End of year business changes

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In Idyllwild, small village that it is, there are frequent local business changes — new businesses arriving, some closing, some changing locations because of rent considerations.

One of the most significant changes is the sale of both the Pine Cove and Mountain Center markets and associated gas stations. Local Real Estate Broker Shane Stewart, who opened both markets and the Spirit gas stations and has been operating them until this sale, will retain ownership of the real estate.

The new owner is an investment company, El Sol Investment Group, owned by San Bernardino nonprofit El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center. The Town Crier spoke with Tanya Rivas, on staff of the Neighbor Educational Center, who will be acting as operations manager for both facilities.

The nonprofit, through county and state grants and fundraising, provides educational services for pre-school children and for older adults. For children up to 5 years old, El Sol helps ready them for entry into kindergarten and primary school. For older adults, El Sol provides in-home assistance and counseling on such things as paying bills.

“Our services are grant-specific,” said Rivas, with grants specifying the terms of service.

The markets are the first business purchase for the investment group. In the past, El Sol Investments has bought, remodeled and flipped homes to help fund Educational Center services.

“We’re keeping existing management staff,” said Rivas. “They’re really good.” El Sol took over Mountain Center on Nov. 3 and Pine Cove on Dec. 1.

In other changes, Don and Mimi Lamp have closed escrow on their summer-to-be bed and breakfast on Highway 243 near Idyllwild School. Currently called Wilkum Inn, Mimi said they will spend the next six months, until summer, remodeling and determining how to make the building’s 11 rooms work for the intended purpose.

Plant Food Supper Club, currently in Strawberry Plaza, will move to its new location near Suburban Propane probably by the end of January, according to owner Kelly Johnston-Gibson. She is taking the place of Uncle B’s BBQ.

Wendy Presti has opened Canine Klips, adjacent to the Town Baker at 54385 N. Circle Dr., #153, a pet-grooming shop. Presti is a master groomer and owner of the Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy in Palm Desert. Presti teaches students to become professional pet stylists and pet stylist assistants.

Her work with pet styling began at age 15 when she took a summer job as a pet stylist assistant in her mother’s first salon. At age 18 she attended the PC School of Pet Grooming in Las Vegas, Nevada. After graduating, she moved to Palm Desert and opened her first salon. Finding how difficult it was to find pet stylists, she expanded her business into a pet-styling school in 1988. She became one of the valley’s first certified groomers in 1989.

She is a master stylist and has certifications in AKC Safety Certified Groomer, AKC Certified School, Certified California Professional Pet Groomer Association, Certified International Professional Groomers Inc., and Southern California Groomers Association Skin and Coat.

Canine Klips is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are two groomers.

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