Old Towne Orange Plaza Review | Issue 116 | Jul-Aug 2023

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264 North Glassell St. 714-633-3260 Comprehensive Eye Care Husband & Wife: Dr. Alex Romero & Dr. Ly Nguyen 227 East Chapman Ave #C Old Towne Orange, CA 92866 / 714- 53 8- 6424 Celebrating 10 Years in oT o ! Available for Private Events “Celebrating 16 Years in Old Towne” 260 North Glassell St. Wed-Fri: 1 1 - 5 / Sat: 9 - 5 / Sun: 1 1 - 4 Tel: 714- 289-4689 Explore Your Creativity at our New Workshops! Register on-line at: dragonflyshopsandgardens .com Orange’s #1 Home Seller OrangeRealty .com OldTowneOrange .com 71 4 - 9 9 7- 005 0 x 101 Resident Old Towne Specialist Since 1949 In the Heart of Old Towne Orange Since 1993 O VER 70 V ENDORS 216 W . C HAPMAN A VE. 714- 532-304 1 @Country Roads Antiques “30 Years of Nice Matters” ANTIQUES • VINTAGE • GARDEN “News for the Neighborhood” July August 2023 “ To be or not to be a Vegetarian ” A Healthy Alternative to Traditional Restaurant Offerings. Mon - Wed: 10:30 am - 5 pm Thu - Sat: 10:30 am - 8 pm

INSIDE ART: Story on page 22

Hart Park Citrus Grove Shed Mural Design by Leanne Sargeant Painted Mural by the Orange Home Grown & Sargeant Creative teams
3 www. Orange Review .com /sponsors July / August 2023
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6 Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW Find out What’s Happening in towne at: YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD REALTORS DOUG WILLITS | BEN WILLITS | SUSIE WILLITS DougW@SevenGables.com | BenW@SevenGables.com | SusieW@SevenGables.com D: DRE #01787611 | B: DRE #01858819 | S: DRE #01852527 | SG DRE #00745605 BUY | SELL | LEASE | INVESTMENTS AUTHENTICALLY LOCAL. RELATIONSHIP FOCUSED. RESULTS DRIVEN. Work with Realtors Who Care about You and Our Community. Deeply Rooted in Our Community #1 OFFICE FOR LISTINGS SOLD IN ORANGE
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Old Towne Orange PLAZAREVIEW

From the Publisher

There’s something so uplifting about slogans and mottos, and city’s like Orange can’t help but inspire their own. With a nod to the heart of our community, the City of Orange’s official slogan is: “A Slice of Old Towne Charm.”

When I first became active in the community nearly 30 years ago, Old Towne was fittingly referred to as the “Antique Capital of Southern California.” Then a local merchant added to the mix by introducing the slogans, “There’s Something for Everyone” and “Everything is Here. It’s Fun. It’s Fabulous.”

Soon after, I grew fond of referring to the Plaza as having “Everything from Art & Antiques to Dinner & Diamonds.” In fact, we introduced that motto on the cover of the 2003 edition of The Orange Pages, an Old Towne Orange merchant directory I produced and published.

At the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review, we have our own motto: “News for the Neighborhood.” I invite you to check out this month’s news in our New to the Neighborhood column (pgs. 1113), where you’ll meet three up-andcoming businesses sure to enrich the community. And then there are three businesses that have stood the test of time in our Know the Neighbors column (pgs. 17-19).

At Old Towne’s Chapman University, the motto is: “Where all dreams are possible.” In this month’s Building Character column, discover how Mike Ibba is living his dream life as a professor, researcher and dean, while inspiring students to live their best lives (starting on page 21). Then there is this issue’s property owner Kent Keilholtz, who with the help of area experts transformed his 1946-era house into a dream home (pgs. 14-16).

I wish you a wonderful summer filled with inspiration and happy experiences.


What’s Happ e ning . . .

JULY 2023

Mon / Jul 3 / 4 - 9 pm

City of Orange 3rd of July

Celebrate Independence Day as Orange salutes the Red,White & Blue. Grijalva Park 368 North Prospect St. 714-744-7278 / www.CityOfOrange.org

Tue / Jul 4 / 10 - 11 am

Orange Park Acres 4th of July Parade

Celebrating the Parade’s 56th year with “Let Freedom Ring.” 6500 East Santiago Canyon Rd OrangeParkAcres.org

Thu / Jul 6 / 6 - 10 pm

Orange Chamber of Commerce Board Installation & Dinner Gala Boogie down with the Soul Train Dancers, as we welcome & honor our new board. Sandhu Conference Center 571 North Grand St / OrangeChamber.com

Tue / Jul 11 / 5:30 - 7 pm

Orange Community Historical Society General Meeting

Learn about the history of Orange Main Library: 407 East Chapman Ave. www.HistoricalOrange.org

Sat / Jul 15 / 8 pm

Fairhaven Memorial Park

Summer Movie Night: The Elvis Movie

Enjoy this FREE movie under the stars. 1702 Fairhaven Ave, SA 714-633-1442 / FairhavenMemorial.com

Tue / Jul 25 / 8 - 9 am

Orange Chamber “Eggs & Issues”

Join this month’s special guest, California State Senator Dave Min. 714-538-3581 / OrangeChamber.com

Sat / Jul 29 / 7:30 pm

Musco Center for the Arts

Querido Mexico... Extraño Tus Colores

An internationally recognized company of performers presenting dynamic dance suites accompanied by live music from the various regions of Mexico. Musco Center: 415 North Glassell St 714-997-6812 / www.Chapman.edu

Mon / Jul 31 / 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Woman’s Club of Orange New Membership Meeting

Join women interested in making friends, while serving our community. 121 South Center St WomansClubOfOrange.org

8 Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW
134 South Glassell St. / Orange, CA 92866 714 - 771 - 6919 Mike@OrangeReview.com Old Towne Orange Plaza Review © 2023 Mike Escobedo Design All rights reserved. The material herein contained cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of Mike Escobedo Design. www. Orange Review .com “ News For The Neighborhood ”
Since 2001
Performances & Weekly Classes for Beginners & Seasoned Dancers of all ages. NaranjitaFlamenco.com 301 East Katella Ave, Orange, CA 92867 • (714) 400-2939

Around the Plaza!


Tue / Aug 1

National Night Out

Meet & hear how we can strengthen our partnership with law enforcement.

Villa Park / City Hall / 5 - 7 pm www.VillaPark.co/national-night-out

Orange / Grijalva Park / 5:30 - 8 pm 368 North Prospect St / CityOfOrange.org

Sun / Aug 6 / 7 pm

Musco Center for the Arts

“Symphony in the Cities”

Pacific Symphony hosts this free outdoor concert, conducted by Carl St. Clair & featuring popular classics, pop & patriotic tunes.

Aitken Arts Plaza 415 North Glassell 714-997-6812 / www.MuscoCenter.org

Sat / Aug 12 / 6:30 pm

Orange Home Grown 2023 Chef Dinner

Chef Dee Nguyen & Seis Soles Wine Co.

An intimate, family-style, multi-course meal featuring thoughtful, locally grown dishes, paired with meaningful conversation & live music.

The Potting Shed Loft / 10 Plaza Sq OrangeHomeGrown.org

Sat / Aug 19 / 5:30 - 11 pm

Santa Ana Zoo “Zoofari” Gala 2023

“Through the Looking Glass” themed black-tie fundraiser in support of special zoo projects & improvements. 1801 East Chestnut Ave, SA 714-953-8555 / www.SantaAnaZoo.org

Tue - Sun / Aug 22 - 27

Chapman University Student Orientation

Welcome incoming students, as they familiarize themselves with the academic & social aspects of our unique community. One University Dr / www.Chapman.edu 714-516-4600


Tue / 1 - 2:30 pm

Orange Public Library Foundation

S.T.E.A.M. A hands-on learning experience for kids (grades 1-6). Enjoy creative investigations into science, technology, engineering, art & math.

Jul 11 Learning Binary Numbers & Digital Logic

Jul 25 The Curious Behavior of Light El Modena Branch Library 380 South Hewes St / 714-288-2468 OPLFoundation.org

Wed / 6:30 - 8 pm

City of Orange Concerts in the Park

Enjoy these free community concerts under the stars!

Hart Park: 701 South Glassell St

Jul 12 Fabulous Yachtsmen

Jul 19 Echo Love Chamber

Jul 26 Amanda Castro Band

Aug 2 90’s Rock Show

Grijalva Park: 368 North Prospect St

Aug 9 Stone Soul 714-744-7274 / CityOfOrange.org

Thu / 2 - 4 pm

Orange Public Library Foundation

FREE “Summer Family Film Fest”

Jul 13 Minions the Rise of Gru

Jul 20 Rumble

Jul 27 The Secret Life of Pets 2 407 East Chapman Ave 714-288-2420 / OPLFoundation.org

Thu / 5 - 8 pm

OC Parks Summer Concert Series

Jul 13 Ozomatli

Irvine Regional Park: 1 Irvine Park Rd 714-973-6835 / www.OCParks.com

Fri / 6 - 10 pm

OC Parks Sunset Cinema Series

Jul 21 Lightyear

July 28 Nacho Libre

Irvine Regional Park: 1 Irvine Park Rd 714-973-6835 / www.OCParks.com

134 South Glassell St / Orange 92866

Jul / Aug 2023 Publishing Team

Publisher Mike Escobedo Mike@OrangeReview.com

Editor/Writer Julie Bawden-Davis julie@juliebawdendavis.com

Writer Karen Anderson 123karen@earthlink.net

Writer Yuki Klotz-Burwell klotz105@mail.chapman.edu

Writer Nathan Carter nathan.travis.carter@gmail.com

Writer Sheri Ledbetter sledbetter@socal.rr.com

Writer Melissa Pinion-Whitt AuthorMelissaWhitt@gmail.com

Writer Mary Platt platt@chapman.edu

Photographer Kristin Smetona info@smetonaphoto.com

Digital Artist Clyde San Juan crookedtrails@hotmail.com

Web Developer Chase Higgins chasehiggins@me.com

Printed by Reed Printing estella@reedprinting.com

Processed by Mailing Pros, Inc. MPI@MailingProsInc.com

Distributed by the US Postal Services www.usps.com

www. Orange Review .com /events
July / August 2023 ✔ Design ✔ Construction Costs ✔ Regulatory Issues FREE ADU WORKSHOP CALL FOR RESERVATION! (714) 716-5028
Find out What’s Happening in towne at: 10 Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW

Always a New Energy in Old Towne!

American Barbershop

After opening in early March, American Barbershop adds a twist of vintage-meets-modern to Old Towne with its newest location on West Chapman Ave. The new store expands the brand from its other locations in Echo Park and Santa Ana.

“I was having a coffee in Old Towne Orange and saw the location, and barely a week later, I was signing the lease,” says Owner Albert Trujillo, who was originally scouting openings across Texas for a new location. “Orange wasn’t originally in the plan, but once I saw this area, I knew it was a perfect fit.”

American Barbershop’s locations are known for their vintage but modern feel, and the Orange location will also follow that concept.

“Each location is different and has its own vibe, but you can still tell it's an American Barbershop store,” says Trujillo.

This new location will also have some new features to make it unique, inspired by Old Towne’s environment. The store already has a cornhole game available, and Trujillo is building a bar with fresh beer on tap for clients.

“I didn’t originally have a vision to create a barbershopbrewery combo, but just walking around Orange, I’ve gotten inspiration, and I’m using it to my advantage to create a really cool atmosphere here,” he says.

Another aspect of American Barbershop’s success is its dress code, making it stand out from other local barbershops. Barbers wear button-down shirts and ties,

and even have a custom tailor come in to adjust their uniforms.

“Even before I was a barber, American Barbershop was a brand I’d always been a fan of,” says Barber Jose Ortiz. “Everyone had this dapper look, and I knew there was something special about the company.”

Ortiz is now a barber at American Barbershop, and he has found that his favorite part of the job is interacting with his clients. When he moved from the Santa Ana location to the new Orange store, his clients came with him.

“I’m always excited to see my clients and hear what they’ve been up to,” he says. “When they get a haircut, it feels like they’re trusting me with their identity and that’s a really big deal.”

As the American Barbershop team settles in Old Towne, Trujillo hopes to partner with other local businesses and work on community service initiatives.

The barbers in the Santa Ana location spend time each month doing free haircuts at the Orange County Juvenile Hall, and Trujillo plans to expand and offer similar programs across Orange.

“This is an incredible space here in Orange, and we’re excited to keep rolling with our creative vision,” he says.

American Barbershop 394 West Chapman Ave. / 714-363-3408 / www. AmericanBarbershop .com

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Owner Albert Trujillo (center) and barbers (from left) Jose Ortiz, Bryant Torres, Russell Feliciano, Anthony Lewis and Evan James pose in the new American Barbershop location in Old Towne. The barbershop brand is known for its modern vintage aesthetic, complete with formal dress and in-shop bar. As summer sweeps into Old Towne Orange, three new businesses are set to bring new energy to the neighborhood. Read on to take a closer look at the traditional-yet-modern themed American Barbershop, the transformed salon Dye Beauty Bar and the prenatal and pediatric-focused Verve Chiropractic. PHOTO BY KRISTIN SMETONA SmetonaPhoto.com

“This area is very nostalgic for my family,” says Tsirtsis. “An opportunity came to buy the salon here, and I felt like it needed new energy, so I was ready to take on this business.”

Tsirtis owned another salon in Aliso Viejo and worked in the beauty industry for 22 years. She felt like the moment was right to embark on another salon ownership journey. Since taking the reins in February, she has revamped the building and completely rebranded the salon.

“We fully transformed the salon, refreshing everything from the cabinets to the retail offerings,” she says. “The stylists here welcomed the changes with open arms, and it has been nothing but positive vibes.”

Dye Beauty Bar offers its clients a host of full-service options, including highlights, color corrections and haircuts. An assortment of styling and hair care products are also available for purchase.

Aside from the top-notch service and skilled stylists, Tsirtsis believes Dye Beauty Bar distinguishes itself because of the welcoming atmosphere the team has cultivated.

“Right when you walk through the door, customers notice how comfortable our environment is,” she says. “Our stylists always offer to help, whether or not it’s their client.”

After working both behind the chair and behind the business

side of salons, Tsirtsis understands what it takes to run a firstclass salon.

“We’ve created a motivational place to work that is full of selfimprovement for the stylists,” she says. “I have a passion for hair, but I also have a passion for business.”

Dye Beauty Bar owner Anna Tsirtsis (center)

Dye Beauty Bar 190 South Glassell St., #A / 714-532-6390 / www.Instagram.com /DyeBeautyBar N EW T O T HE N EIGHBORHOOD

shows off the new salon’s remodeling, along with salon associates (standing from left) Jackie Lance, Chanel Burrowe, Jenna Babbitt, Leah DeMink, Jimmie Ramirez, Stephanie Villa, Celeste Navarro, Jasmine Ceridejas, Nicole Piña (seated left) and Emma Riberiea (seated right).

From the employees’ perspective, the rebrand brought a breath of innovation to the business.

Dye Beauty Bar Manager Nicole Piña, who previously worked on the corporate side of the beauty industry at Morphe Cosmetics, immediately felt a sense of creative comradery with Tsirtsis.

“Anna and I mesh together really well, and we’re always bouncing ideas off each other,” she says. “When she came in as the new owner, everything just clicked, and we were able to make this space beautiful.”

As more Old Towne customers began to call Dye Beauty Bar their salon of choice, Tsirtsis and her team look forward to welcoming new faces and forging new relationships.

“We’re here to take care of our clients and give them a fresh new experience,” says Tsirtsis. I’m really proud of what we’ve created with Dye Beauty Bar.”

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Verve Chiropractic

Navigating early parenthood can be challenging, but the experts at Verve Chiropractic are committed to easing that journey.

Danielle Roach, DC, Owner and Founder of Verve Chiropractic, offers holistic prenatal, pediatric and family chiropractic care at her new office on East Chapman Ave.

While establishing her practice, Roach reflected on her experiences as an expectant mother in Orange County. When she was pregnant, she often had to travel to appointments across South County. She realize how far the travel time was to get the support she needed.

“I wanted to create a collaborative space for the population I was serving, especially because it was something I couldn’t find in this area for myself,” she says.

Driven by those experiences, Roach launched the Verve Family Wellness Collective, which hosts her chiropractic services and other family care-oriented businesses.

“When I opened the collective, it was my mission to bring in other providers who could bridge the gap that was missing in this area,” says Roach. “Now, the folks I serve in my practice don’t have to drive all the way to Laguna Hills or Newport for their referrals.”

Aside from Roach’s practice, the collective currently includes a lactation consultant, occupational therapist and speech pathologist. All focus on helping patients aged zero to two.

Verve Family Wellness Collective members (from left) Johnna Naraki, RN, IBCLC; Stephanie Lynn; Danielle Cipollo, DC; Danielle Roach, DC; Brittany Cheng, MIS, OTR/L; Heather Swett and Jamie Keller, CCC-SLP showcase the new office that houses all of their family care businesses, started by Roach. Roach’s practice, Verve Chiropractic, offers prenatal and pediatric care and connects patients to a network of similar services, such as speech pathology and lactation consulting.

Since settling into the new location in April, Roach and the rest of the collective hope to be a resource for parents in Orange. “We want to be a hub for moms and babies and be known as a place of support for these families,” she says. “Our biggest goal is to make this a welcoming, open space for parents to come to when they need help.”

Part of those resources includes offering Mommy & Me

Verve Chiropractic 1015 East Chapman Ave. / 657- 650-8983 / www. VerveChiropracticOC .com www. Orange Review .com /articles/new-to-the-neighborhood N EW T O T HE N EIGHBORHOOD

classes, hosted by the collective’s pediatric occupational therapist, Wayz to Play Founder Brittany Cheng.

“Parenthood is a wild journey in and of itself, and there’s a lot of pressure on parents, so our services give them that reassurance they’re doing everything they can to help their child grow,” says Cheng. “We want to support parents as much as we can and help them realize they’re not alone.”

PHOTO BY KRISTIN SMETONA 178 South Glassell Open Daily 9:30am - 5:30pm 714- 633-3934 2 Stores / 100’s of Dealers / 1,000’s of Antiques
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WWWhen Old Towne resident Kent Keilholtz wanted to re-paint the exterior of his 1946-era home, he walked a few blocks down the street, knocked on the door of a house he’d always admired from a distance and asked for some advice. Little did he know that a friendly consultation with his newly acquainted neighbors about paint colors would eventually lead to an entire remodel of his property—ultimately transforming the previously non-descript abode into a vibrant, midcentury-modern showplace, complete with elegant landscaping worthy of Sunset magazine.

As it turns out, his neighbors Robert and Michelle Grosse know a thing or two about architecture and design. Robert is an architect, and his wife, Michelle, is an interior designer.

“When I first met them, they said they’d be happy to pick out the colors that would be correct

for the 1946 time period,” says Kent, who purchased the 1,100square-foot home in late 1990. “This was back in 2017. Then in 2021, I told Robert I was interested in remodeling the house. Right away he drew some sketches and we went from there.”

A retired firefighter with the City of Orange since 1986, Kent gave Robert and Michelle complete carte blanche with the design choices, landscaping and remodel.

To clear his home of every last accessory, he went so far as to give all his existing heirloom furniture to his niece and also held a giveaway garage sale in the driveway. In need of pizzazz, the simple, plain house became a blank canvas for the Grosse team to do their magic inside and out.

“Kent was a dream client for any interior designer,” says Michelle.

“We knew he loved midcentury modern. He completely put his trust in us. We would constantly

show him samples and ideas and he would always defer to us.”

Robert worked closely with Kent to devise a more efficient layout for the house, as the original floor plan was awkward, with too many doors and not a lot of wall function. Upon Robert’s recommendation, Kent hired the Karl Bonham Group—located in Old Towne Orange since the early 1980s—to do the remodel.

According to Robert, post-war bungalows like Kent’s were utilitarian structures that provided housing for Orange residents in the late 1940s. From paint color and wallpaper to furnishings and fountains, Robert and Michelle wanted to capture the spirit of those times. Even the aqua paint color on the detached garage is reminiscent of the 1930s.

“I felt like the language of the house had to be demonstrative to that particular era of Los Angeles,” says Robert, owner of Design

Development Construction, specializing in multi-family, commercial and HOA properties. “There’s glamour to the design that harkens to the 1930s Beverly Hills Hotel. Some of the colors, tile and backsplash are committedly art deco. We created linear, wide spaces that are very geometric. It’s the midcentury idea of space. From the front door you can see the fountain all the way to the back of the property. The wallpaper in the den frames the window and features images of the same kinds of palms by the fountain.”

Robert also did all of the conceptual work on the exterior landscape plan, while Michelle had a hand in selecting the plants and placement. Taller than the house itself, an outdoor canopy conveys a grand space. Landscape designer Nick Vega of Vegalandscape installed the plants, 6x6 concrete slabs, fountain, pergola and other decorative

Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW 14 Find out What’s Happening in towne at:
Located at the edge of the historic district, this vintage home was built in 1946. The front-yard landscape recalls the era of orange groves and grass yards. Photos

elements. In the front yard, most of the old lawn was removed and replaced with citrus trees to pay homage to the citrus grove legacy.

Kent is only the second owner of the property. The Schaffer family (not related to the street of the same name in Old Towne) raised three children there. Next

door to Kent, the original homeowner’s great-grandchildren currently live in a house built in 1928.

Kent admits that when he first saw his house for sale in 1990, he wasn’t so much interested in the home as he was the backyard with its large trees, hedges and

established landscaping that included palms and a hundredfoot camphor tree. He only did some minor updates to the home back then.

“When I bought the house, it was close to original,” says Kent. “One of my favorite things about the house is when I pulled

up the carpet, I found wonderful hardwood floors made of white oak. I had them refinished in 1992, and then recently refinished them again.”

Selected by Michelle, most of the accessories and materials are American-made, including the sisal rugs from Wisconsin and all


July / August 2023 15
you buy anywhere else, we both lose money. Over
years providing quality service to you!”
S OUTH T USTIN S T ORANGE, CA 92866 (949) 610-6779 Call Today for an Estimate. “Located in Old Towne Orange.” 160 North Glassell St Old Towne Orange , CA 92866 OPEN WED-SUN: 11 AM - 5 PM ( 714 ) 363-3996 Featuring • V INTAGE • C OLLECTABLE • • F URNITURE • R ECORDS • • J EWELRY • A RT G LASS • • R OCK & R OLL T - S HIRTS • & MORE ! VISIT OUR NEW STORE www. Orange Review .com /articles/old-towne-property
The living room showcases midcentury-modern design with commissioned artwork. Most of the furnishings and accessories are American-made.
General Contractor - Keith Misumi (949) 795-6812 www.BearFlagOC.com license #580269 Historic Restorations Remodels Kitchen and Bath Exterior Makeovers Siding Doors and Windows Patio Covers Decks Stairs Painting Termite and Dry Rot
Kent enjoys his backyard, which features a resort-like retreat, complete with a pergola, fountains and landscape lighting.


the midcentury-style replica furnishings. Every room in the house is a different color, be it bright red, green or blue. The front door features opaque glass panels, while the adjacent double-hung window has a three-quarter-length curtain that simultaneously provides natural light, privacy and a view.

An artist as well as an architect,

Robert created two original watercolor paintings for the house that depict Kent’s childhood memories of spending time with his grandparents in Laguna Beach. The paintings hang in a place of honor in the newly remodeled home, completed just a few months ago.

“Robert’s paintings are both

of Heisler Park, which was across the street from my grandparent’s home,” says Kent. “One is a sunset scene, and the other is a daylight scene. He made the wooden frames himself. Both Robert and Michelle have brought their wonderful work to this house, and they’ve done a beautiful job. I’m very happy with it.”

Although Kent’s neighborhood is just on the edge of the historic district, these vintage homes have a legacy that should be honored with a little creativity and vision, says Robert. “These little houses need to be appreciated in Orange,” he says.” They have a character all their own if you just let them speak to you.” •

16 Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW Find out What’s Happening in towne at:
The 12-foot-tall pergola provides a grand space for dining and relaxing. Kent’s design and construction team: Robert and Michelle Grosse from Design Development Construction (standing) and (seated from left) Kent (homeowner) and Karl from Karl R Bonham Group.
The Art Deco kitchen features strong geometric language that creates energy all its own.
Professional Property Management • Thorough Tenant Screening • On-line Payments & Disbursements • Improve Property Value • 24 Hr Emergency Service for Tenants Real Estate Sales & Investments • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Land Sales • Investment Strategies • 40 Years in Business 550 East Chapman Ave, Suite B, Orange, CA 92866 714- 7 4 4-5711 www. RealEstateEstablishment .com Find us on:

evolved with the times while stylizing shoppers, Summerhill Ltd.’s showroom is an array of carefully curated high-end antique and vintage furniture and home décor, and The Potting Shed by Carlisle has grown up—literally—by expanding upstairs in its location filled with plants, gifts and garden and pantry accoutrements.

Laurenly Boutique

Back in 2010, Lauren Hernandez was a new small business owner. Thirteen years later, her shop, Laurenly Boutique, is one of the long-standing clothing retailers in the ever-changing merchant landscape of Old Towne Orange.

“When I attended Chapman University, I thought Old Towne was the perfect spot to open up a store for not only the students but the whole community,” recalls Hernandez, who met her husband when he opened Smoqued near her shop. “I love the Old Towne Orange feel and the old soul the town has.”

Jeans, dresses and jewelry are signature products at the boutique. Hernandez has seen a lot of trends over the last 13 years. “Each season, it’s either heavy on patterns or geared toward the neutrals, and then every other year a pop of color is the thing, which we are currently seeing.”

Hernandez loves being an entrepreneur. “COVID has taught me to roll with things and pivot even when you haven’t planned on or don’t want to,” she says. “If things change, you have to change with it. You can’t stay exactly what you’ve always been.”

Her advice to those considering becoming a small business owner is to make sure that is what you are truly passionate about, because the business will be the

essence of your life. “You breathe, eat, sleep your business,” she says. “People think it’s all glitzy, but some days I am a plumber or an electrician or my own tech support.”

Most of her employees over the years have been Chapman students. “It’s been really interesting and surreal,” says Hernandez. “I’ve seen them go through all four

years and graduate. I’ve seen them get engaged, get married, buy a house, have a baby, have two babies. It’s a special thing. It makes me emotional.”

At one point, she offered yoga in the shop in the mornings before opening and hopes to bring that back.

Lisa Bailey has been a regular from the start and taught those

yoga classes. “I love the energy of the space. I feel happy when I go in there,” she says.

That is something that Hernandez likes to hear. Her goal is to make the boutique about more than shopping for clothing.

“I like to think of the space as a place for self-care, grounding and community,” she says.

Laurenly Boutique

142 North Glassell St. / 714-538-7467 / www. Laurenly .com

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South Glassell St. Old Towne Orange 714- 538-8160

The Potting Shed by Carlisle

Celebrating a decade in Old Towne Orange, the Potting Shed by Carlisle has expanded upward and now occupies the second story of its location at 10 Plaza Square. After seven years at its original location by the railroad tracks, owner Jack Carlisle was intrigued by the opportunity to relocate to the heart of the Orange Plaza. Three years ago, he made the jump.

“At first, I didn’t think we needed the extra room,” recalls Carlisle. But he mulled it over with his husband one night and by morning they saw a vision for the space.

“We took our five top categories and moved them up: pottery, houseplants, hard good items (pruners, fertilizers), home décor (candles, gift items) and trends (incense, crystals and books),” says Carlisle.

The shop has an elevator and stairs, with a view of the Orange Plaza for shoppers to enjoy. What was once a boardroom is now a workshop space. “Workshops were on the sidewalk prior and limited to six to eight people,” he says. “Now we can accommodate 20 people. The space can be booked for an occasion, and participants bring in their own food and beverages and do a workshop.”

Workshops include miniature gardens, succulent planting, calligraphy, watercolor and flower pressing.

A timeline is planned for the dividing wall upstairs to showcase the history of the building all the way to the present. And there is a studio on the second floor to launch a podcast hosted by Carlisle called, “Gracious Spaces.”

“We will interview people about what their gracious space is. It can be anything in your heart or your mind,” she says.

Changes are also being made to the first floor. “In the home décor room, we are focusing on gifts,” says Carlisle. “And the room that used to be our houseplant

room is now our kitchen and pantry room. We’re doing dishware, entertaining items, pastas, sauces, gourmet food items. This is something we felt was needed in Old Towne.

On the expansion, Carlisle reflects, “It feels settled here, like home. We could not have done this without our customers and knowing they support us wholeheartedly.”

Self-described plant person Jacquie Rudge, who has more than 50 houseplants, with the majority from The Potting Shed by Carlisle, is impressed with the store’s whimsical vibe and Carlisle’s knowledge of plants. “He’s attentive to his customers and makes you feel confident about growing your plants,” she says.

Family Owned & Operated Since 1933 ShannonFamilyMortuar y .com 1005 East Chapman Ave. Old Towne Orange, CA 92866 714.771.1000 FD #1772 Professional, personalized funeral & cremation services; advance planning available. “Nosotros hablamos español.” Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW 18 Find out What’s Happening in towne at: K NOW T HE N EIGHBORS
Jack Carlisle stands on the landing of the stairs leading to his shop’s new second story. According to the Old Towne merchant, The Potting Shed by Carlisle reflects his personality—“cheeky, classy, quality and unique.”
Carlisle 10 Plaza Square / 757-818-3560 / www. TPSHomeAndGarden .com Local Places, Beautiful Spaces CONT. FROM PAGE 17 Owner M IKE F RY is Ready to Help! M IKE F RY is Ready to Help!
of Experience! • Computer Diagnostics • Brakes • Electrical • Suspension • 4-Wheel Alignment • Fuel Injection • Smog Certificate • Factory Scheduled • Maintenance • Foreign & Domesti c . . . T ITAN A UTOMOTIVE ( EST. 1976 ) 939 W. Chapman Ave. (at Batavia St.) Orange, CA 92868 714- 997-2311
The Potting Shed by
Over 40 Years

Summerhill Ltd.

High-end antiques have proven their mettle with Summerhill Ltd.’s nearly 30 years in Old Towne Orange. Owner Denise Jochec and her team, including designer Shawn Escalante and other specialists, acknowledge the evolution of trends, but their commitment to style and quality has provided them with a stalwart clientele. The street level showroom with chandeliers and European-inspired furnishings is complimented by a second grand space below showcasing more beautiful items.

“We made a conscious decision to focus on décor items that were stylish, well-made and desirable, and that really launched us into this higher realm of quality antiques,” says Jochec, who travels to Paris once a year to meet with merchants and returns with exclusive items.

Escalante has been with Jochec throughout much of the shop’s time and offers complete design services, from furniture and fabric selection, to upholstery, bedding and drapes, paint and flooring and room placement.

“We get to know the clients so that we can work with them to create beautiful spaces uniquely their s,” says Excalante. “For instance, a person might entertain a lot and have a dining room that doesn’t fit their table. I may turn their dining room into a sitting room and turn their living room into a dining room.”

“Antiques can be nice, but you

don’t want a room full of them,” says Jochec, who suggests having a couple of striking antique statement pieces to anchor a room. She is noticing a trend in shoppers. “The younger generation in their twenties is coming in now,” she notes. “Tradition is coming back because people are feeling like their world is shaky. They want things that are substantial, well-made and will span decades. That disposable part of our society is kind of going away.”

Trends in the product and service lines also evolve. “Wallpaper is really on the rise at the

moment,” says Escalante. “We are also selling a lot of paintings.” Jochec attributes Summerhill’s longevity to their commitment to style and customer service. “We believe that your interior should represent you. We want our clients to have that expression in their homes so that when people walk in, they know immediately that the space represents the person’s personality.”

Longtime client Dara Lynn started with Summerhill with one piece. Twelve years later, much of her home showcases the collaborative relationship of working with Escalante and Jochec. “It’s been a work in progress, but with such loving and caring, every single corner has attention to detail,” she says. “They think of things that you would never even consider, and it works.” •

Summerhill Ltd.

110 South Glassell St. / 714-392-2792 / SummerhillAntiques .com

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A Third Generation Labor of Love

When his phone rang the morning of March 13, Mark McCandless immediately jumped in his car and drove to Old Towne. The caller was one of McCandless’ tile workers, who said the driver of a stolen car plowed through Plaza Park and damaged its historic fountain.

City workers were already there when McCandless arrived.

“I walked up and said, ‘Hey, anybody looking for a tile guy?’” he says.

McCandless had good reason to rush to the site. The fountain was tiled by his grandfather, Charles, in 1937. Now his family’s company has started to restore the fountain, which is slated for completion in midsummer.

McCandless Tile has been in business since 1924, when Charles McCandless started working on tile in his Orange backyard. The company’s tile work can be seen on storefronts on Catalina Island, as well as at Disneyworld, Knott’s Berry Farm, the Bowers Museum and Hearst Castle.

Charles McCandless’ sons, Fred and Charles Jr., both started helping their father with tile jobs as teens. Fred McCandless, Mark’s father, recalls installing tile at Disneyland’s Tiki Room and meeting Walt Disney.

“I can remember that I thought this guy is a giant,” Fred McCandless says. “He was just a

good guy.”

Mark McCandless followed the path of his father, carrying tile and buckets of water starting at 12 years old. He worked with his grandfather for 15 years before he died, and now serves as company president.

McCandless Tile has about 70 employees, serving between 20-30 general contractors. The Santa Anabased company works on a mix of private and public contracts.

The company is best known for tiling all of Disneyworld, a massive project lasting around a decade in the 1970s and involving 50 to 100 installers. Mark McCandless says it’s one of the biggest tile contracts ever awarded in America.

A more recent project—Hearst Castle’s Neptune Pool—is a job Mark McCandless considers a career highlight. The 90-year-old pool underwent renovation starting in 2014, a $10 million project that included the removal of more than 9,000-square-feet of marble tiles

Members of the McCandless family stand in front of the Orange Plaza Fountain, which was damaged during a police chase in March. McCandless Tile is renovating the fountain, originally tiled by Charles McCandless.

Pictured back left are great grandchildren Devon and Dahlia Davis standing in front of their parents, Elyse McCandless Davis and Brian Davis, with Paige Heredia and Jenny McCandless. Back right are Sierra Heredia, Cal McCandless, Billy Cox, Marci McCandless Cox and Claudia McCandless, with Mark McCandless, standing between his parents, Cindy and Fred. Not shown: Lauren and Tatum McCandless.

Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW 20 Find out What’s Happening in towne at:
T ALK O F T HE T OWNE by Melissa
PHOTO BY GIL BOTHWELL www.gilbothwellphotography.com
Master tile worker, Charles McCandless, founder of McCandless Tile.
Veteran-Owned Business

and the installation of thousands of new tiles, according to the Hearst Castle website.

Charles, Fred and Mark McCandless all worked on tile for San Clemente’s Ole Hanson Beach Club, a Spanish-revival building and pool constructed in 1928.

Snyder Langston, an Irvine general contractor, has worked with McCandless for more than 30 years on jobs, including Irvine’s Boardwalk, and retail and commercial properties throughout Orange County.

“They’re just a great partner,” says Chris Voros, project executive for Snyder Langston. “They plan efficiently, execute efficiently, and it’s always with a smile on their faces.”

For the Plaza Fountain project, workers have already completed demolition work and replaced concrete. McCandless says he is working with a company to make tile that matches the original color glaze.

As a tribute to his grandfather, Mark McCandless plans to use Charles McCandless’ 100-year-old

tiling tools for the restoration, such as trowels, chisels and mason hammers, along with some modern tools. He will do all the work himself.

“I’m super excited to be working on a job that was built 90 years ago with the hands of my grandfather,” he says.

Rob Boice, president of the Old Towne Preservation Association, praised the McCandless family for its multi-generational work to beautify Orange County. Boice spoke recently to Mark McCandless about the restoration of tile at the historic Killefer school site. It’s another project city officials believe was originally tiled by Charles McCandless.

The fountain project is very important to the region, says Boice. “The fact that two county supervisors contributed thousands of dollars to the restoration of the Plaza Fountain confirms what I have always believed,” he says. “Orange’s historic resources don’t just belong to Orange, but to the entire community and beyond. •

Mike Ibba, PhD

Ask many highly regarded educators what drew them to teaching, and you’ll often discover it was the influence of a teacher. Such was the case with Mike Ibba, Professor and Dean of Schmid College of Science and Technology, Biological Sciences at Chapman University.

While he had the good fortune to be influenced by many effective teachers during his school years in London, England, where he was born and grew up, it was a science teacher that inspired his career path.

“I had a great high school chemistry teacher who let students experiment with substances that aren’t allowed in labs today, like sodium and mercury. When I told him I was trying to figure out what to study in college, he said that I seemed to have a lot of fun in his class, especially the laboratory. The idea of getting paid to work in a lab sounded like a dream job, so I studied microbiology,” says Ibba, today an award-winning molecular biologist and biochemist who has published more than 200 research articles and held various research grants.

After graduating from Imperial College London with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 1983 and receiving his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester in 1990, Ibba worked at Novartis in Switzerland and then as a postdoctoral fellow at the ETH in Zurich, followed by serving as an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University.

Groundbreaking Research

Prior to joining Chapman in 2020, Ibba was at Ohio State University for 19 years, where he chaired the Microbiology Department and served as the Associate Director for the Infectious Disease Institute. He taught microbiology and built up and maintained a funded research group of post-doctoral scholars and student researchers. The research, which he has

July / August 2023 21 www. Orange Review .com /talk-of-the-towne
Building Character at C HAPMAN U NIVERSITY

continued at Chapman, focuses on the genetic code and understanding the mechanisms cells use to ensure the accurate flow of genetic information from genes to proteins.

“In broad terms, we are studying quality control in the genetic supply chain,” explains Ibba. “Currently, we are focusing on how the flow of genetic information influences antibiotic resistance. There is essentially a molecular arms race between a pathogen and its host, and that can drive antibiotic resistance. When antibiotics are introduced during an infection, some bacteria will go to sleep. Then when the antibiotics are gone, there are persistent bacteria that reawaken and cause the infection to flare back up. (This is why doctors advise taking all prescribed antibiotics, even after symptoms disappear.) Not all bacteria go to sleep during treatment,” continues Ibba. “We’re trying to figure out what triggers some of them to reawaken, because those persisters provide a good reservoir from which to draw to develop antibiotics that can fight superbugs.”

It was during his time teaching at Ohio State and working with students in the laboratory that Ibba realized the biggest impact he could make was on the people he trains in the laboratory and classroom.

Focus on Mentorship

“When you mentor students, you realize that you can achieve so much more scientifically by working together,” says Ibba. “You come to realize that your most lasting impact in science is the scientists you have mentored and trained.”

Chathuni Liyanage ’23 was a biology major at Chapman and took Ibba’s research and data analysis class. “Mike is an excellent instructor who provides constructive, encouraging feedback,” she says. “His classes are rigorous and challenge the intellect while going above and beyond to support you through it. He always came down to our level. That approach made working with such an esteemed researcher and faculty member less nerve-wracking and created an atmosphere where we could comfortably work collaboratively as a class to grow as students and researchers.”

In fact, it was mentoring students and spending time in the laboratory that led Ibba to consider the deanship at Chapman.

“Ohio State is a large university, and as I rose through the ranks, it became clear that if I were to stay, I would become a fulltime administrator,” he says. “I didn’t want to stop teaching and doing research. By moving to Chapman, I didn’t have to give up either.”

Though he approached the position at Chapman with those perks in mind, he soon became inspired during the interview process by the uniqueness of the university.

Chapman’s One-of-a-Kind Culture

“When I toured the state-of-the-art Keck Center before having dinner with the search committee, it was 5:30 on an autumn evening,” recalls Ibba. “There were students all over the center studying and writing on whiteboards. I immediately saw a different level of engagement and could tell there was something special about the culture. It was really something to see.”

Matt Parlow is Executive Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer (EVP/CAO) at Chapman University and chaired the search committee. “We had a diverse group of faculty and staff represented on the committee, and everyone was wowed by Mike,” he says. “There was no doubt in our minds that he was our top pick. Mike’s experience, vision and enthusiasm for Chapman really stood out. We were thrilled when he accepted our offer.”

Since Ibba took over as dean in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, Schmid College has increased total student enrollments by 9 percent, total number of credits taught by 18 percent and the total awarded grant funding for research by 300 percent. The college has also developed a new Doctoral program in Math, Physics and Philosophy, and the Philosophy program was integrated into Schmid.

A Shared Passion, for Visual Story Telling

They met in illustration class at the Laguna College of Art and Design—and the rest, as they say, is history. Or, in this case, art history.

“One day Paul sat across from me in the class, so he could see the reference better,” Leanne Sargeant recalls. “Studio art classes are four to six hours long, so we were doing our work and chatting most of the time. It happened to be Valentine’s Day, so I worked up to, ‘Hey, what are you doing after class?’ I convinced him to go out to coffee with me.”

Now husband and wife and parents of a young daughter, Paul and Leanne Sargeant live in Old Towne Orange. They founded Sargeant Creative, which focuses on visual storytelling and photographic rebranding, and carry out wedding and portrait photography through www. We AreTheSargeant s.com. They also each pursue their own artistic and creative passions.

Most recently, Leanne, with the assistance of Paul and a cast of dozens, completed a very public project for the City of Orange. Megan Penn of Orange Home Grown, the non-profit that runs the weekly Farmers & Artisans Market in Old Towne, was searching for someone who would design and paint the tool shed in the citrus grove in Hart Park.

The metal shed happens to stand at a very visible spot at the confluence of the 22 freeway and Glassell Street and had previously been adorned with a simple painting that had unfortunately been heavily graffitied over the years. The question was, how to turn the shed into a point of civic pride?

“The shed is really like a little gateway marker from Santa Ana into Orange,” says Paul. “You can see it from the freeway and from many different directions.”

Leanne created and submitted an eye-catching design based on the community’s citrus farming history and rooted in the style of the old-fashioned labels that once adorned orange and lemon crates in the city’s packing houses. Her design won; the city approved it, and then the hard work of re-painting the shed began.

“I designed it and laid out the original drawing outlines on the shed, and from there I directed

the painting process,” says Leanne. “I couldn’t have done it alone. Everyone who worked on painting it contributed so much.”

She gives huge props to Paul’s sister-in-law, Bailey Sargeant, also a local artist, who Leanne says contributed to helping them finish the project.

Paul agrees. “Bailey probably logged as many hours as I did on the project.” Other volunteer groups from local schools and organizations pitched in along the way.

“The shed became a wonderful community project. Everyone came together to make it beautiful. I love that it’s such a nice welcome sign now for our beautiful little city.” (See the shed on the inside front cover.)

Penn has nothing but praise for the shed mural and how it turned out. “Paul and Leanne are not just extremely creative artists, they are exceptionally kind and caring people. Leanne created and implemented the design for the Hart Park orange grove storage shed mural that Orange Home Grown received approval for through the City’s Park Planning & Community Events Commission. It was such a joy to work with Leanne on this project. She is so artistically talented in so many different mediums.”

Recently, Leanne branched out into another interest— birds—and is working on a series of paintings of different bird species, all highlighted by varied decorative backgrounds.

“During the pandemic when our work had slowed quite a bit, I became fascinated by birds and how many different ones there are in California,” says Leanne. “As a way of meditation and of educating myself, I started doing this series of paintings. I’ve done about 50 paintings now. My goal is 365—a bird for each day of the year.” She donated half the proceeds from her sales of these works to Seal Beach-based International Bird Rescue, which saves and protects waterbirds in crisis.

So what is next for this creative couple? The Sargeants are planning a new endeavor that they’re calling The Wonder Workshops.

“The project is marinating

I NSIDE A R T by Mary Platt
PhD CONT. FROM PAGE 21 CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW 22 Find out What’s Happening in towne at:
Mike Ibba,

right now,” says Leanne. “Paul and I are avid gardeners. He is co-market manager and creative director at Orange Home Grown. We want to find a way to connect gardening and art and help children and adults find the joy of getting their hands into the dirt, planting things, creating things and just being out in nature. The

Wh a t’s Happ ening


Every Fri / 9:30 - 11:30 am

Orange Home Grown Educational Farm Volunteer Farm Friday

Plant, harvest, compost, mend soil & more, as new and seasoned volunteers work together on farm projects.

356 N Lemon / OrangeHomeGrown.org

Every Sat / 9 am - 1 pm

Orange Home Grown, Farmers Market

A great way to begin your day, with quality produce & fresh healthy foods.

1st Sat Knife Sharpening

2nd Sat Free Cooking Demo

3rd Sat Kids Club / Seed Lending 303 West Palm / OrangeHomeGrown.org

goal is to make art in the garden, share what we know, and metaphorically plant seeds of a love for nature, so kids and adults can go home and inspire their own families and friends.”

It seems thatever the Sargeants put their creative minds to, grows excitement and engages the community! •

Rebranding Photography: SargeantCreative .com

Wedding & Portraits: WeAreTheSargeants .com

The Wonder Workshops: TheWonderWorkshops .com

Leanne’s art website: LeanneSargeant .com

3rd Sat / 9 - 11 am

Volunteer Opportunity

Santiago Creek Clean-Up

Join in this community effort to keep the creek clean. Meet at the Cambridge St. Bridge 590 South Cambridge St.

Every Sat & Sun / 10 am - 2 pm

1886 Brewing, Brunch at the Brewery

3-course brunch, brunch ala carte & our famous 1886 Brunchuterie. 114 North Glassell St / 714-922-8130


Every Sun / 10 am - 3 pm

Citrus City Grille Buffet Brunch

Bottomless Mimosas & Bloody Marys. A la carte brunch items also available. 122 North Glassell St / 714-639-9600


2nd Mon / 7 - 9 pm

Orange Art Association General Meeting

All are welcome to participate in these creative gatherings & demonstrations. 395 South Tustin St / 714-538-8069


2nd & 4th Tue / 6 - 8 pm

City of Orange City Council Meeting

Agendas released on the prior Thursday. Orange City Hall: 300 East Chapman Ave 714-744-2225 / www.CityOfOrange.org

2nd & 4th Wed / 6 pm

Flag Lowering Ceremony

Honoring our veterans & active duty. Plaza Park, Old Towne Orange

Rotary Club Weekly Meetings

Tue / 7-8:30 am Orange North Facebook.com/ OrangeNorthRotaryClub

Wed / 6 - 7 pm Orange Plaza OrangePlazaRotary.org

Thu / 12-1:30 pm Orange Rotary Orange-Rotary.org

Creative couple Leanne and Paul Sargeant are avid gardeners. Leanne is expressing a love of nature through her California bird painting project.
Black Madonna , 1994 / Acrylic on Canvas / 36” x 48” www. Orange Review .com /articles/inside-art July / August 2023 23
collection of paintings & drawings made during my past 65 years in the U.S.A.” & collected by art lovers around the globe.”
Call or Visit Welman Studio
N. Glassell St. Orange, CA 92865 714 - 998-8662 MarinusWelman .com Facebook.com / MWelmanArtStudio Want to Collect? Buy Artist Direct! “See a large diversified
works are appreciated
(Australia, Germany, Hawaii, Holland, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, St. Thomas, etc.)

“Mike has done an extraordinary job as dean,” says Parlow. “Despite the challenges the pandemic brought, he has worked hard to connect with students, faculty and staff to help Schmid College continue its exciting momentum. He is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion and has prioritized undergraduate student research. In addition to being a skilled leader and administrator, he is one of Chapman’s top researchers. His extensive scholarly contributions have helped elevate Chapman’s research profile as an R2 institution.”

Making a Difference

Adrian Vajiac, Co-Director of the Computational and Data Science Program and Associate Professor of Mathematics at Schmid College, agrees. “Mike is the first Dean of Schmid who made a considerable difference so quickly after starting, and I have been at Chapman since 2002. One of the first things he did was to invite all faculty and staff (we are more than 100) to talk to him in person, one by one, in order to consolidate an initial plan on what he has to accomplish as dean. What we accomplished in three years under Mike would have probably taken 10 years under other leaders.”

Ibba has enjoyed the atmosphere of working in real-time that Chapman has given him. “Someone asked me when I left Ohio State at the start of the pandemic if I was sure about the move,” he says. “My reply was that with its growth culture, Chapman would give me the opportunity to fail. I realized that it might not work, and that’s what made it exciting.”

Fortunately, things have worked out very well for Ibba, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Beth, who is also a microbiologist. “I really enjoy all aspects of working at Chapman, including the open, upward structure,” he says. “I’ve never worked harder and never had more fun in my whole life. I’m very happy that Chapman and I got to know each other. •

Taking Off in Old Towne

If you’ve ever visited the Orange County Fair, enjoyed a day at Knott’s Berry Farm or explored the Discovery Cube, chances are you have encountered the handiwork of the Rocket Launc h team. The Old Townebased full-service marketing and public relations agency has been part of the creative engine behind the communications and marketing efforts of those well-known local institutions.

The agency was started by President Mike Wheeler, Vice President of Public Relations Dan Nasitka and Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Erin Gibbons, who all worked together on the Discovery Cube’s in-house marketing and communications team.

“Through the process of work ing together, we were inspired by one another and thought about starting an agency,” says Nasitka. “When the time was right, we jumped in and founded Rocket Launch.”

Now in its 6th year as an agency, Rocket Launch has grown its workforce to 19 employees. As a full-service agency, the firm offers an extensive array of services, from marketing, public relations, advertising and social media management, to creative production and web development.

“Many creative agencies are just focused on advertising, but there aren’t a lot that do marketing and public relations together,” says Nasitka. “From our experience working in-house, having marketing and public relations under one roof is a really beneficial solution for our clients.”

One such client is the OC Fair, which selected Rocket Launch as the company’s agency of record two years ago.

“Striving to bring an exceptional experience to life . . .

“Every piece of material you see promoting the fair comes from us, and it’s incredibly exciting to see all our commercials and projects come to life,” says Gibbons. “Our team has worked on commercials, contests and all types of marketing strategies for the event.”

Last year’s OC Fair drew in more than a million attendees, and the marketing process behind the event is extensive. The Rocket Launch team has already started ideating for next year’s fair theme, even before this summer’s fair takes place.

Aside from the OC Fair, Rocket Launch has a full roster of clients located across Orange County, operating from their Old Towne office. The team moved into the space three years after launching the agency, right before the pandemic hit in 2020.

“As we grew the agency, we knew it was important for us to be in an iconic location in the area,” says Nasitka. “Old Towne is the perfect spot for our staff and clients as we continue our accelerated growth path with clients based in Orange and beyond.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 25 24 Find out What’s Happening in towne at: Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW
Mike Ibba,
Rocket Launch President Mike Wheeler (left), Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Erin Gibbons and Vice President of Public Relations Dan Nasitka meet in the agency’s Old Towne office, which they opened in 2020. The trio used their creative experience to launch a full-service marketing and public relations agency that boasts local and national clients from the Orange County Fair to Dole. in Old Towne Orange! ”
Expires 8/31/23 Expires 8/31/23 Additional toppings extra Not valid with any other coupon. Must present coupon. $4.00 delivery charge. Restrictions apply. 6 16” Lg 1-Topping Pizza • Lg Dinner Salad Your choice of 2 liter of Soda or regular order of Garlic or Dessert Knots. Se ect toppings only Additional toppings extra One coupon per customer. Not valid with any other coupon. Must present coupon. $4.00 delivery charge. Restrictions apply. Offers only available at: 156 North Glassell St. & 1716 West Chapman Ave. 714-771-2222 714-939-1111 JUMBO SLICES ALL DAY LONG $3.99

Taking Off in Old Towne

Among their Orange clientele are the Haven Collective, which operates Haven Craft Kitchen, Provisions Deli and Bottle Shop, and Chapman Crafted, as well as Chapman University’s Hilbert Museum of California Art.

“We’re looking forward to continuing the work we’re doing for our clients and making connections with all the great restaurants and businesses that call Orange home,” says Nasitka.

In addition to local restaurants, the agency has an impressive client roster spanning from Dole Food Company to local chapters of the Boys & Girls Club.

“We’re fortunate to have national brands as our clients, but we also have nonprofits throughout Southern California, including the

Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Orange County Community Foundation, and others.”

That client diversity reflects Rocket Launch’s commitment to driving impactful change for a company’s bottom line. From the start, the founding partners aimed to foster meaningful client relationships and drive significant change, with a strong passion for including nonprofits and foundations in their work.

“We want to be nimble enough to still be able to help emerging companies get to where they’re at,” says Wheeler. “It’s the smaller companies that need a little bit more help, so we’re at a stage where we can help both bigger and smaller companies and do meaningful work on different scales.” •

Rocket Launch 190 South Glassell St., #201 / www. RocketLaunchAgency .com

The Draw of Old Towne

to-be incidents, she reunited with Michael. Not long after reuniting, the couple began exploring Old Towne Orange.

Drawn to the area’s quaint atmosphere, MacKenzie and Michael found the more they visited the area, the more they considered making Old Towne Orange their home.

Coupon Winner Angela MacKenzie has lived in Old Towne since 2019. She grew up in Santa Ana and attended Mater Dei High School, where she met her high school sweetheart, Michael. The couple parted ways but remained friends and stayed in touch through the years.

MacKenzie traveled, then settled in Lake Elsinore, where she owned a nail salon. After magical, meant-

“We found a house near Chapman University and love living here,” says MacKenzie. “We’re regulars at The Filling Station Cafe, and I can walk to my favorite hangouts. Our Yorkshire terrier, Leo, also enjoys walking in the neighborhood. We lead a simple life. I spend alone time in my garden, where milkweed attracts butterflies and feeders lure hummingbirds. I sit and watch caterpillars transform into butterflies and name them.”

Fittingly, MacKenzie will use her coupon at Dragonfly Shops & Gardens, one of her favorite local establishments. She plans to explore her creativity by enrolling in their classes. •

25 www. Orange Review .com /talk-of-the-towne Circle in the Square by Kirk Sivertsen / www. OrangeReview .com /archive/circle-in-the-square WIN $ 50.00 OFF ANY PURCHASE from any Plaza Review advertiser featured in this issue. Entries must be postmarked by August 15, 2023 NAME PHONE NUMBER E-MAIL COMMENTS, ETC. Mail to: Old Towne Orange Plaza Review 134 South Glassell St. #C, Orange CA 92866 Winner is selected randomly by an advertiser of the Old Towne Orange PLAZA REVIEW.
C OUPON W INNER by Marianne Lauren
July / August 2023

Waterman Don Wilson

For just shy of 40 years, Don Wilson, route owner and independent operator for Alpine Fresh, USA, has delivered water to homes and businesses throughout Southern California and the City of Orange. He got his start in the industry when he was just 13 years old.

“My mother worked at the water company warehouse,” says Wilson. “As a kid, I would go there with her, and I asked the foreman if he had any part-time work. He gave me a little interview, and for my eighth grade Easter vacation, he hired me for a week to keep the place clean.”

A couple of years later, Wilson was offered a part-time position loading the trucks at night, but he already knew he wanted to drive his own route. As he began meeting drivers and distributors, Wilson took initiative and asked to fill in for drivers when they weren’t able to work or were on vacation.

“During that time I ran routes from Newport Beach to Whittier, but the City of Orange was always my favorite route,” says Wilson. “I lived here. I went to school here. This route was the route, and I wanted to buy it.”

His parents helped him purchase the Orange route when it was put up for sale, and Wilson has been an independent distributor ever since.

“I was working with all of the guys that I had worked for,” he recalls of his early years. “We would meet for breakfast in the mornings and then go to our routes.”

Wilson expanded the business from an initial 1,000 bottles a month up to 3,000, and still serves many of his original customers.

Mike Learakos, President and CEO of Abound Food Care, has been one of those loyal customers for nearly 40 years.

“Don Wilson started as my parents’ water provider in the early to mid 1980 s,” says Learakos. “My wife and I have been relying on Don since 1986. My son moved to Placentia a couple years ago and took his bedroom furniture, his clothes and Don as his water man. Don services so many of our family, friends and business associates because his service skills are



13 Antique Depot . .

155 South Glassell St (714) 516-1731


13 Antique Station 22 178 South Glassell St (714) 633-3934

1 Country Roads Antiques 29 216 West Chapman Ave (714) 532-3041

14 Golden Bear Antiques 9 160 North Glassell St (714) 363-3996

17 Orange Circle Antique Mall 26 118 South Glassell St (714) 538-8160

19 Summerhill Ltd 27 110 South Glassell St (714) 771-7782


5 Smoqued California BBQ . . .

128 North Glassell St (714) 633-7427 24

Plaza Square (714) 288-97542

unmatched. He treats everyone like family.”

Some of Don’s clients have even become family. He met his wife, Cindy Wilson, while delivering to a local surgeon’s office in 1985. Cindy, along with their two children, Andrew and Mary, began helping Don back in 2000 after he received an epilepsy diagnosis.

“Around that time, Don started having seizures while he was awake,” says Cindy. “He couldn’t drive anymore, so since then we’ve all been helping him. We initially hired drivers, but as soon as the kids were old enough to drive, they started driving for him.”

The Wilson’s business has continued to push ahead through Don’s five brain surgeries, COVID and an unfounded lawsuit aimed at removing independent area contractors that was eventually dropped.

“We keep getting these challenging hurdles we have to jump, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have wonderful people who have helped me get through it all,” Don says. “The lawsuit came about because one of the larger businesses bought the old company that I partnered with, and they sued to take my route away from me. The case was dropped.”

Despite the challenges, Don has forged on. “Don had these electrodes on his head and had to wear a ball cap. He carried a device that looked like a garage door opener in his pocket,” says Cindy. “He persevered through


3 The Hilbert Temporary 17 216 East Chapman Ave (714) 516-5880

23 Marinus Welman - Artist C 2402 North Glassell St (714) 998-8662

8 Naranjita Flamenco D 301 East Katella Ave (714) 400-2939


18 Titan Automotive G 939 West Chapman Ave (714) 997-2311

28 Villa Ford of Orange E 2550 North Tustin St (877) 585-3090

New York Style Pizza 8 156 North Glassell St (714) 771-2222


21 Orange Farmers Market 1 303 West Palm Ave www.OrangeHomegrown.org


16 Circle City Barbers 2 133 West Chapman Ave (714) 453-9765

1 Orange Circle Optometry 15 227 East Chapman Ave (714) 538-6424


19 Rambling Rose Jewelry 25 118 South Glassell St (714) 538-6305

18 Renée Jewelers 6 138 North Glassell St (714) 538-1956


10 Caliber Real Estate Group 24 134 South Glassell St (714) 988-6339

1 Lionheart Pride . . . . . . . . . . . I (714) 745-7318 www.LionheartPride.com

1 Orange Realty J 1537 East Chapman Ave (714) 997-0050

16 Real Estate Establishment 16 550 East Chapman Ave (714) 744-5711

6 Willits Real Estate Group . . 13 229 North Glassell St (714) 315-8120

. . . . . .
26 Find out What’s Happening in towne at: Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW
4 1886 Brewing Company
114 North Glassell St (714) 922-8130 5 Citrus City Grille
122 North Glassell St (714) 639-9600 18
150 North Glassell St (714) 532-9264 1 Rutabegorz Restaurant
264 North Glassell St (714) 633-3260
Starbucks Coffee 28 44
24 Zito’s
Contact: Mike @ OrangeReview.com ( 714 ) 743-6919 Advertise to 35,000 of your Closest Customers ! Mailed to 31,000 residential & business addresses in Orange. Towne Orange LAZA All Types of Roofs Repai714-244-6567 oY o May June 2023 Orange s # Home Seller O g R T O 7 4- 997-0050 Res den Old Towne Spec a s 264 North 714-633-3260Glassell 2 0 North Gla St. W1-4 9-4689 p Y Ngonflyshopsandgarden To be to be Vegetarian Healthy Alternative RestaurantTraditional Offerings.10:30 am pmam pm CONTINUED ON PAGE 27

& M AP


14 Bear Flag Construction (949) 795-6812


9 Karl R Bonham Group . . . . 18 (714) 716-5028


11 Galla-Rini Roofing (714) 244-6567


17 H&H Income Tax Insurance 21 480 South Glassell St (714) 288-2088

Jadtec Security Services .

1520 West Yale Ave (714) 282-0828

20 Old Towne Plumbing 18

www.OldTownePlumbing.com (714) 532-6274

17 Shafer Plumbing Contractors B 1307 West Trenton Ave (714) 974-9448

19 Shannon Family Mortuary H 1005 East Chapman Ave (714) 771-1000


16 Army Navy Store 19 131 South Glassell St (714) 639-7910

12 Big Y Yardage K 320 South Tustin St (714) 744-9052 x 6

14 D’s Drapery Service . . . . . . . L 372 South Tustin St (949) 610-6779

1 Dragonfly Shops & Gardens 10 260 North Glassell St (714) 289-4689

11 & 25

The HUB OC 23 140 South Glassell St (909) 929-1390

1 Johnnye Merle Gardens . . . 29 216 West Chapman Ave (714) 532-3041

12 Matoska Trading Company

123 North Glassell St (714) 516-9940

13 Palm Market & Deli 12 608 East Palm Ave (714) 602-7729

11 Paris in a Cup (714) 538-9411



12 Orangeland RV Park F 1600 West Struck Ave (714) 633-0414

26 PUBLISHER: Mike Escobedo Design

www.OrangeReview.com (714) 771-6919

Waterman Don Wilson

all of that and kept delivering. We could have sold the route, but this is his life. His city. His family. His everything.”

Don is currently taking on new clientele and looking to expand business in Orange for home


and commercial service. Contracts are not required, and all orders are tailored to the needs of the customer. If you would like to receive more information for bottled

water delivery service needs, please contact Don directly at the number listed below. Use discount code DONWILSONWATER for additional savings. •

Don Wilson , Independent Distributor, Alpine Fresh, USA 714-418-8636 / DonWilson4 @yahoo.com

25 Rambling Rose Jewelry 21 H&H Income Tax & Insurance 24 Caliber Rea Estate 13 Will ts Rea Estate Group 27 Summerhill Ltd 9 Golden Bear Antiques 26 Orange Circle Antique Mall 3 HOUR PUBLIC PARKING 3 HOUR PUBLIC PARKING 3 HOUR PUBLIC PARKING H 3 R U O P C I L B U P G N I K R A 3 HOUR PUBLIC PARKING Oran ge City Hall ALMOND AVENUE LA VETA AVENUE EAST CHAPMAN WEST CHAPMAN ORANGE STREET LEMON STREET CYPRESS STREET OLIVE STREET CENTER STREET GRAND STREET to 55 FREEWAY to 22 FREEWAY to 5 & 57 FREEWAY PLAZA PARK PLAZA PARK Citizens Business Bank Chase Bank MAPLE AVENUE PALM AVENUE Oran g e Ma i n L i brary & H i story Center to 91 FREEWAY 2 19 Army-Navy Store 18 Karl R Bonham Group Old Towne Plumbing 20 Antique Depot PLAZA PARK PLAZA PARK Circle C ty Barbers Zito s NY Pizza 8 5 Smoqued BBQ 7 O’Hara’s Pub 11 Rutabegorz Restaurant 3 1886 Brew ng Co 4 Citrus City Grille 22 Antique Stat on 23 The HUB OC 29 Country Roads Antiques Johnnye Merle Gardens 14 Matoska Trading Company 12 Palm Market & Deli 10 The Dragonfly Shops & Gardens 1 Orange Farmers Market 16 Rea Estate Establishment 15 Orange Circle Optometry 17 The H lbert Temporary NORTH GLASSELL SOUTH GLASSELL Old Towne Post Office 6 Reneé Jewelers FREE ALL DAY PARKING FREE ALL DAY PARKING GARDEN GROVE(22)FWY H C A E B T R O P W E N ( 5 5 Y W F SANTAANA (5)FWY E G N A R O ( 7 5 ) Y W F T E E R T S L L E S S A L G CHAPMANAVENUE ARTESIA /RIVERSIDE(91) FWY H T R O N ENWOTDLO NARO G E s c e n te re d between the5,22,55, 57 & 91 F r e eways , in the Heart ofO ran ge C ou nt y oTo T U S T N S T N E W P O R T B E A C H 5 5 ) F W Y M A IN S T WALNUTAVE GARDEN GROVE (22) FWY S T G L A S S E L L KATELLA AVE Ti an Automotive G O R A N G E 5 7 ) F W Y ORANGEWOOD PLAZA REVIEW Advertisers outside the PLAZA SQUARE RETAIL DISTRICT. PLAZA REVIEW Advertisers outside the PLAZA SQUARE RETAIL DISTRICT. Orangeland RV Park F Or a nge Re a lty J L onhe a rt Pr de I Sh a nnon F ami ly Mortu a ry H Welman Art Stud o Naranji a Flamenco C D E V lla Ford of Orange AVE A Jadtec Secur ty B Shafer Plumb ng CHAPMAN AVE LINCOLN SA(5)FWY C HAPMAN U NIVERSITY 28 Starbucks Coffee D’s Drapery Serv ce L B g Y Yardage K H i lbert Museu m of C a i forn ia Art te m por a r ly reloc a ted for exp a ns on, see 18 27 www. Orange Review .co m /sponsors July / August 2023
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28 134 South Glassell • Orange, CA 92866 PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID HUNT BCH, CA PERMIT 438 Old Towne Orange P LAZA R EVIEW