Business

Business groups hope Expo will deliver economic gains

The opening of Expo on May 20 is frequently framed as a transit event; however, a growing movement exists to expand the expectations for Expo from merely a transit solution to a tool for economic development. Multiple agencies and organizations are working on plans to utilize Expo as the backbone of regional economic programs including... Read more →

Development

Carousel Cafe could become city’s 22nd Starbucks

If the Landmarks Commission agrees with a staff recommendation at their meeting tonight, a cluster of buildings at the foot of the Santa Monica Pier could be demolished and replaced with the city's 22nd Starbucks location. The Commission will meet tonight, May 9, to hear a report regarding a group of buildings from 1601-1615 Ocean Front Walk... Read more →

Business

From Caltech to the catering business

It was about 4 a.m. in a research lab when Kim Vu stopped to think: Is this what my life is going to be like? A biochemistry student at the California Institute of Technology who went on to work as a staff scientist at UCLA, Vu was on track to go to medical school and having trouble coming to terms with her career path. “I felt really... Read more →

Business

UCLA grad brings multipurpose beach towels to Third Street

On regular visits to Santa Monica’s beaches during college, Katie Everds had a routine. She’d plop down near the shore, bunch sand together to build a makeshift pillow and then place her towel down. She and her boyfriend at the time got to thinking: What if beach towels came with built-in pillows? That question now has an answer in the... Read more →

Business

Finding a fresh start with Chrysalis

With the help of a local nonprofit group, Ramirus Cobbs is getting his life back in order. After spending time in jail for trespassing and drug possession, Cobbs is participating in the county’s collaborative Breaking Barriers program, which aims to break the cycle recidivism. Cobbs gained employment as a street cleaner through... Read more →

Business

Samohi grad launches local barbershop

The walls of Parlor 33 are dotted with old photographs. Dark wooden panels give the place a rustic vibe. Even the analog cash register, an ornate bronze-colored machine that rests atop the front counter, adds to the vintage vibe. It’s exactly the aura that Jody Ruiz, a Santa Monica High School alumna, was trying to create when she opened... Read more →

Development

Downtown construction moving toward completion

Despite years of future construction on the schedule, City Hall thinks conditions in Downtown Santa Monica are poised to improve with the pending completion of several large projects. City Manager Rick Cole used his regular report to City Council last week to provide updates on Downtown construction projects. While many of the currently... Read more →

Business

New owner spruces up Café 212 Pier

A year ago the over 30 year old Café 212 Pier was a hangout for the homeless and people who exploited the coffee shop's free Wi-Fi. Now, under the management of new owner Roopinder Bhullar, it is home to art shows and poetry readings. “It took almost a year to get it like this,” Bhullar said. “But I've cleaned it up. I've painted it,... Read more →

Business

STEM-ing out over spring break

If your kid is going to be spending their spring break playing Minecraft they may as well be gaining something more out of it than expanding their imaginary world. Enter Zaniac, a company that offers STEM enrichment after-school programs and camps for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. The organization aims to deliver a math and... Read more →

Business

YWCA to close

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside will permanently close on June 30. The organization announced its impending departure to staff on Feb. 26 and to the public on Feb. 29 citing a persistent funding shortfall. “Over time, community needs and funding priorities have shifted. During the last few years, we have explored many options that might allow... Read more →

Business

Most Loved voting ends Feb. 29

Time is running out to vote for your most-loved business. Voting for the annual Most Loved contest runs through Feb. 29 and organizers are encouraging everyone to log their votes to guarantee their favorite local businesses receive the recognition they deserve. To vote, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MostLovedSM and write in a... Read more →

Business

Local exec judging entrepreneur awards contest

Whether he's working in real estate, technology or health care, Mark Stagen has always held the same job title: irrational optimist. It's the position he assumed when he ran a comic book store at the age of 15, and it's one he's kept as an entrepreneur over the last two decades. “If you work hard enough, it's going to work out,” he... Read more →

Business

A modern spin on cotton candy

When Cloe Lane thinks back on her childhood, she has vivid memories of a particular puffy, sugary confection. Whether she was at Santa Monica Pier, Dodger Stadium or Disneyland, she often found herself clamoring for a stick of cotton candy. “It's always been my favorite treat,” she said. “I was surprised no one had really thought to... Read more →