Six or seven years ago Temecula was getting to be known for its fine wineries but other unique local businesses were relatively few and far between. Fast forward to 2011 and, even in a tough economy, it’s a very different business landscape in the Temecula Valley. From the upscale Edge Restaurant to the down home cookin’ of Simply Sharon’s to the eclectic boutiques dotting just about every shopping center, locally owned businesses are making their mark.
Many of these restaurants and shops are here thanks to the Economic Development Corporation of Southwest California (the EDC), whose goal is to help businesses succeed. To that end, they held the 3rd Annual EDC Southwest California Business Summit at the beautiful, new Temecula Civic Center. “This is a day of education to learn how to do business better,” said Nancy Obenberger, EDC Operations Manager. “We’re concentrating on business strategies – listening to what their problems are and addressing them at our Summit.”
Business owners met with some of the largest purchasers in the region, attended speed marketing sessions (where there was an opportunity to consult with eight of region’s top marketers in fast ten minute sessions), listened to high-level business-oriented presentations, and participated in roundtable discussions.
Lunch fare was catered by Temecula’s Delyte’s Catering, owned by food artisan Leah Delyte Di Bernado, who will be opening her family-owned E.A.T. Market and Café this summer. The hungry crowd enjoyed her fabulous, locally-grown buffet: Organic salad greens from Sage Mountain Farms with feta, fennel and Crows Pass strawberries; free range roasted turkey with pesto aioli on Sadie Rose Breads; and grilled chicken with E.A.T. coleslaw wraps. Her special Farm Produce Pasta Salad featured 100% all local veggies.
As a local business owner herself, Leah was thrilled to be part of the EDC Business Summit. “This is what Temecula is all about – it’s totally positive, as we have such a great base of business owners and leaders that all roll up their sleeves, working hard to bring about positive change and create new jobs.”
The rosy outlook was shared by all around. “We’ve seen an increase in tourism with hotel occupancy, while restaurants and wineries have also increased their business,” said Leslie Mercado, Director of Sales for Temecula Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau who had a booth at the event. “We find that more people want to vacation in their backyard and Temecula is accessible to many people in the region.”