Ed DeSouza needed hip surgery, but first, his doctor told him, he needed to lose 100 pounds. A restaurant manager who regularly sampled his kitchen's ribs and steaks, DeSouza at first scoffed at the idea, according to the LA Daily News. But once he started to read ingredient labels and incorporate healthy foods into his diet, he managed to lose the weight in only six months.
Surprised by his success, DeSouza felt inspired to retire and become a certified nutritionist. While exercising and volunteering at the YMCA, DeSouza met Jesse Russo, a nutritionist who also wanted to help people learn to make better food choices. Together they decided to open healthFULL foods Cafe to help make healthy fare and nutrition education more accessible to members of the community.
Each day, DeSouza makes breads with house-milled flour and steel-cut oatmeal from scratch without processed sugars or preservatives. Blenders whir softly in the background, mixing smoothies with fresh fruit, non-fat greek yogurt, and lactose-free milk. Whole-wheat pitas wrap ingredients such as oven-roasted turkey breast with housemade cranberry chutney. DeSouza fills the oven with vegan and gluten-free cookies and muffins packed with an organic blend of fibers high in omega threes and sixes. DeSouza and Russo also advance their healthy-eating agenda with healthy-cooking classes and events.
Featured in numerous television and online media, the Sassy City Chicks Fashion Bash showcases trendy apparel from more than 50 designers, as well as accessories from chic lines such as Jay Clay Jewelry, Divine Sole Boutique, and Frederick's of Hollywood. Style mavens descend on the event to sample cocktails and relax in an onsite spa lounge. Visitors also take advantage of discounts on handbags and accessories from locally based brands. At the end of the day, select attendees go home with eco-friendly, reusable tote bags, which are filled with coupons, certificates, and at least $30 worth of beauty products from brands such as Pureology and TanTowel, including lip balm, compact mirrors, and envy balm to apply directly to the eyes of coworkers jealous of your ensemble.
Earthly Body's collection of natural, vegan, and paraben-free skincare and bodycare products has caught the eye of an array of media outlets, such as Allure and Lucky magazines, with its hydrating hemp-oil bases and cruelty-free lineup. Candles melt into a candle pot with wax that can also be used as a warm massage oil, postcleansing moisturizer, or elbow cream for dry pet elephants. Earthly Body’s haircare line, Marrakesh, infuses each tendril-smoothing solution with Moroccan argan oil and three signature scents (original, High Tide, and Dreamsicle) to bolster frizz-free manes. Mineral-based makeups dust across facescapes without the harsh chemicals or pore-clogging guilt found in animal-tested products.
In 1962, a nascent surfing culture drove hordes of teens to the beach and spawned pop iconography in the form of The Beach Boys' debut record, Surfin' Safari. That same year, the Richards family began a surfing expedition of their own, outfitting explorers of the Pacific waves under the banner of Val Surf. The shop has remained a family-owned haven of board-sports gear and apparel ever since, boasting bragging rights as the first-ever dealer of Quiksilver products and a partner with Burton Snowboards from its inception in 1977. Like beavers with master's degrees in woodworking, the staff’s passion is its profession, with surf-, snow-, and skate-enthusiast employees ready to match guests with proven brand-name gear from Volcom and Billabong or lesser-known offerings from up-and-comers such as Fourstar Clothing and RVCA.
Winemakers Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper know that you can’t make interesting wines from uninteresting grapes. That’s why the creative duo behind Pulchella Winery actively sources all of the winery’s Paso Robles grapes from small vineyards that exhibit singular characteristics often overlooked by high-production wineries. These rare traits lend a depth of flavor complexity to the boutique wines that has resulted in a strong cult following.
Fermented either from single varietals or blends of grapes that have proven they play well with others, each small-batch vintage has a limited production of 100 cases or fewer. Visitors to the winery can sample these rare ferments in a dragonfly-themed tasting room managed by a certified sommelier and often frequented by the winemakers themselves.
The knowledgeable staffers at Planet Beauty stock the store’s shelves with enough top-quality beauty products to outfit a regiment of beauticians. Guided by experience as aestheticians, stylists, and makeup artists, they help guests navigate the roster of premium brands, which includes bad-hair-day-banishing products from Frederic Fekkai and Kérastase. Skincare potions from Dermalogica and Peter Thomas Roth clear facial canvases before applications of Smashbox blush brighten cheeks or Divaderme lash extender make eyelashes visible from orbit.