Cheers to The Annex — Dreams Come True at the Collection 

By Raven West

Michael Pynn General Manager fo the Collection with Alicia Rock

Four years ago, Mike Pynn, General Manager for the Collection at River Park, along with representatives from CenterCal Properties, Shea Properties, and Oaktree Property Investments came together to plan a unique experience for the residents of Ventura County.

What resulted is The Annex – Ventura County’s first public market.

“We had a vision to create a public market that evokes the feeling of creative expression with local entrepreneurs who share a passion with a one-of-a-kind, inviting atmosphere where small business owners can converge and showcase their unique individual ingenuity and where they would be appreciated by the consumers who enjoy a truly unique experience,” explained Pynn.

Unlike huge corporate chains, the 12 businesses who call The Annex home are all owned by individuals or partner entrepreneurs who “Dreamed a Dream” and worked hard to make it a reality.

Emmanuel Garcia, owner of Sueño Jewelry Studio took this goal literally.  “I’m originally from Northridge. When I was visiting a friend here in Oxnard, he told me of the opportunity at the Annex. I learned there are no other jewelry stores at the Collection and I knew instantly that this was going to be my new home. I called my studio what it was, Sueño which is the Spanish word for dream.”

Garcia says The Annex is an ideal location for his dream store because of its artistic approach, which attracts an eclectic group of customers looking for something modern and unique. His mission is to avoid “cookie cutter” jewelry design by personally creating pieces that are as individual as the people who are going to wear them.

Sueno Jewelry Studio – Owner and Designer Emmanuel Garcia

Cherryhills Market – Justin Scott and Brandon Lewis

Cherryhills Market owners Justin Scott and Brandon Lewis were also looking for a new location to add to their flagship store in Huntington Beach.

 

“Kristin Lombardo of CenterCal Properties approached us at our Huntington Beach location with the concept of the Annex in Oxnard and we instantly knew it was a perfect fit for us,” Scott explained. “I wanted a new location that brought a home grown rustic flavor, a mom & pop type business of locally owned farm-to-table products in Ventura County and here we are!”

“With Ventura on one side and L.A. on the other, there isn’t anything like a public market anywhere in-between. We pride ourselves on personal creativity by offering everyone a great opportunity to experience authentic home accessories, homemade spices, signature infused olive oils and balsamic pairing as well as imported pasta and other unique and seasonal gifts we couldn’t find in a brick and mortar location anywhere else.”

Hernan Lopez and Corina Thompson, owners of The Blend Superfood Bar also found a home for their health food eatery at The Annex. Coming from an athletic background, they were frustrated that there was nowhere to eat after a game or a practice other than pizza or hamburgers.

“If we were looking for a restaurant that served healthy food that tastes great and is good for you, we were certain others were as well,” said Lopez. “We wanted a place that served foods with high vitamins and nutrients that would use locally sourced ingredients such as strawberries and honey. What better place to find locally grown strawberries than Oxnard?”

Oxnard is also the perfect location for the growing beer industry. Farshad Memarzia and his cousin Ali Zia opened their second location of Bottle & Pint to bring the most sought-after beers from some of the most talented and expert brewers in California. The back room connects a number of kegs to each tap and when it’s empty, another takes its place.

Bottle & Pint Ali Zia and Farshad Memarzia

 

Beer Selection at Bottle & Pint

“We have a revolving list of 20 brews of beers, wines, ciders and mead on tap that changes daily, sometimes more often if a selection runs out,” explained Zia. “You can say I got into the beer business because beer got into me!”

All the selections pair well with the many different food selections in the Annex. You can order your favorite and take it to another venue, or buy your food and take it to one of the comfortable tables at Bottle & Pint.

Zia says, “We definitely wanted to create a collaboration between our tap room and our food neighbors at The Annex and give our patrons a place to relax and enjoy the company of their friends without being distracted by loud music or television screens.”

Pancake and Gasolina owner Sandra Cordero with Staff

Sandra Cordero, owner of both Pancake and Gasolina agrees.

“I want our customers to have a ‘Cheers’ feeling, where everyone knows your name and we make you feel very special to come to Pancake for breakfast or sit down at a table at Gasolina  for lunch or dinner. We want our place to be your place, not just another impersonal restaurant. You can have the best food, but if the atmosphere isn’t inviting, or the staff isn’t warm and friendly, you’ll go someplace else.”

Of course it helps that the food is absolutely delicious. Cordero is not only the owner, but she’s also the chef of both locations bringing her Dutch and Spanish heritage together for a bit of Euro cuisine unlike anything else in Ventura County.

Samples of the authentic Spanish Tapas menu included Jamon Croquetas – creamy serrano ham croquettes, Gambas Alajillo – wild caught shrimp, garlic and guindilla pepper and Panconsetas, – crimi crema & wild mushrooms on conserva toast.  

Other tastes from around the world include brothers Ted and Young Kim’s Seoul Sausage who  relocated their award winning food truck to a brick and mortar location where they serve Korean BBQ; Love Pho owner Bee Nguyen’s traditional Vietnamese cuisine with a modern heathy twist she learned from her mother; Erik Ferreira, owner of Taqueria el Tapatio has been serving authentic Mexican dishes for more than 20 years; Andy Kuan’s Pokeceviche menu highlights traditional Hawaiian Poke and chef-curated ceviche dishes. All natural ingredients are used to create delicious, customized meals that features zero calorie noodles and fresh macros that fit a wide variety of macronutrient needs.

Another former food truck that has found a stable home at The Annex is Tim and Lisa Kilcoyne’s Scratch Sandwich Counter. Their menu of favorites remains the same, offering local farm-to-table selections that highlight house-smoked meats and sausages that goes great with a cold beer from Bottle & Pint!

If you prefer coffee with your burger, Sarah and Shawn Pritchette have a wide selection of aromatic delights at their Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters where all of the coffee is roasted in-house at their Newbury Park location. Their selections include a signature menu of lattes, cappuccinos and house made syrups such a vanilla, mocha and chai, each served with organic mild and a signature latte art design on top.

Much more than an eclectic “food court” The Annex is a true Market Place. Although there is free Wi-Fi access you might want to turn off your cell phone, leave your lap top in the car and escape the Internet world for an hour or so and simply experience human interaction with family and friends.   

CHEERS!

For information and schedule of events, visit:  http://thecollectionrp.com/the_annex

AndyKuan Pokeceviche

Bee Nguyen – Owner Love Pho

Scratch Sandwich Counter Tim Kilcoyne Serves Slider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Raven West

 

Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.Named in the TOP 50 Authors by Authorsdb.com


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One Response to Cheers to The Annex — Dreams Come True at the Collection 

  1. Raven – Thank you so much for the interview and opportunity to reach your readers. We could not be more thrilled to have a business presence in Oxnard, CA. We feel strongly that the opportunity that we’ve been afforded in Oxnard is paramount to the vast majority of others. We’ve been well received by the community and those who have had a chance to come by the store. We have an excellent staff of well trained individuals who are eager to help the community to embrace our brand and offerings. We couldn’t be in a better location, The Annex has proven to be the gateway to so many unique individuals, families and visitors, not to mention our neighbors who are passionate business owners just like us. Locally Grown is our story and we feel right at home within The Annex family. Thank you again for your excellent coverage, the article is awesome and the opportunity to be featured in your writing is truly a gift. Thank you again! Well-done.

    Reply

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