Having grown up on a farm in central Canada, Marlowe Huber already knew about crop harvesting and soil when he began making wine in the early 1980s. He refined his skills still further by studying oenology in Vancouver before embarking on his first wine-business venture with his brother, Darren. Together they ran two wineries in British Columbia for 15 years before opening Laguna Canyon Winery in 2003.
Today, staffers pour out a diverse selection of Laguna Canyon wines at two tasting rooms in downtown Laguna Beach and at the winery itself. Marlowe and Darren also collaborated with marine artist Wyland to create his Wyland Cellars label, whose bottles he adorns with colorful undersea scenes. Grapes for these wines are sourced from low-yield growers in Napa and Sonoma valleys, who cultivate subtle flavors by hand-picking and home-schooling their fruits.
Toes on the Nose outfits boarders of all ages with surfing apparel and accessories worn by celebrity clientele and featured in the pages of popular magazines such as People and Lucky. Inspired by the art of longboarding, the store's laidback style can costume women for sleeve-free showboating with the Shadow Girl racerback tank, a 100% cotton screen-printed top emblazoned with a female version of the shop's shadowman logo ($24). Deflect beachside gusts with a soft and comfortable Toes on the Nose unisex tri-blend zip hoodie in heather green ($64). A men's bear-flag tee ($25) depicts the California state flag, preparing wearers to hang ten at the beach or hide from the police by climbing up a flag pole.
SUPCO was built on the enthusiasm of owner and standup paddleboarder Tommy Donnelly, who chose the golden shores of Laguna Beach to instruct mainlanders on the activity. From the start Tommy has been committed to putting the sport's best foot forward, assembling a staff of eight World Paddle Association–certified instructors to teach comprehensive lessons and lungfish CPR. The paddle faculty includes second-generation watersport competitor Chuck Patterson and pro surfer and actor Kala Alexander. Tommy and his team promote both the Hawaiian watersport's wave-riding thrills and the vibrant culture that surrounds it by stocking their beachside retail space with hats, T-shirts, and other paddleboard-related apparel.
Cobalt blue, lavender, and turquoise hues pervade the lines of baubles and accents at Primitives, LTD, a jewelry outfit that has been curating a selection of handcrafted pieces since 1988. Created primarily by Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi artists, the shop’s displays are dominated by nature-influenced designs. Artist Alan Kiva handcrafts a line of Zuni opal prayer beads, carving a total of 365 cuts into each bead’s stones to represent hopes for good health, prosperity, and a surfeit of cat videos for each day of the year. The opal inlaid into the beads’ sterling-silver setting comes in colors from frosted pink to green fire and is cut through by a ribbon of clear gemstones, exemplifying the ethereal beauty of many of Primitives’ pieces.
For 21 years, CA Surf Shop has dispatched legions of wave riders into the watery blue yonder fully equipped with sturdy boards, proper technique, and plenty of sure-footed confidence. Owner Rod Greenup heads a team of trained instructors that leads private and semiprivate surfing and standup paddleboarding lessons from atop a floating lectern. Back on shore, the shop's storefront supplies surfers of all levels with board rentals, wet suits, and stylish beach clothes. A retinue of meticulous craftsmen can also sculpt custom surfboards tailored to customers' skill level and surfing style.
Some people are fated to travel down a particular career path. With a surname that literally means "flowers," horticulturalist Ruben Flores may be one of those people. The Laguna Nursery owner and award-winning landscape designer fills the nursery with exotic plants, multicolor blooms, and flavorful herbs. He also gathers architectural artifacts and sculptures from local artists to inspire gardeners to augment their green spaces with artistic accents that don't involve hiring models to stand still above new blooms.