Featured

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

St.Isidore Information meeting, Danville CA

Best Private Schools in Danville CA

You live in Danville and you’re looking for a private school? Or, maybe you just moved in the area! With all the great schools here, this topic is sure to raise eyebrows. But there are several valid reasons for going private, such as: Is your child nearing school-going age and pre-school is starting to look like an option?

 

Read More

Meet Tracey Medcalfe Photography

Last week Danville Social had an opportunity to interview Tracey Medcalfe and to learn more about her photography business and what makes it special.

How did the business get started?
I have always loved taking photographs, even as a kid! After my degree in physics and Masters in Information Systems, I knew that our growing family wasn’t blending well with my IT consultant role. As photography took its place in the evolving digital world…a business in photography was a natural step for me and allowed me to combine my love of technology and art with the flexible schedule I needed for my family…and yes, I still got to play with cool gadgets!!! Yay!
I started my photography business in the UK. Initially, I focused on family portrait and reunion photography and loved the pictures I was able to capture for my clients! I loved their reactions to their pictures even more! I was so excited to be able to do something directly for people that I knew they would love forever!!

What inspired you to start your own business?
I am a huge fan of pictures…natural, spontaneous, candid, capturing people’s emotions and connections.
I found that I was inspired by the experience of photographing other people. A dear friend of ours hired a wonderful photographer to photograph an event; I was so inspired by her style and pictures. We had a family session with her and I was able to work with her on a number of occasions before we moved to the US. It wasn’t long before I started my photography business here in the East Bay.

What is your background and how did you develop the skills to start your business?
I completed a number of professional photography courses for both portraits and weddings. I am also a member of the Professional Photographer Association, which offers wonderful resources for anyone in the business of photography or even photography enthusiasts. I believe you can always grow as a photographer and dedicate specific time on a regular basis to improving my skills and adding new ones regularly.

What’s the one thing your business is known for, over your competitors?
There are many aspects of capturing a great photograph…light, gear, great subjects, location to name just a few. I believe that timing is also an essential component and am always in search of that telling expression, smile, laugh, action that captures a moment!
A collision of action in soccer.
A crazy laugh from a chased toddler.
An expression of determination in lacrosse.
A confident character presence on stage.
A knowing smile from a big sister.
An adoring smile from a proud parent.
A secret smile from a bride.
A passionate embrace of a couple
A confident exchange between business partners
A friendly wrestle between brothers.
I believe that these are moments captured in time forever with a photograph and I am always in search of this rich treasure! I love to get to know my clients and to be able to capture them as they are most beautiful and natural.
I am excited to have a senior photography banner on the football pitch at Monte Vista. Spring is a great time to get senior and family portraits with great weather and blossoming trees and plants.  Springtime also has the bonus of avoiding the seasonal rush in fall!

Which small businesses are you inspired by?
I am inspired by people more than businesses. People achieve great things, work hard to understand their clients, love what they do! I love working with people who are energetic and passionate about their pursuits!!

What is your favorite part about living/working in Danville?
For an outdoor photographer, Danville and the Bay Area presents a spectacular location! Just within five miles of Danville, there are more than 20 locations that I wouldn’t hesitate to use for photographs! I have included just a few of the locations in some of the pictures.

Tell us the most interesting and fun tidbit about your business.
The story of our logo is fun and quirky! We used to live in Holland and just after our second child, Hannah was born, we visited the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. They boast some of the most impressive displays of tulips and other plants in their spectacular botanical gardens. The logo heart is made up of a beautiful stone sculpture which I rotated to be vertical and then duplicated in Photoshop. Here is a picture of our oldest taking a quick look through the sculpture.

Click here to view Tracey’s work on her website, https://www.medcalfe.com/

 
X