RVOC February 2013 : Page 92
FACES Y FASCINAT ING ou know the brands. You frequent the stores. You dine on the cuisine and drink the wine. And with this series of portraits, you can now meet the Orange County-based innovators behind it all. By Wendy Bowman Photography by Robert Benson Shot on location at Center Club in Costa Mesa 92 | | February 2013
You know the brands. You frequent the stores. You dine on the cuisine and drink the wine. And with this series of portraits, you can now meet the Orange County-based innovators behind it all.<br /> <br /> Fast Facts <br /> <br /> The first Haven Gastropub opened in Old Towne Orange in September 2009 during the annual Orange International Street Fair, attracting 500,000 guests its first weekend.<br /> <br /> Taco Asylum started offering nontraditional gourmet tacos in January 2011 at The Camp in Costa Mesa.<br /> <br /> Pasadena welcomed Haven Gastropub + Brewery in December 2011, complete with an on-site brewery that produces small-batch, house-crafted beers. <br /> <br /> THE RESTAURATEURS<br /> <br /> Greg Daniels’ seasonal menus laden with distinctive culinary creations like porchetta di testa separate him from the rest of the O. C. chef pack. In case you didn’t know, that’s the head of a pig, de-boned, seasoned, rolled, sous-vide for 14 hours, cooled and then sliced for a beautiful mosaic of tongue, ear, cheek and skin. “It’s something I don’t think anybody else does in O.C.,” says Daniels, the Le Cordon Bleu-trained executive chef of Haven Gastropub whose other “out-of-the-box” specialties have ranged from grilled baby octopus to lamb belly. An abundant selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails also complements the menu. It all began in September 2009, when Daniels partnered with hospitality veterans Wil Dee and Ace Patel, better known as the O.C.-based restaurant group Haven Collective (havencollective.com), to open Haven Gastropub in historic Old Towne Orange. The trio followed their first successful venture in early 2011 with Taco Asylum, a small, fast-casual eatery at The Camp in Costa Mesa known for its nontraditional tacos with fillings ranging from duck to lamb. Next came the larger-sized Haven Gastropub + Brewery in Pasadena in late 2011, where the brew master creates up to 16 different styles—including the black rye India pale Hell Ryed to Haven—that are sold at the company’s three restaurants, as well as craft beer bars and restaurants from L.A. to San Diego. Says Daniels: “We’ve tried to elevate every aspect of the casual-dining experience, which is something we still work on every day. We like to think of it as firing on all cylinders. We’ve always just wanted to stand out and do something different than everyone else. I think we have.” <br /> <br /> Fast Facts <br /> <br /> Burke Williams has been the premier day spa in California for nearly 30 years.<br /> <br /> There are nine spa locations across Northern and Southern California, including Orange and Mission Viejo.<br /> <br /> Each spa has a unique aesthetic and interior design theme.<br /> <br /> Founder Bill Armour coined the phrase “day spa.” It’s a family-owned and operated company to this day <br /> <br /> THE BEAUTY QUEEN<br /> <br /> Diane Hibbard says she remembers the day her father told her that, unlike her two brothers, she couldn’t be involved in the fami l y bi z, Pacif ic Panel Products, because it was a “man’s industry.” So she sought out something she knew she’d be good at and landed a career at O.C.’s luxe Burke Williams Day Spa (burkewilliamsspa.com). “I’ve always been the girliest of girls,” says 33-year-old Hibbard, who started as an esthetician at the spa’s Orange locale before becoming director of the entire company’s skincare department. For 13 years, she’s been in charge of training, educating and managing more than 250 licensed estheticians companywide. Her job also includes product research and formulation of the spa’s exclusive H2V skincare line (which the company plans to make available for online purchase), along with 20-plus products from its Triple C Serum line (which boosts collagen and fights wrinkles) and Buff (a cornmeal and aluminum oxide exfoliant). But one of the most exciting products launched to date is the Youth Cell Activator, with Mexican bamboo and Japanese knot wood that activates human stem cells and reduces fine lines by 30 percent in three weeks. “This is cuttingege,” says Hibbard. “We’re getting a lot of press, and we’re selling out of it very quickly.” She and the spa are now working on expanding the product line, with more cosmetics like Spagloss lip gloss (launching this year) and a rich facial using the newest marula oil. <br /> <br /> Fast Facts <br /> <br /> Sanctuary Belize includes a 250-slip deepwater marina; 100-room resort; 220 residential units; 100,000 square feet of commercial space; and more than 1,700 square feet of residential land plots.<br /> <br /> It’s one of the largest private real estate developments in the country and the only one to have five different ecosystems in one property.<br /> <br /> Chadwick has been in international real estate for nearly 12 years and has been involved in projects spanning seven countries across three continents, from a high-rise on the Las Vegas Strip to singlefamily homes in Cabo San Lucas. <br /> <br /> THE LAND BARON <br /> <br /> It was a friend who turned international real estate developer Luke Chadwick onto Belize back in 2006. He jumped on a plane, and it wasn’t long after his arrival that he became convinced it was the next big emerging market and a perfect investment opportunity. “It offered many things, including impeccable weather... and close proximity to the U.S.,” says Chadwick, who as partner and lead developer of Eco-Futures Inc., Sanctuary Belize and Kinetic Residential Estates in Belize (sanctuarybelize.com), is spearheading the construction of a gated, eco-friendly 14,000- acre residential, resort and marina development in the southern tip of the country. The 36-year-old Huntington Beach resident has spent close to $40 million on the tropical oasis and will have shelled out close to $100 million upon its completion (excluding residential home construction). The community offers the chance to experience Caribbean Sea frontage and five distinct ecosystems, along with an average year-round temp of 85 degrees. Created in collaboration with the Sittee River Wildlife Reserve, the development is designed for people who are passionate about pr eser v ing th e i r environment. “We wanted to make the dream of property ownership in a Caribbean paradise an affordable reality for all,” Chadwick says. “At the same time, we are committed to developing our community responsibly and respectfully, with as minimal [of an] impact to the natural surroundings and wildlife as possible.” <br /> <br /> Fast Facts <br /> <br /> Michael Bello often celebrated the victories of his racehorse, Megahertz, with his jockey by taking trips to the wine country.<br /> <br /> He carried this horse into his “second act” venture with the Megahertz Cab.<br /> <br /> Bello Family Vineyards’ Reserve Cab ($250) received 94 points from wine critic Robert Parker.<br /> <br /> Bello has had offers for a TV series, and there could be a resto venture with friends and a well-known chef in the future. <br /> <br /> THE WINEMAKER <br /> <br /> If you called Michael Bello a “jack of all trades” or a “visionary,” you wouldn’t be exaggerating. From starting out as a contractor, to becoming one of O.C.’s top thoroughbred owners, to operating a cabernet sauvignon vineyard, everything the former all-around high-school athlete and college football player has attempted in his life has turned successful right out of the gate. “It’s been fun and exciting,” says Bello, 55, who launched his own construction company in 1979 at age 23, and then began investing in horses in 2005. He purchased a young filly, Megahertz, and won 13 stake races and more than $2 million, and sold her first foal, Causeithertz, for $2.2 million. “She was a success story and a fan favorite mainly for her running style; she’d go from last to first,” says Bello. “I’m always searching for another champion race horse. I’d like to get a Kentucky Derby winner. For anybody in racing, that’s the No. 1 goal.” Racing led to wine tasting, with Bello and his jockey Alex Solis visiting Napa Valley to celebrate after winning each race. Then Bello purchased property in Rutherford and now operates and owns a Napa-based winery—Bello Family Vineyards (bellofamilyvineyards.com)— producing five estate-driven wines wi th the winemaking/farming team of Aaron Pott and David Abreu. “We’ve done quite well,” says Bello, who now has a home in Napa as well as Newport Beach. “Now we’re trying to grow the business and brand. I want to deliver a great product to the public and want the public to appreciate what I’m putting together.” So far, the reviews have been great. “I want to have a winning wine out there like a winning champion horse,” he adds. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve.” <br /> <br /> Fast Facts <br /> <br /> At 42, Toby Bost is one of the youngest CEOs in the country.<br /> <br /> Since 2006, Bost has led La Jolla Group to growth of more than 400 percent and added six brands to its portfolio.<br /> <br /> LJG operates and distributes its brands at 12 proprietary retail spots—including O’Neill’s flagship stores in Anaheim and Santa Monica.<br /> <br /> LJG’s brands are also sold at more than 3,000 retailers around the globe. <br /> <br /> THE SURF MOGUL <br /> <br /> San Clemente’s Toby Bost knew in high school that he wasn’t destined to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, both orthopedic surgeons. Instead, he pursued a career in action sports. “I was so inspired by the ocean, mountains and everything that had to do with board sports,” says Bost, an avid sportsman. “Medicine never interested me. I wanted to make a career out of doing business with the products and companies that were involved with what I did for fun.” He went on to graduate from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s in business administration. Then he worked his way up from packing T-shirts in boxes in a warehouse of a small surf firm to chairman and CEO of Irvine’s La Jolla Group ( lajollagroup.com) , which operates apparel and accessory ventures for prominent surf, skate and motocross brands like O’Neill, Rusty and The Berrics. “The licensing side of the business is all about great brands, building great products and working with great partners,” says Bost, who joined LJG in 1999 as VP of manufacturing and took on his current post in 2006. “Our licenses are long term and provide us the exclusive rights to build apparel and accessories products.” Bost says he’d like to keep working in the youth space and perhaps operate a private equity fund that breeds great lifestyle brands. “I continue to learn about this business on a daily basis,” he adds. “It’s amazing to be able to work and play in the same space.” <br /> <br /> Fast Facts <br /> <br /> Aldatz landed a Home Shopping Network gig after rescuing CEO Mindy Grossman’s tootsies from a Manolo Blahnik emergency.<br /> <br /> Three years later, the firm’s netted millions in sales from the HSN appearances.<br /> <br /> The products are made by Rogers Corp. out of a flexible foam-type material called Poron, also used under cellphone buttons.<br /> <br /> Aldatz is a certified pedorthist—a pro in shoe fitting and modification. <br /> <br /> THE HEELER <br /> <br /> OK, ladies, we’ve all been there! You purchase a to-die-for pair of heels, only to relegate them to the back of your closet because you can’t stand the pain they cause. Tina Aldatz and Foot Petals (footpetals.com) stepped to the rescue in 2001, creating chic cushion-type products to soothe women’s aching feet. The 44-year-old Laguna Hills gal has since taken frumpy gel insoles and cushioned pads to a fashionable new level with more than 20 types of items, from the No. 1-selling Tip Toes ball-of-foot cushions to washable terry insoles, and coming soon, an inflatable boot shaper and flip-flop cushion. Aldatz sold the $10 million-a-year firm she started with partner Margie Floris to RG Berry (maker of Dear forms) for $14 million in 2011, but she remains active in designing the products, which are sold online and worldwide in more than 60 stores, including Neiman Marcus. “I always knew that it would be successful, but I don’t think I knew we would be on the [New York] Stock Exchange one day,” says Aldatz, who earned a GED at 16 and learned the fashion industry while working for Victoria’s Secret and BCBG Max Azria. It all started when she was forced to wear footpads most of her life after walking over hot coals buried in the sand as a child. “I wasn’t able to find a product that worked with designer shoes, so I thought, ‘Why not create something?’” she says. “[Foot Petals] changed my life, because they allow me to wear shoes I love and not think about my feet.”
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