Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Going to Work with Dad

Local family-owned businesses where dads are working with their adult children include Kip’s Toyland, Village Pizzeria, Phil’s Deli and Grill and Marconda Meats

Working in the family business is a time honored family tradition. In honor of Father’s Day, this Sunday, we thought it might be fun to highlight some local family-owned businesses where dads are working with their children.

The Original Farmers Market, a beloved Los Angeles landmark since it opened in 1934, is both itself a family-owned business and features many other family businesses with multi-generational family ownership and stewardship.

Farmers Market dads working alongside their children can be found at:

Marconda Meats owner Lou De Rosa with his sons Cody and Tyler.

Marconda’s Meats: The Market’s 80 year old butcher shop! Dave DeRosa took up ownership of this renowned family butcher shop in the early 1970s, after purchasing it from his cousin Alfred, who operated it since 1941. Since Dave’s passing last year, his son Lou De Rosa has take over the operation and can be seen working with sons Cody and Tyler in Marconda’s butcher shop, while another son Thomas can be found at Marconda’s Puritan Poultry stand nearby.

Kip’s Toyland owners Don Kipper and his daughter Lily

Kip’s Toyland: LA oldest toy store, Kip’s Toyland, was founded by a World War II vet, the late Irvin ‘Kip’ Kipper. The shop is now run today by Kip’s son, Don, and his granddaughter, Lily Kipper, who manage the day-to-day operations.

Owner Francisco Carvahalo with his children Gabriela and Caio.

Pampas Grill and Phil’s Deli & Grill: Owner Francisco Carvahalo has not one, but two of his children working by his side today – Caio and Gabriela. Gabriela handles HR for the nearly 100 employees of both establishments, and Caio is in charge of operations. Together, the trio continue to explore new ways of operating the business.

Bar 326 and E.B.’s Beer & Wine: Run by former 80s rocker Gary Twinn, who works alongside his son Vincent. Dad manages the bars (and can occasionally be found performing with his group, The International Swingers, at the Market), while Vincent bartends and also manages the marketing and social media for both establishments.

Farm Fresh Produce: Armando Puente started working at Farm Fresh Produce in 1989 after moving to the US from Monterrey, Mexico. After 7 years, Armando bought the stall, which he has now owned for nearly two decades. Armando’s sons are now a vital part of his business – Amir works there full time, and Carlos can occasionally be seen helping out behind the counter. Amir’s son is three years old, one day soon there may very well be three generations working at Farm Fresh!

And the list goes on (!)…including Singapore’s Banana Leaf family operation and the family’s time-tested recipes; the Cajun family affair at local favorite The Gumbo Pot; and Littlejohn’s English Toffee House, started by Mr. and Mrs. Littlejohn in the 1920s, and which has resulted in generations of candy-making tradition passed down to today’s current owner, Michael Graves. Soon, Graves’ two young sons, Ian and Charles, will begin their summers learning the family craft.

But Larchmont Boulevard has several family owned businesses as well.

Alicia, Matt and Steve Cohen working together at Village Pizzeria.

Village Pizzeria,  owned and operated by Steve and Nancy Cohen, has been a fixture on Larchmont for over 24 years. The Cohens bought Village Pizzeria when he live in San Francisco and operated it for four years before moving to Los Angeles and opened his Larchmont restaurant, Steve Cohen told the Buzz.

“My kids have petty much grown up with Village Pizzeria,” said Cohen.  Alicia, 34 and Matt, 30 can be seen working with Steve during these tough COVID-19 days.

“Alicia has had other jobs, but I guess they all come back to the family biz for whatever reason,” said Cohen. Probably for the fun and good food, but regardless, it’s nice to see the next generation of Larchmont’s restauranteurs.

Meanwhile, Sergio Boccato and his dad, John, started the Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits and Cheese shop 25 years ago.

“My dad and I started together and my other 2 brothers assisted during the length of the business’s existence,” said Boccato.

Extra help comes in handy too. Lately it’s been all hands on deck as the popular shop manages the daily crowds of neighbors lining up for their famous deli sandwiches.

It’s not for everyone for sure, and some of us don’t get the chance to work in a family business. But for those who can work with their dad, it adds another layer to that fatherly relationship. I was lucky enough to work with my dad in his business, and then in the same industry for a time. It really deepened my understanding of him as professional as well as just my dad.

Happy Father’s Day!

Me with my mom and dad when I worked for them in our family insurance agency circa 1984.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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