Business Roundup: Small Business Saturday helps launch holiday shopping season in La Jolla

La Jolla salons like Belle Sirene offered sales as part of Small Business Saturday.
La Jolla salons like Belle Sirene offered sales as part of Small Business Saturday.
(Courtesy of Molly Rossettie)

Ahead of the busy holiday shopping season, the La Jolla Village Merchants Association presented a Small Business Saturday event Nov. 27 to encourage La Jollans and visitors to shop local.

More than 20 retailers participated with seasonal decorations, discounts and promotions.

“Shopping local has a direct impact on our La Jolla community,” said incoming LJVMA President Amber Anderson. “Our board understands how hard our small businesses were hit from the pandemic and will continue to look for new ways to drive customers to shop more in The Village.”

Decker's Dog & Cat employee Emerson Lowrey and owner Cody Decker set up an outdoor display for Small Business Saturday.
Decker’s Dog & Cat employee Emerson Lowrey and owner Cody Decker set up an outdoor display for Small Business Saturday in La Jolla.
(Courtesy of Molly Rossettie)

LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick said: “This year’s Small Business Saturday focused on collaboration — in some cases, a few neighboring businesses pooling resources and customer lists to create a mini event, once again proving it takes a village to promote a village!

“So many of our retailers are ‘solopreneurs,’ often responsible for all aspects of running their shops. Working together allows them to create a spirit of synergy and cooperation that exemplifies the spirit of the holidays.”

Small Business Saturday, created in the United States by American Express, is considered a “shopping holiday” like Black Friday or Cyber Monday and is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage shoppers to consider smaller businesses for their holiday gift needs.

Meanwhile, several new enterprises have opened recently in the La Jolla area or are planning to in coming months.

Now open


Paru tea bar opened its second San Diego brick-and-mortar location Nov. 16 at 7441 Girard Ave. in La Jolla’s Village.

Paru, co-owned by married duo Lani Gobaleza and Amy Truong, offers single-origin teas from regions such as China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam; matcha, or finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves; artisan blends prepared in-house in small batches; handcrafted tea ware and tea-infused sweets.

“We started Paru as a pop-up in 2017 and opened up a storefront in Point Loma in 2019,” Gobaleza said. “We chose La Jolla [for the next location] for several reasons, such as the beauty and the peace of the neighborhood, its proximity to the water … as well as our desire to foster community. There are some wonderful bookstores on Girard, and tea and literature make a wonderful pairing.”

Paru also will offer tea flight service by reservation, including three teas of your choice; communal tea tastings; private events and a gallery featuring work from up-and-coming artists.

Learn more at


Bobby Feeney and Brady Ruysschaert of La Jolla, along with Matthew Herring of Bay Park, recently launched Pole2Plate as a “direct-to-consumer seafood market and delivery company,” Feeney said. “We source directly from local commercial fishermen that abide by the practices of sustainable fishing and cut out the middleman by shipping directly to you.”

The inventory is updated daily based on availability, but orders are placed online and shipped to the purchaser. Orders placed by noon are delivered the same day.

“We realized the last two years have changed how people do business,” Ruysschaert said. “We see the trend of people getting their everyday needs sent directly to them. And people still want fresh fish and have it safely delivered to them. We want to make a connection between what you are eating, who caught it, how it was caught, how it was sourced, so we have really big ideas.”

Learn more at

Enclave Cafe

Enclave Cafe, a superfood restaurant headquartered in Scripps Ranch, opened its second location Nov. 1 at the Westfield UTC shopping center.

The new 60-seat location at 4655 Executive Drive gradually will expand to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Menu specialties include poke bowls, pho, fried chicken and waffles, salads, sandwiches and more.

To learn more, visit — The San Diego Union-Tribune

Coming soon

Prospect Home Finance

Prospect Home Finance will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 1, to commemorate the company’s move to its new headquarters at 7825 Fay Ave. in La Jolla.

“This ... is a significant milestone, and I can’t think of a better way to finish out our 15th year in business,” said Chief Executive Jason Vondrak.

Prospect Home Finance offers a wide range of home loan and refinancing options with a focus on conventional loan products.

Learn more at

Pop-Up Picnic Co.

Next spring or summer, Pop-Up Picnic Co. will open an office in La Jolla to run operations for its luxury picnics, many of which take place in La Jolla parks.

“We have so many requests for La Jolla locations, we wanted to be close to where we operate,” said owner Lauren Kimmons.

The company provides picnic-friendly bites and tables, charcuterie plates, low seating, cushions, flowers and more for a one-hour event for two to 24 people.

Kimmons said she has had requests for picnics in La Jolla “basically every weekend” this past year.

“We want to encourage sustainability and respectfulness in the park,” Kimmons said. “We haul out the trash and don’t use public trash cans, and encourage people to be respectful to those that live nearby.”

Learn more at

Qin West Noodle

The much-delayed Qin West Noodle restaurant is expected to open soon at the Westfield UTC shopping center.

The fast-casual establishment focuses on unique dishes from China, specifically the Shaanxi region, featuring noodles complemented by meats such as pork, beef and mutton.

The UTC location was expected to open this summer but was delayed. Representatives of the mall said they are “waiting on final confirmation” of an opening date.

Learn more at

Warwick’s celebrates 125 years

In honor of its 125th anniversary, Warwick’s bookstore in La Jolla held a holiday open house Nov. 21 complete with a toast at 1:25 p.m. Eleven authors were on hand as “guest booksellers” for part of the day, along with live music, children’s activities and more.

Warwick's bookstore and investors celebrated its new lease May 1 at 7812 Girard Ave. in La Jolla.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Warwick’s, touted as the oldest bookstore in America continuously owned and operated by the same family, has been in its current location at 7812 Girard Ave. for the past 70 years. Earlier this year, when the sale of the building was looming, about three dozen community members, most of them from La Jolla, pooled their resources and bought the building.

Store owner Nancy Warwick signed a 10-year lease with two five-year renewal options — up to 20 more years to continue the family business. ◆