La Jolla Business Roundup: Hair salon, Pure Barre studio, Semola restaurant open in The Village

Violeta Shtaro is the owner of VV Hair Salon in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Violeta Shtaro )

The renewal of spring and the steady re-emergence from COVID-19-related restrictions have apparently translated to businesses in La Jolla, where everything from beauty and fitness enterprises to restaurants have opened in recent months.

VV Hair Salon

Bringing more than 25 years’ experience cutting and coloring hair in Europe and in cities across the United States, along with a “pure perfection” philosophy, Violeta Shtaro opened VV Hair Salon this spring at 1250 Prospect St.

Growing up in Albania, where “no one will give you a penny if you don’t do a good job,” Shtaro worked her way across Europe, stopping at salons in Germany and Italy. “In Italian salons, they have a pure perfection approach,” she said, and she took that to a salon in Chicago, where she worked for seven years.

“I love doing hair. All I want to do is beautiful hair,” Shtaro said.

VV Hair Salon offers cuts, styling, extensions, treatments and various color-related services.

Shtaro said she also enjoys a job that gives her the chance to work with and empower women. “Working with women is my honor. I became stronger by working with other women,” she said.

Learn more at

Pure Barre

A Pure Barre class like the ones offered at the new La Jolla studio.
(Courtesy of Mesut Bilgin)

In line with the nationwide growth of the barre form of exercise, La Plaza La Jolla is now home to a Pure Barre studio.

Barre is a low-impact exercise focused on micro-movements intended to produce a leaner, more toned, more flexible body, according to studio owner Mesut Bilgin. “It’s so low-impact that it is the perfect workout for anyone that wants to increase strength without increasing mass,” he said.

In looking for a location for his studio, the Australia native said he saw the space in The Village and said “Wow.” It reminded him of Sydney.

“We just love the sun, the beach and the community,” Bilgin said. “It all seemed a natural fit.”

The studio opened in March at 7863 Girard Ave. A grand-opening event is planned in coming weeks.

For more information, call (858) 900-9954 or email


The once-bustling Prep Kitchen site saw signs of life again as Semola restaurant opened May 22 at 7556 Fay Ave.

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the menu mixes contemporary pasta dishes created by a Michelin-starred chef in Italy, with influences from Argentina, Japan and South Korea and locally sourced ingredients.

Early last year, the managing Milano Five Group signed a consulting partnership with Silvio Salmoiraghi, who leads the Michelin-starred Ristorante Acquerello, a modern Italian restaurant just outside Milan.

Salmoiraghi’s team has created six housemade pasta dishes for the new Semola.
They include wood-smoked Milanese-style risotto, a pesto dish with purple gnocchi and sun-dried tomatoes and an amatriciana dish with mint, cherry tomatoes and other surprises.

Learn more at

Business recognitions

David Malcolm

La Jolla resident David Malcolm, president of Cal West Apartments Inc., was recently named to the National Small Business Association leadership council.

NSBA is the nation’s oldest small-business advocacy organization, promoting the interests of small businesses to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

“As a small-business owner, I constantly see the importance of being involved and active when it comes to laws and regulations,” Malcolm said. “Joining NSBA’s leadership council will enable me to take our collective small-business message to people in Congress who need to hear it most.”

For more information, visit

Rosamaria Acuña

Coastal real estate specialist Rosamaria Acuña of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties has been named by the Point Loma Ocean Beach Realty Association as its 2020 Agent of the Year.

Rosamaria Acuña is a coastal real estate specialist with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.
(Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties)

The honor is presented annually to one agent who exemplifies excellence in service and professional standards to the real estate industry and within the Point Loma-Ocean Beach community.

“Rosamaria is dedicated to offering her clients superior personalized service by providing the latest innovations in marketing and technology to facilitate every transaction,” said Nicki Marcellino, vice president and San Diego regional manager of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties.

Acuña can be reached at (619) 890-2828 or

Tech company raises $50 million

CMX, a La Jolla software company that helps big food brands such as Burger King and Chick-fil-A manage risk, safety and quality compliance for their operations and supply chains, has raised $50 million in a Series A round of venture capital funding, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The company, founded in 2009, plans to use the equity investment from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital to accelerate growth, adding up to 20 workers to its current 38-employee staff over the next 18 months or so. CMX is at 4180 La Jolla Village Drive.

Free ocean recreation rentals for vaccinated people

Ocean recreation concessionaire Everyday California is offering free paddleboard, surfboard and snorkel rentals Mondays through Thursdays, as well as 20 percent off apparel online and in store, until Monday, June 14, for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Customers must book rentals online with promo code “vaccine” and show their vaccination card upon arrival.

For apparel purchases, customers can show their vaccination card in store or apply promo code “VAX20” online at checkout. Both offers are limited to one use per customer.

Everyday California is at 2261 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores.

If you have news of business openings (or closures) in La Jolla or other business news to share, please send it to Ashley Mackin-Solomon at