San Luis Obispo Fliers Get a Morning Coffee Break

Airport passengers who take early-morning flights from San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport can now get fresh coffee at the terminal's curbside.

Higher Groundz Coffee and Tea Co. has a coffee cart in front of the airport from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily to serve coffee, espresso and bakery items. The service began this month to accommodate regular airport customers, said Garth Jantzen, co-owner of Higher Groundz.

"It was the No. 1 thing that airport customers were looking for," he said.

The coffee company, which has stores in San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach, competed against other local coffee stores for the contract with Code 7 Foods, Inc. to operate the airport kiosk.

Sales have been off to a good start for the kiosk where customers can purchase smoothies, coffee, espresso, blends and baked goods, said Jantzen.

"It's been going well," he said. "We expect it to increase as more regulars see us and know that they can get our coffee at the airport."

Airport officials are also considering other improvements. There are tentative plans to remodel the food concession, which is run by the airport's restaurant, The Spirit of San Luis. Restaurant owners Doug and Julie Wagnon were unavailable Wednesday.

Phil D'Acri, who manages the airport property, said he would like to combine the concession area into a one-stop spot where travelers could get food and drinks, as well as gifts and souvenirs. Plans for the improvements should be finalized within the next few months.

-- Dawn Rapp

County businesses, groups continue Katrina relief efforts

Local businesses continue to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Here's how some local businesses are involved:

10th Street Grill in Los Osos is selling $1 raffle tickets. Prizes will include five steak-and-lobster dinners for two. The raffle will be held Sept. 29 and all proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross. The restaurant is at 2011 10th St., Los Osos.

Cole Chrysler Dodge in San Luis Obispo recently contributed $52,000 to help the victims of the hurricane. The local dealership raised $26,000 and Chrysler matched that amount.

Kennedy Club Fitness, in concert with the Salvation Army, has placed donation kettles at each of its four locations -- Atascadero, San Luis Obispo downtown, the multiplex on Tank Farm Road and Arroyo Grande. Both cash and check donations will be accepted for the Gulf Coast evacuees through Sept. 18.

Dr. Michael Limberg of Limberg Eye Surgery in San Luis Obispo will donate surgery fees collected next Tuesday to the hurricane victims. The donations will go to St. Patrick's Church in Baton Rouge, which has turned into a shelter for homeless mothers and their babies. Limberg says his wife's family lost their home in New Orleans and informed the doctor about the makeshift shelter. For more information, call 595-3937.

The Arroyo Grande Knights of Columbus Council, St. John's Lutheran Church and Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach firefighters will host a benefit pancake breakfast on Saturday. The event will be held at St. Patrick's Church Hall from 7:30 a.m. to noon. All proceeds will go to assist New Orleans firefighter Ernest Majoue, who lost his home during from the storm.

Nipomo High School students, teachers and staff have been raising money for the relief efforts. So far, $7,900 has been raised and Mid-State Bank & Trust will match the final amount.

-- Dawn Rapp

Another voice for SLO County wine industry

Responding to the growing Central Coast wine industry, S. Lombardi & Associates is now offering wine marketing services. The team is being led by wine marketing specialists Cliff Stepp and Starr Hall, who have worked with dozens of Central Coast brands. S. Lombardi & Associates is a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm in San Luis Obispo.

Tartaglia Realty has hired Nancy Furtado to assist in property management and real estate sales. Furtado is a longtime resident of San Luis Obispo and comes to the real estate company with more than 20 years of experience in public relations.

"We are starting to shift the focus of our services to sales rather than property management," according to Nancy Tartaglia. The firm will maintain the property management portion of the business as it hopes to grow in sales.

Tartaglia Realty has served San Luis Obispo County since 1980; it is at 968 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo. Visit them online at or call 544-1244.

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