Normally my wife, Mary, writes this column. This week she graciously granted me her “space” so that I might share with the CV Weekly readership my personal “hasta la vista” as co-owner (with Mary) of Mountain Rose Gifts, which we recently closed on Honolulu Avenue. The Rose, as I affectionately call it, brought us 10 years of deep satisfaction for our souls. There’s nothing like taking a life-long dream and having it become your reality.
Ever since my mom used to take my brother and me for strolls along the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey, I knew that having a gift shop had to be just about the best thing anyone could ever do to make a living. After we consumed multiple slices of fresh, hot pizza from the ovens at Mack & Manco’s, we would meander down the wooden planks and wander into the warm, inviting atmosphere of such boardwalk mainstays as The Connoisseur Shop and the Drift In And Sea. Magical places to be sure! Where else could a 10-year-old boy purchase a live hermit crab for himself while selecting something slightly more feminine as a gift for Mom? These impressions – these “feasts for the eyes” – remained in my soul and fueled the decision Mary and I made on a Mother’s Day Sunday 10 years ago to open Mountain Rose. I’ve never regretted a day of it (well, nearly never…) and remain ever thankful to God for allowing me to fulfill this desire of my heart.
Our first friend in town was Jay Drayman, Councilman John’s dad, a wonderfully kind and gentle man. He was the one who told us to “go for it,” and so we did. We’ve made many friends in “the Mayberry of the Foothills” since then: our fellow merchants, our dear customers who liked what we did at the Rose, the mail carrier, the UPS guy (Hey, Lou!), community and civic leaders, and so many others. The folks that owned the Country Classics store, Mark and Wendy, are still very much a part of our lives – as is, of course, their English Springer, Jack. In fact, any dog travelling down Honolulu Avenue was always welcome at Mountain Rose.
Though our season has ended at 2307 Honolulu, we are reconfiguring our business to return as Mountain Rose Holidays for three to four months every Fall. In these changing times, “Mom and Pop” are adapting by becoming “Mom and Pop-Up.” So God willing, we’ll see you soon! And, God knows, there’s no place in Los Angeles we’d rather do business than the Montrose Shopping Park. Montrose remains a vibrant, attractive, family shopping destination that will continue to evolve, adapt, improvise and overcome – as she has for so many decades.
So we bid you not “Adios,” but “Hasta la vista, baby!”
owns Revelation Tops
with her sister Carole,
and serves as
vice president of the
Montrose Shopping Park