Seaside Luxe, an operator of resort boutiques, is wrapping up the year with a rush of openings.
The Santa Monica company, which launched in 2008 and operates 20 stores in resorts in Hawaii, Rio de Janeiro and the British Caribbean territory Anguilla, will open four more before the end of the year.
Lee Ann Sauter, the company’s 38-
year-old founder and chief executive, said
Seaside Luxe would be adding three more Hawaiian locations and one in Palm Beach, Fla., this week.
Seaside Luxe contracts with resort operators to turn empty space, generally between 600 and 1,700 square feet, into revenue-generating retail locations. The company handles merchandising, design and management, and pays resort operators a percentage of profits.
“Before I started, I couldn’t figure out why I was staying at a great hotel which had the best spas and restaurants – everything except for retail,” Sauter said.
Sauter, whose retail experience includes stints at Gap Inc. and as vice president of customer experience for Guess Inc., said Seaside Luxe generated revenue of more than $18 million this year and said if she is able to meet projections and double the number of resorts she works with next year, revenue ought to double as well.
Her potential clients could also turn into her competitors, however.
Resort companies such as Marriot International Inc.’s Ritz-Carlton brand and others have begun to open their own high-end boutiques.
Still, Sauter said many resort retailers often bring in the operations of high-end brands. Seaside Luxe boutiques vary their stock, carrying multiple brands.
The company often has several concepts in one resort, selling everything from jewelry to golf apparel in different shops on one property. Items can range from $200 to $220,000.
“There’s a lot of fun things we try to do. Going to our shops is a daytime activity, it’s not just an amenity,” she said.
West Hollywood Mediterranean vegan restaurant Crossroads Kitchen will serve up guest chefs on several Sundays over the next few months.
Partner and chef Tal Ronnen, who has been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and catered the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, will bring in several notable chefs to cook vegan meals. It’s a move Ronnen said will diversify the offerings at his 3,000-square-foot restaurant on Melrose Avenue.
The guests will include Southern comfort chef Art Smith, Umami Burger’s Adam Fleischman and Peruvian cuisine chef Ricardo Zarate.
“For Adam, I thought it might be great for us to do a burger night with shakes and fries. It’s something that our customers don’t usually get,” Ronnen said, noting that the burgers will be vegan.
Ronnen, who is expecting upwards of 150 patrons for each of the prix fixe $80 dinners, said he did not need to hire the chefs as they are all friends. He added that the series would be an opportunity for him to learn about other cuisines, and for the other chefs to learn a few things about cooking vegan and perhaps add some plant-based items to their menus.
“There are so many other cuisines that we want versions of vegan food for,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to deviate from our Mediter-ranean menus with chefs who’ve inspired me over the years.”
Beverly Hills’ Go Greek Yogurt has plans to open company-owned stores in Brentwood, Santa Monica and Toronto next year. Its only store is in Beverly Hills. … Pasadena fast-casual pizza chain Blaze Pizza is set to open up in the Glendale Galleria in the first quarter of next year. … New York chain Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in February plans to open at 2121 Rosecrans Blvd. in El Segundo. It will be Grimaldi’s first store in California. The chain plans to add several more Southern California locations next year. … Italian restaurant Al Bacio will take over the former Osteria Drago location on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in mid-December. … Loteria Grill and Torta Co. was scheduled to open Dec. 13 at downtown L.A.’s 7th at Fig.
Staff reporter Justin Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5225, ext. 228.
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