Written and photographed by Rachel Lindt
On Thursday, September 3rd, Avalon Ambassadors Eric Lederhos and Osvaldo Garcia led a tour of Avalon Blvd. small businesses for the SBCC Thrive L.A. youth group. The idea to create and lead a tour geared towards the youth of Wilmington came out of a collaborative meeting between the On Avalon team and the SBCC Thrive L.A. youth group during one of their Thursday meetings. SBCC Thrive L.A. is a non-profit organization in Wilmington that works to empower communities in Los Angeles County to discover and develop tools for individual and collective well-being. As a group that is working to better the community as Wilmington youth, collaborating with SBCC Thrive L.A. seemed like a natural fit.
About eight SBCC Thrive L.A. youth group members joined the tour this Thursday to hear about six small businesses on Avalon Blvd. When Avalon Ambassadors asked the group if they ever hang out on Avalon Blvd., most said no. But after the tour was over, many seemed eager to visit some of the shops again. One of those shops is Home + Treasures, a vintage thrift shop located near C street on Avalon Blvd. The owner, Olga, was nice enough to let the entire tour group come into her store to see her unique items. Many had never been inside the shop before and were in wonder of the magical quality of the inside of Home + Treasures.
After every stop on the tour, Avalon Ambassador Eric Lederhos eagerly encouraged the youth group to return to these shops and support local Wilmington businesses. Both Eric and Osvaldo shared with the youth group that before preparing for this tour, they did not know about the wonderful businesses right under their noses. As Avalon Ambassadors, both appeared confident and proud to be leaders within the community and excited to share information about their home town.
The tour ended with a surprise small business addition to the route. After learning about Toys vs. Games, a recently opened game shop on Avalon Blvd., Eric Lederhos was excited to share this youth-oriented store with the group. After asking the youth group members about the types of businesses they’d like to see on Avalon Blvd., many expressed shops for youth, like arcades and bowling alleys. This conversation segued perfectly into the last stop, where youth group members had the chance to see and even play new and old video games! By the end of the tour, it was clear that the youth were excited about not only this new shop – but others on Avalon Blvd. – and eager to imagine what else could be on the corridor.