Category Archives: business

Fit4Mom offers moms workouts and community

Everyone’s business could use a little help these days, so we’re featuring some companies owned by local residents or located in Westchester/Playa to help promote shopping locally and supporting community members.

Here’s the scoop on FIT4MOM Westside, owned by Westchester resident Kellie Fell.

Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. A. My name is Kellie Fell, and I’m a born-and-raised SoCal gal. I grew up mostly in the mountains in Wrightwood, went to college at UCSD and moved to Westchester about 12 years ago. I currently live with my husband, two kids (my son, five and my daughter two), and our loveable Labrador. I worked in television for about seven years and then decided to stay home when I had my son. I began taking Stroller Strides classes with FIT4MOM Westside when he was 6-months-old and never really stopped! At that time I was dabbling in some freelance writing, but when the opportunity to purchase the fitness franchise arose, I seized it and have been the owner, operator and an instructor for FIT4MOM Westside for about two years. When I’m not teaching or running the biz, I enjoy baking, eating delicious food and watching TV.  

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Flowers by Felicia readies to bloom in new Playa del Rey location

After running a business for more than 31 years in the same location, Felicia St. Denis is ready for a new beginning.

As owner of Flowers by Felicia, St. Denis has played an important role in many people’s lives in Playa del Rey and beyond by creating beautiful floral arrangements for life’s most important moments.

“There’s a lot of emotions behind what I do,” said St. Denis. “I’ve done people’s weddings, anniversaries, funerals, proms, baby showers, and I’ve seen kids go from coming in with their parents, to now being adults and buying their own coffee and flowers from me.”

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Good pizza is always on the menu at this local eatery

He’s traveled all over the world as a chef on a cruise ship and worked at some of the best Italian restaurants on the Westside, but the moment Nando De Stefano drove through Westchester he knew he had found the place he wanted to be.

De Stefano, the owner of The Good Pizza, was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where his family still lives today. Being from an area known for its pizza and having a mom that liked to cook, meant good food was everywhere while De Stefano was growing up. He didn’t always know he wanted to be a chef, but when he missed the deadline to attend a flight academy, he ended up enrolled in a school focusing on the culinary arts. There he would study for five years and find his calling.

With a dream to eventually open a restaurant in the USA, he traveled to New York where he landed a job as a janitor in an Indian restaurant. Eventually, he was hired at an Italian eatery as a bus boy, and he became determined to work his way up into the kitchen and to learn English fluently. After about nine months of studying the language, he was confident in his conversation skills and promoted to server and then the kitchen.

Eventually, he was ready for a new adventure and headed west to Los Angeles to learn more about the restaurant business and hone his chef skills. By 2008, with experience cooking at popular spots in Malibu and Beverly Hills, De Stefano started looking for a place to open his own pizzeria focusing on food from his childhood when he found Westchester.

“We saw an ad to sublease a restaurant here, and we didn’t know where Westchester was,” recalls De Stefano. “I told my business partner I wanted to see the neighborhood before we got to the location, and it was love at first sight. I said ‘OK, we are going to open here and get this deal done.’”

More than a decade later, The Good Pizza has locations in Westchester and Playa del Rey, and is known for dishes like its black ink linguine, meatballs, and of course, its Neapolitan-style pies. He uses his mother’s recipes for the eggplant Parmesan and the meatballs, but everything else on the menu is his own creation.

“Having always worked at fine dining restaurants, making the move to casual dining was difficult because I don’t know how to take any shortcuts,” said De Stefano. “Our meatballs have 16 ingredients and take a couple of hours to make, but I don’t know how to make them any other way. I’m not going to miss any steps.”

During this difficult time for restaurants and most small businesses, The Good Pizza is offering new promotions and items to help draw in customers and their loyal fan base. There is the $20 fixed menu that includes a salad, pasta and garlic knots and an enticing homemade sangria for two you can add to your order. De Stefano also plans on holding pop-up Neapolitan pizza days, where pizza is cooked in a wood-burning oven on the sidewalk in front of the Playa del Rey location.

“Being a neighborhood pizza parlor is great and challenging at the same time. You want to make sure the neighborhood loves you and likes what you’re doing,” said De Stefano.


Visit thegoodpizza.com for more info and to check out their menu.

Clothing gets a second life thanks to eco-friendly company

Everyone’s business could use a little help these days, so we’re featuring some companies owned by local residents or located in Westchester/Playa to help promote shopping locally and supporting community members. 

Here’s the scoop on Deux Life, owned by Playa Vista resident Melissa Gerber!

Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. A. Hi! I’m Melissa Gerber, a Playa Vista resident originally hailing from Chicago. I’ve lived in Playa Vista with my now-fiancé (fingers crossed our August wedding still happens!) for four years and my favorite part of the area is the proximity to the beach and being able to surf before work! 

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Westchester family knows their wine

Everyone’s business could use a little help these days, so we’re featuring some companies owned by local residents or located in Westchester/Playa to help promote shopping local and supporting community members.

Here’s the scoop on Chapter 4, owned by Westchester residents Scott and Nicole Torrence!

Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. A. Scott has lived in SoCal since attending and graduating San Diego State University. Starting in the early 2000s he was the Lead Fine and Rare Wine Specialist for Christie’s Auctions in North America based in Beverly Hills and held that job through early 2019.

For years, he was one of those early Tuesday/Thursday morning cyclists training on Westchester Parkway. It was all part of his weekend hobby racing as a nationally ranked criterium racer. As the family grew from two, then three and now four with the addition of our daughter Piper in 2018, the desire to risk life and limb racing lost some of its appeal, and he started to focus more on being closer to home enjoying early development moments with the kids.

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