Rockin’ Kidz, a music education studio and store that recently expanded into Los Altos, started with Whole Foods Market stock money and a dream, according to founder Tiffany Petrossi.
A mom of four, Petrossi and her then-husband were accustomed to living paycheck to paycheck at the time. Her twins were 2 years old, and there were always medical bills, she said. Petrossi had been teaching private music lessons out of her home for some time but felt like she was always dividing her time between cleaning and creating a professional environment for her students learning guitar, piano, voice, drama or songwriting.
Her search for studio space led to bigger things.
“I had about $1,500, and so I asked the landlord if they could waive the deposit,” Petrossi said of her actions seven years ago, when she noticed a “for lease” sign in the window of a Los Gatos storefront. “(In total) it was $2,500 a month or something. I could not afford to lose any money the next month. And then that turned into all this.”
Rockin’ Kidz succeeded in its first location and moved to another spot in the building before opening a site in Saratoga. That felt like a homecoming of sorts, Petrossi said, as she had attended high school in the area after being raised in Burlingame for the majority of her childhood.
But she wasn’t done yet. She launched another location in San Jose’s Almaden area.
“You know how people say you should write your goals down?” Petrossi said. “I actually like the places (where the stores are) myself. I think they are nice communities, and Rockin’ Kidz is really a family-run business.”
It doesn’t hurt that each location is within a 12-minute drive from her house, in different directions. Los Altos, her fourth site, is the farthest away at 15 minutes. Located in Rancho Shopping Center, the Los Altos studio demanded the biggest leap out of Petrossi’s comfort zone – both because she needed to hire additional teachers on the Peninsula and because she was not initially planning to open another Rockin’ Kidz this year.
“When I saw the (opening) in the Rancho Shopping Center, it was kind of an accident,” she said. “I wasn’t necessarily going to open a location this year and then I saw the ad. … I look at a strip mall that has things that are convenient for the family for when their son or daughter is in a 30-minute lesson.”
Some parents even take lessons themselves so that they can understand what their kids are practicing. At the Los Altos location, there are multiple practice rooms that students of all ages can use to improve their skills, which Petrossi unveiled in a sneak-peek video on the Rockin’ Kidz Instagram account (@rockinkidzmusicco). Lessons are available for kids ages 3 and up.
Rockin’ Kidz is located at 636 Fremont Ave., Los Altos in Rancho Shopping Center.
Read more >
The sign on the door has changed at the brunch spot long known as Brian’s Restaurant in Los Altos’ Rancho Shopping Center. But the restaurant, now known as the Bell Tower Cafe, continues to serve the same food, from the same people, this week.
New owner Danny Shafazand rehired every employee at the restaurant when he purchased the business, including a cook who’d been there 30 years and Brian Whitlock himself, who first went into the Los Altos breakfast business with his wife in 1977. He now serves as general manager.
The restaurant’s name had to change for legal reasons related to transferring the business, but Shafazand has preserved the menu that so many regular customers told him they loved. He’s planning to add to it, based on experience at his other restaurant.
“We’re not taking away, we’re going to add to it,” Shafazand said of the transformed Brian’s Restaurant. “We’re keeping the Brian’s Special – that’s my favorite thing to eat now.”
Read more >
Four of the five Andronico’s Community Market grocery stores that Safeway bought at the end of 2016 reopen as Safeway Community Markets.
The four stores are in Berkeley, Los Altos and San Anselmo.
“We are excited to introduce Safeway Community Markets and welcome the employees to the Safeway team,” said Tom Schwilke, president of Safeway Northern California, in a company statement. “These stores will resonate well with the needs and wants of the community. Customers will find tons of local, fresh and organic options with everyday low prices.”
The new stores will carry local and specialty items, a deli and a bulk foods section. They will also have a full-service catering program, a full-service florist and a grocery-delivery system.
Read more >
Green Bakery & Cafe, the new cafe at the south end of Rancho Shopping Center, might only have opened their doors recently, but the sweet endeavor was years in the making. Jade Luong owns it in partnership with Kevin Chau, who ran Los Altos Bakery & Cafe at the location for 13 years.
Vince Le, the 31-year-old assistant to owner Jade Luong, spoke about the new layout in a familiar location.
“I always wanted to open a unique bakery,” he said. “And this is such a nice place.”
Green Bakery aims to do something different, offering a diverse menu for a diverse demographic. It will remain open in the evenings – they plan to keep the lights on until 8 p.m. – to attract local elementary, middle and high school students.
“Around this area, everything closes around 3 p.m.,” Le said. “We open late to add value in this community, and also so kids have a place to hang out.”
With a broad menu ranging from banh mi to croissants, Green Bakery hopes to hit the older crowd as well. On a weekday afternoon, Sally Keep and Anne Schultz cooled off after a garden club tour with iced teas on Green Bakery’s patio.
Read more >
After 25 successful years, the ‘Rock Back the Clock’ committee has decided to mark the end of the annual 1950’s themed event held at Rancho Shopping Center in Los Altos.
“We all feel the event has been very worthwhile and successful, but it has run its course,” said committee member Ken Haukom. “The enthusiasm and contribution from all of the supporters and attendees is why the event lasted for so many memorable years. So a huge thank you to everyone who attended and especially to Rens Boorsma, of Sound Trax, our DJ that provided the music for all of the recent years!”
Over the years, ‘Rock Back the Clock’ raised well over $100,000 to support the popular Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade, which is hosted by a non-profit organization of approximately 35 volunteers who coordinate the downtown holiday parade on the Sunday after Thanksgiving every year.
"We will all miss the 'Rock Back the Clock' event. An entire generation of kids have enjoyed the music and dancing – and then they have brought their own children the last few years," said Dr. Kevin Sawyer, Rancho Merchant's Association president and chairperson of the event for the last 20 years. "The Festival of Lights Parade Association has always been and will always be dear to Rancho and our customers."
“The production costs of the parade is around $20,000 per year – and that does not cover float renovation or costume replacements,” said parade volunteer Nancy Schneider.
If you are able to privately support the Parade Association you can make a donation via their website at LosAltosParade.com.
This year marks a new era.
In continued support of the Los Altos community, Rancho Shopping Center will be hosting a Wine Walk fundraiser later this year with a diverse selection of the best vineyards in Northern California. To participate and for more information, please complete our contact form.
Spend your precious time mingling with your family - there's no need to spend all day cooking and cleaning when Andronico's can do it for you! New this year, you can skip the line and pre-pay for your Thanksgiving meal online.
You have two options to choose from 'Small' or 'Large': Fully cooked all Natural Oven Roasted Diestel Turkey (Small: 6-10lbs, Large: 12-14lbs), Savory Herb Stuffing (Small: 2lbs, Large: 4lbs), Mashed Potatoes (Small: 2lbs, Large: 4lbs), Turkey Gravy (Small: 1 pint, Large: 1 quart), Cranberry Relish (1/2 pint), Dinner Rolls (Small: 1/2 dozen, Large: 1 dozen), and of course, Traditional Pumpkin Pie (Small: 8 inch, Large: 9 inch).
Don't procrastinate though, order online by Saturday, November 15th and save - but, be sure to include the following promo codes at checkout: Large Turkey or Ham Dinner (Save $20 with promo code: TRKYL29), Small Turkey Dinner (Save $10 with promo code: TRKYS19).
Visit the Andronico's website to reserve your dinner and have a great Thanksgiving!
Save the Date: Come one, come all! Dress in your Halloween best and bring your spooky selves down to Rancho Shopping Center for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween Day from 2:30-4:30pm. Stop by each business in the shopping center and fill up your basket. See you on Halloween, I can't wait to see all of the fantastic costumes!
Written by Los Altos Town Crier Staff - Town Crier Report
Rancho Shopping Center’s annual “Rock Back the Clock” edges into a new era of rock ‘n’ roll this year. The poodle skirts of the previous 1950s-themed sock hops are being replaced by moptop wigs as part of the “Beatlemania” theme at this year’s event, scheduled 6-10 p.m. Sept. 12.
The purpose of “Rock Back the Clock” remains the same, however: It’s a major fundraiser for the annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade, with proceeds from the $5 admission fee supporting the holiday parade. This year’s parade is scheduled 6 p.m. Nov. 30 on Main and State streets downtown.
“We thought we’d do something different this year, with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America,” said Kevin Sawyer, DDS, president of the Rancho Merchants Association. “We look forward to hosting ‘Rock Back the Clock’ at the shopping center year after year. It’s great to see people of all ages from the community come together to raise money for the parade and have a great time.”
The family event will include local DJ Rens Boorsma of SoundTrax playing classic Beatles hits, gourmet food trucks (Eat on Monday, Small Fry, Tastee Bytes and Scoops) and beverages. Attendees will have opportunities to win prizes for dance and costume contests, and the evening will feature a “Moptop Sing-off” performance by winners of a Facebook Beatles singing contest. Event organizers invite entrants to post videos of their best impersonations of the Fab Four at the Rancho Shopping Center Facebook page at facebook.com/losaltosrancho.
Rancho Shopping Center is located at the corner of Springer Road and Foothill Expressway in Los Altos.
According to Fullfillment Art and Drink's Facebook page, they are planning to open their doors for business this year.
"Things are continuing to move along. We are hoping (fingers crossed please) to have our 'soft opening' in October, one of the most lovely months in the Bay Area."
Fulfillment Art and Drink is a mixture of an art studio and wine bar created for relaxation, fine wines, and creativity, where you can learn to create your very own fine art work with friendly step-by-step instruction.
Looking for a job? If everything stays on schedule, they will be hiring Servers, Assistant Servers, Chefs, Kitchen Help, Bar Assistant, and Receptionist. It doesn't seem like they have a website yet, so 'like' them on Facebook to stay updated on developments.
We look forward to their opening in Rancho Shopping Center!
Bliss Beauty Center has teamed up with Make-A-Wish foundation Greater Bay Area and the 49ers foundation to raise money for a great cause.
Bliss will donate 20% of the proceeds from the sale of any of its 'Thousand Wishes Necklace Collection' to Make-A-Wish foundation and ship it free of charge.
Click here to purchase and to view the 'Thousand Wishes Necklace Collection'.
Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area serves 17 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano and Sonoma. Make-A-Wish serves children between the ages of 2½ – 18 who meet the Foundations guidelines without regard to race, gender, creed, socio-economic, or cultural background. The Foundation is committed to ensuring that it never has to decline a qualified wish referral nor limit the scope of a child’s imagination for his/her wish due to the lack of funds. To keep up with the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area, please visit http://sf.wish.org.
The San Francisco 49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the San Francisco 49ers. Now in its 22ndyear, the 49ers Foundation supports development programs for underserved youth that keep them, “Safe, On Track, and In School.” The San Francisco 49ers are promoting RESPECT for schools and community by donating a significant portion of the foundation’s funding toward family violence prevention programs and activities that teach youth leadership and respect. Since 1992, the Foundation has donated over $23 million to support non-profits, including $3.3 million in 2013. Keep up with the 49ers Foundation at http://49ersfoundation.com.