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All in the family 

Months behind schedule, but just in time for the holiday shopping frenzy, the Fortinis are finally ready to open the doors to Fortini Home-Garden-Design. Ryan, Marisa, and Anne Fortini originally slated their grand opening for June, but as the cosmetic touch-up turned into a major facelift on the historic property, the opening date was reset for Dec. 1. That date has now been pushed back another week, but good things come to those who wait. Louis C. Fortini, Ryan’s grandfather, built the historic building at 3021 S. Higuera in the late 1940s and used it as a warehouse for his beer and wine distributing business. Now, after renting the building to Rice Heating and Air Conditioning for close to 40 years, the Fortinis are back in business.

Ryan Fortini, a landscaper and garden designer, has teamed up with his wife, Marisa, whom he describes as the master merchant. A graduate of Cal Poly just like her husband, Marisa worked several years as a buyer and product developer for the catalog company Smith & Hawkin. Ryan’s mother, Anne, also pitches in, bringing to the table her extensive knowledge and experience as an interior decorator.

The end result is an immaculately restored warehouse featuring exquisitely elegant home décor, surrounded by tasteful, vibrant landscaping.

“There’s a lot of exclusivity here, which we pride ourselves on,� Ryan said. “We target a higher-end market, but we cater to everyone.�

Where the Fortinis had found a vacant lot of some 30 abandoned cars, the rear of the building now flourishes with succulents, terra cotta, and massive, iron garden fixtures. And Ryan looks forward to bringing in more and more pre-potted plants as well as indoor tropicals and orchids. But as they race to complete the parking lot renovation, Ryan’s focus is on getting the business open.

Fortini now hopes to open by Dec. 11, but Ryan invites anyone to come in for a preview. For more info, call 542-0500.




To ring in the holidays and increase membership Equal Singles 60+ will hold its annual “Open House� on the evening of Dec. 8 at the Madonna Inn. Dorothy Gardner created this social club for active, single, non-smoking seniors in August of 1992. Since then, its ranks have grown from 10 of each gender to 38 men and 38 women. At least once a month, the group convenes to enjoy a variety of activities. Equal ratios of men and women are guaranteed at every event, but unlike a dating service, couples aren’t matched up. In the past 12 years of forging friendships, Equal Singles 60+ has had six marriages and over a dozen engagements. The group hopes to recruit more men this year, as they have a long list of ladies waiting to join. For more info, call Gardner at 489-5481. …

… What better way to see the holidays than from behind a dashing new pair of elongated eyelashes. Luscious Lashes Eyelash Extensions opened last month at 964 Pelican Place in Morro Bay and is pleased to be offering this very elegant and affordable eye-enhancing procedure. The pain-free implants come from China and are available in a wide range of colors. Luscious Lashes invites you to experience the glamour, beauty, and confidence of longer lashes, for just $49, now through the end of the year. For more info or to set up an appointment, contact Leilei Kong at 771-8690. …

… ConocoPhillips is teaming up with Cuesta College to fuel support for the ConocoPhillips Invitational Women’s Basketball Tournament taking place at Cuesta College Dec. 2 through 4. The tournament will start at 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at noon on Saturday. At each game, the petro-producing giant will randomly give one fan the chance to shoot a basket and win $500 in free gasoline. The ConocoPhillips Santa Maria facility also donated $5,000 to Cuesta College Athletics this year, and has supported the Women’s Basketball Invitational for six years now. For more info, call the Cuesta College Athletic Department at 546-3207.

Staff Writer Jeff Hornaday compiled this
week’s Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at

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