Unassuming Main Street building an outpost of legendary family

Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Edward Sassoon built 101 Main St. in 1954. The scion of a Jewish Baghdadi family, his properties spanned from London to Mumbai and Shanghai.

One could be forgiven for thinking the Sassoon Building at 101 Main St. got its name because it is seemingly always occupied by salons – and now Brownhome Designs.

But the ranch-style office building can lay claim to a far more auspicious history than one named after shampoo entrepreneur Vidal Sassoon. It was built by Edward Sassoon, who took out a full-page advertisement when he opened the doors in 1954. Los Altos’ new office building was the latest node in a three-continent family empire that began in 19th-century Baghdad and spanned from London to Shanghai.

Art with a (re)purpose

Courtesy of Tami Vazquez
Restoration Illumination founder Tami Vazquez works on a French sign. The Los Altos resident repurposes old items into wall signs and furniture.

When Tami Vazquez’s second son was born, the Los Altos resident knew she wanted to spend more time at home with Mateo and older son Ricardo than her corporate job would allow.

“I went to work right away after my first (son) was born, and I felt like I was missing out on too much – all the milestones like, ‘He crawled today! He did his first smile!’” Vazquez said.

Recent renovation keeps Spangler business at home

megan v. winslow/Town Crier
The Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos, built in the 1950s, has been in the Spangler family for three generations.

Spangler Mortuary recently underwent a full renovation at its Los Altos location on San Antonio Road. A ribbon-cutting ceremony held early this month underscored the local business’ commitment to remaining in the community.

“A lot of the renovation was replacing carpets, walls and color schemes,” said Jim Spangler, the third-generation owner of Spangler Mortuaries, which also includes locations in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Menlo Park.

Los Altos woman turns family business into landscaping powerhouse

Photos courtesy of Gachina Landscape Management
H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina heads Gachina Landscape Management.

John Gachina spent decades in landscaping and nearly 30 years building Gachina Landscape Management from the roots up before passing away from cancer at the end of 2015.

The company he started with two employees out of his Cupertino home had expanded to more than 300 since he founded the company in 1988. The Gachinas moved to Los Altos – near Santa Rita School – in the mid-1990s. His wife, H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, took over soon after his passing.

Turn gets a new look from a familiar face in downtown LA

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Robin Berard, center, works with general manager Jennifer Smith, right, to get food out of the kitchen at Turn Bar & Grill. Berard recently reopened the restaurant with an experienced kitchen and floor staff.

After Turn Bar & Grill went dark for a few days last week, a familiar face is back on Main Street with some old and new friends.

Robin Berard, one of the original partners behind the restaurant’s 2015 opening, has returned as Turn’s owner-operator.

Pinewood student serves as envoy to start-ups

Photos courtesy of Maxine Marcus
Maxine Marcus is a Pinewood School student and CEO of a new teen-focused consultancy, The Ambassadors Company.

Virtually any start-up worth its venture capital must get young people excited about its product. It’s a consultant’s dream to advise companies on how to attract teenagers.

Maxine Marcus is already there – she fits consulting in between classes, golf practice and tech club. Marcus, a 16-year-old junior at Pinewood School, is CEO of The Ambassadors Company, which gives companies teen insights into their products.

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