Four of the Village’s Most Exciting Shops and Restaurants Share their Success Stories, Explain How the Unique Advantages of Town and Country Village Have Helped Them Build their Businesses
Palo Alto, CA – Shoppers and food connoisseurs in the South Bay have long been aware of the Town and Country Village for its unique, charming, and convenient combination of stores and restaurants. But the Village is also gaining notice among the small business community. According to a number of local entrepreneurs, Town and Country has helped provide “rocket fuel” for their small businesses, giving them unique advantages that have helped them thrive and even expand despite the lengthy economic downturn.
“Over the past few years, we have witnessed a number of businesses achieve remarkable success in Town and Country Village,” said Caroline Morris of Ellis Partners LLC, the owners of Town and Country Village. “These thriving establishments illustrate just what can be accomplished when innovative business ideas and passionate entrepreneurs combine with an ideal location. The sky is the limit for these exciting shops, and we are proud to have been a launching pad for their success.”
One such business is Halo Blow Dry Bar, the brainchild of Rosemary Camposano. Halo is not your traditional hair salon. Instead, it offers professional quality styling without cutting or coloring, creating a way for women to look and feel great without breaking the bank. After 10 years as a stay-at-home mom, Rosemary decided to create a business that would employ women who were struggling in the economic downturn. With this goal in mind, she opened up the first ever Halo location in Town and Country.
“Our salon brings women and girls of all ages together and allows them to bond in a fun atmosphere” said Rosemary of her salon. “Town and Country Village fits our vision for the salon because it has a neighborhood feel and a variety of services in one location. It’s a modern day ‘Main Street.’”
With the success of the Town and Country Village location, Halo has since opened up two other stores. Still, Rosemary notes, there is something special about the Palo Alto locale where it all started.
“Our Town and Country location is a model for our other stores, and it’s still the best performing in spite of being the smallest,” added Rosemary. “It really has been the epicenter of our recent growth and success, which is one of the many reasons why I’m so excited about doubling the size of our Town and Country location!”
Another business that has found a perfect fit in Town and Country Village is Ruti, a boutique that makes cutting-edge Israeli designer clothing available to American shoppers. Ruti Zisser was inspired to open the store after realizing that she and her friends couldn’t find clothes that fit their active and stylish lifestyle. Rather than open a store that focused solely on clothing, Ruti and her husband, Sharon Segev, built a business that was about a lifestyle and experience, with knowledgeable staff to guide and support customers in finding clothes that looked and felt good.
After searching for a location for over a year and selling clothing from her home because she couldn’t find a location that matched her needs, Ruti knew that she had found the perfect place when she came to Town and Country to enjoy a cup of coffee.
“My husband and I sat at the Village for days, observing how customers behaved and checking what kinds of stores were successful. We saw that it was a fun place, somewhere to go shopping and then grab a bite to eat,” said Ruti. “In Palo Alto, we have developed a really dedicated base of clients who appreciate our store, trust our employees and love our location. We see clients as trusted friends, and we are happy to help them be seen by the world in a way that they want to be seen.”
The flagship boutique, which opened in Town and Country in 2010, has helped pave the way for Ruti’s. They have since opened two new locations in San Francisco and in Santa Monica.
Still, Ruti points out that in Palo Alto “people stay longer. There is such a nice feeling in Town and Country that we can’t replicate elsewhere. Customers will get coffee and come over to just chat.”
Just around the corner from Ruti’s is Kara’s Cupcakes, the first artisan cupcake producer in the Bay Area. After launching in San Francisco, Kara’s Cupcakes opened its third shop in Town and Country.
Aiming to make the planet a little bit sweeter with the cupcakes they produce, Kara and company incorporate a strong social and environmental consciousness into everything they do. Beyond using local, organic, and seasonal ingredients in all their treats, they are constantly working to create celebratory moments for their customers and to support the communities of which they are a part.
“Town and Country Village has been a perfect location for us in a number of ways,” explains Kara Haspel Lind, founder of Kara’s Cupcakes. “The South Bay has a remarkably strong sense of community to begin with, and Town and Country is a place where families and friends gather for fun and to purchase items to help them celebrate special moments, whether it’s a big occasion like a graduation or something small like a great hair day. The fact that it’s a one-stop-shop really has made it a destination. Customers in Palo Alto are also excited about our green practices and support of small farms and the community. ”
Thanks to loyal customers like those in Palo Alto who appreciate Kara’s Cupcakes sustainable business model, the company has seen tremendous growth. Today, there are 6 Kara’s Cupcakes locations across the Bay Area.
A smaller business that is also building a strong following among Bay Area residents is A Street Bike Named Desire. Joe Robinson and his father, Dan Robinson, started as a distribution company that imported European city bikes and sold them to stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. They decided to open a storefront when they saw that, even though there were many bike shops that catered to serious riders, there were few options for casual riders who were interested in upscale, high-quality lifestyle bikes.
The father-son team decided to cease on this opportunity and opened a store that is small and inviting – a store where casual riders can test stylish, upscale European city bikes that can be ridden to work or the farmers’ market.
“We wanted to create a space where people receive the highest quality service and don’t feel intimidated even if they don’t know anything about bikes,” said Joe. “My dad and I wanted a bicycle shop where people felt like they could relax and take their time. That’s why the Town and Country location is so ideal. People already see it as a casual place to hang out. This place is its own little neighborhood and the atmosphere has definitely helped us grow.”
Joe and Dan hadn’t planned on getting into retail, but now that the shop is a success, they’re not looking back.
“We value the face-to face interactions with our customers and the word of mouth support,” Joe added. “My dad and I have worked hard to make this store succeed and we’re thrilled by the results. We want to keep getting better at what we do, and a second location is now a tangible option for us.”
For Town and Country Village, the success of these four small businesses has reaffirmed that the decision to develop a mixed use space over 50 years ago was the right decision. They are excited to watch these companies grow and to support their efforts as they provide unique services to the South Bay community.
About Ellis Partners
Ellis Partners LLC was founded in 1993 for the purpose of acquiring and developing commercial real estate properties. The firm has a long history of championing and completing architecturally significant renovation and development projects. For more information, visit www.ellispartners.com.
About Town and Country Village
For more than fifty years, Town & Country Village has served the Peninsula by offering unique specialty stores, daily services and fine restaurants. Newly remodeled with plenty of relaxing outdoor patios, beautiful landscaping and flower-filled planters, Town & Country continues to be one of the most vibrant shopping experiences in Northern California. For more information, visit http://www.tandcvillage.com/