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Author Archive for Randy Kraft

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Minding Our Business: One Stop Beauty

Minding Our Business: One Stop Beauty

Estee Lauder may be the matriarch of the skin care industry, her first products date to 1946, and many others have followed, including Anita Roddick of the Body Shop or the more recent phenomena of Bare Minerals created by Leslie Blodgett. In Laguna Beach, Josephine [JoJo] Brooks carries on the tradition as founder, proprietor and […]

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Minding Our Business: Moving Targets

Minding Our Business: Moving Targets

I recently returned from my annual summer sojourn to NYC, my home town, home of the arts, where you could fry an egg on the sidewalk and yet, the midday landscape was crowded not only with tourists but long lines at food trucks parked along side streets mid-town. Mayor Bloomberg miraculously designated many new pedestrian […]

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Minding Our Business: Time Out for Books

Minding Our Business: Time Out for Books

Take a break from business and read a good story this summer. Here’s a sampling from my alternate persona, the OC Book Blogger, all available at Laguna Beach Books. New in paperback: “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver, another gorgeous journey of humanity bumping up against the environment, she never fails to please. “Lifeboat” by Charlotte […]

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Minding Our Business: South of Hip

Minding Our Business: South of Hip

Before South of Mission in San Francisco there was SoHo in New York, and now NoHo and The Bowery, and every city seems to have an evolving cutting edge part of town. In Laguna, the southern end of the so-called Hip District, at the corner of Pearl Street and Coast Highway,  is home to a […]

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Minding Our Business: The Power of One

Minding Our Business: The Power of One

Some of us, okay, many of us, frequently bemoan the absence of the little things we think are missing around town. We comment on Facebook, tweet, write letters to the editor, or columns, or carry on at city council meetings. Others look around and decide to fill the gap. One of those people is Lisa […]

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Minding Our Business: Building on Small Successes

Minding Our Business: Building on Small Successes

Santina Davies is in the business of rehabilitation. Her own physical rehabilitation has been her full-time occupation for six years. Following a successful climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro, Davies slipped off Table Mountain in Capetown, South Africa, which she hiked only to take in the view. She fell 125 feet and had to be airlifted to […]

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Minding our Business: Rewards to Shop Local?

Minding our Business: Rewards to Shop Local?

I just signed on for the Five Points plan at Heidelberg Café. Why not? They didn’t ask for my email address, so no spam, and they don’t require a commitment, and after a few visits, I might win a free iced-tea. Why not? My Zinc card is well worn and in my wallet at all […]

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Minding our Business: Adding Spice to Ocean Avenue

Minding our Business: Adding Spice to Ocean Avenue

Paul Greer is learning to cook with spices. All sorts of spices, with which he is becoming familiar as he prepares to open, with his wife Mary, the Laguna franchise of The Spice Merchant. Tucked into the former Latitude 33 bookshop, one imagines each of the 300 spices, teas, salts, sugars, olive oils and specialty […]

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Minding our Business: Simplifying Style

Minding our Business: Simplifying Style

Another gallery has shuttered its doors – Swenson – and in its place, an upscale concept store promises simplicity with style. Joining the ranks of swank shops like Trove, Riga and Anastasia, what you might call not-so-shabby chic, this new addition, Simple, is another doorway to downtown renewal. According to proprietors Hesham and Jenni Elmished, […]

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Minding our Business: In Vogue

Minding our Business: In Vogue

A few years ago, I noticed a striking woman with an elegant short hair cut and asked who styles her hair. I had a short do only once, what they called a pixie when I was 12 and in a fit of adolescent rebellion cut it off, and all these years later, I had the […]

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Minding Our Business: A Modest Proposal

Minding Our Business: A Modest Proposal

I reside just over the Laguna border in Dana Point, aka SoLa: South of Laguna, not to be confused with South Laguna. However, my work, my friends, my bookstore and hairstylist, and better places to eat, are in Laguna, so several times a week, I drive north on Pacific Coast Highway where the iconic sign […]

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Minding Our Business: The Earth Whisperer

Minding Our Business: The Earth Whisperer

Valentine’s Day arrives for me in the form of giant red hearts perched on poles along Coast Highway bordering Laguna Nursery. Just as pumpkins announce Halloween and glittery lights mark Christmas, owner Ruben Flores decorates our urban landscape as well as the yards and gardens of clients throughout the world. I am an unabashed fan. […]

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Minding Our Business: Cranking Up Innovation

Minding Our Business: Cranking Up Innovation

Crank Brothers are not brothers. Founding partners Carl Winefordner, lead engineer, and Frank Hermansen, industrial designer, share a passion for sport and excellence in design. That combination has catapulted the Laguna start-up into an international enterprise with a reputation for innovative product engineering and aesthetics. You might call Crank Brothers the Apple of bicycle essentials. […]

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Minding Our Business: Back to the Roots

Minding Our Business: Back to the Roots

When Laura Linsenmayer, 34, decided to open Roots: The Beauty Underground, it made sense to set up shop in the town in which she was rooted. Her family relocated from Ohio to Laguna when she was 10 years old and this is the place she calls home. First, however, she set about learning all there […]

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Culture Karma: Searching for Coffee in South Laguna

Culture Karma: Searching for Coffee in South Laguna

In the interest of full disclosure, I do not drink coffee. Never got the taste for it, although I love the scent. What I do like is to sit at a comfy café chatting with friends, reading or writing. I enjoy the energy of human connection, the occasional eavesdrop on conversation, and the warmth of […]