Business & Real Estate

For the skin they're in : Shared interest in organic skin care leads duo to form company

Ellie Van Houtte/town Crier
Nancy Newsom, left, and Kit Gordon started Botanic Organic in 2011 after they discovered a shared passion for creating organic, handmade skin-care products. The company now offers more than 15 products for adults and infants.

Kit Gordon and Nancy Newsom discovered their shared passion for creating organic, plant-based skin-care products in an unlikely place – yoga class.


A modern-day throwback : Voyageur du Temps aims to capture old and new Silicon Valley

Ellie Van Houtte/
Voyageur du Temps opened last week at the former Southern Pacific train depot at 288 First St. The bakery cafe debuted March 15 after approximately a year of renovation on the 1913 structure. Town Crier;

The downtown building that formerly served as a stop along the Southern Pacific Railroad – among several other uses throughout the years – is now a bakery cafe.

Voyageur du Temps (“Time Traveler” in French) opened its doors March 15 after nearly a year of “extremely painstaking” construction on the former train depot at 288 First St., according to owner Rie Rubin. She said the finished product – a French-style bakery and cafe – as well as its name is a tribute to past and modern times locally. Overall, Rubin noted, the project to renovate the 1913 Craftsman-style structure took approximately two years to complete “from conception to birth.”


No slowing down : First Street hardware store owners celebrate 30 years in Los Altos

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Henry and Sue Nesmith, pictured with daughter Christina, are celebrating Los Altos True Value Hardware’s 30-year anniversary. The couple was inspired to open their own hardware store after learning how to flip houses while in college.

For Sue and Henry Nesmith, the seeds that led to the founding of Los Altos True Value Hardware can be found in a fixer-upper Menlo Park house, of all things.


Sister act : Special-occasion shoe company founders aim to go big when giving back

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Jessica and Emily Leung, from left, recently announced the addition of a charitable division to their shoe company, Hey Lady. The former Los Altos High students started their company in 2009.

Entrepreneurial twins Emily and Jessica Leung are adding new titles to their resumes – budding philanthropists.

The sisters, Los Altos High Class of 1999 graduates who co-founded special-occasion shoe company Hey Lady in 2009, recently announced that they’re adding a charity division to their burgeoning business. The duo is kicking off its newest endeavor with a 45-minute charity spin class Tuesday at Stanford Shopping Center’s SoulCycle, titled “Whoop Cancer! Give Big! And Win a Date with Twins!” Proceeds from the event will benefit rare-cancer research and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


A little more elbow room : Expansion at State Street's Pompeii Ristorante nearly complete

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pompeii Ristorante currently has a 46-seat capacity in its main dining room. Co-owner Gilbert Gutierrez, pictured, plans to add more than 20 seats by expanding into the space next door.

A project nearly two years in the making is about to cross the finish line.


On second thought : European Cobblery reverses course, stays in downtown Los Altos

Ellie Van Houtte/
Steven Oberhauser, background, looks on as his father-in-law, Paul Roth, repairs a pair of women’s shoes at the European Cobblery at 201 First St.Town Crier

A longtime Los Altos family business thought to be on its way out of the downtown area recently received a new lease on life. Actually, it just received a new lease – literally.

The European Cobblery owner Paul Roth told the Town Crier last week that his family’s business at 201 First St. is staying put after negotiating a new lease with property owner Passerelle Investment Co. The turn of events comes after the Roth family announced in November that it planned to end its 28-year stay in downtown Los Altos by closing the store at the end of January.


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