Author: Heather Ruiz

Meet Benjamin & Carol Schuster, from Got Paella

 

Benjamin & Carol Shuster, Owners of Got Paella

 

We had the chance to get to know who is behind GOT PAELLA and a little about how it all started. The inspiring story of how they started and the opticals they overcame.
Follow @danvillesocial on social media to see more about this delicious product!

How did it all start?
In 2015 my husband and I started as a catering business which was very successful in Los Angeles L.A. Paella Catering and expanded to Santa Barbara SB Paella Catering. We launched a food truck Got Paella but only used it for wineries and festivals. During the closures, we saw an opportunity to sell individual meals via our Got Paella Food truck which proved to be a win, selling over 3k meals in 45 days. We had been working on a product for the future but as we were forced to shut down, we decided to utilize direct feedback from our clients and ultimately came up with a skillet ready frozen meal, which not only tastes delicious but by having been frozen, it allows for the consumer to complete the cooking process within 10 minutes and the end result is a delicious paella. The frozen food market is changing to reflect new food trends and is the way of the future due to very little waste and the demand for quick meals that taste homemade.

What inspired you to start your own business?
When I was pregnant with our first, I knew I wanted to be a full-time mom, so I left my career and focused on parenting. Benjamin was passionate about making paella and always dreamed of making it into a business and what started out as a side fun gig, turned into a successful catering business. Having 25+ yrs in sales and management, I took over the sales aspect and help grow our company. Our product Got Paella is our pandemic pivot but it is now the new direction of our company. The pandemic taught is that a service can quickly end but a product can continue on. We want to bring paella to every home in America.

What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?
My parents migrated to the US in the early ’70s from Central America. They worked very hard and always emphasized how important it was to be a successful woman and to have a strong work ethic. I worked very hard in Sales Management for several stores and became the manager of the top Nordstrom, MAC Cosmetics location. I sent myself back to school and graduated from CalState Fullerton in Communications with a minor in Public Admin. I was a regional sales manager for salons and ended my sales career working for a reputable pharmaceutical company selling Cardiovascular medicine. Ben was raised in Spain since he was 1 month old due to his father playing and coaching bg soccer teams in Spain. He learned to make paellas in Spain at a very young age and was the designated paella chef of the home. He was sent to the U.S.A for college where he graduated with a BA in Finance from the University of Missouri. He finished his career working as a Global Financial Analyst for a top Law firm in Los Angeles. Both our experiences and passion to succeed for our family have pushed us beyond the skills we learned in corporate America to learn every aspect of the Grocery Business. Not without challenges but failing is not an option.

What’s the one thing your business is known for, over your competitors?
Aside from winning several Paella competitions, we are the first and only manufacturers of a frozen skillet-ready Paella. We offer a Vegan option as well. When we wanted to launch our Vegan we were told it is not paella, but we know that there is a need for variety in Vegan dishes when it comes to groceries. Not to mention this is the best Vegan paella ever!

Which small businesses are you inspired by?
We are inspired by family-owned businesses. When you hear the power of unity and trust when running a business with your family or partner and what it took to succeed, it makes you feel like you can win if you work together. Ben and I are very different. He is the Chef and artist and I am the sales and marketing part of our business. We stay in our own lanes and allow each other to take the lead in what we are experienced in. Small Family businesses that succeed always recognize the strength each person brings to the business and fosters its’ individual efforts and creativity.

What is your favorite part about living/working in Danville (or your business city)?
We relocated to Santa Barbara at the beginning o the pandemic to focus on the Santa Barbara location and for our kids to go to a small local school. Being part of the central coast community has allowed us the opportunity to launch our product, meet amazing supportive small business owners and be able to introduce our product to an amazing store like Draeger’s Blackhawk. They were one of the firsts to give us a shot and we are so excited to finally have their customers and the community of Danville taste our Paellas.

Tell us the most interesting and fun tidbit about your business (e.g., your company has a mascot or office pet, a fun outing your company held, the unorthodox way your leadership team brainstorms, the unusual ways your team communicates, etc.)
Well, we are a husband and wife team, parents of 2 girls, 3 and 7 yrs of age. We work from home mainly when Ben is not in the commercial kitchen. We juggle conversations about work and kids and family all in one thought. It is a madhouse and we are definitely a fun circus. Our kids are a part of everything we do. When we need a break we take an RV up the coast and camp with our kids. A lot of brainstorming happens when we are on the road as a family.

 

Danville’s Scarecrow Stroll

Now-November 30th, enjoy the beautiful fall weather as you take a leisurely stroll through Danville in search of festive scarecrows. This is a perfect way for residents to rediscover their love for Danville businesses this fall.

Residents are encouraged to stroll Danville and find their favorite scarecrow. Scarecrows will be entered into a competition for two different categories: “People’s Choice” and “Town Council” choice. Voting begins October 30th and concludes on November 28th. Winners will be announced on November 30th.

Check out the map of where to find the scarecrows!

Make sure to follow us on social media @danvillesocial! We will be posting videos of the fun scarecrows around Danville. Tag us in your scarecrow picture while you are around town! 

Pumpkin Patches Near Danville

It’s that time of year! The leaves will start changing with the season. Even though the weather doesn’t feel like Fall, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all of the Activities and Fun! Check out our list of Fall Fun and Pumpkin Patches!

Want us to share your photos with everyone? Tag us on social media @Danvillesocial and we will give you all the credit!
*Check the websites of each location to read about mask policies and updated COVID restrictions.

 

Local School Carnivals
Green Valley Elementary,  Danville- 10/1

Pumpkin Patches
Dell’Osso Family Farm, Lathrop- Opening Day is October 2! Corn Maze, Haunted Castle, Dell’Osso Express Train, Hay Ride, Goat Walk, Duck Races, Tire Pyramid, Dell’Osso Speedway, Animal Zoo, Ball Shoot Arena, Tire Play Area, Lawn Games, Mini Golf, Low Obstacle Course, Kiddie Play Land, Spinning Pumpkins, Pillow Jumping, Children’s Interactive Pirate Show, Pig Races & Entertainment. PARKING IS ALWAYS FREE!

G M Farms, Livermore- It’s the farm that is so fun it has been featured twice on the David Letterman Show! Bring the whole family there’s harvest fun for all ages at G&M Farms, and it’s easy to find, right off I-580 at Isabel Avenue in Livermore. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays!

ABC Tree Farms, San Leandro-Thye have over 20 Pumpkin Patches retail lots throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California Locations begin opening in mid to late September and remain open through October 31st. Their pumpkin patches offer several inflatable amusement rides, photographs, and game areas, and LOTS of different types of pumpkins, pumpkin carving kits and so much more!

Joan’s Farm, Livermore- This is a great spot to take the whole family! Snack Shack offers hot dogs and pumpkin pie, soda, water, nachos, etc. A Hay bale maze, Pumpkin bowling, Little blue train, Feed the farm animals, Large inflatable slide, Old West Town, and Old farm equipment.

 

July Events

July Events Around Danville

It’s time to enjoy the last few weeks of July! Here is a list of stuff to do around Danville for everyone!

Stay updated daily and for a list of Brunch and Happy Hour Spots, follow us and see it on our social media pages! @Danville Social

Live Music, Meenar Music Club, Downtown Danville
Every Thursday, DJ is back! 9 PM- 2 AM. No Cover!

Live Music, Norm’s Place, Downtown Danville
7/23- Head down to Norm’s for a bit to eat, drink, and listen to live music by Nick Tyrell!  Starts at 7 pm.

Live Music, Hazy BBQ, Downtown Danville
Every Friday, head over, eat delicious BBQ, have some drinks, and listen to live music from 5:30 to 8:30 PM.

Player’s Pub & Pianos, Downtown Danville
Every Wednesday, Karaoke & Curbside Kitchens, from 6-10 PM.
Every Thursday, they will have live music, 6:30 PM, and a $10 cover. A DJ will be spinning beats afterward.

Live Music, Auburn Lounge, Downtown Danville
Every Sunday, Auburn has live bands playing for Sunday Funday, starting at 3 PM. Afterward, stay for Karaoke!
8/1- Blue Valley Band, 8/8-EZ Motion Band, 8/15- Blue Tattoo Band, 8/22- Salvage Title Band, 8/29- Against the Grain Band

Primo’s Special Events, Downtown Danville
July 29- Epidemic Pint Night, 5 pm.
July 31- Skrewball Frozen Cocktails Tasting, 3-5 pm.

Moonlight Movies, Town Green, Danville
Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and snacks, and join us for a movie under the stars. Crafts and activities will begin at 6:30 pm. The movie Onward will begin approximately at 8:15 pm. Pre-registration is required! To register, click here.

Harry Potter Take-Home Craft, Town of Danville
7/31- It’s going to be a magical day filled with trivia, how-to videos, a take-home craft a Dobby-themed sock hunt, an art contest, and more! The Dobby Sock Hunt and the take-home craft pickup will be available from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Danville Community Center and Town Green. For more info and to reserve your craft kit, click here. 

Movie Night at the Pool, San Ramon Olympic Pool
July 30- Come see Jumanji: The Next Level at the FREE Drive-in movie at the San Ramon Olympic pool! Rec swim starts at 7 PM and the movie starts at 8:15 PM. Pool floats welcome! Watch the movie from the pool, or bring a chair and cozy up. Registration is not needed!

Comedy Uncorked, Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore
7/24- Who doesn’t love laughing while sipping on wine? Buy your tickets for this event, here!

City Center Bishop Ranch, San Ramon
Yoga on the Square, Every Tuesday(only in Summer). 9:30 AM-10:30 AM, enjoy FREE yoga! All levels welcome!
The LOT, Every Wednesday, enjoy $14 Movies!
On 7/23, they are premiering Snake Eyes!
Live Art, Every Thursday, grab a bite, take a seat, and enjoy live mural painting at Alexander Square from 4 PM-8 PM.
San Ramon Farmers Market, Every Saturday from 9 AM-1 PM. Buy fresh fruits & veggies and check out all of the vendors!

City Center Unplugged, City Center Bishop Ranch, San Ramon
7/23- Join in for live music at 6:30 PM for City Center Unplugged!

Live Music, Retro Junkie, Walnut Creek
7/24- The Lost Crowes(A Tribute to The Black Crowes). Buy tickets here.
Every Sunday, 1-8 PM, Sundae Funday with live music, drinks, food, games, mimosas, & live music!

Live Music, Broadway Club, Walnut Creek
7/23- DJ Warner Case will be spinning some beats! Tickets at VIP booths are available here.
7/24- Super Diamond(Tribute to Neil Diamond Band). Buy Tickets here.
7/31- They will be welcoming back Petty Theft(Tribute Band, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers). Tickets almost sold out, so buy here.

Family Fun Night, West Wind Drive-in, Concord
Every Tuesday is Family Fun Night! Enjoy a movie for $5.50! Age 4 & under are always FREE! To see a schedule of movies, click here.

Cass Class Charity 5k, Downtown Danville
7/24- Run for a cause, starts at 9:30 AM and will end at Beyond Active downtown. They will be having an after-party, with pop-ups from; Primm Pop Kids, Krushwell, Late Night Bakes, & Light as a Feather. Sign up here! This is a FREE event, but donations are always welcome.

Summer Concert Series, Livorna Park, Alamo
July 30- Bring your blankets, chairs, and friends to watch live music-The Fog City Swampers playing. This is a FREE event. More information here!

Core & Cabernet, McGrail Vineyards, Livermore
7/28- Follow @Conscious_Core_Caitlin and sign up on McGrail Vineyards site to grab your tickets! There will be a 60-minute all-level Pilates class on the front lawn, followed by wine tasting of 3 McGrails wines and light bites with a view of the sunset.

Little Explorers Petting Zoo, San Leandro
Take the little ones down and let them get some energy out, while they learn about animals! For more information, click here.

Grand Opening Celebration, Paia Mercantile, Walnut Creek
July 30- Join their Grand Opening with a slice of Aloha! It starts at 5 PM and there will be live hula dancing, food, & more! Spend over $100 at the grand opening and receive a FREE $25 gift card.

 

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