Bizz Buzz: Keeping Tabs on What’s New with La Verne Businesses

July 1, 2009
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Micky's Jewelry Design Studio's Mickey Rehm

Micky's Jewelry Design Studio's Mickey Rehm is one of the world’s largest and most respected news sites with instant-breaking news on politics, entertainment, travel, crime, business, health, science, sports and other news you care about. Also on the CNN home page under “Local,” you can find CNN/Topix stories pulled from That’s right, CNN is linking to articles on their front page, no less. Try it yourself, scroll down to Local, and enter your location or zip code. Up pops local news headlines, including links to some of our stories. From what we’re told, this is a major coup for an online newspaper. LaVerneOnline has also been added to  Wikipedia as well:,_California#External_links.

Micky’s Jewelry Studio in La Verne was just named the La Verne Chamber Business of the year. “Mickey is so supportive of the Chamber,” said Brian McNerney, Chamber CEO. “She did a great job collecting raffle prizes for our golf tournament. She always has raffle prizes at our events and she really is creative on how she markets herself to the public. She has great ideas and has accepted our invitation to be on our Board of Directors this year. I love working with her.” Also, let’s end the confusion. Mickey Rehm is the owner of Micky’s Jewelry Studio. If you don’t know the story about “to ‘e’ or not to ‘e’, pop in some time and Mickey will help you sort out it all out.

Congratulations to POP Champagne & Dessert Bar in Pasadena, which has local La Verne investors, for being named the “Best Way to Spend a Wednesday” by Pasadena Magazine.  POP is celebrating its six-month anniversary with a new summer menu with fresh fruit desserts, new dinner entrees, new wines and some great Italian bubbles. . POP is located at 33 E. Union St. in Pasadena. For more information, call (626) 795-1295, visit, or simply POP in. To get the full story on POP, go to Dining in our Arts & Entertainment section. Several La Verne residents have made the trek to Pasadena and now consider POP their home away from home.

Jason Brett, new owner of Al and Ed’s in La Verne, has been open two and a half months, getting great feedback from consumers who weren’t thrilled with the previous ownership. Al and Ed’s is becoming well known for installing navigation units (Kenwood and Pioneer) and iPod head units, which are capable of supporting a wider range of auxiliary devices and producing superior sound quality for compressed audio files such as MPE, WMA and AAC files. Often people don’t need a new car, they just need an improved sound system, and that’s what Jason of Al and Ed’s provides. Al & Ed’s really expects to crank up the sounds and business when their expected Small Business Administration loan comes through. Helping Jason and his brother navigate all the SBA rules and regulations is U.S. Bank’s Margie Towns. “She is a very, very nice lady,” Jason said.

Fitness expert Canice Barbone, owner of Ultimate Fitness Boot Camps,  is in Austria with her mother until July 15, visting family who live in wine country about an hour outside Vienna. “Very nice, but lots of rain since I have been here,” said Canice, who promised a new fitness article upon her return to inspire us. Knowing Canice, she’s probably picking up some new fitness tips to incorporate into her Boot Camp workouts. Another fitness guru, Arnold Schwarzenegger, hails from Thal, Austria. You may have heard of him.

Ron and Terry Eaton opened their downtown Dippin’ dots franchise on May 7, 2008. “It’s been a lot of fun,” Terry said. “There’s a lot of fun to owning an ice cream store, a lot of work, too, but it’s a happy place.” You’ll see Ron and Terry just about everywhere – football games, driving in the 4th of July parade, hosting a fundraiser for cancer research. Their children are just as active. Kevin just graduated from Citrus and is moving over to Cal Poly Pomona to study physical therapy. Alex, now a senior, has been playing on the Bonita golf team, coached by Gabe Sanchez, since he was a freshman. The youngest, Kaylee, is a sophomore and JV cheerleader for Bonita. Mom and dad can keep track of all the kids because they now all help out at Dippin’ dots. Read more about the Eatons and their Dippin’ Dots franchise in our upcoming front–page business story.

Unlike Dippin’ Dots, ProLinear/Pontech, Inc., in La Verne, a company that specializes in world class embedded software, electronics, and controllers, is not a franchise. Although it offers some amazing products (one is an altimeter for hang-gliders), it spends as much time refining its policies, procedures  and operations as it does creating new products for the market. That’s because Jacob Christ, one of the owners of Pontech, is a disciple of Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth. “We would have closed our doors were it not for that book,” Christ said. With more than 2 million copies sold, E-Myth teaches entrepreneurs how to work on their business instead of in it.

Imposing controls are vital for start-ups because unlike franchises, start-ups often have few processes to follow. As a result, the failure rate of new businesses is startling. Every year in the US, more than 500,000 businesses are started. By the end of first year, more than 40% will be out of business. Within five years, more than 80% of them will fail. Eighty percent of those that survive the first five years fail in the second five. Therefore, after 10 years, only 4% are left! Ninety-six percent of franchises succeed, however. Mindful of that, Christ, also an electronics professor at Mt. SAC, stays as busy working on implementing new operational procedures as he does trying to create his next top-selling widget.

The true product of a business is the business itself. In other words, it’s not the hamburger, it’s McDonald’s system.

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