Little Blue Gourmet Boutique – Calabasas, CA

June 26, 2013 at 6:22 am
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Little Blue Gourmet Boutique
4774 Park Granada #7
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 225-8078
littlebluegourmet@yahoo.com
shop.littlebluegourmet.com

 

NHLove: Where did you grow up, and where is your store located?
Little Blue: I grew up in Chatsworth and my store is located in Calabasas
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NH Love:  How do you go about picking out the items you carry?
Little Blue:  Honestly, I search high and low. I go to all the craft fairs to find the cool hand-made items. I also
carry about 30 different Etsy artists, some local and some far away. When I see something interesting on-line
I track it down and find out who makes it and if it is possible to carry it in the shop. I am also a fan of Pinterest. I will pin items that catch my eye for the store. The store has it’s own pinterest page too. http://pinterest.com/shoplittleblue/boards/
NH Love:  Do you ever have the problem that you love something you want to carry, but then you find the same item is already for sale at many other stores? Yes. It happens all the time. I really can’t compete with the large chain stores.
Little Blue:  Some of the product we have I have seen in the giant stores but I know that my customers come back to shop at Little Blue for the special personalized experience that you can only have in a small shop. I have regular fans that can walk in looking for a few gifts and describe who they are buying for, we help them pick out gifts and then wrap the gifts for them for free! The big giant chains may have the same products but we make up for it in customer service.
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NH Love:  You are a branch of Blue Table, located a couple doors down? (which has amazingly good food)
Little Blue:  I like to call us “sister stores” my sister, Gina, is the owner of Blue Table. She has two locations, one in Calabasas and one in Agoura. The Calabasas store opened almost 10 years ago and I opened Little Blue about 3 years ago. I thought it would be fun to have a gift shop with locally hand-made items. Little Blue also offers cooking classes in the kitchen at Blue Table on Sundays and we do Cooking Birthday Parties for kids as well. I have a background in teaching kids and  in cooking so it’s a good mixture of both!
NH Love: Do you ever carry items you think others will like, or carry items you yourself like, and hope others will enjoy?
Little Blue:  I try and find items that get me excited. Things that I see and can’t stop thinking about. I also have questions I ask myself before bringing it into the store: who would buy this? is it affordable? would I buy this for anyone I know? would I want to own this? It has actually been a learning experience over the last 3 years. I really pay attention to what my customers like not just what I like.
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NH Love:  What do you want for Little Blue, are you thinking small cozy boutique, or cool chain of stores one day? (I vote small chain)
Little Blue:  I would love to have a small chain of stores! Currently I am working on growing a better website. I have so many fans of Little Blue that don’t live in the area and want them to be able to order on-line or have a gift shipped to a friend. I would also like to have our own line of products that could be sold in other gift shops.
Here is our current website: http://littleblue.bigcartel.com/
NH Love:  Ok, off subject, was it a lil crazy being located next to the former Kardashian clothing store? Did you see some crazy meltdowns or insane parking lot scuffles? Don’t hold back!
Little Blue:  Oh my gosh, YES! I have actually known the girls since before there was a show and a few of them still come in to see me and shop at my store. It was so strange when they became famous. Tourists from literally all over the world would come to see their store. I miss meeting all the tourists but I do not miss them taking up the entire parking lot and taking pictures all day long. We would get the occasional person that we would need to call the police on. There were a few crazy stalkers. I have never actually seen the show, I just know them from, well, knowing them. They are nice girls, probably a lot different then people think they are. They are just very, very smart business women.
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NH Love:  You are a homegrown opperation, ya? Do you also try and support other artists and stores that are homegrown also?
Little Blue:  Yes, I am always sending people to shops that I personally like and support. I even have the business cards of stores I love to hand people who are looking for cool places. Here are a few stores I like: Hidden Treasures, Playclothes, Spitfiregirl, Mindfulnest. Oh and if you need your knives sharpened go to Ross Cutlery downtown! You can find me in one of those stores on my day off.
NH Love:  When you think about the future, about what’s coming next, what items would you like to expand into for your store?
 Little Blue:  Part of the excitement for me is not knowing. I try and keep an open mind and search out artists and small companies that make cool stuff. Usually the new stuff comes out in July and January. I am getting ready to see all the new things coming out next month, there are a few gifts shows I will be attending. In July I buy for the fall/winter holidays which is so much fun! Halloween (my personal favorite) Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s really pretty great that part of my job is shopping. Every time a box gets delivered I still get so excited and equally excited to share whatever came in with our customers. I usually post new items to our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Blue/291937308505 or I post them on Instagram: http://instagram.com/littlebluegram
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NH Love:  Any shout outs, or people you would like to thank, or talk about? And I wanna say thank you to you for this.
Little Blue:  The thanks really goes to my customers. They are the people that keep us going and in business. I was a chef  prior to owning the store and had no idea I would meet so many nice, kind, real people that would become an important part of my life. Not just to buy stuff from Little Blue but also to just come in and say hi and see their kids grow up right in front of my eyes! The other person I could not do this with out is my gal that works for me-Suzanne Tondreau. She is a gem. Really. She treats the store like it’s hers and is such a good example on having a positive attitude towards life. I really lucked out. Come in and see us. We will help you find a gift, or chat or maybe you just need a hug. We do that too. 4774 Park Granada #7 Calabasas, CA 91302 Don’t forget to stop in for lunch at our sister store, Blue Table, it’s just a few doors down.Check us out on Yelp:
Little Blue Gourmet Boutique
4774 Park Granada #7
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 225-8078
littlebluegourmet@yahoo.com
shop.littlebluegourmet.com