Sunday, September 15, 2013

Around Town: Making Foothill Boulevard perfect

Foothill Boulevard is changing, and for the better.

Last year, we faced a surfeit of 7-Elevens. (“And second prize is two 7-Eleven stores,” Around Town, Feb. 8, 2012). But now three new establishments will redeem our boulevard.

Two are on the site of the old Cañada Camera, formerly at 930 Foothill Blvd. For decades, La Cañadans bought cameras, film, had their film developed and bought photo albums from the owners. With the advent of digital technology, the shop’s days were numbered.

The old site is now home to two businesses — Eiji's Florists and Camera Color.

Hannah and Eiji Tomita opened Eiji's Flowers in 1959. It's one of the oldest businesses in La Cañada. Their daughter, Lisa, still runs the business. Eiji’s originally was on Foothill, then moved to Rinetti Lane, but it’s now back on Foothill, at 930 Foothill, the western part of what used to be the Cañada Camera shop. The storefront looks swell and Eiji’s is a great upgrade to the boulevard.

At 928 Foothill, in what used the be the eastern section of the old Cañada Camera, there’s a new photo lab called Camera Color. The owners say, “Old habits die hard, which is why we continue to print your treasured memories on Fuji Crystal Archive paper processed in a Noritsu chemical printer. Our prints, under proper conditions, have a 100-year life span and are coated to prevent fading.”

They take online orders at for in 24-hour in-store pickup.

Down the street, in the Plaza de La Cañada, the cupcakes are coming. Goodie Girls cupcake bakery will open its second shop, in between Diet for Health, Urban Fitness Pilates Studio and Vons.

I wonder what Joyce Ruygrok, who has coached so many people through the Diet for Health program, will say? Portion control? Moderation? Seventy-two-thousand sit-ups?

Goodie Girls is a local success. The owner, Annette Starbuck, won the Food Network’s season-three premiere of Cupcake Wars’ Kentucky Derby episode with a 1,000-cupcake display. She opened her first shop in Glendale, along with her mom and husband. Now, now, she’s planning a gala opening in La Cañada on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. The first 50 customers will receive goodie bags “filled with amazing products such as cupcake rings, necklaces, bracelets, coin purses....” The Grilled Cheese Truck will stand ready to dish up your favorites, including cheesy mac and rib macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar, barbecue pork, caramelized onions, and the double cream brie melt on black peppercorn bread with bacon, smoked onion and bourbon marmalade, and candied pecans.

This will be a good summer for Foothill Boulevard. Flowers from Eiji’s. There’s music in the park, a farmers market, a half-dozen workout studios, hair salons, Pinkberry, Diet for Health, Goodie Girls, Penguin’s, and some restaurants with bars. Bring back the La Cañada Coffee Roaster and the boulevard would be perfect, with or without the double 7-Elevens.,0,7036257.story

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