Engineer-turned-realtor keeps on building

Emily Quiles/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos realtor Hiep Nguyen’s life has taken many twists – from fleeing Vietnam as a child to his career as an engineer and his pivot to real estate.

Hiep Nguyen developed his work ethic at a young age as he watched his parents start over in the United States after leaving war-torn Vietnam with next to nothing.

“I just cannot fathom starting over. ... I feel a sense of awe and indebtedness,” the Los Altos resident said.

Why is 65 the national default retirement age?

Retirement in the U.S. is considered to start at age 65. Why? After all, there’s nothing sacrosanct about that particular age. Many people are capable of working well beyond 65, while others fortunate enough to have amassed sufficient wealth prior to reaching that milestone are happy to retire earlier.

According to the Social Security Administration’s website, the first country to create a social insurance program for retirees was Germany in the 1880s. The emperor at the time, William I, wrote a letter to Parliament stating that “those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a well-grounded claim to care from the state.” Quite a radical idea back then! The German program was initially created to begin at age 70, but by 1916, the age limit had been reduced to 65.

Globetrotter returns home and brings one-woman pastry business to LA

Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Melody Hu prepares to open Petit Bakery Co. at 209 First St. in Los Altos. Hu’s gluten-free vanilla sponge cake with elderflower buttercream and lemon curd, right, is her best-seller to date.

Melody Hu is set to open a patisserie-style bakery in downtown Los Altos this summer that fuses her international living experiences: the craftsmanship of Parisian pastries and the modest sweetness of Asian mochi rice. Yet Hu said the health-minded, gluten-free goods will make Petit Bakery Co. “quintessentially Californian.”

Established in 2017, Petit Bakery Co. will fill the space at 209 First St. after Cho Yu’s retirement led to the recent closure of Cho’s Restaurant. Hu said some minor remodeling is in store before her bakery opens in the summertime.

Ludwig's German Table plots Mountain View opening

Courtesy of Ludwig’s
Ludwigs Geman Table is developing a menu of beer-friendly foods for its new Mountain View location including pizza with brie, walnuts and lingonberries.

Ludwig’s German Table, a San Jose beer hall and eatery, is readying a beer hall menu for its debut in Mountain View.

Ludwig’s has signed on to assume the space at 388 Castro St., formerly home to Bierhaus. The previous beer-oriented business vacated the location after failing to reach terms on a new lease with the landlord, who had floated plans for redeveloping the space entirely.

Rose Market reopens in MV

Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
A customer examines the wares in a Rose Market aisle last week.

Rose Market, the popular Persian grocery and deli at El Camino Real and Castro Street in Mountain View, reopened its doors last week after a multiyear closure for the site’s redevelopment. The shop stocks Middle Eastern produce, dried goods and deli foods in addition to making its own specialty foods. A walk-up window will sell simple grilled meat meals at lunch and dinner.

The importance of inspections

When you buy or sell a house, inspections are often involved. Following are some commonly asked questions.

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