The Long Beach Woman

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ISSUE 3 | VOLUME 2 | NOVEMBER 2018 Cover Photo: Elizabeth Martinez Guest Editors: Allison Kripp & Griselda Suárez Guest Writers: Lisa Khiev, Elizabeth Martinez


ELIZABETH MARTINEZ LISA KHIEV Lifestyle and Event Photographer living in Long Beach. A graduate of San Francisco State University, her experiences have molded her into a versatile visual artist. @elizabeth_carmen_

Fashion, lifestyle, and events marketer, writer, and idealist. Born a Long Beach native in Cambodia Town, Lisa enjoys collaborating with local creatives to bring to light the meaningful impact of community, authentic connection, and human empowerment. @amoderncrease.

Contributors: Writers - Layla Ali-Ahmad, Elizabeth Martinez Photography: Elizabeth Martinez, Layla Ali-Ahmad, Taka Kaguma. LB Home + Living Team: Sal Flores-Trimble, Taka Kaguma, Dan O’Brien, Elizabeth Martinez, Jimmy Lanigan. LB Home + Living




Wif. Wifmon. Wimman. Woman. Women. Womyn. Wombman. Wommin. Womxn. These are the many words used over time in the English language to identify us. Shortly after we accepted the invitation as guest editors, we researched the etymology of “woman” and learned that at its root there is the word wife. And, we know that we are much more than this word. We have always known. In celebrating women in Long Beach we acknowledge that there are still many struggles woman face. Yet, the women featured in this month’s issue take on the challenges and turn them into vibrant neighborhoods, delicious food, healthier lives, safer neighborhoods, thriving local businesses, and vibrant art scenes. A great example of how these women work together is the creative and culinary partnership between Laurie Grey and Dina Amadril. They have been sharing ingredients since the early stages of their businesses, from the artisan fairs to storefronts. This kind of collaborative business strategy is just one of many ways that make Long Beach a great place to build community. Kerstin Kansteiner and Brenda Navarro use their platforms as successful business owners to advocate for changes in how business is done in Long Beach. They want the process to be easier for everyone. Another characteristic we see in this group of women is the passion they have to create community. Tasha W. Hunter, Heather Kern, and Mealyann Nita Saing all work towards building arts and culture, from strengthening the UPTOWN Business District to producing short films that showcase the beauty and discipline it takes to be part of the NEA award-winning Khmer Arts Academy. Some of these women are great examples of how business and social change can come together to make something remarkable. Dawna Bass, Chrissy Cox, and Dana Tanner use locally sourced foods, supporting the changes in how we farm in Long Beach. We are proud to call all these women our friends and colleagues. This issue celebrates them as more than entrepreneurs - they are role models for every little girl or young women who walks into a women-owned space. Of course it is important for everyone to see women in business, but we must recognize that there are more challenges for women in our society. As this issue went to print, women in our city and in the country witnessed a Supreme Court nomination hearing filled with so much contention. This event, alongside so many others, demonstrates just how important it is for women to use their voices, be it in business, politics, arts, science, and homemaking. We believe woman, unequivocally, have the strength to transform our country and our city. We also know anyone who patronizes these businesses or supports these causes in this issue are changing how we build community and live our lives. With much respect,

Griselda Suárez and Allison Kripp


Women by the numbers


8aking Our City Thrive In 1911 women in California won that right, and Long Beach was the state's only

"Efficiency, Not Politics"

city in which every precinct gave women's

Myrtelle L Gunsul Long Beach Ciity Auditor 1919 -1951

suffrage a majority.

������ Woman-Owned 4usinesses⁰


Percentage of Women in Long Beach Unified School District*

Myrtelle L. Gunsul was elected City Auditor eleven times, and she won all her races in the primary. She received more votes than any candidate for any office on the ballot and retired after being in office for 32 years. Our Current Auditor, Laura Doud is the second woman to hold this position.

������ Woman Lead Households ⁰


��� ���

Female population in Long Beach ⁰

Woman lead households with people under the age of 17 ⁰

��� W ⁰ Available at United States Census Bureau,, 2012-2016

* Available at California Department of Education,, 2016-2017

Women now lead commissions; this is the first time women have had majority of appointments for commissions and boards since Long Beach was founded in 1897. LB Home + Living




Organic Fork

Alamitos Heights, $ Organic fast-casual cuisine. Select a protein (grilled steak, ginger chicken, carnitas, seared yellowtail) and choose between a torta, plate, bowl or salad. Alkaline aguas frescas soups available. 5726 E 7th St | Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 498-0287 |

HiroNori Craft Ramen

Bixby Knolls, $$ Ramen and bowls in a casual, communal setting. Tonkotsu, shoyu & vegan broths. Ramen combo’s and takeout available. 610 E Carson St | Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 676-4233 |

Salud Juice

Retro Row, $$ New corner location on Cherry Ave & 4th St. Cold-pressed juice, smoothies, vegan/raw bowls, toasts, soups and small plates. 1944 E 4th St, Ste 6 | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 528-8444 |

La Bodega Sanguchería Peruana by Aji

Rose Park South, $$ Peruvian sandwich & pasta shop by Aji Peruvian Cuisine (nextdoor). All pasta handmade in-house. Wine & beer available. 2306 E 4th St | Long Beach, CA 90814 (562) 439-8565 | 6

Do Good Donuts & Treats

Rose Park South, $ Gourmet mini-donuts, made to order. Rotating monthly flavors. Now serving soft serve (dairy & vegan). 2707 E 4th St | Long Beach, CA 90814 (562) 588-9328 |


Belmont Heights, $$ Slow roasted organic chicken & ribs. Vietnamese-Canadian influenced menu. Everything made from scratch. Family meals available to-go. 3632 E Broadway | Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 881-8105

Flamin’ Curry

Belmont Heights, $ Indian takeout made-to-order. Choose a three-item combo or order à la carte. 3344 E Broadway | Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 343-7319 |

1035 Thai Place

North Alamitos Beach, $ Homemade Thai food. Authentic soups, salads, curries and rice dishes. 1035 E 4th St | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 528-8447


Alamitos Beach, $$ Southern Italian fare. Fresh pastas handmade in-house. Brunch served on weekends. 204 Orange Ave | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 418-6623 |

Cuizina Filipino Cuisine

Confidential Coffee

Happy Cow Kitchen

Commodity Coffee

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken


West Side, $ Full-service Filipino street food and restaurant. Party trays and catering. Breakfast served all day. 2533 Santa Fe Ave | Long Beach, CA 90810 (562) 980-0022

Bluff Heights, $ Baked goods: pastries, cookies, tarts, quiches. Coffee and tea. Open Saturdays & Sundays. Cash only. 371 Redondo Ave, Ste C | Long Beach, CA 90814

Wrigley, $$ Memphis-style fried chicken shop. Order individual pieces, plates, or meals. Southern sides and pies. 2580 Long Beach Blvd | Long Beach, CA 90806 (562) 276-1819|

The Thickshake Factory

Downtown, $$ Fast-casual shake concept originating in India. Start with an ice cream base and choose between 30+ mix-ins and toppings. Fist U.S. location. 335 The Promenade N | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 435-0001 |

Gu Ramen Taps & Tapas

Downtown, $$ Build-your-own ramen and small Japanese plates. Third location, after Laguna Beach & Santa Ana. Beer, wine & sake. 108 W 3rd St | Long Beach, CA 90802

Mr. Makoto

Rose Park, $$ Authentic ramen on 4th St., brought to you by the owners of Seoulmate. 2741 E 4th St Suite A | Long Beach, CA 90814 (562) 386-2302 |

Loose Leaf Boba Company

Downtown, $ Artisan bubble teas, smoothies and Vietnamese-style iced coffee. 315 The Promenade N | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 435-1559

AMMATOLI Mediterranean Bites

Downtown, $$ Modern Levantine cuisine from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Palestine. Falafel, hummus, shawarma, kebabs, salads and more. 285 E 3rd St | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 435-0808 |

Downtown, $ Family owned and community focused coffee shop with modern urban décor. 137 W 6th St. | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 349-0271|

Zaferia, $ Gourmet multi-roaster pop-up, turned full-functioning coffee shop. Also serving craft beer and lunch. 1322 Coronado Ave | Long Beach, CA 90804 www.

Alamitos Beach, $$ Second location of favorite Hollywood skater bar. 1800 E Broadway | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 676-4465 | www.

Table 301

Downtown, $$$ Modern, contemporary dining in Harvey Milk Park. Full bar. 301 The Promenade N | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 436-4344 |

The Harbor

Downtown, $$ Skee-ball bar with craft cocktails and fresh seafood. By the owner of Pier 76 Fish Grill. 130 Pine Ave | Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 269-0832 | www.

Wolf’s Brew

Lakewood Village, $ Small, family owned coffee shop and art gallery. 4145 Norse Way | Long Beach, CA 90808 (562) 982-4023 |

The Firkin Pub & Grill

Belmont Heights, $ English themed beer and wine bar. Fresh pub food with vegan options. 3411 E Broadway Ave | Long Beach, CA 90803 Phone number (562) 433-3769

Bodhi’s Korner

Marina, $ Fresh salads, sandwiches, bowls and breakfast, served in a laid-back environment. Vegan options. 6473 Pac. Coast Hwy. Ste E3 | Long Beach, CA 90803 (562) 431-4444





On a Thursday morning, I sat among chatty morning conversations and coffee at Long Beach’s local Berlin Bistro, awaiting to be accompanied by City Councilwoman, Lena Gonzalez. – fitted comfortably in a business casual blazer over a blouse, casual skinny denims, and cheetah flats. With sleek hair brushed and tucked under her ear on one side, her confident, yet relaxed demeanor immediately carried over a warm presence as she walked over to our table. For half an hour next, I sat and talked with Lena to learn more about her roles and efforts for the city of Long Beach, and why having the “-woman” behind “Councilwoman” was important to her.


As far back as you can remember, what drove you into the career you have today? Who were your influences? I have a very strong mother who immigrated here when she was 7 and she came from a very poor family and my dad also came from a very poor family.. so for me, seeing them work hard and wanting to improve their quality of life was transformative. Now for me, it’s like “How can I do a little bit more for my community?” which enticed me to become someone in public office and really serve the community because I see a lot of my residents, like my parents - It’s really important to give back in that sense. How long have you been a City Council member/woman and over those years what have been your biggest challenges? I’ve been a City Councilwoman for a little over four years but I’ve worked for the city for almost ten years. The

challenges that I’ve faced … It’s like I know my district very well, but there’s always difficulties in a district that’s constantly evolving and changing. We came from little investment and no resources and have put in a lot of work and I think the main issue right now is seeing people being displaced from their homes. For me, that’s a major challenge - ‘what can we do as policy makers to make it stop?’ We want people, we want diversity, it’s hard to watch what is happening.

women at the school board level, we need them not only on City Council, but on commissions and on boards… we need to make sure that we’re always supporting other women as much as possible in any leadership role.

What are some important projects you are working on now that are dear to your heart?

I would say, get a mentor. It’s good to have women mentors, but it’s also good to have male mentors. Find people who you aspire to be and stick with them because you can learn a lot from them. I think that’s important. My staff is not only my staff, I learn a lot from them as well –we mentor each other. I would also say keep involved, stay politically involved, especially now. Particularly in your own city; Are you going to meetings? Are you staying in tune with the infrastructure that’s happening, the changes in your community and in your city? Keep up to date because no matter if you go into interior design or political science, it all matters and it all affects you. You shouldn’t be surprised if anything happens because you’re involved.

Wow.. I’m working on quite a bit! (Lena laughs). We’re working on a few things. One is immigration. We have the highest Latino population in the First District with over 60% of our residents. In addition to that, we have a lot of Cambodian families, so for us, immigration is a big deal. In this city, it should be a big deal. It’s always just something we can work extensively on… sanctuary, city policy, and spending money on how we can fight deportation. Number two is digital inclusion. We know that about 30,000 of residents are offline in the city of Long Beach.. which is crazy, how are people not connected? How do we get people connected and how do we also get them jobs in tech? It’s become a passion of mine because I also work in technology. And lastly, park equity. I am making sure we have park programs in places where the city needs it the most - the West side of the city, Downtown, and Central Long Beach. Places need to have park programs so kids stay out of trouble and to support families and seniors. That’s the three major ones we’re working on. What can you say are your 3 favorite things about the city of Long Beach? How does it tie into your work? So, I love the people! We have the coolest, most eclectic, fun, and creative people – we have artists, small business owners, young families and seniors.. all of that combined is what makes the city amazing. I love serving the most eclectic district, it’s so cool. Number two is that I feel that I can raise my kids here, and I do. Sometimes, Long Beach gets a bad rep as being crime-ridden, but I think we are just the opposite. You can raise your family, you can get an education and you can work here. Lastly, I just love the variety of local businesses that we have. I love coming to local businesses to dine, shop, and all that fun stuff. As a leading woman and active member of the City Council, do you feel women need to be more represented in the work you do? Or in other industries? If yes, how so? Yes, yes, and yes! (Lena laughs) I actually refer to myself as ‘Council – WOMAN’ vs. ‘Councilmember’ because I think there’s power in that. There’s only four of us on the City Council. There’s nine members. We absolutely should have more women in public office and in staff. I have Jennifer (looks over at Jennifer next to her), who is incredible. We need more of her in public offices as well. We need more

What kind of advice can you give to the Long Beach community - and specifically, young women interested in taking on “difficult” roles and struggling to break through?

How can we get involved as community members to learn more about your work and to continue making a difference with you? Well, first and foremost, social media is so important. You can learn about everything we’re doing on Instagram @ lenagonzalezlb. We love putting on events for the community, I would say, ‘come out and enjoy.’ Get to know your neighbors. Give us ideas, because we don’t always have the best ideas. Stay involved in that sense… and if you can, come to the City Council meetings, and if you have an issue that you want to talk about, it’d be great to hear people’s voices there.

“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” MELINDA GATES LB Home + Living


looking street and do business and share that with the neighborhood. I’ve always lived in the neighborhood and at the time, I was the president of the Historic Rose Park Neighborhood Association, so it kind of all fed into one another. Portfolio coffee house... Can you tell us a bit more about its upbringing? Why a coffee shop and not a bar?



If you’ve lived in Long Beach anytime in the past decade, there’s an absolute chance that you’ve visited the most popular coffee house on Retro Row. Portfolio Coffee House is located on 4th and Junipero, sitting in the heart of a busy street block and just minutes from the beach. Have you ever wondered who’s behind this popular business front? Starts with a K and ends with a K - Kerstin Kansteiner. There’s a rumor going around that you started “Retro Row”, have you heard this before? Well, I’m honored, but that’s not quite the truth! The beauty of Retro Row is that it’s a community effort. Myself and another shop owner Kathleen from Meow were the first two businesses on Retro Row in the late 80s. All the other store fronts were boarded up, there were many people living there, but no other shops. And then a corner shop opened up, called Siren. We decided to meet monthly, which turned into weekly to clean up the street. We would meet every Saturday, with a broom and trash in hand, drag it down the street and just clean, and that’s how we started. We then began meeting as business owners to share information, tips, grievances, and anything that made things easier for all of us. As soon as another shop opened, we would incorporate them and would hold our meetings at Portfolio and maybe that’s why there is that connection between me and Retro Row. In reality, it was a group effort, to make it a cleaner, better

So, I was born in Germany, and I came here in 1989 for a six month internship. I spoke English, but I didn’t know anybody and I thought, “where do I go to meet people?” and in Europe, you go to coffee houses. It’s always at the center of town and it’s a good place to meet locals in a comfortable environment that doesn’t involve drinking alcohol. I thought I’d find the same thing here, I would ask people and they would say, “What? No. There are no coffee houses.” and I was like, “What!?” Where do I go? Do I go to a bar? Do I hang out at a restaurant? I was shocked. So, fast-forward a few years later, I’m still living here, I get married, and we thought we should do this, we should create a coffee house. We loved art, so it first opened as an art gallery serving coffee and people kept coming back for the coffee and we thought, “This is it! People want this here.” That’s how Portfolio was born. We kept the art component - I mean to this day, we showcase different artist all the time - at Portfolio’s, Berlin, the Art Theater and Art Du Vine. It was a tie-in, a voice for the community. How long has Portfolio been in business and what’s its connection to Berlin? Portfolio never had a food component, eventually, we dedicated a room to making sandwiches and salads. In 2008, when the economy took a dive, we noticed we were still going strong and actually saw an increase in food sales. It was right around that time we began thinking about opening Berlin and then a space became available. This was the future, a casual setting where a person could have a glass of wine, or a cup of a coffee, and another person could have a healthy salmon lunch with vegetables. That’s how we added Berlin to the mix. We didn’t want to confuse Berlin with Portfolio, so we added “by Portfolio’s” next to “Berlin”. It was a different concept and I didn’t want people to think it was the same place. It was born out of demand, people who wanted a healthier option, but didn’t want to go to an expensive 5 star restaurant. The name “Berlin was a nod to home. My family, at the time, still lived in Berlin and the building reminded me of home. What does a women’s magazine issue mean to you? I think any emphasis on women or any minority, is always great. I still think we have a lot of leg work to do. It’s just commendable for anybody to emphasize us. I participated at Cal State LB in a women studies class for years. The professor would ask me to come in with two other ladies, we were all women, in male dominated professions and talk to the class. Many times I’m in the back office and

people ask for the owner, I come up front, and then they ask me, “Is he coming?” they assume it’s a man. Women have great sensibility, we can be tender and strong at the same time and it would be beneficial for everyone to learn that. I appreciate that. What can we expect from you next? Anything exciting for your (coffee) supporters + community members? I can’t say too much but I just took over the wine bar near the Art Theater. I was excited to expand on that a bit and did some light remodeling. I just want to focus on what I have right now, sometimes ‘less is more’ is key. I’m super happy with everything I have on my plate, and as long as I can manage that, I’m good.

“I love to see a young girl go and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch, you’ve got to go out and kick ass.” MAYA ANGELOU



A new mother, a full-time undergraduate at California State University Long Beach, community leader, Aspara dancer and Miss Cambodian American, MealyAnn Saing is a woman on the rise with no chances of slowing down anytime soon. We had the chance to sit with “Mealy” and discuss her roles and how they have shaped her. Tell us a bit about your background. Did you grow up in Long Beach?




PROUDLY WOMAN OWNED AND OPERATED 5668 E 2nd St., Long Beach - Naples


Yes, born and raised here in Long Beach, I went to Poly High School. I graduated in 2014. I danced for the Cambodian Academy on Obispo and Anaheim for 8 years as a teen. For those unfamiliar with Apsara Dance, what is it? Apsara dance was strictly performed for the royals of Cambodia. When Cambodia went through a genocide, a lot of the teachers of Aspara were killed. The regime didn’t want to conserve any of the culture, so if Cambodians knew the dance they were forced to hide it. Over time, those generations that wanted to keep the culture alive began to expand the dance to other countries and to all people. My dance teacher, Sophiline Shapiro, who founded the Academy here in Cambodia Town, was one of those pioneers who wanted to preserve the culture. She was really young during the Khmer Rouge and when she came to America she created the Khmer Arts Academy for all to learn and keep the culture alive.

Can you explain what it means to be Miss Cambodian American and how it has impacted your life? Yes, the pageant I competed in was in Lowell, Massachusetts. I had to fly over there and compete with people from all over the county and it was a really great experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect but after I won, they flew me to Cambodia and I literally felt like a superstar. There are no pageants in Cambodia, there is zip. None. So it was really interesting to go around as a “Miss World”. That’s what they called me there.. “Miss World”. I traveled to different schools with Miss Global and her royal court, we taught students about sustainable environmental practices such as reduce, reuse and recycle which they now have implemented into their curriculum. It was so cool! What are some organizations you are involved with and what kind of work do you do for the Long Beach community? Growing up in Long Beach, I’ve been exposed to SO many different opportunities. I was able to teach youth leadership and work with kids, which I love. Second, I used to do community outreach for the Port of Long Beach, which I learned a lot from. In college, I joined Alpha Pi Omega, a community service fraternity that has chapters all over the world. For anyone who’s interested in service, I highly recommend this organization. One of my favorite programs we put on was when we partnered with ‘Beacon for Him’ church, we organized a fine dining experience for the homeless residents in that area. We turned the entire church into a beautiful restaurant just to make them feel special. I was really lucky because I was the one that spearheaded that project and it turned out great! What are you studying and what do you want to do once you graduate? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? So, I’m a double major in supply chain management and business management. What I want to do is franchise my own company and I’ve decided upon a boba store. I love boba! I’m obsessed with boba! lol I’ve been taking the courses to learn how to franchise and hopefully I can get it going by next year! What is your relationship to the food scene in LB? Well my family owns a few Cambodian restaurants here in Long Beach. The first one is La Lune Restaurant. Then, we have Little La Lune. We also have Monorom, on Anaheim and Junipero. Then we have Cyclo Noodles, the only pho restaurant near school. What is your favorite Cambodian dish? I really like Lok Lak... It’s like filet mignon, peppered beef with onions over rice. Everyone does it differently, but it’s so good. You should try it! 12



A soul for the arts, Tasha Hunter grew up in local Inglewood and later transplanted to Long Beach as her career as a filmmaker turned community advocate and more, emerged. Now, as a full-time mother, executive director of the Uptown Business District, and the president of the Arts Council for Long Beach, Tasha’s many roles continue to weave into our city’s involvement in the arts and its people. Tell us who you are. I am a mother of three amazing young people… and the executive director of the Uptown Business District. I’m also the president of the Arts Council of Long Beach and a culture heritage commissioner. How would you describe your role in Long Beach? Strengthening and enlivening communities through business and arts sustainability. Uptown District is my job, and the Arts Council is my passion and the two weave into each other. What does it mean to you to be a female leader in today’s society? I don’t try to be a leader.. I just want to get the job done. I’ve been fortunate with timing, the door has always been open for me. That’s huge to say that I’m a leader.... I just want to do the good work of the people, to serve the underserved, and I want to serve those that have the ability

to help others. As a woman? I’ve had some strong women in my life and I continue to keep strong women in my life. What it means to be a woman is finding my own voice and being passionate about the things that are important to me and our city. Do you find it challenging at times to carry the roles that you do? The toughest part is coming to terms that I can’t do everything. There’s so much. I have daily motivations that pop up on my phone.. And the one that popped up today is “not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” That was by Mother Teresa. That’s how I lead. I tell anecdotes. I tell little stories. My background is in filmmaking and I also went to school for journalism. Both my bachelors and master degree are in film. Working in film, I’ve worked in large studios, Discovery Channel, BET, .. I’ve done all kinds of different things. And then, when I took a hiatus from the film industry, I worked at a church as a Director of Operations, which is so outside of my comfort zone. They hired me because I know how to take large things and put them together, I also do event planning. So when I came to the church, the pastor told me, “you’re responsible for everything that’s not biblical or sermon-related. I love the fact that you have all this business experience, arts experience, filmmaking experience, leadership experience, but I am going to task you with something. I want you to lead from the heart, as if you are dealing with broken people.” I think that’s the challenging part, to lead from your heart, It’s very human. That was in 2012, it was a transformative moment for me. I was raised by a Marine Dad and a sweet Mother with a background in producing film. So, taking that and leading from the heart is what I’ve done since. What advice can you give to women aspiring to take on a similar role? I let them know to be kind, my mother taught me to always be kind. She used to say, “You need to kill a person with kindness” and to this day, I can say I’ve never burned any bridges. Also to humble themselves enough to be able to apologize or find resolution. Taking on a similar role? I would say.. to have a self-care regime in everything you do. The world is so fast-paced. I listen to affirmations every morning - “Speaking to your inner child - you are enough, you are growing, you are everything.” Affirmations, that’s daily self-care. I also fit in the gym but Self-care is our armor. What are some of the best things about Long Beach, from food to culture? I grew up in Inglewood, CA, and then we moved to Orange County, then I moved to Long Beach. I love the people and the diversity, It’s like a little UN. I love the food. Also the young people, I used to teach at Long Beach Unified; I still go in once or twice a year to teach. The young

people have vision and drive. And, the art. We have so many different mediums; film festivals, art galleries, and murals. The murals in Long Beach are always telling stories, they’re beautiful. What are some of your favorite food spots in Long Beach? I am big on Indian and Thai food. We have two big Indian restaurants here, the Ratash, downtown and Kittara, near Cal State. El Pollo Imperial near the Business District is amazing. I also like Seabirds. I love all the different cultural food options. I’m also very into mom and pops, I like to spend my money at places that are supporting families rather than corporations. How can we learn more or get involved in the work that you do? For the business district, we have our Instagram and website at and the social is @uptownbiz. For Arts Council, we have a website at We have an arts registry asking artists of all genres to go and upload their work. We focus on helping artists to sustain their craft while remaining in the city. Main projects at Arts Council? Our main focus now is arts education. We have bigger grants and micro grants for community projects. We’re targeting the schools and teaching students about the cultural arts. Arts Council is always doing something. With Uptown District, we are going through a lot of changes in North Long Beach. A lot of new businesses and developments are coming in the next few years.

“I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best, the subject I want to know better” FRIDA KAHLO LB Home + Living



helping brands tell their story LB Home + Living


go to buy all of these local goods. That’s when they told me they were going to open a local goods pop up holiday shop and asked if I would be the manager. I used my knowledge, resources and enthusiasm to get about 15 local brands in the store for the opening of MADE on Black Friday 2014. The store continued to take on more brands and expand to fill most of the 4,000 square foot space. In 2016, the lease with Localism was ending and the store was facing closure until Millworks (owned by Michelle Molina) came in and started a new lease. Since then MADE has grown exponentially with multiple events on a regular basis, 2 dedicated art galleries, a pop up restaurant and we just keep evolving. What makes MADE MADE?



It is no doubt that Long Beach is beginning to grow into a cultural and tourist oasis. With so much diversity, the amazing food scene, and new and exciting events being held in the city, it is no wonder many people flock from all over. A popular store front right in the heart of Downtown became the perfect stop for locals and visitors alike. That store front is MADE by Millworks. Heather Kern, a Dream Facilitator for MADE sheds light on the humble beginnings of the store / art gallery and how this hub is an important aspect for a Long Beach small business owner. To those who may not know you, can you inform us on who you are and how MADE came to be? When did your passion begin and how did it tie into MADE being a storefront for consumers? My name is Heather Kern, I am the Executive Director at MADE by Millworks, AKA the Dream Facilitator. In 2012, I launched a Facebook Page that was dedicated to the counterculture in Long Beach, a page that would promote local businesses, events, and general news. People started noticing the page and from that, I met a variety of local movers and shakers including Michelle Molina. When I took a job with Localism In the Fall of 2014, I mentioned that I had created local gift baskets for holiday gifts the previous Christmas, that I had driven around town to get local goods including a jar of Mole from Sliced and Diced, chocolate from Anandamide, wine from Long Beach resident owned vineyard at Wine Country, and how cool would it be if there was one place where someone could 16

It’s all about the people. MADE does not exist without the over 100 local brands, makers, artisans, writers and artists that we feature. The sheer volume of local talent allows the store to be hyper local exclusively featuring brands within 25 miles of the store, with about 90% of them from right here in Long Beach. MADE is not only a retail shop, but also an art gallery and event space. We have large scale permanent art installations, 2 rotating art galleries, staff pick guides for out of town visitors that helps them shop, eat and drink like a local, guided mural bike tours that meet and depart twice a month from MADE, community events, private events, and an incubator for growing brands. At least 6 brands that were once for sale at MADE have gone on to open their own brick and mortar businesses, including The Pie Bar, Black Ring Coffee, Saints and Sinners, Romeo Chocolates, Wide Eyes Open Palms and Long Beach Creamery. We have some owners of local brands that have been able to quit their day jobs to pursue running their brands full time. This is where the title Dream Facilitator comes in to play. A title given to me by my friend and fellow dream facilitator Alyssandra Nighswonger. Everyday, people who make something, have a brand, write, paint, sculpt .. you name it, come into the store asking how to have their works featured here. As a woman entrepreneur, what are some challenges that you face? I can’t say that I have faced many challenges directly. Being involved in your community opens doors for you regardless of gender. You just have to be bold enough to walk through them and ask for help if you can’t quite do it on your own. I work for and surround myself with inspiring women. I take notes when I am around them, I listen to their experiences and share my own. What is your relationship to Art? It’s all around me, life is art. Everything is art if you take the time to tilt your head, tilt your mind, find the angle … it will reveal itself to you. My personal relationship with art is as an admirer and now as an advocate. At MADE we have such a large physical space that with both Michelle’s (Molina) and my own passion for art, it was a no brainer to ded-

icate a space to an art gallery with rotating exhibits. Since 2016, we’ve had over 15 art exhibits and have recently expanded to dedicate another space to be a community art gallery which will allow us to get even more artists a shot at a gallery show. It’s extremely important to me to continue to work hard to get low brow and sub culture art and artists on exhibit in Long Beach. Tell us about Live After 5. How did it come to be? Live After 5 is a monthly event created and sponsored by the Downtown Long Beach Alliance. It started a few years ago and at the fundamental level has always been about getting people out exploring downtown by providing free live music in a variety of creative ways and spaces. I have been curating the recent vision of Live After 5 since March. The current direction of this monthly event is to feature several free live music activations throughout downtown at various businesses to motivate people to visit all of downtown and includes a free trolley service to help attendees get to all of the locations. Live After 5 occurs on the Third Thursdays monthly from 5pm-9pm.



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hand every day, it’s very labor intensive. To make one pie from start to finish takes about an hour and a half, so who these days, has an extra hour and a half to make a pie? What was your “A-ha” moment when beginning the Pie Bar? I remember the exact moment. I spent thirty years in corporate America and decided to leave that world and wanted to do something that I loved, so I started baking again. The Pie Bar was born in January of 2015 and started out of my home kitchen. I was baking 2 pies at a time, out of my oven, sometimes 14 hours a day. If I had 30 pies to bake and could only bake 2 at a time, that’s 15 hours of baking. Those were long days… I would start at 6 in the morning, bake all day, go to bed at 2 in the morning, set my alarm for 6 a.m. and do it all over again. That’s when I realized I was in love, it became my passion and my new path. Is there a “signature pie” at The Pie Bar?



If you’re not a pie person, you’re missing out.Pies are not only those sweet, warm, and savory treats you look forward to every Thanksgiving. Pies are LIFE! That’s what fans of The Pie Bar might say. The Pie Bar, an independently-owned local pie shop located in Downtown Long Beach is a sweet establishment founded by woman boss Laurie Gray. Laurie Gray’s story is all about passion and purpose. She and her team spend every day serving the community through her one-of-a-kind pies. Can you tell us more about how you got started in baking? I grew up on a ranch where we harvested all of our own fruits and vegetables. My mother taught me how to bake all kinds of goodies including pie, which was my favorite. And, why baked pies over any other baked good? I grew up with a stay-at-home Mom who had all the time in the world to bake. Now, fast forward 20 years, I’m an adult – I have a full-time job, a husband, kids. I didn’t have time to bake, my kids grew up with boxes of sweets like twinkies. I feel like there’s a whole generation that missed out on baked goods from scratch, especially pie. It’s a dessert that many people don’t have the patience or will to make. You can quickly whip together some brownies or cupcakes… but pie from scratch? Not so much. The secret to a good pie is the crust and that’s the hardest part about making a pie. We make all of our dough by 18

Yes, we’re famous for our key lime pie. We sell it whole, sliced, cutie pies which are the mason jar pies, and pie shots. I’ve had people tell me they don’t like key lime pie, then try mine and tell me, “this pie changed my life.” Why key-lime? It’s an old family recipe. I’ve had people come from Florida and tell me “this is one of my best key-lime pies I’ve ever had” and they live in Florida, where key-limes come from. We use high-quality ingredients and put a lot of love into them and it shows. As a woman and small business owner, how do you feel being a part of the LB community? I love our Long Beach community. I love being a business owner and resident of Downtown. I love interacting with everyone. I get to know my regulars, get to meet out-oftowners and show them all that Long Beach has to offer. I think it’s important as a business owner to be involved in local community. Do you collaborate with other businesses? Of course! We collaborate with the Long Beach Creamery, Romeo Chocolate’s, Soy Wax Candles, Black Ring Coffee, etc.. I’m all about small businesses supporting small businesses. Long Beach loves small businesses! What advice would you give to someone who wants to start something of their own? I would say surround yourself with a good support network, be persistent, be passionate, believe in yourself, believe in your product. Don’t be afraid to fail, you’re going to make mistakes. I try not to make the same mistake twice though. Don’t be afraid to take risks, and when you do fail, get back up and try again and again and again.

Tell us a bit about your sourcing, process, and what inspired you. Everything surrounding our juice and food is a different experience on its own. We work with the farmers, we go to local farmers markets, we try to be as earth conscious as possible. Everything including the bottling, is kept at the highest vibration for the planet and the health of the beings on this planet. That’s always at the forefront, no matter what. The packaging that we use is compostable and we work with the office of sustainability, we’re always looking for more ways to be sustainable and to work with our community, and inspire the movement. How did the restaurant, Under the Sun, emerge?



Dawna Bass and Chrissy Cox give a new meaning to the phrase “Power Couple.” As they sit across from me in their eco-friendly, health-conscious restaurant, Under the Sun, I can’t help but feel a sense of calm and wonder. With it’s high ceilings and natural light coming through the open deck windows of 3rd Street, there is almost a luminous appearance embracing this earthy establishment. If you haven’t heard the story of these two before, you’re in for a treat.. A healthy conversational treat, at that. How did Rainbow Juices come together? We are a couple and we met through roller derby. At that time, both of us were athletic and vegan, but as you know, being vegan doesn’t always mean healthy. When you’re an athlete, your energy can drop drastically when you don’t eat the right kinds of proteins. So, we wanted to learn more to get right with our bodies. We did a lot of research into maximizing your energy, optimal health, and organics, and that’s when we started juicing! We began juicing from our house, learning creative ways to use the pulp, different recipes and then our teammates started asking for some. We started bringing them to practice, Chrissy is also a Kundalini yoga teacher, so she started bringing them to her classes, people would drink them and be like, “that’s good, can you make this much and I’ll buy a case next week?” With the response from people around us, we realized people needed it and for us, the biggest thing was we loved doing it.

We opened rainbow juices in 2015. Then about a year and a half ago, the entire building came up for rent. Our landlord knew we were growing and came to us and said, “hey, if you’re interested, you guys have first dibs.” I mean, we had just opened, so we debated back and forth, kept thinking, kept dreaming, and that’s how it starts with us. Our chemistry together in business organically springs us forward. It just happens. They started showing the building to other prospects, and we thought, “that can’t be right!” so we told them we were interested. When it first came up, we started envisioning it straight down the middle… [...] We’ve been open now since 2017, and there’s a lot of synergy. We utilize products for both places, carry the juices. We don’t like to waste anything. What’s a menu favorite at both? Our first juice at Rainbow was the Pop Eye, it’s green with fruit mixed in. The ABC is also a favorite. Our watermelon is coming into season.. [..] the Goddess is one of our most sought-after juices and The Fix is also a good one, it’s a 4oz tonic. For Under the Sun, our newest item - the 3rd street tacos have been a hit. It has eggplant, squash, onion, chives, radish, and romaine. All the ingredients come from our farm here, the definition of a local street taco. It’s really popular and won’t be around forever, because eggplant is in season now. The Tuna Wrap, wrapped up in a cauli green with veggies and the BBQ Cheese bowl are also two of our most popular items and they are served all year round. When it comes down to it, our foods is all about taste, texture, and technique. We strive to provide the freshest protein experience you can find. Being vegetarian or vegan is no easy task, it takes a lot of discipline and commitment. For those who have taken on the challenge and responsibility to help create a more sustainable planet, I commend you. Dawna and Chrissy are an inspiration to our community, they have taken their love for each other and this planet and turned it into a movement; pledging to keep our planet healthy, one juice at a time. LB Home + Living


mend LB for any small business owner. By June, I got a demo of the place; I tried to repurpose and reuse as much as I could with what came with the building – furniture, fixtures, patio, and 18 days later, we opened! It was such a family affair! I had a lot of relatives and friends helping and sweat equity (laughs). Were you scared? It’s always scary opening a new business.. “What happens if I fail?” In restaurants, it’s volatile and stressful, but.. I saw my financials and saw what I was doing with them and thought, “I can do this.” What are the positives and negatives of this journey?



The story of any business owner, entrepreneur, and leader is always one of inspiration in nature. For many, we think, “How do they do it?” “Where do they find the time?” “What led them there?” “How can I get there?” Dana Tanner, owner of Restauration on 4th street, has worked in the restaurant business for years and learned to navigate life by taking on the skills of many, “A Jack of all Trades”, she says. How did she become a founder and small business owner? Good question. We sat down with Dana on a busy Sunday morning, coffee in hand. When did you open Restauration and how did you come up with the idea? We’ve been here for over 4 years. July was actually our 4 year anniversary. I’ve lived in Long Beach for years and have always been in restaurants, actually worked in Los Angeles doing operations for a couple independently-owned units. It was fun and I learned a lot. Then, I had my son and while I was on maternity leave, starting creating boards on Pinterest and began curating what I wanted - the look and feel, everything. I took all of that knowledge and began building my mantra. During that time, I found this location for sale – At that point, I was sick of commuting to LA and even though my job was great, I thought to myself, “it takes me over 17 miles and the traffic!.” I saved up a lot of money, got a loan through the city, which was actually such a smooth process, I highly recom20

Obviously, in the restaurant industry, your work to personal life balance is usually very skewed. It’s hard to let go. It’s hard to trust somebody else to do things for you.. I get frustrated when things aren’t done right, but I was determined to make it work for me. With my kids now, for instance, I can pick them up from school and bring them to the restaurant. My daughter knows if she wants to be here with me, she has to do some chores. She’s learning a lot of work ethic and it’s fun to have her around. It’s also close enough to my home, I can always pop over if we need something. That’s improved a lot. We also have a tight-knit staff from front to back, so that’s really cool. Also, even though I had a goal of what I wanted to do, sometimes the neighborhood might not want that. For example, something I might enjoy when I go out doesn’t mean that represents my bread and butter and what it brings to this establishment. We tweak things as we go and figure it out. We have a pretty good system going for me and my Chef Partner. Eventually, maybe we could do other fun concepts in Long Beach that represent the other flavors and genres of restaurants in the city. What’s the people’s favorite on the menu? People want our frittatas at all hours of the day, so now we serve breakfast all day. People looove the burger! It’s a quality cheeseburger, prepared with the special ingredients, you can taste the difference. Our juices are also made in-house, right now, we have a watermelon and pineapple for our sangria. We also have our pizzas coming back! Everyone would come through and ask us if “the pizza station is ready? Our pizzas are the next big thing. Do you have other locations? or thinking of expanding? At the moment this is the only location. We’ve been approached regarding new developments but it hasn’t been the right time. Also new developments don’t really appeal to me.. I’m into tidy urban grit. Now that we’re a bit more settled, I think maybe we can appeal to expand.. but not for Restauration. Maybe a new restaurant.

What were your influences growing up? I don’t think I have any influences in the food and beverage industry. But when it comes to work ethic, I would say my mom. What does it mean for you to be a boss woman? I think it means having a mom mentality about lots of things. Want to know how to be a boss? Look at moms. A boss helps their team develop, and I’m constantly trying to find ways to help my team along with myself. Also having integrity and being accountable is important and you must always treat everyone with respect.. that’s a good boss woman. I think a lot of it comes from maternal instincts as well. C








“For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; we deserve lipstick, if we want it, & free speech; we deserve to be sexual & serious – or whatever we please. We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.” NAOMI WOLF


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Permanent Cosmetics, Medical Tattooing, Non-Laser Tattoo Removal HomeBeach, + Living CA 90803 21 5520 E. 2nd Street #6 & 7LBLong (562) 826-1184 E:


LB Home + Living


PLAY TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY with BEACH CITY FOOD TOURS Beach City Food Tours provides the ultimate food lover’s experience. Visitors and locals can sign up for a professionally guided tour through the city’s best local eateries. Over the course of three hours, guests will walk the downtown core, sampling signature dishes from curated stops, while learning about each restaurant’s origin story, city history, art and architecture.



Pier 76 Fish Grill Sample: Smoked fish tacos & Pineapple Cider

George’s Greek Cafe Sample: Saganaki a.k.a. “The Flaming Cheese”

STOP 3 Michael’s Pizzeria Sample: Margherita Pizza and Nero d’Avola

STOP 4 STOP 5 Recreational Coffee Sample: The Iced Basilfruit and Vegan Donuts

Rainbow Juices Sample: Flight of Organic Cold-Pressed Juice

STOP 8 Romeo Chocolates Sample: Belgian Sipping Chocolate

STOP 6 MADE by Millworks Sample: Shop locally made goods at a discount

STOP 7 The Pie Bar Sample: Key Lime Pie “Shots”





Comfort Food: Anything in noodle form.

Comfort Food: Chicken Tikka Masala. The spicier, the better

Comfort Food: Chinese food and pizza. If you believe in yourself, all food can be comforting.

Go-To Watering Hole: Mezcalero I love Long Beach because of its community, laid back vibe and sense of pride.

Go-To Watering Hole: The Stache Bar I love Long Beach because it’s a big city with the community of a small town. There’s something for everyone here.

Go-To Watering Hole: EJ’s Pub in Bixby Knolls I love Long Beach for its range of culinary & cultural diversity.

EAST VILLAGE CRAFT COCKTAIL TOUR Sip your way through Downtown Long Beach’s favorite watering holes, while learning about the city’s growing craft cocktail movement. • Drink at 4 stops in Downtown Long Beach’s • East Village Arts District over 3 hours. • Visit the filming location of 6-time Oscar Award winner, “La La Land.” • Nosh on curated small bites throughout the tour. • Learn trivia about your favorite spirits! • No lines. No cash. Just fun. 25




Lola’s Mexican Cuisine Built on a foundation of family and love, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine proves with every delicious bite that when something is created out of love, you can taste the difference. Brenda Rivera along with her husband (Luis) and mother-in-law (Lola) have built a place to gather with friends and family, enjoy your favorite mexican dishes while trying something new, all at the same time. “We strive to keep to our traditional roots while adding a current twist. We do classic dishes like enchiladas but add a butternut cream sauce to it. Our spin is to create a menu with a vast variety of flavors.” says Rivera. After 10 years of operations, 2 restaurant locations and many catering collaborations within the community, Rivera is no stranger to the hardships of being a business woman. Her advice, “Never let negativity hold you down, being a woman is hard enough, so lead by example. The only way to make a change for women in business is to break the mold, challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help.” Celebrating the little wins is one of her key ingredients as well, “Feel accomplished everyday in whatever you do.” she says. In that case, Margaritas

anyone? Rivera finds inspiration from her mother, “She always looked put together and gave us (her daughters) her whole heart. She is the best at exploring and trying new things. Which gives me the confidence to be the best I can be, and I love her for it,” Lola’s is proud to announce that they are teaming up with Long Beach Unified, the Long Beach Arts Council and the Water Department to create an exhibit to teach kids about photography and water conservation. Not only do they have the best green salsa in the city (Green Crack, literally, it’s called Green Crack.) They play a vital role in our city by collaborating with other small businesses and making Long Beach what it is today. “Community collaboration and support is our business model, it helps all of us grow and continue to build a better city.”


Primal Alchemy Catering Dana Buchanan, a self-made entrepreneur, alongside her husband are the brains behind Primal Alchemy Catering. Buchanan’s “Passion for good food, commitment to sustainability and insatiable need to create and manifest.” she says is her driving

force. That combined with her knowledge of business, her husband’s 15 years of experience as a chef and running events, they are the definition of Power Couple. Primal Alchemy was founded on “seasonal, sustainable and local” Buchanan states. “We cook with respect for our ingredients, all our food is hand-crafted in our kitchen, from jams, sauces, mustards etc. we make it all, we don’t just provide food, we create an experience around food for our events.” They are the first food business in Long Beach to earn the statewide sanctioned “Green Business” certificate along with being “Blue Certified” with the Long Beach Water Department. “We source ingredients from local farms, ranches, fisherman, artisan food makers and even some foraging.” she states. Avid collaborators with local businesses such as Long Beach Creamery, Polly’s Coffee, Romeo Chocolates, Proper’s Picklers, etc. they embody the Long Beach philosophy We’re all in this together. “We are not the kind of caterer that chases bids, we like to partner with our clients in a mutual collaboration.” says Buchanan. When seeking inspiration she admires women who approach life with “authenticity, integrity and congruence” Her personal list of traits she admires in women include, “open mindedness, if nothing else and open mind, passion for life’s work and play. Vision, if you can’t envision you can’t create. A sense of humor, being able to laugh with others and certainly at yourself. The lethal combination of smarts and acuity, and lastly kindness, the strongest women also know how to be kind.” she states.

With her love for food, sustainability and connection, Dana Buchanan is creating the perfect guideline for small businesses everywhere and we couldn’t be more thrilled that she has chosen to do it right here in Long Beach.

DAYNA MANCE Prism Boutique

For all you shopaholics who haven’t visited Prism Boutique in Belmont Heights yet, Girl what are you doing??? Go now! The fashionista behind this local jewel, Dayna Mance is bringing style and creativity to Belmont Heights on the daily. Mance began developing her dreams of owning her own shop while working for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie and after 10 years took the plunge, “I really felt it was time to go and do what I love for myself. I had to try, and it was the best decision I ever made,” she stated. She knew that Long Beach, her home, was the best place to cultivate her dream, “Ever since I moved here in 2006 I knew this was the place I fit in...Belmont Heights is such a great place for small businesses to grow,” she said. Mance’s vision and inspiration to create a unique style stemmed from some of

her role models throughout the years, including family and friends. “My mom. She is the most generous and caring person I know. She always puts us four kids ahead of herself and would do anything for us. Some of the women that I worked for at Anthropologie were incredible business women and lead with such grace, and I’m always aspiring to lead my team like they did,” she stated. Mance likes to stay connected with her community by collaborating with other local businesses, “We like to feature them on our social media, host events where customers can meet them, and create a community within our store. Most of the brands we carry are local, women owned and operated,” she said. Beautiful outfits created for women by women, what more can you ask for? So if you’re on the hunt for the perfect dress make Prism Boutique your first stop, you’ll thank us later.

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” MICHELLE OBAMA

LB Home + Living



Long Beach Creamery Picture it, it’s a perfect 75 degrees here in Long Beach, you’re walking downtown, feeling warm and in need of something chilly, look no further. Long Beach Creamery to the rescue! Dina Amadril’s passion led her to realize her day job wasn’t cutting it, so she decided to take the leap and start making ice cream. “Two recipes in, and I was obsessed with the transformation of a flavor into the cream. Soon, I had a freezer full of ice cream that needed eating and I invited facebook friends over to review the ice cream.” With support from her family and friends, Long Beach Creamery was born. But why Long Beach? “Long Beach is such a cool city that is so underappreciated. We are not just an LA afterthought - but a vibrant jamming city with a view of the damn ocean,” Amadril said. Who doesn’t love a yummy cone while tanning and enjoying a beautiful view? Through her success and experiences, she’s learned a few things about being a women in business and how to stay motivated throughout any obstacle. “Nothing happens overnight, you have to surrender to the hustle and be persistent. 28

You are going to get pissed, tired, hangry - identify the things that can help you snap back to it. Bringing it back to the beginning - just me, the ice cream and the taster.” she said. Amadril collaborates with different food based businesses like Farm Lot 59 and is always seeking other locals to get creative with. Long Beach is just the start for Amadril who has even bigger dreams, “We will be opening a third shop in Steelcraft Bellflower - taking Long Beach Creamery out of Long Beach. I think that is the future - sharing the food culture of Long Beach throughout Southern California and shipping it to all 50 states!”


California Families in Focus California Families in Focus is a nonprofit organization that thrives on helping and empowering youth and families in need of support. They provide educational and business workshops, counselors, tutors, and more in order to meet the needs of their community. Angel Macias, the CEO and founder of this organization has dedicated her life to helping uplift families and educate children. “My wife Detective Kimberly Maddox

believed that investing in our youth who are our future should be top priority of any nonprofit or business and we are launching this awesome program in her honor to keep her legacy alive.” Macias truly believes in this philosophy and is willing to go the extra mile for it, her current endeavor; The Kimberly Maddox Youth Scholarship program benefits youth seeking a career in law enforcement through education and empowerment. Macias draws inspiration from two very important women in her life, “My mother for having the courage to leave her country and embark on a journey to an unfamiliar place to give her children a better life and an opportunity to achieve their dreams. Along with her late wife, “Detective Kimberly Maddox who loved me unconditionally and taught me that regardless of where you come from, your background, challenges and mistakes, the past is the past and everyone who wants to do good deserves an opportunity to step into their light and become the ethical leaders they were born to be,” she stated. Living a life of service is no easy task and Macias is a true inspiration to us all, “At the end of the day and at the end of our lives it’s truly about the contributions we made to our community and being able to answer the question: Did I make a difference?” Macias states. Please visit https://mycff. org/ to find out ways you can get involved with California Families in Focus.

ORSA MODICA Modica’s Deli

Modica’s Deli, a cozy Italian spot, is family owned and has been in business for over 20 years. Orsa Modica, spoke about her motivation for opening Modica’s Deli, “I started my family and my business at the same time... I wanted the American dream, to be part of a community, to build something to be proud of.” Now she and her son Anthony run one of the most delicious and charming spots in Long Beach. A combination of family recipes from the old country and being loyal and accommodating to her community, (even dogs are welcome) really pulls you in. What really makes this place shine according to Orsa, “There’s always someone here that knows your name!” Although it might seem almost impossible to create a family and cultivate a business at the same time, Orsa didn’t let any doubts stunt her motivation, “Just do it! Baby steps forward, shoulders back and don’t be afraid. These are the words that I say to myself everyday!” When asked about her personal female role models, she couldn’t help but sing her mother’s praises, “My mother for arriving to America with me, not knowing the

language, building a business during the loss of her husband and with 2 more kids! My mother is a tower of strength!” she said. Modica’s Deli is a delicious, warm spot that you can enjoy with family, friends and your fur babies. If you haven’t tried one of their signature dishes, be sure to stop by and don’t forget to say hello to Orsa and Anthony.


Groundwork Fitness Maintaining healthy habits is most people’s daily struggle but owner of Groundwork Fitness, Gio Ferraro, has not only mastered it but taken it to a whole new level. Gio is a woman on the move, literally! Over the past 20 years she has been a massage therapist, ER Technician, Firefighter, High School Health teacher and now adds small business owner to the list. “My journey through those jobs brought me here, to this place where I wanted to take my life experience to the next level. It was my new goal 7 years ago to own and operate a gym that would give back what fitness gave to me.. ultimately saving my life,” she said. Ferraro turned her passion for fitness into her profession because for her it was

an outlet to life’s ordeals, “Fitness was my only tool at a young age in dealing with high levels of stress. I was very lucky to have found fitness, it could have been another life behavior I chose, but I’m blessed to have found fitness,” she stated. On top of everything, Ferraro uses her gym space as a beacon of empowerment, she runs a non-profit called Keep LBC Fit. “We use our fitness community to help give back as we recognize it takes a community to help those in need.” Ferraro stated. As far as advice she would give to other women entrepreneurs, “Be smart. Integrity shows when you are in these positions, pay close attention. Woman have to have thicker skin and are constantly dealing with the position of inequality. Have integrity, lean on other women business owners you can trust,” Ferraro said. Ferraro is a model example of a human being who is sharing her talents with the community and making Long Beach a better place, one person at a time. “I refuse to do anything else but talk the talk AND WALK THE WALK.” she says.


Sweet Dixie Kitchen Sweet Dixie Kitchen is a one way ticket to the comforts of southern soul food right

here in Long Beach. Kim Sanchez, a former resident of Georgia and San Francisco, combines the traditional flavors of southern cooking with our west coast seasonal produce to harvest the one and only Sweet Dixie Kitchen. After coming to Long Beach to visit her daughter, she resonated with the collective community and the realness of the people so much, she knew she wanted to settle here. “People still struck up conversations in grocery stores- a little reminder of the South.” 6 Months later it was goodbye San Francisco, Hello Long Beach! Her restaurant offers a variety of healthy food options “more braising and roasting, less fats and unhealthy sugars” she said.“We are not only a cafe, but since I began as a baker years ago, we also offer hand crafted artisan baked goods made from recipes I have collected over the past 20 years. It’s truly a fresh take on regional southern cooking.” Sanchez acknowledges that it takes will power to be a woman in the business world and offers advice to other women taking on these challenges, “Business takes all the grit you have in you. As a woman, I think it’s more difficult to prove yourself, obtain loans and find financiers, we are still in a business that is male dominated. The good news is that women are tough and we are well suited to overcome any obstacle.” A combination of comfort food and your grandma’s house atmosphere makes for an unforgettable experience. Sanchez describes her passion of bringing people together over a meal, “the way it unites people” the driving force behind this local gem.


Proud owner of Blackbird Cafe, right on the corner of Wardlow and Orange, talked about her passion for her trendy cafe. As an experienced waitress, Colacion was familiar with the ins and outs of the restaurant business, “I have always loved working in restaurants, I was a server for many years and also did some managing. I love creating a warm and comfortable environment for people to enjoy,” she stated. This delicious spot offers a variety of food options, which makes them unique, “We are a place where you can eat healthy if you want or do a little cheating, and we are in the neighborhood so people can walk or ride their bikes here,” she said. Having Blackbird Cafe around the corner is convenient for the whole community. Some signature dishes favored by the public include Huevos Rancheros, Dos Caballeros, Brownie Pancakes, and Peanut Butter Honey Pancakes.

LB Home + Living



Long Beach Police Dept. Lieutenant Dina Zapalski has been a Police Officer with the Long Beach Police Department for over twenty-five years. Currently, she is in her first month as the Vice Investigations Section Lieutenant. Prior to that, she spent the past 5 1/2 years as a Patrol Lieutenant working in various division throughout the City. One of her duties as Patrol Lieutenant is to serve as the Watch Commander where she was responsible for overseeing all patrol officers and sergeants, port officers, metro officers, airport officers and detectives in the field citywide. She would ensure all units had the resources they needed to handle an incident and ensure the proper notifications were made to the Department Command Staff and City Officials. In addition to her primary assignment, Lieutenant Zapalski is also the coordinator for the Cadet Program which offers college students the opportunity to gain real life experience throughout various assignments within the Department. Her commitment to youth also extends outside of the Department, where she serves on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization called Young Horizons. 30

Whether she is on a call for service, at a community meeting, or getting a cup of coffee, she is very much aware of how young women and girls may perceive a female in law enforcement. She makes it a priority to engage and connect with them regarding her job as a police officer and serve as a positive role model. As a supervisor, Lieutenant Zapalski believes public trust is essential for officers to do their job and works to strengthen relationships throughout the community. Being a police officer is no easy task and Lieutenant Zapalski is proud to have spent the last 25 years serving our community with professionalism and pride. Her strength and bravery is complemented by her commitment to protecting the City of Long Beach, and should be applauded for her dedication.


Owner of the famous La Strada on 2nd street, Lisa Ramelow shares about her journey as a business owner after she inherited the restaurant from her father. After quitting her job and becoming a fulltime mother, Ramelow never guessed she would be the owner of

a restaurant, “I ended up running the business and buying my father out. I had no experience and learned by reading books, taking seminars, and asking lots of questions,” she stated. Without experience and very little knowledge in business management, Ramelow put herself out there and has been flourishing ever since. As a director of the Belmont Shore Business Association, Ramelow thrives off of being connected and giving back to her community--and her advice to fellow business women is just that! “Join various organizations, both business and philanthropic. A few organization dear to her heart are Pathways in the Park, Jewels of the Night and Goals for Life, which she donates delicious meals to. Her greatest role model has always been her mother, “My mother Rita, who is on my menu cover, was a real inspiration to me. She passed away in 2010, but was a constant source of love, energy, and support,” she stated. After 25 years of business Ramelow’s motto is simple, “I think the key to success is to have a job in life that you really love. I never aspired to own a restaurant, or any business for that matter - it sort of fell into my lap. But then I made it into my own and made it work for my life.”


Long Beach veteran, has been apart of our progressive community almost her entire life. A passionate LGBTQ and civil rights advocate, Schmidt has been involved in several organizations fighting for people’s rights and has volunteered at many public institutions. “Every project I’ve worked on has made my life richer.” she said. She now works as a realtor for the Long Beach region and still continues her volunteer work. “I’ve lived in Long Beach for over half a century and have been apart of Friends of The Long Beach Museum of Art, Friends of the Library, and Women Strike for Peace. I’ve Worked with Teachers Unions, worked with Recovery Homes in San Pedro and more. I’m currently on the board for The Center on Fourth street.” As an advocate for the Long Beach community she encourages everyone to get involved, “Find an area you are interested in or want to learn more about art, music, books, social justice and volunteer.” Shmidt stated. Schmidt has been an admirable and passionate figure for the people of Long Beach and her love for aiding the community has only grown throughout the years. One can only hope to be as


Rachel Off Duty Blog Rachel-Jean Firchau, a fashion and travel icon, started her own lifestyle blog back in 2015 and has inspired young women to be their best and most confident selves. Like most young people in college, Firachu changed her major to pursue writing, “I think I always knew deep down that writing was something that came naturally to me. In college, after switching from business to communication and PR, I took on several copywriting internships to get experience quick,” she stated. She started from the bottom and worked her way up until she found herself enjoying sharing her experiences and advice to other hard-working women, “It wasn’t until around 2014 that I decided to take the leap towards writing for myself and sharing my own thoughts about the industries I was working in (at the time, fashion and lifestyle). In 2015, Rachel Off Duty was born, but it definitely took me a while to find my feet.” Although Firachu blogged about style, travel, career, and

even relationships, she had some advice for like-minded writers who wanted to follow in her footsteps and blog as well, “Trying, failing, and learning from your mistakes is better than not trying at all. Uncomfortable situations are goldmines in disguise.” Firachu, too, was inspired by badass women who take life into their own hands and own it, “Oprah, Malala, Beyonce. Beyond the household names, any woman who is just a total boss and carries herself, her beliefs, and her career well is a huge inspiration to me,” she stated. Following role models who were consistent and strong were key to getting anybody’s own priorities and confidence in check.


If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you might understand the struggle of going out to eat and finding a delicious flavor-filled meal other than soup or salad. Well, The Wild Chive brings a whole new meaning to a meatless diet. Soozee Nguyen became vegetarian when she was only 19 and dreamed of creating her own restaurant where she could embrace vegan meals that were healthy and diverse. “We just want to create delicious,

hearty, adventurous food that everyone can enjoy. The Wild Chive is a vegan restaurant that ultimately celebrates roots, heritage, and personal identity. We simply want to share our vision with the community that helps shape it too. At the end of the day, it all stems from the idea of family time around the dinner table,” stated Nguyen. Having lived and worked in both Texas and New York, Nguyen said that Long Beach is where she feels most comfortable, “Long Beach has always felt like home sweet home for me. I love them both for different reasons but for me, Long Beach strikes the perfect balance.” The Wild Chive is a pop-up restaurant that is currently operating inside MADE By Millworks, whom Nguyen is very proud to collaborate with. “[It’s] a beautifully curated retail gift shop and multi-use gallery that supports local brands and artists. Combining forces with them has been a blast and certainly aligns with our pride for Long Beach and the enormous creativity that comes out of it,” she stated. Nguyen also highlights that she is involved with other events in the community such as The Long Beach Vegan Food Festival, Long Beach Pride Festival, and aspires to work with youth who yearn to follow in her footsteps. “We expect to become more heavily involved with Long Beach’s LGBTQ community, mentoring at risk youth who would like to work in the food industry, and fostering the empowerment of marginalized groups,” Nguyen has four inspirational words to tell others with similar dreams: “You can be limitless.” From bussing

tables to managing her own restaurant, this Long Beach lady is a truly unstoppable.

“I always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.” GLORIA VANDERBILT

#TheLBwoman @lbhomeliving

spirited, helpful, and caring as she.

LB Home + Living


KAITLIN ORR: LIVING THE LIFE OF A PROFESSIONAL CULINARY INFLUENCER We got a chance to sit down with local food blogger and influencer, Kaitlin Orr, to find out what it’s like to live the life of a professional culinary enthusiast. Hey Kaitlin! Would you start by telling us what got you into the world of food blogging? I grew up in a small town outside of Los Angeles, but it wasn’t until I moved to New York for college that I was really exposed to the culinary world. I was studying Psychology at Barnard College of Columbia University, but I started my food Instagram @carnivorr to explore New York’s best restaurants in my free time. Five years later, my blog is my full-time job, and I get to travel and eat the best food in the world. Living my dream! After spending so much time in New York, what finally brought you back to Long Beach? I loved living in New York, but after four years there I decided I needed to explore more of the world. I missed my family in California, so I decided to spend some time at home while planning my trip abroad. 32

Who is your biggest inspiration in the Southern California scene, and why? When I got back to LA I felt very out of touch with the food scene. I decided to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Gold, the Pulitzer Prize-winning LA Times food critic. I watched “City of Gold” (the documentary about his life) and was completely inspired by his passion for food – whether he was partaking in a fancy tasting menu, or discovering a hidden gem. The movie finished, the credits rolled, and I decided to do the unthinkable: to eat at all of his 101 Best Restaurants in LA in 101 days. This was the most challenging and rewarding project thus far in my career. I learned so much about my hometown and about food in general, and I will be forever grateful to J Gold for his inspiration. What an ambitious project! Of all 101 restaurants, would you mind touching on a few that were extra memorable and/or really surprised you? My favorite part about Jonathan’s list is how it showcases the diverse culinary landscape of Los Angeles. From tasting menus, to strip mall restaurants, to taco trucks, no restaurant was beneath J Gold, and he showed Angelenos

Noma has won the “World’s Best Restaurant” four times (the only restaurant to exceed this record is El Bulli, which won five times, but is now permanently closed). I’m so freaking excited! Are there any food destinations you haven’t explored that you would like to cross off your list? I wanna go everywhere! But top of my list is definitely Tokyo. And Mexico. So many people cite these spots as their favorite food countries in the world – I need to go! When you aren’t traveling, what keeps you busy here in Long Beach?

how each restaurant is an integral piece in the puzzle that is LA. I tried so many new dishes and new types of cuisines. Some favorites for me were Sun Nong Dan, a Korean restaurant with the signature galbi jjim (a bubbling short rib stew); Pizzana, home to the Neo-Neopolitan pizza (a.k.a the best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy); Irenia, my first foray into modern Filipino food (incredible!); and, of course, Vespertine (#1 on Jonathan’s 2017 list). Vespertine is a fine dining restaurant that is so much more than a meal; it’s a culinary art project on par with the best restaurants on the world. When you’re not in LA, you seem to be traveling a lot. We see you recently returned from a whirlwind trip to Europe, what was the highlight of your trip?

I decided I needed to experience life on the other side of the food industry, so in between trips I’m working as a pastry chef with Colossus Bread here in Long Beach. I’m not sure yet if I’ll pursue pastry as a career, but I’m really passionate about dessert and baking and I’m having so much fun learning how to make some of my favorite foods. This opportunity has given me so much insight into the challenges of being a chef. I have so much respect for these passionate artists, and I am so grateful to Kristin Delfs (my talented friend who founded Colossus Bread) for taking me under her wing and being my patient teacher. One last question: When it’s late and you’re tired and super hungry…do you have a go-to guilty pleasure? I’m not big into fast food, but after late nights out with friends, my go-to drunk food is Domino’s cheesy bread! (That’s if we didn’t make it to In-N-Out before 1:30am, of course.)

After my 101 Restaurants project was complete, I set off for a three-month trip around Europe. I spent the majority of my trip in Italy, half of the time spent reviewing the best restaurants in major cities, and half of the time spent in homestays and on farms, learning traditional Italian recipes from the nonnas and about the production of wine and balsamic vinegar. While abroad, I also became a digital brand ambassador for the World’s 50 Best restaurant group. It was incredible to be at the 2018 Best Restaurants Ceremony, but even more special is being the only “TasteHunter” from Los Angeles. To honor J Gold’s legacy, I’ve made it my mission to be the official LA cheerleader, and put our incredible food city on the global map. That sounds like a foodie’s dream job. What’s next on the 50 Best schedule, and what are you most excited for? Copenhagen and I’m going to Noma!!! Rene Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant has been number one on my bucket list for a while now, and I can’t believe I’ll finally get to experience it (it’s the hardest reservation in the world!).

Stay up-to-date on Kaitlin’s culinary adventures around the globe by following on her: Blog: Social Media: @carnivorr Youtube: Kaitlin Orr | Snapchat: CarnivorrSnaps LB Home + Living



South Bay Realtor®

Wendy Rich Soto What makes you and your team passionate about their work?

We work relentlessly to set ourselves apart. Our foundation of ethics, integrity and the deep desire to make it happen for those who allow us the honor of representing them always takes priority. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients. Keeping their best interests, hopes and dreams at the forfront of all our efforts.

What regions do you work in?

Wendy Rich Soto

REALTOR ® DRE #01311750

310-944-8062 | How did you get into real estate?

I sold a house through a small broker. I was very involved in all aspects of the listing and sale. After the house sold, the broker came to visit me. He said, “I like you! I believe you have what it takes to make it in this business! Why don’t I help you get your license and you can come work for me?” I was thrilled at the new opportunity before me. That was 17 years ago, I haven’t looked back since.

Being a team of four with two buyers agents, myself and an executive assistant, we all live in different areas. For that reason, we cover a huge territory and it’s a major advantage for our clients because we really know the areas we service. We work from South Beach Cities such as Rancho Palos Verdes to San Pedro, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Long Beach, Downey, Carson, parts of Los Angeles and North Long Beach.

What is the best part of your job?

Being apart of our client’s journey is the most rewarding part. Seeing the pride, joy and just sheer happiness when they land the home of their dreams or sell at the price they hoped to receive. To know that all our efforts allowed for that to happen, it’s an incredible feeling and it makes this career extremely fulfilling.

What is your and your team’s area of expertise?

We focus on buyers and sellers alike. We stage listings that are vacant at no cost to our sellers. We use high level/high impact marketing that showcases our listings in such a way that they get a ton of exposure. We are experts in luxury, historical, condos/townhouses and single family units. Each type of home has a story to tell and we make sure that story is told every time. For our buyers, we help first time buyers, VA/FHA clients, move up buyers, empty nester’s and those who need to relocate for job changes or to be closer to family.

When do you develop your team?

We have quarterly off site meetings to do team building activities that help us work better together. We meet weekly and discuss goals, we structure and restructure. Real Estate is contantly changing so adapting and reinventing strategies that help our clients win every time is always our main priority. 34

Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor DRE#01501084

“Your Anchor Through the Years.”

Owner / Escrow Officer 5602 E. Second Street Long Beach, CA 90803

Public Relations


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