Locals Gather to Drink and Dine at Shangri-la

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-08-08

Diners enjoy the outdoor patio and welcoming atmosphere at Shangri-la, a new restaurant in Fair Oaks Village. Photo by Shaunna Boyd

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - Shangri-la is “a gathering place for amazing food and cocktails where guests can stay awhile and enjoy the amenities,” said owner and general manager Sommer Peterson. The restaurant opened in June and it has already become a destination for locals seeking a unique dining experience.

Peterson described the philosophy as “beautiful food with the highest level of hyper-locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and meats.” Everything is made from scratch with seasonal ingredients. “It’s the epitome of farm to fork,” said Peterson. “That should be an expectation for savvy diners.”

Shangri-la serves an elevated style of comfort food — but instead of the typical entrée selections, the dishes are designed to be shared. “That’s how I like to eat. I want all the flavors,” said Peterson, “I want to try everything.” Peterson said that the family-style experience is more fun: “It’s more social — to break bread and gather around the table. I think it stimulates conversation.”

Along with specially curated food and drinks, Peterson said that creating “a lifestyle vibe involves offering a little bit more.” In addition to the indoor dining room and bar, Shangri-la has seating on the patio with an outdoor bar, fire pits, two bocce ball courts, and a welcoming policy toward friendly dogs and their owners. “We want people to enjoy themselves and know we’re bringing them a beautiful meal,” said Peterson.

After enjoying a meal with friends on the patio of Shangri-la, Rachel Maskell said, “It’s one thing to have a very beautiful space — and they’ve definitely done that, they’ve got the Palm Springs vibe — but the food is actually so good, which makes me super happy. … You know it’s fresh.”

When asked about the meaning of the name, Peterson said, “I was trying to come up with a name that really represented the place I was creating, and Shangri-la came to mind … a mythical, utopian place where people go to escape their troubles, and I think we need that right now.”

With the successful opening and positive local response, it is a surprise to learn that creating Shangri-la was a long and difficult process. “It was more than challenging,” said Peterson. “We got held up with a lot of red tape with Sacramento County. … It was beyond what I could have imagined.” A process expected to take one year instead dragged into two, doubling the time and money Peterson put into the venture.

Peterson said she was stuck in design review with the County for months, but it felt more like a “design critique” as they held up the process over minor aesthetic details without citing any code to back up their objections. “I felt it was irresponsible. They had zero sense of urgency to help get this business going.”

“Small business owners are not supported by the County. I definitely saw that firsthand,” said Peterson. “I want to champion for small business owners, especially women.”

Peterson is proud to be a local business owner and is grateful to have talented people working with her, including executive chef Jodie Chavious, chef de cuisine Russell Middleton, and bar manager Brett Walker. “I’ve built an amazing team here,” said Peterson. “I can have all the amazing ideas but without that support it stays as a concept.”

Peterson grew up in Fair Oaks and recently moved back after living in San Francisco for more than 20 years. “I was born and raised here, and I saw the need for high-quality food and drink in Fair Oaks. That’s what inspired me to start the restaurant. … It’s been really personal and special to be able to bring this to my home town.”

Shangri-la is located in Fair Oaks Village at 7960 Winding Way. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM. For reservations, visit www.shangrilafairoaks.com.


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Fair Oaks Chamber Corner

By Dot Boyd, Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce  |  2019-08-08

Julie Anderson employee of Del’s Family Pizza brings a delicious pizza to multi chamber Power Lunch attendees. On the left: Rose Erickson, Fair Oaks Chamber of Chamber of Commerce Secretary; Diana Cralle a Tupperware Home Economist and member of Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce; And on right: Victoria Ridge of Togo’s Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and Gary Spainhower, a chiropractor and member of the Rancho Cordova Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Patrick Larenas

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - On August 2nd, it was our chamber’s turn to host the quarterly Sunrise Corridor Multi-Chamber Power Lunch. Over fifty business owners enjoyed an all you can eat buffet and salad bar at award-winning, Del's Family Pizza! It was a great coming together for business owners and various organizations from Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova and Fair Oaks Chambers. Philip Norton, Field Representative for Congressman Ami Bera, joined us as well.

It has been a busy summer for our two candidates, vying to replace our current and 41st Honorary Mayor, Keith Wright, and Director of the OV-FO Food Bank. Jacob Giorgi, President of House to Home Moving, is fundraising for Adopt an-Elder Foundation, a local non-profit serving low income, high-risk seniors. The Foundation relies on grants, donations, and fundraising activities to fulfill its mission. It can take as little as $1200 to “adopt” an at-risk elder for an entire year. Matthew Mason, owner of Matthew Mason Graphics, is the youngest candidate in the forty two year history of the Honorary Mayor fundraising program. Matthew graduated from Bella Vista High School this past June, and is supporting the BV Visual Arts Department, to help with badly needed art supplies. The candidate who raises the most money by early September will earn the coveted title at the Honorary Mayor’s Reception on Wednesday, September 11th at North Ridge Country Club! We will also be announcing the new Jr. Honorary Mayor and Miss Fair Oaks Ambassador that evening. You won’t want to miss this wonderful evening!

We are wrapping up the Concerts in the Park summer series on Thursday, August 22nd! Thank you to all of our community partners, sponsors, musicians, volunteers, and attendees for making it another summer to remember!

Please visit http://www.fairoakschamber.com/ for the event calendar, to donate to the candidates, to purchase event tickets and last but not least, to access our complete Member Business Directory. Your continued support of our member businesses is much appreciated!

See you in Fair Oaks!

Dot Boyd,
Ambassador Chair

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Dinner in the Park – a Third Helping

Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner  |  2019-08-07

Sutter-Jensen Community Park provides two locations for the Carmichael Parks Foundation gala on September 7.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael Parks Foundation will stage its third “Dinner in the Park” gala on September 7. The non-profit funds improvements in 13 parks and provides scholarships for youth programs.

Winers and diners will amble over two hidden-gem reserves. Cocktail hour is bathed by sunset in Sutter Community Garden; tables are set for a moonlit farm-to-fork meal in the adjoining Jensen Botanical Garden. Local restaurants will supply appetizers and Carmichael’s Bella Bru Café will serve a sit-down meal of tri-tip, chicken and Portabella mushrooms. Chocolate torte follows.

Winding paths link the two parks and live music will serenade every step of the way. Following dinner, an auction will offer a Montana fishing vacation and other “experience” packages. As the immediate neighborhood provides little parking, guests are encouraged to walk, carpool or take advantage of a free shuttle service from the Carmichael Elementary School on Sutter Avenue. The fall celebration follows sell-out successes of 2017 and 2018 fundraisers,

The party begins among community-farmed lots on the Hollister and Sutter Avenue corner at 5:00 pm. Tickets are $125. Sponsors include Charles Schwab; Thomas Sharp CFP; Hensel Phelps Construction; Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center; SMUD; Kaiser Permanente; KMM Services; Paul Pennington; Assemblymen Ken Cooley and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. On-site sanitation is donated by Wilkinson’s portables.

For more information, visit Carmichaelparksfoundation.org

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - “The Source,” is a new, free, 24/7 support service for foster youth and resource families living in Sacramento County. The service, implemented by Department of Health Services and the Sacramento Children’s Home, connects foster youth, and former foster youth, up to age 21 and resource families to licensed professionals who immediately provide guidance, support, and connection to critical resources.

The 24/7 hotline is staffed with operators trained to de-escalate situations and help callers work through conflicts and tension to support foster placements. The hotline will prioritize crises and when needed dispatch mobile response teams to provide additional support. The mobile response teams are made up of social workers, behavioral health specialists, as well as peer partners, which could be former foster youth or caregivers to provide assistance in supporting placement stability.

“The Source is designed to provide foster youth and foster families with high levels of support and stability when challenging situations arise,” said Michelle Callejas, Director of Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services. “This is the only foster youth/family support line of its kind in Sacramento and we are grateful to the Sacramento Children’s Home for their service and partnership.”

Foster youth and their resource families can access The Source’s crisis hotline by calling or texting 916-SUPPORT or by using the online chat option on their website. The Source team can also provide in-person support at homes, schools, and community locations.

Available Services:

Support for Youth – Support when youth need help handling life’s changes. Help to solve problems and create a plan for the future; Support for Caregivers – Assistance to aid overcoming conflicts and challenging situations in the family. Intense, short-term support is available, as well as resources to create a plan for the future; Referrals – Get connected to other supports and programs in the community; Activities – Have fun attending activities with other youth in the community; Advocacy – Support from staff who have similar experiences to youth and caregivers.

“These types of programs are an example of how County departments are listening to the community and partnering with organizations to work to improve the health and wellness of Sacramento County families by providing a culturally competent and responsive crisis continuum,” said Ryan Quist, Sacramento County Behavioral Health Director.

In recent years, California has been implementing a set of changes to the foster care system intended to help foster youth find a family and reach permanency called the Continuum of Care Reform. However, one of the major challenges is to recruit new foster families and retain existing ones. This kind of 24/7, on-demand support will help stabilize placements for foster youth and provide additional support to their caregivers.

For more information about The Source, visit their website or call 916-SUPPORT.

This program is funded by the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services through the voter-approved Proposition 63, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).

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Railroad Museum Celebrates Toy Train Month

By Traci Rockefeller Cusack, T-Rock Communications  |  2019-08-07

Railroad Museum will debut a very special Lionel Observation Car (No. 416) from 1929 with a very personal connection to Thomas W. Sefton. Courtesy T-Rock Communications

Museum is Showcasing Prized Lionel Observation Car

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to recognize August 2019 as Toy Train Month, an annual celebration that spotlights the ever-popular Thomas W. Sefton Gallery and “Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains” exhibit.

The Railroad Museum will debut a very special Lionel Observation Car (No. 416) from 1929. On public display for the first time, the prized artifact is part of the Museum’s extensive and internationally recognized toy train collection donated to the Museum by the Sefton family in 2002. The vintage toy train is especially unique due to its personal connection to Thomas W. Sefton. In fact, it was once on display in a glass showcase in Sefton's office at San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and was used as a conversation starter for those who visited his office. Observant guests to the Museum will even be able to view a small photo of the Sefton family inside the toy train.

The pre-war green State observation car (Type 1, standard gauge which is part of a State Set) will be on display for the month of August 2019 in a special case at the entrance to the Thomas W. Sefton Gallery on the Museum’s third floor. Accumulated over four decades by the late Mr. Thomas W. Sefton, the crowd-favorite collection includes 20th century toy trains, Buddy "L" riding toys, and railroad-related artifacts, featuring approximately 7,000 toy trains and a variety of accessories, such as locomotives and railroad cars from companies including Buddy “L,” Ives, American Flyer, Marklin, Marx, and Lionel.

The “Small Wonders” exhibit showcases approximately 1,000 vintage toy trains, six interactive displays, and a magnificent operating toy train layout with special pieces that are rotated regularly and decorated for the holidays and changing seasons.

In addition to the prized toy train on temporary display inside the Museum, the Museum Store will offer a special $5 price (normally $9.99) on the 30-page full-color guidebook that highlights the Thomas W. Sefton train collection during the month of August.

Railroad Museum admission is $12 for adults, $6 for youths (ages 6-17), and children ages five and under are free. More information about the California State Railroad Museum is available at 916-323-9280 or www.californiarailroad.museum.


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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California State Fair ended its 2019 season with strong food, beverage and, amusement ride sales which is thanks in-part to an all-new food Festival Pass. The pass allowed Fair attendees to pick four items from over 30 different offerings ranging from mouth-watering appetizers, one-of-a-kind entrees, and to-die-for desserts from 30 food vendors at a low price of $28. Food sales from the Food Festival Pass generated roughly $380,000 in revenue alone.

“The Food Festival pass was popular every single day of the Fair,” says Wille Madaus, owner of Country Fair Cinnamon Rolls, whose Bacon & Pecan Cinnamon Roll won Best of Show in the Food Festival Competition. “We had our highest grossing Saturday ever and are up more than 20% this year.”

Barbecue sales, always a Fairgoer favorite, hit an all-time high with $1.3 million in gross sales while new, fresh food options such as the Fair’s first vegan stand, Frik’n Vegan, had a very successful debut. The food vendor has already confirmed plans to return to the fairgrounds next year. Non-profit organization Friends of the California State Fair program sold over 7,585 pounds of fruit during the California State Fair Farm.

“Food has a powerful way of bringing people together” said General Manager and CEO of Cal Expo & State Fair Rick Pickering. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide a common place for Fairgoers of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate our state’s rich history, diverse cultures and some long-standing and new traditions that make California great.”

Overall, the total for food and beverage sales was $8.5 million this year, bringing local sales tax revenue to the city, county, and state over just 17 days of the Fair.

Butler Amusements, the CA State Fair vendor responsible for the amusement rides, also reported its highest weekend in history with sales of over $500,000 on Saturday, July 20 and more than $400,000 in sales for rides on Sunday, July 21, making it a $1,000,000 ride weekend. More than 100,000 people rode the monorail and Skyride, taking in views of the entire fairgrounds and the surrounding areas from high above.

The California State Fair closed out its 2019 season — where innovation was a major theme — with an exciting Drone Light Show presented by DISH. Other novel ideas were created at the Fairgrounds, including Esports gaming tournaments every day of the Fair, the unique Bank of America sponsored Selfie Experience, and other new and exciting exhibits.

“This year’s fair brought together the beauty and innovation that demonstrates the very best of California,” said Pickering.

The state-wide Youth Mariachi Competition returned for a second year as part of a celebration of Mexican culture's influence of the Golden State. The competition, held at the illustrious Golden 1 Stage, showcased talented youth mariachi ensembles from throughout the state. The competition gave participants an opportunity to win up to $5,000 in grants for their respective academy or school mariachi program.

The new Esports Gaming tournament sold out all of its tournament slots and first-ever California State Fair Bear Cup champions were crowned. The Esports Gaming tournament garnered more than 700,000 viewers around the country on the California State Fair’s very own Twitch channel; hosted on Twitch's front page. Esports is a new and booming video game competition and having this event showcases California’s robust tech industry.

An innovative Drone Light Show produced by The Great Lakes Drone Company, was followed by a traditional fireworks show that wrapped up the CA State Fair's events. The combination of the old, beloved fireworks and the new drone light show symbolizes the innovation and nostalgic activities the Fair provides.

The CA State Fair provided opportunities for community engagement by providing free entrance to 10,000 military, veterans and first responders. Attendees on Mondays who provided three non-perishable food items received free admission during SMUD Giving Monday. Attendees donated a total of 31,000 pounds of food; all of which went to the Elk Grove Food Bank. Fair guests also had multiple opportunities to adopt an animal from Front Street and SPCA animal shelters.

“We look forward to continuing this strong tradition of showcasing innovation and have already begun plans to ensure the 2020 California State Fair can achieve newer and greater entertainment heights,” added Pickering.

Despite an extremely hot final weekend, Californians from all regions of the state were welcomed and enjoyed the Fair, and all its activities, for 17 days! Total attendance at the California State Fair increased from the prior year, up more than 5%, for a total of 601,761 happy Fairgoers.

To stay up to date with all things California State Fair, please visit www.castatefair.org

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Over 16,000 Diapers Donated To Sacramento Life Center Through Leatherby’s

By Kristin Thébaud, Kristin Thébaud Communications  |  2019-08-07

Volunteers at Sacramento Life Center organize diapers donated through Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive. Photo courtesy Kristin Thébaud Communications

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Local residents who brought an unopened pack of diapers to any Leatherby’s Family Creamery location on July 20 received a $5 gift card to Leatherby’s, resulting in donations of more than 16,000 diapers for the Sacramento Life Center. Daddy Dave’s Diaper Drive, which took place during National Ice Cream Month, provided diapers for low-income moms in the Sacramento area and honored the life of the ice cream shop’s founder Dave Leatherby Sr. who passed away earlier this year and supported the Sacramento Life Center for decades.

“It was heartwarming to see the Sacramento community come together to support local moms and babies in need, as well as to honor my dad who believed so much in this cause,” said Marie Leatherby, executive director, Sacramento Life Center. “Thank to you everyone who brought diapers or donated online – these diapers mean the world to families in our community.”

The Sacramento Life Center accepts diaper donations all year at its primary clinic at 2316 Bell Executive Lane in Sacramento. Families in need of diapers can call the clinic at (916) 451-4357 to learn if they qualify to receive free diapers.

The Sacramento Life Center’s mission is to offer compassion, support, resources and free medical care to women and couples facing an unplanned or unsupported pregnancy. The Sacramento Life Center’s licensed Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic includes a primary clinic and mobile clinic that provide all services for free, including pregnancy tests, STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling for men and women, education and resource referrals. In 2018, the Sacramento Life Center achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, which ensures the group has met nationally recognized standards for the provision of high-quality health care. The nonprofit also offers a school-based teen education program, 24-hour hotline and program for women who have experienced reproductive grief.

For more information about the Sacramento Life Center’s Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic, visit www.svpclinic.com. For more information about the Sacramento Life Center or to make a donation, visit www.saclife.org.

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