March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business day and we’re proud to be one.
Four Seasons Tree Care understands the unique challenges that family-run businesses face. It isn’t just about the bottom line, it’s also about getting the kids to school on time, helping employees advance in their careers, celebrating as they start their own families, and weathering difficult times together. We have always subscribed to a “People First” philosophy. Profit is important but it is something we’ve never put above the health and well-being of our employees, our families and ourselves.
To celebrate this special day, we’ve curated a list of our favorite mom and pop businesses from all over San Diego and North County. McDonalds and Amazon won’t notice if you go, but small business owners will! Here’s to shopping small and local and getting the best.
What to say about Pigment…. It’s just the BEST. Do you need a gift for a woman’s birthday, a baby shower, a child, a succulent-lover, a cocktail-lover, a cook, a human being, yourself? This is the place. As if their locally sourced jewelry and swoon-worthy children’s section weren’t enough, they have beautifully soft purses from Hobo and an entire wall (a WALL) of vessels for the succulent garden you will be making while you’re there. Because they also have soil, decorative rocks and sand, and the cutest baby succulents you’ve ever seen.
3801 30th Street
2885 Perry Road #101
3715 Caminito Court
This author discovered Nomad Donuts when they opened up a tiny location on 30th between University and Adams Ave, walking distance from her house. Now they boast a much larger location in the heart of North Park and aren’t as likely to be “totally closed” after selling out at 11am. What’s special about these donuts? Check out some of their flavors: Carrot Cake with Brown Sugar & Toasted Walnuts, Whiskey Brown Sugar w/Graham Cracker, Coconut Pandan, Lemongrass Yuzu w/Shortbread Crumble, Thai Tea & Peanut Butter. And of course they have chocolate, vanilla and glazed if you aren’t feeling adventurous.
3102 University Avenue
This little ice cream parlor is a true San Diego gem. When you enter the tiny shop you’ll see photos of visits from celebrities like Kristen Bell and Will Ferrell, but it’s the love of locals that have kept this family making ice cream on Adams Avenue since 2000. The owner “is a 4th generation Dutch dairy farmer from New York, and when he was 12 years old, his grandpa Pete taught him how to make ice cream.” Today, Mariposa uses “a batch freezer that’s designed to exactly duplicate the hand-cranked process, and we proudly display the 1923 White Mountain hand-cranked ice cream maker that the VanRansom family used on the farm.”
3450 Adams Avenue
Looking for a gift that’s unique, playful, or just beautiful? Artelexia has it! This eclectic shop in North Park features a huge variety of items from Mexico or inspired by Mexican culture. From art to clothing to cards to toys and games, this is the place you wander into curiously and then leave, an hour later, laden down with purchases.
3803 Ray Street
Due to pandemic restrictions, Blind Lady is currently only serving food to go so we’ll pass over the incredible atmosphere of the dimly lit pub that is full pretty much all the time. Their pizza is some of the best in the city and when you add a delicious salad and award-winning microbrew, you get a spot that is required eating the next time you’re anywhere near Normal Heights.
3416 Adams Avenue
Juanitas Taco Shop
When you grow up in North County, you know which unassuming taco shops are the best, and Juanitas is one of the best. Family owned with a welcoming atmosphere and delicious food, you’ll get it right no matter what you order. Call ahead to pick up if you’re in a rush.
290 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
Looking for a delicious taco shop the uses organic/produce, grass-fed beef, organic free-range poultry, dairy and eggs, and wild seafood? Welcome to Haggo’s! Delicious food at a charmingly quirkly location, traffic at this gem has picked up since it was featured on Food Network, but it’s still worth the wait.
1302 N Coast Hwy 1o1, Encinitas
Lou’s has been a North County classic for literal decades. They sell new and used CDs, vinyl, cassettes (remember cassettes?), turntables and merch. Next door to the “new” building is the “used” building where you can trade in your used whatever for new whatever. This is the place for people who love music even when it isn’t streaming.
434 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas
Spin Records doesn’t need a website. It’s a classic. Like Lou’s, Spin sells new and used CDs, vinyl and cassettes as well as DVDs, posters, pins, books, and rare items you aren’t going to find now that most records stores have gone out of business. There’s a reason these guys keep keeping on.
370 Grand Avenue, Carlsbad
The oldest still operating restaurant in Encinitas, The BESTA-WAN has been serving pizza, American, Mexican and Italian food since 1965. This is the spot when you’re trying to decide on dinner with a group of people who can’t decide, and you also want killer atmosphere.
148 Aberdeen Drive, Cardiff By The Sea