Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New waves for coffee, water – and on the radio

From page A10 | September 07, 2014 |

As a longtime journalist, I’m comfortable asking the questions. The tables turned recently when I was interviewed for a local radio show.

If you have a spare 29 minutes and want to hear some stories and background about Comings & Goings, the “Davisville” interview with Bill Buchanan replays Wednesdays from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 to 8 a.m. on KDRT 95.7 FM. Or, to listen to the podcast anytime, visit

The Aug. 30 interview, coincidentally, was the day after I spoke before a room full of Davis Sunrise Rotary members. In that presentation, I shared the evolution of this 13-year-old column. Thanks to everyone involved for pushing me past my comfort zone. When I know there’s an audience, words flow much easier from my fingertips than they do from my tongue.

Now on to real news …


Planning is underway for a Davis coffeehouse that will provide “meaningful, community-based employment for people with disabilities, and art, music and social opportunities for everyone.”

Pamela Cohen, executive director of the nonprofit Purple Tree Café, said it’s “still a year or two away from opening, and don’t have a location yet. We’re currently finishing up our business plan and developing a video to use in a crowd funding campaign. As soon as that is ready, we’ll start fundraising.”

Its website,, states, “Some customers will come to Purple Tree Café because they share its vision of supported employment and social accessibility. Others will come to enjoy an excellent cup of coffee or pastry, perform or listen to music, paint a picture, see their children create with others in the supervised Art Space, watch a dance performance or poetry reading, or participate in a discussion on a disability-related topic. It is this unique combination of products, services and environment that will make the Purple Tree Café experience a positive and enjoyable one for everyone involved.”

Sound familiar? Mosaic Tea & Coffee has a similar model in the works. Its proposed cafe would provide job training and placement for adults with disabilities, its Facebook page says. It would convert Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall as a fully accessible, community-oriented loose tea and coffee shop.


H20 to Go is flowing under new ownership. Chuck and Nancy Foster, who founded the business in 1986, sold it in July to Paul and Barbara Taylor. The store, at 1340 E Covell Blvd., Suite 105, is in the Oak Tree Plaza.

The Taylors plan to modernize the store to better serve its customers. Those updates include digitizing the customer database and cash register, and adding 24-hour access via an external water vending machine, all, hopefully “before the holidays,” Paul said. Today, customers may fill their jugs only during business hours: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, 10-6 on Saturdays, and 12-5 on Sundays.

Long-term plans are to incorporate delivery and online orders through an improved website.

Paul, who grew up in Roseville, said the customers have been receptive to the change, and “glad the business isn’t going anywhere.”

The Taylors moved to Davis from Los Angeles in 2011 and have a 5-month-old daughter. They are freelancers in the film industry – doing mostly TV commercials – but have scaled that back to focus on the business and family.


Last week, when discussing businesses in the Oak Tree Plaza center, I mentioned Skin Renewal Center. I forgot that it moved last fall to 231 E St., Suite 3, behind Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Sorry for the confusion!


Yakitori Yuchan, a Japanese barbecue restaurant at 109 E St., may open on the fourth week of September, owner Yuji Yokoyama reports.

The casual fare will be different than other Japanese food in the area. Instead of sushi, it will offer small plates of skewered chicken, veggies and seafood. It will open daily, except Mondays, at 5:30 p.m., and remain open until 11 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday evenings.


Crucial Vibes Unlimited’s owner Lance Warren is busy preparing it to open at 205 F St., between Outdoor Davis and Paulina’s Boutique.

Crucial Vibes will feature reggae, Jamaican and Rasta clothing and accessories for men, women and children. The goods will include things like T-shirts, shorts, hats, jewelry, wallets and belts, sarongs and wall hangings. There will also be soap, incense and patches, he said Thursday.

Until now, Warren has been a traveling vendor at flea markets and festivals. Although he had a store in Jamaica, this is his first in the U.S. The Bay Area resident moved to the U.S. in 2004.

When asked why he chose Davis, he said, “I’ve got friends up here, and people up here, and it’s a college town.” He’s glad to be on a street with lots of foot traffic.


Jimmy Phu, one of the owners of the upcoming boba tea shop Lazi Cow, saidWednesday that he’s now shooting for a Friday, Sept. 12 opening. Lazi Cow will feature tapioca teas, plus pastries like Taiwanese brick toast. It’s going in at 407 G St., Suite 4, across the parking lot from Valley Wine Co.


Wind of Change, the restaurant replacing Café Mediterranee at 113 D St., is still finishing remodeling. Management hopes to have it open “sometime in October.”

The food concept is “American style cuisine with French and Mediterranean fusion delicacies.”


Varsity Dentistry moved a year ago, to 1756 Picasso Ave., Suite D, from an office on Anderson Road.

Sang Tran, DDS, originally opened his Davis practice in 2004. He changed the name to Varsity the following year. It’s celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a reception from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18. The event includes a Davis Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting.

“I waited for the upcoming 10-year anniversary to celebrate the new office,” he said in an email.

The new office’s design has an open, light and welcoming feeling, inspired by his patients’ concerns, he said. Overhead monitors show a relaxing slideshow to help ease tensions.

According to its website,, Tran is a multidisciplinary dentist who specializes in cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics and periodontics.


The Social and Cognitive Learning Center has moved to 803 Russell Blvd., at the east end of University Mall. Its former office was at 907 Third St. With the move, it joins the network of providers at Center for Collaborative Care.

SCLC helps children and adults address social and cognitive needs, in collaboration with family members, schools personnel and other professionals.

The Center for Collaborative Care is a multi-disciplinary space where providers can work independently or together to help families address special needs like social skills training, occupational or speech therapy, or attention and memory challenges. There’s also playgroups for infants and toddlers.

The center hopes to add psychiatry, individual therapy, group therapy, and other integrative services to its team in the future, according to an email from Noriko Abenojar, director/owner of SCLC.


Davis native Jesse Froehlich launched a rainwater harvesting business in 2012 called BlueBarrel. It offers kits for converting recycled barrels into rain catchers for garden irrigation.

Froehlich will host a workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 20 at a Davis home where participants will install a 9-barrel system and learn how to build their own. To register for the workshop and learn the address, visit

The 1999 Davis High grad operates the online business out of her home in Santa Rosa, and serves Northern California and beyond.

— Wendy Weitzel is a freelance writer and editor in Davis. Her column publishes on Sundays. Throughout the week, watch her Comings & Goings Facebook page. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact Wendy at



Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel is a longtime journalist and Davis resident. She is a former managing editor of The Davis Enterprise, working there from 1998-2008. She has written her Comings & Goings business column since 2001. Today, she does freelance writing, editing, marketing and design.


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