Danville News

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.



Feel Good News

Record-Breaking Women’s Skydiving Team Help Fellow “Sky Sister” Rock Her Cancer Battle With A Virtual Performance By Former Guitarist And Vocalist For The Multi-Platinum Band BOSTON

Record-Breaking Bay Area Skydiver Jill Scheidel Teamed Up With David Victor, Founder Of The Hospital Music Charity Harmony & Healing And Former Guitarist And Vocalist For The Multi-Platinum Band BOSTON, To Bring A Virtual Performance To Help Friend And Teammate On Her Journey To Healing

San Francisco Bay Area, CA (January 21, 2021) – The “Sky Sisters,” a group of four world-record skydiving women, recently surprised one of their own with a musical tribute to help her heal.

The online musical visit was organized by San Francisco Bay Area resident and “Sky Sister” Jill Scheidel. Scheidel’s long-time friend and fellow skydive teammate, Janet Lundquist is battling a second round of cancer and the disease and treatments have been, in Lundquist’s words “Brutal.”

With the help of David Victor, founder of the hospital music charity Harmony & Healing and former guitarist and vocalist for the multi-platinum band BOSTON, the two organized a virtual performance to help her friend on her journey to healing.

Victor founded Harmony & Healing in 2019. The mission is to deliver professional-caliber musical performances for patients and their loved ones in hospitals, children’s wards, and cancer centers.

With COVID-19 derailing the plans of in-person musical visits, Harmony & Healing now offers the services of the charity anywhere in the world via the “Virtual Visits” program.

Family members or friends of patients have the opportunity to organize the online visits and everyone can enjoy the music together via Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet, or the patient’s preferred platform. Harmony & Healing will often take musical requests and Victor will pair the virtual visit recipient with the perfect musician. Following the visit, Harmony & Healing provides a video of the Virtual Visit to the recipient and loved ones to enjoy.

Scheidel and her “Sky Sisters” have organized and participated in several world-record skydives for large formations, including many through Jump for the Cause (JFTC). JFTC is a non-profit all-female team that has set world records to raise money for breast cancer research. The group was co-organized by Mallory Lewis, the daughter of Shari Lewis, the puppeteer of Lamb Chop.

Everyone on the “Sky Sisters” virtual visit has battled or is currently battling cancer, and Scheidel saw this as a unique and welcome opportunity to support her life-long friend.

To learn more or to donate, visit the Harmony & Healing website.


Smiles Around Danville

In this year of COVID-19, there may not be much to smile about these days. Except maybe in Danville.

Downtown is now dotted with smiley face signs. And people are taking notice.

“It’s great. Especially in the time we are living in. We can all use a little cheer,” says resident Niki Hall

The signs are all hand-crafted in the home workshop of 17-year-old San Ramon Valley High School senior Aidan Cox.

“I think everyone is a little down about no school and everything is closed. I thought a smiley face would cheer people up a little bit,” Cox said.

Aidan has created and hung about 20 signs so far. The first was in his neighborhood in Alamo.

The signs are made of plywood and each one takes days to complete.

“Ever since I was a kid I always signed my name with a smiley face. I always loved smiley face emojis. I figured let’s just start out with this,” Cox says.

Those who walk or drive by seem to appreciate the simple sentiment. Aidan’s handy work has gotten a mention on the Facebook page of the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a perfect way this student has come up with. A way to make people happy. And I think people need a little pick up this time of year,” says chamber CEO Judy Lloyd.

The chamber hopes the signs will help draw people to the area and perhaps local restaurants for take-out.

Elected officials are also applauding the teenager.

“Hats off to this guy for doing a good job of bringing enthusiasm and trying to spread cheer at a time when many people might not be so cheerful. Well done,” said Danville Vice-Mayor Newell Arnerich.

“I feel really proud when I’m driving by and see them I think I did this myself. And it makes other people happy. I’m planning to keep doing it. Spread further out to other towns. And keep going,” says Cox.


Peasant & The Pear is Moving

Rodney announced that he is moving Peasant & The Pear, Downtown Danville, just a few blocks over next to Danville Brewing Co. The spot where Antica Pizza was located will now be the new home of Peasant & The Pear.

We are happy for Rodney and can’t wait to try them out in their new location soon! Stay updated and follow us on IG-@danvillesocial for upcoming news on when the move will happen!


Contra Costa County is Re-Opening!

We have finally moved into the Red Tier and are opening up again!

Things aren’t going to go back to 100% normal, but at least we will have access to indoor gyms, restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, museums, and spas!

Read the Press Release from Contra Costa County to see which sectors are able to open and with what modifications.


Dr. Rankin – Blackhawk Plastic Surgery

Last week I got a chance to talk with a new asset to the Blackhawk Plastic Surgery & Med Spa , Dr. Ronan’s newest partner Dr. Rankin. As a surgeon, educator, and innovator, Dr. Rankin comes from one of the leading plastic surgery training programs in the country, Vanderbilt University. Dr. Rankin has spent the last decade with some of the most prominent names in surgical training in order to be able to offer the safest, cutting edge techniques to the San Francisco Bay area.

Dr. Rankin - Blackhawk Plastic Surgery and Med Spa in Danville CA
Dr. Rankin and his beautiful family

Originally from Marin County, he has lived all over the country but likes to be close to family and wanted to get back to the bay area. Recently moved from Nashville, TN to be closer to family, Dr. Rankin plans on calling Danville their permanent home. He loves all that our town has to offer; excellent area for raising kids, parks, schools, and the list goes on!

Dr. Rankin is definitely a man that wears many hats. At the office, he is Doctor, but at home, he is Daddy. Not only is he an excellent surgeon, he is a father and husband to a beautiful family. He has 3 adorable kids – All under the age of 5! When he isn’t working, he is spending time with his family, exploring Tahoe, or visiting the coast! I had the opportunity to also speak to his lovely wife, Kanika. She expressed to me how fascinating it has been to witness her husband’s career path.

“I watched my husband spend years in training to get to this point and now seeing him in his element has made it all worth it! And never once failed to make me feel like his highest priority. His loyalty shows at work, his attention to detail, care for his patients, and passion for the art is second to none!”

Dr. Rankin loves what he does and his passion for his work with cosmetic surgery, which can be see in this quote from our interview.

“I enjoy the art and technical aspects of plastic surgery and how it effects peoples quality of life.  It can truly have a profound impact on your day to day life. My hope is that I continue to work with people and build a lasting relationship.”

One might ask, “How did he discover Blackhawk Plastic Surgery?” Before moving back to Northern California Dr. Rankin considered practices all over California. Working with Dr. Ronan was the best fit due to the world class practice he had built along with a standout community, safety, and excellence. When Dr. Rankin first walked into Blackhawk Plastic Surgery he recalled:

“I felt like the practice embodied the attribute of what I feel. The staff is amazing and has been there 12-15 years. I could tell that patients are well taken care of here.”

Dr. Rankin also offers valuable advice to first time patients and noted:

“All consults are FREE, come in and talk with me and get as little to as much info as you want. I will take my time to explain and answer your questions or concerns. I Work with my patients like a partner-I want to help achieve your goals. I just want you to have exceptional information and knowledge before leaving the appointment”

After talking with Dr. Rankin, I can see how much passion and devotedness he puts into being a surgeon. He genuinely cares for his patients and staff. The world needs more authentic, reputable Doctors just like him!

If you would like to learn more about the services at Blackhawk Plastic Surgery & Med Spa, or make a consultation appointment, Click Here!