New Offices for Law Firm, HotHouse, and The Mortgage House

Biz Briefs
Compiled by Camas Frank

empower_logoEmPower San Luis Obispo County is hosting workshops in the Second Supervisorial District (North Coast) and attendees can sign up for a home site visit and hear about common issues that lead to higher energy bills, such as the condition of the heating system, ventilation and air conditioning systems, insulation, water heaters and other major appliances. They will also learn about utility incentives and low-interest, unsecured financing that are available to complete qualifying energy-efficient projects. Workshops are: Wednesday, May 5, 5:30-7:30 Coast Union High School, 2950 Santa Rosa Creek Rd., Cambria; and, Friday, May 7 5:30-7:30 Cayucos Elementary School, 301 Cayucos Dr. The emPower program, part of the County Planning and Building Department, offers voluntary incentives, financing and other services to help single-family homeowners in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. Get more information at:

mariestephen-200x300Comstock & Wagner Attorneys are opening a new office at 775 Marsh St., San Luis Obispo. Partners Marie Comstock and Stephen Wagner have been in Santa Maria and are expanding. Comstock and Wagner specialize in family law, divorce and child custody cases. Attorney Bill Bixby handles criminal cases for the firm. Both Comstock and Wagner are law faculty at Allan Hancock College. Their website is at:

Foremost Wine_9172The SLO Chamber welcomed Foremost Wine Company as a new member, with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the historic Creamery building, 570 Higuera St. For more information see: Pictured are left to right: Foremost Wine Company owners, Rob and Nancy Murray, Steve Polk, Carlee Porter, Robin Puricelli, Julie Simon, Johnny Kenny, Autumn Clark, Denise Layaye and Sue Roberts. Submitted photo

Cal Poly has leased a 15,000 square-foot space in Downtown San Luis Obispo to relocate and expand its SLO HotHouse — a collaborative effort with the City and local business community. The university recently signed a 10-year lease for the space in the 800 block of Higuera St, directly above the Ross Dress for Less store. “With the help of the City of SLO and the local business community, the SLO HotHouse has become a key player in the economic development of our County,” said Judy Mahan, director of the SLO HotHouse, “We are incredibly excited with the opportunity to continue increasing our impact with access to more space for more startups to launch and grow locally.” SLO HotHouse programs, currently housed in a roughly 6,000 s.f. space on Morro Street in Downtown, will be moved to the new location gradually beginning in June through early fall. For more information on the SLO HotHouse programs and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, see:

Union Pacific Fdn. GrantAssistance League of San Luis Obispo County received a $5,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation to help provide new school clothes to low-income students from all 10 school districts in SLO County. At a recent breakfast meeting hosted by Lisa Lawson Stark, Union Pacific Railroad’s director of public affairs and corporate relations. Assistance League was one of several local non-profit organizations recognized for their work to improve the quality of life for families in San Luis Obispo County. Accepting the contribution was Assistance League president Gail Stoneburg, who said, “We are sincerely appreciative of the generous support from the Union Pacific Foundation, which enables our membership to provide new school clothing to approximately 50 students in need who otherwise may not have sufficient school clothing.” To learn more about Assistance League, see:

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County announced that Chief Executive Officer, Heidi H. McPherson, has been named one of the Top 50 Women in Business in the tri-counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura by the Pacific Coast Business Times. “We are so pleased that Heidi is being honored. She brings her passion for a relationship-based culture, along with her national experience and expertise. This will help us to build on the good work that has been accomplished by the Foundation.” said Steve McCarty, foundation board president. The Foundation’s assets under management have grown to more than $48 million, and provide support to all aspects of the community in perpetuity. For more information or to donate to any fund, see The Community Foundation’s website or call 543-2323.

West Coast regional grocery chain Haggen (pronounced “hay-gunn”) took ownership of three local Albertsons and Vons branches in April. Two of the branches in SLO were converted over 36 hour shifts and were part of a deal between the companies to convert 83 stores in California. Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a Pacific Northwest company with locations in Oregon and Washington to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

Bayfront InnMorro Bay’s Bayfront Inn, located on the waterfront, was recently recognized as one of “Fido’s Favorites in 2015.” Dog owners have given their paw-stamp of approval to the Bayfront Inn because the little motel achieved superior pet-friendliness ratings by its viewers because of the Inn’s “welcoming environment for guests traveling with pets.” Fewer than 10 percent of Bring Fido’s pet friendly accommodations can claim this distinction. What sets the Bayfront Inn apart from other Morro Bay pet friendly stay choices is the attitude of the management towards pets, their one time low pet stay fee, and the fantastic welcome bag presented to every dog traveler that includes made-in-the-US doggie snacks. The Bayfront Inn is owned and operated by dog loving family members. Ten of their 16 rooms are pet friendly. The Bayfront Inn is at 1150 Embarcadero, see: or call (805) 772-5607.

VMI_Web_Logo_CommunityFoundationThe Mortgage House has added a new office in Atascadero. The regional mortgage banker’s new location at 7340 Morro Rd., joins The Mortgage House’s offices in SLO and Santa Maria. Senior Vice President and Division President, Roxanne Carr, said that increasing rent costs combined with historically low interest rates are generating new homebuyer demand. “Many renters are rethinking home ownership,” she said. “With today’s low rates, it is often less costly to own a home than to rent one, though careful consideration should be given to making this move.” Carr added that the Mortgage House does a great deal of business in the North County and wanted a centralized location to support clients. Loan officers Kathy Rogers and Maurica Anderson are located in the Atascadero office, and plans call for two more loan originators to be added soon. For more information, see:

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