Boutique owner leaps American River to open third store in Roseville

It looks as though Robin Bernardoni aims to clothe women and teenage girls all around the region. Bernardoni opened her first boutique in 2009 at Montaño de El Dorado, then ventured down the hill to Folsom’s Palladio at Broadstone.

Now, she’s crossed the American River and has set up a third boutique in the Fountains at Roseville, 1182 Roseville Parkway.

“It was really tempting when we looked at this spot,” she said, “and it just seemed like the right demographics for the kind of clothing that we carry, and my husband (venture capitalist Pete Bernardoni) has a little more time to devote to the business, so we thought, ‘Well, we’re going to hang ourselves out there.’”

The Bernardonis decided to use the name of their Folsom store, Button Up Boutique, for the third store because the name of their original store, Runway Boutique, is shared by several other small retailers around the nation.

The inventory also will be a little different, mixing in brands at higher price points such as Trina Turk, Vince and Nicole Miller. They’ll be carrying both Vince’s clothing and shoes.

“I had a customer the other day go, ‘Oh, now I’m going to have to drive to Roseville, too, because you’re going to have different brands there,’” Robin Bernardoni said.

Revenue has grown by about 33 percent annually for the last two years, Pete Bernardoni told me, and they were on a pace for similar growth before opening the Roseville store about a week ago. The Bernardonis plan a grand opening from noon to 7 p.m. Nov. 16.

Farm-to-fork kids

Let me know how you feel after you’ve tasted the feel-good deal being offered over at Leo A. Palmiter Jr. / Sr. High School at 2040 Ethan Way in Sacramento.

For $7, plus tip, you can get a memorable lunch and help Chef Jeff Zahniser train high school students in the culinary arts. Last Thursday, Zahniser and his crew served a tender, savory chicken breast atop mushroom risotto.

Horticulture teacher Kevin Jordan grew the baby greens and cherry tomatoes for the salad, the herbs that flavored the salad dressing and the bright green beans that accompanied the entrée. He and his students also compost lunchtime scraps into a worm tea that has been the only fertilizer for their crops for the last three years.

These instructors make all this happen with children who often wind up at Palmiter because they can’t succeed at other schools. And, the staff often has to do much more than just teach. Jordan has written the grants that fund 98 percent of his budget. Zahniser tries to help his students find jobs or get into culinary school, whatever they need.

“For many of these kids, no one has ever had high expectations for them,” said David W. Gordon, Sacramento County schools superintendent. “That’s exactly what this chef does. He says I’m going to have high expectations for you, and you can meet them. It’s all about encouragement and hands-on learning. … It’s magical with the right instructors.”

Lunches are served only on Thursdays. To make a reservation, email jzahniser@scoe.net or call (916) 228-2039.

Changes at Macy’s

Macy’s is finishing up a renovation that moves its men’s wear and furnishings departments from a space it has leased at 600 K St. and fold them into its local flagship at 414 K St. in Downtown Plaza.

“In part, the remodeling will include transforming unproductive storage space in the main store into selling space,” spokeswoman Megan Mahoney Pardo told me. “All businesses from the smaller location will be transferred into the main store. When the transition is complete this fall, the smaller building will be closed and turned back to the landlord as Macy’s lease on that space expires.”

The new owners of the Kings, who own the rest of Downtown Plaza, have been negotiating to acquire the Macy’s men’s and furnishings building, formerly a Weinstock’s, because they need the land for their planned arena.

Macy’s will have a grand reopening celebration beginning at 9:45 a.m. Nov. 6 to show off the revamped store, using the opportunity to kick of its annual giving campaign known as Believe. In the campaign, customers bring in stamped letters to Santa and put them in the Believe box. For every letter received, Macy’s donates a dollar to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million.

Macy’s closed the store housing menswear and furniture at the end of September, Pardo said, and the retailer plans to place the majority of employees who worked there in its main store.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Macy’s store here at Downtown Plaza,” said store manager Heather Stallion, “and we’re happy to be able to offer an even wider assortment of merchandise to our local customers within the downtown location.”