July, 2008

Jul 08

Travels in the Golden State

Very rarely am I ever this slow about writing entries here. Sorry! I’ve had lots on my mind. We are recording some great new albums next month! They are top secret right now but trust me, they’re great!

In late May I made a mad tour of California and was able to visit many of our vendors. I’ll share a few photos of my many visits and stops.

Michelle Potter hosts an awesome playspace for kids at the Kidspot Imagination Center. Sebastopol is a small semi-urban community located in western Sonoma County. I’d never actually driven through this part of California before. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Michelle Potter with her daughter [left] and the Kidspot Imagination Center.

Bob Krantz has been in the school supply business for 35 years and 34 of those years have been at the present location of School Daze in Santa Rosa. He can recount many, many interesting stories about the industry.

Bob Krantz [left] and his store, Skool Daze [right].

Bookworm Educational Supplies is located in Vallejo, California. According to owner, Kelli Orona, Vallejo is a bedroom community of San Francisco with many commuters leaving and returning daily. Kelli’s store is hopping with activity. Fueled by a neighboring tutoring service that Kelli also oversees, it seems that the Bookworm is always full of action and activity. Apart from the tutoring service and the store, Kelli and her husband also organize trips twice a year allowing local kids to visit the NASA program. Kelli is very proud of her programs and rightly so.

The Bookworm [left] and Kelli Orona [right].

Next stop was to El Cerrito where I visited with Charles Tai and his store Star Educational Supply. Charles has been a long time friend and customer. His store, in El Cerrito is just outside of San Francisco. According to Charles, over 112 different languages are spoken by children in the local school district West Contra Costa County Unified School District.

Charles [left] and his store [right].

Charles suggested that I take a trip to Pleasanton to see The Golden Apple Learning Store. John MacDougall, the store’s owner is a very high energy guy. You can see why the store naturally offers all sorts of events and fun activities for children. Just as I drove in, I caught John off to the local post office with a day’s worth of parcels to ship. Now with the price of gas, this might not be such a rare occurrence anywhere!

John MacDougall on his bicycle [left] and his store [right].