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bistro 21: Kobe Ranch Steak or Seared Scallops with Truffles?

Even though the early morning fog has burned off, a chill in the air still lingers. And with two more hours left until noon, you find yourself wondering, "What should I have for lunch today?"

You want something warm, somewhere cozy. Somewhere where you can order an espresso, a bowl of soup or an entree reminiscent of that trip you took to Paris.

Ok. Maybe that's not exactly what  you are thinking, but if you have a hankering for something French, today may just be the day you give Bistro 21 a try. This French Bistro opened a few months ago in Old Town Monrovia at 110 E. Lime Avenue, where Baldwin's Baked Potatoes was formerly located. 

There are always a couple of specials for lunch in addition to things like the Cream of Potato soup, a colorful beet salad, or the slow braised beef short ribs served over mash potatoes. Yelpers, you know that five stars are hard to come by, yet Bistro 21 has been able to maintain that status. Here is the Yelp review.

So grab your beret, brush up on your French, and stop by Bistro 21 for lunch. Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Celebrate Grand Opening at Xylem Spa

Xylem Spa and Salon, which recently underwent a renovation, is hosting a Grand Opening Celebration from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 10 at the salon, 198 S. Myrtle Avenue.

According to a press release, the celebration will include a journey throughout the Salon and Spa to experience complimentary Aveda Sensory Rituals for skin, body, hair and make-up, along with complimentary gift bags, and exclusive incentives. 

"Spa Xylem is an elegant oasis in the heart of historic Old Town Monrovia, embracing AVEDA’s mission.  AVEDA’S signature organic treatments will awake your spirit and invigorate your senses.  The team at Xylem’s luxurious Spa is eager to nurture, nourish and replenish your senses.  Every detail has been considered, every need anticipated and every luxury indulged," the press release stated.

To RSVP, contact 626.539.3244 

Friday, February 1, 2013

American Express Filmed Commercial in Old Town

Skunk Productions filmed a national American Express commercial on Thursday morning in Old Town. The commercial will promote Small Business Saturday.

In the past some of our merchants were actually participants of Small Business Saturday, which is a program that promotes businesses just like the ones we have in Old Town Monrovia.

It was a one day filming. The crew and extras were seen on the 400 block yesterday morning. The extras had shopping bags and were walking and sitting along Myrtle.

Check out the City's twitter account for a photo at

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Panelists Share Insights on Running Successful Businesses

Passion. Conviction. Hardwork. Research.

These are just a few of the traits needed to run a successful business, according to a panel of experts that spoke to Mt. Sierra College's Career Club on Wednesday. City of Monrovia's Neighborhood and Business Services Supervisor, Sheila Spicer Batice, sat on the panel with business owners Anthony Nagatsuka of Yogurtland and Tracy Ramirez of the Market Grill.

City of Monrovia's Sheila Spicer Batice, left, Anthony Nagatsuka 
of Yogurtland, and Tracy Ramirez of Market Grill sat on a panel at 
Mt. Sierra College where they advised students on the process
of opening - and running - a successful business.
"The first lesson in business - and life - is to be humble," said Ramirez, who opened the Market Grill with her husband in 2009. Today, the Market Grill is a popular lunch destination and consistently receives 4 1/2 stars on Yelp. "But also be grateful, thankful for the opportunities you are given. And don't give up."

Ramirez and her husband were living in  Monrovia when they came across a less than 1,000 sf restaurant in need of an owner. A few months later, they opened their business at 525 S. Shamrock Avenue.

Understanding the demographics of their community is part of what contributed to their success - a sentiment that was echoed by the other panelists as well.

Before Nagatsuka and frachisee Marcus Chan opened Yogurtland at 104 S. Myrtle Avenue, he said they thoroughly researched the community and those who made up Monrovia. And once they were open, he said that it took significant marketing effort on all fronts, ranging from utilizing social media to joining the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce to visiting schools to simply getting out and introducing themselves to people.

Another key to their success is conviction. "I choose the best brand," he said, adding that the concept of wholeheartedly believing in the brand also contributed to his success when he owned a Subway.

Spicer, who has worked in Monrovia for nearly 30 years, told the group of nearly 15 students that she has seen her share of businesses come and go. But often what makes the difference between those that succeed is research - including having a solid business plan - and a dedication to hard work.

The panel was part of an ongoing series offered to students of Mt. Sierra College, a graphic design, media and business administration college.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Foothill Park Plaza Gets New Dental Office

 West Coast Dental Group of Monrovia is the newest addition to Foothill Park Plaza. The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce, Monrovia City Council members and legislative representatives celebrated the opening on Monday of the Dental Group at its location at 154 W. Foothill Blvd. This is the Group's 26th location in Southern California.

Monrovia Council members Tom Adams, left,
and Becky Shevlin welcome Dr. Hadis Reyhani
and West Coast Dental on Monday.

Dr. Hadis Reyhani, above, was there along with his staff on Monday to promote the new opening. They are also hoping to attract new customers with a free whitening service, available at the front counter.

The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting
on Monday celebrating the opening of West Coast Dental.
This is the third new addition to the Foothill Park Plaza in recent months. Weight Watchers is now open and Fantastic Sams is set to open soon.

West Coast Dental can be reached at (626) 263-3333.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

City of Hope Celebrates 100 Years

DUARTE - City of Hope, one of America's leading cancer-treating and research hospitals, celebrated its centennial last week in addition to officially breaking ground for an 8,000 planned Kaplan Family Pavilion.

According to an article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the visitor center will include a concert venue, multimedia, conference and presentation rooms, exhibit spaces, and outdoor areas.

The City of Hope is one of 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, and maintains the No. 1 breast cancer, prostate, and hematology programs in California, according to the hospital's Fast Facts.

While the City of Hope employs hundreds of people at its campus in Duarte, the center has also expanded some of its administrative operations to Monrovia. When it originally moved to its location at 800 Royal Oaks Drive in Monrovia, it involved the relocation of nine departments from the headquarters in Duarte to Monrovia, according to the City of Hope's website. Now, the City of Hope is among several medical-related businesses in Monrovia, including LabCorp, Staar Surgical, Esoterix Genetic Labs and Monrovia Modern Healthcare. And this is a cluster that the City hopes continues to grow.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Puff Monkey: From Hello Kitty to Ronald Reagan

If you have walked down Old Town in the last two months you may have noticed a store at Myrtle and Colorado with bright pink paint on the interior and three-foot stuffed animals, Angry Birds umbrellas and large amounts of  Japanese pop-culture related apparel and accessories.

Known as Puff Monkey, at 427 S. Myrtle Avenue, the Japanese boutique carries brands such as Hello Kitty, Domo, Totoro, Android and Adventure Time. It also specializes in entry-level to designer and limited-edition collectibles, as well as the occasional attention-grabbing product like a human sized Hello Kitty and busts of political figures such as former President Ronald Reagan.

Bringing their family-owned business to Monrovia, Judy Chiang and her husband, who each have 15 years of business experience in this field,  hope to serve our community with a friendly environment. Chiang said she and her husband hope that Monrovia’s young families will find their favorite characters at the store while at the same-time spark childhood memories among the parents.

This addition fills a long time vacancy created by the departure of Mimmers, who relocated to 505 S. Myrtle Avenue.

To stop by Puff Monkey, visit them during the hours of:

Monday: 11 a.m – 5 p.m
Tuesday – Thurday: 11 a.m – 7 p.m
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m – 8 p.m
Sunday: 11 a.m – 5 p.m