The Seductress Of Soup at the Pancake Circus

The Pancake Circus on Broadway is known for their head-sized pancakes, cool neon sign, waitresses who call you “hon” and of course the kitschy clown theme. But the real gem of the breakfast joint is manager Terri Mead and her amazing array of homemade soups.

It was a dreary, overcast day in Sacramento when I dropped in at the Pancake Circus. Perfect soup weather. The restaurant was packed with an eclectic mix of customers. All the old school vinyl booths were filled with hungry diners so I headed for the end of the breakfast counter. That’s when I met manager Terri Mead, who was all dolled up in a retro red dress and some cool leather boots.

She had me try a trio of homemade soups while she tended to all the patrons as well as the employees — the French Onion, Chicken and Rice, and my favorite, the Portuguese Bean soup. All of the soup is homemade, fresh and local. The linguisa for the Portuguese Bean soup comes from Gustine, a central valley town steeped in Portuguese tradition. As Terri puts it, “My soup is a meal.” It certainly was a meal. I’m not even a “soup guy” and I polished off the Portuguese bean soup quickly. That was some tasty soup; she should start a Soup Truck.

I also tasted the homemade French Onion soup, which had lots of onion and delicious homemade broth. The key to the French Onion soup is the homemade French bread topped with fresh cheddar and Gruyere cheese. Dunk it and it’s homemade deliciousness! I actually didn’t think I’d care for the French onion soup but I used Terri’s “one no-thank you bite theory…you may not like it, but just try it.” I liked it. A lot. I also gobbled up the Chicken and Rice soup, which was the soup of the day at the Pancake Circus. When it comes to the homemade soups, Terri “stirs them with love.”

It all started at the Sacramento Children’s Home on Sutterville Road when Terri was 4 years old. Her mother, who had no interest in raising children, sent Terri and her older sister to the orphanage. “It was a package deal,” Terri said. Her mother just “wanted a new life and was busy partying with her men” as Terri put it. In fact one of her mom’s boyfriends pulled some strings to get Terri and her sister into the Sacramento Children’s Home. Her Father remarried and didn’t have any time for Terri. Although she would occasionally run into him at Raley’s Supermarket on Freeport Boulevard (awkward on aisle 5), she never got a chance to tell him how she really felt about things.

The Orphanage is where Terri first got interested in cooking and hanging out in the kitchen. At the young tender age of 5 she would hang out in the kitchen with Viola and Ann, who ran the big kitchen at the Sacramento Children’s Home. Terri says, “I was trying to be the kid that everybody loved”. She’d watch, learn, and help out as Viola and Ann cooked up the homemade grub for the children at the orphanage.

Another cooking influence for Terri was her Grandmother who she calls Nana. When school was out Terri would spend summers with her Nana in Modoc County sitting and watching her make soup…all from scratch. Terri has carried that tradition on at the Pancake Circus. I asked her where were all the secret recipes and Terri said, “All in my head, Greg.” Good thing because somebody might steal them if they were on paper.

She always had people watching over her, including her older sister Claire, Viola, Ann, her housemother Mrs. Washington, and the Four Robin Hoods, a local non-profit organization. The Four Robin Hoods helped her find her first job at Hale’s Department Store in Sacramento folding towels. “They saw something in me, I was lucky”. She was able to leave the orphanage and move to a place in West Sacramento.

Despite not having a role model for a mother, Terri managed to successfully raise four children on her own or “All by myself” as she put it. The father, “had to go” due to some drug problems. He wasn’t much of a father to the children. They all graduated from McClatchy high school and have gone on to lead happy productive lives.

When Terri arrived at the Pancake Circus 14 years ago she noticed the restaurant needed a little tweaking, a bit of love, and plenty of her Nana’s soup recipes. After eating oatmeal and doing her pilates Terri puts in 12-hour days at the Pancake Circus because “she loves it.”

While I was at the restaurant I noticed Terri greeting, seating, and bantering with customers. She was also wiping down tables and refilling people’s coffee. Doing it all. She takes care of the customers as well as her employees. They all spoke very fondly of her.

Not only do the customers like her soups, her employees love them too.

Terri Merritt, one of the waitresses at the Pancake Circus said, “She’s a damn good cook, and the cheesy croutons …” Terri made a noise that you usually only hear between consenting adults. Terri tries to take home the leftovers when she can, “not many soup leftovers though.”

Terri Mead also makes a popular Italian Wedding soup. It’s so popular, one of the busboys always asks, “When are you making the Italian Wedding soup?”

Lori, another longtime waitress at the restaurant, told me Terri does a lot of things for the employees…including bringing in some homemade goodies. Cookies, cake, lemon bars, tamale pie…the works! Lori, who described herself as “Terri’s favorite”, brought me a slice of orange Bundt cake that she made for her. More tasty homemade goodness! Then Terri brought me some gluten free banana bread made with rice flour. A real treat – it had a scrumptious crunchy topping and was moist inside. I was getting stuffed!

Okay back to the soup! I asked Terri how many soups were in her repertoire and she said, “It’s endless” She’s always coming up with new soups. Some of the other soups in her repertoire include tomato bisque, albondigas soup, lima bean with ham hock, and the popular loaded baked potato soup. She uses fresh cream, bacon, fresh grated nutmeg…then she stopped herself and said, “Hey, I can’t tell you all my secrets”. What’s not a secret is she makes a soup stock with bone from Taylor’s Market. She also hits up all the local Farmer’s Markets. She even has a friend in Stockton who grows lima beans, black-eyed peas, basil, lavender, blueberries and whatever else Terri asks her to grow. Backyard farm to fork!

There are plenty of stories behind the homemade soups Terri Mead creates at the Pancake Circus. She puts her heart, soul, and personal history into each bowl. I was seduced by her soups. After spending time with Terri and the staff at Pancake Circus I can now say I’m a “Soup Guy.”

Broadway was once home to many used auto businesses

Fred E. Lundstrom, owner of Lundstrom Motors, operated a used car lot at 1801 Broadway from about 1951 to about 1954. The site presently sits in a vacant state. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Fred E. Lundstrom, owner of Lundstrom Motors, operated a used car lot at 1801 Broadway from about 1951 to about 1954. The site presently sits in a vacant state. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Long before there was such a thing as an auto mall, locals purchased their automobiles in specific designated sections of the Sacramento area. And one of the earliest of these areas was the Broadway district.
For some people who have no memory of Broadway’s auto row, such a scene might be difficult to image, as there are very few remnants of its former existence.
The Broadway auto row featured many dealers, who, at various times, operated their businesses from Broadway’s 1200 block to its 3900 block.
A notable increase in the number of auto dealers on Broadway occurred following World War II.
For instance, in 1942, Broadway was home to four auto dealers, and five years later, 14 automobile businesses were in operation on Broadway, as well as four others from T to X streets on 16th Street.
Today, the featured thoroughfare is more known for its restaurants and includes only one used auto dealer at 2000 Broadway.
In 1931, Ellsworth Harrold, Daniel Feuerstein and Thomas Taylor became the first automobile dealers to establish auto businesses on Broadway.
The following summaries present a general idea of some of the auto sales businesses that have operated on Broadway, which was known as Y Street prior to 1938.

1301 Broadway
Lee L. Wilcox, who resided at 2705 16th St., became one of Broadway’s newest auto dealers in 1946, when he began selling used cars at 1301 Broadway.
His business, Lee Wilcox Motors, was replaced in about 1951 by the used car business of J. Arthur Jack. This latter business remained in operation until about 1953.
Sidney C. Woolever’s used auto business, Sid’s Auto Sales, began operating at the site in about 1954.
In 1956, Sid’s was replaced by another used auto business, Phillips Motors, which was owned by Lee and Jack Phillips.
Two years later, Flavorious J. Foster’s Consolidated Motors became the next used auto business to occupy the same location.
The site sat vacant from 1959 until 1966, when it became occupied by the Veterans Thrift Store.
Today, the Asian Food Center is located at 1301 Broadway.

75th anniversary. The only used car lot from Broadway’s auto row that remains in operation is located at the southeast corner of 20th Street and Broadway. The lot was established in 1938 by auto dealer Harold R. Jestings. Photo by Lance Armstrong

1801 Broadway
In about 1951, Fred E. Lundstrom, who already operated his business, Lundstrom Motors, at 1631 K St., opened a used automobile lot at the former site of Walter R. Figaro’s gas station at 1801 Broadway.
Following the death of Lundstrom in about 1954, William Coldiron began operating a gas station at the site of Lundstrom’s former used car lot.
The property remained home to a gas station until about 1981.
Today, the site sits vacant in its old state, with a large, asphalt-paved parking lot and a small, service building in its northeast corner.

1810-12 Broadway
The used car business of John L. Christopher, who resided at 2426 F St., opened at 1810 Y St. in 1935.
Ray Harbert, who lived at 2550 17th St., established a used car business at 1812 Y St. during the same year.
By the following year, both lots were the site of the used car business of Robert S. McDonald, who conveniently resided at 1820 Y St.
McDonald continued the operation of his business until about 1940, at which time August G. Brietzke opened a fuel station at 1812 Broadway.
The business, C & B Liquors, has been located at that address since 1968.
1945 Broadway
Alfred “Al” Nahas, owner of Nahas Motor Sales, established a used car lot at 1945 Broadway in about 1949, and he continued its operation for about six years.
The business was then replaced Dalton Motors used cars.
Dalton Motors ceased selling used cars at the site in about 1980, but continued leasing automobiles.
Carquest Auto Parts presently operates in a former Dalton Motors building at 1945 Broadway.

 A car-shaped sign on the roof of the sales office of the used car lot at 2000 Broadway reads, “Let us get you Roland on Broadway with discount auto sales.” Photo by Lance Armstrong

A car-shaped sign on the roof of the sales office of the used car lot at 2000 Broadway reads, “Let us get you Roland on Broadway with discount auto sales.” Photo by Lance Armstrong

2000 Broadway
Harold R. Jestings, who had previously operated a used car lot at 2309 Y St., became the first automobile dealer to run a used car lot at 2000 Broadway in 1938.
Two years later, Matt Aswald began selling used cars at the same site.
The site sat vacant from 1942 to 1945, at which time George G. Rudorf, who had previously operated a service station at 2901 Broadway, opened a used car business on the property.
In about 1951, Hamilton Motors, which already sold used cars at 1319 I St., opened a second location at 2000 Broadway.
Hamilton Motors was replaced by the used car business, Pacific Motors, in 1958. The operation was owned by James W. Omand and Nick G. Kockinis.
From about 1964 to 1966, Herbert Selvey operated the used truck business, The Pickup Center, at 2000 Broadway.
The site’s businesses have also included Sacramento Camper Sales (1966-67), Connor Motors used cars (1967-68), Action Auto Sales used cars (1968-71), Wheel City used cars (1971-72), Cowan Auto Sales (1972-74), D & H Motors (1974-76), Jerry Palante auto sales (1976-82) and Valley Motor Co. used cars (1982-86).
Seventy-five years after Harold R. Jestings established the property’s first used car business, Roland Nelson continues the property’s tradition through the used car business, Roland on Broadway.

2001 Broadway
Don C. Coverdale, who resided at 3400 Leatha Way, opened his own used car business, Don Motors, at 2001 Broadway in about 1949.
The business was replaced by Dan A. Admire and John L. Conner’s used cars in 1960.
A men’s clothing store debuted at the site in 1966.
Money Mart, a check cashing and loans business, is presently located at the site.

2101 Broadway
Al Nahas opened his second used automobile lot at 2101 Broadway in about 1951.
He continued to operate the business until about 1960.
The site is presently home to the popular breakfast and lunch restaurant, Pancake Circus.

2201 Broadway
The aforementioned Ford dealer Ellsworth Harrold began selling cars at 2201 Y St. in 1931.
He added used cars to his offerings seven years later, and remained in business at that site for 38 years.
His business, which was once known as Ellsworth Harrold Co., was renamed Harrold Ford Co. in about 1966.
Harrold also established an automobile display room at 2217 Broadway in 1958.
John Drew Chevrolet, John Drew auto rentals and Subaru of Northern California began occupying the 2201 Broadway site in 1970.
In about 1976, the property became home to Good Chevrolet. The business operated at that site for about six years.
Occupying the site today are offices of the state Department of Real Estate.

2501 Broadway
In 1937, Lester Rickard opened a used automobile business at 2501 Y St. By the following year and until about 1952, a gas station was operating at the site.
The used auto business, Broadway Andy’s, was established at the same site by Lloyd and Wendell Anderson in 1953, and remained in business for about 16 years.
During the 1980s, the site was home to the fast food restaurant, Picnic N’ Chicken.
Today, a Wienerschnitzel fast food eatery is located on the same property.

2615 Broadway
The previously mentioned Daniel Feuerstein began selling used cars at 2615 Y St. in 1931.
The site had no tenant from 1933 to about 1939, when the W. I. Elliott Co. began selling used cars at that location.
A year later, the site was home to the used car lot of Edward B. Morton, who resided at 4803 10th Ave.
Dryander Motors began operating a similar business at the site in 1941.
After about a year of vacancy, the site became home to the used car business of Homer Darr and Guy Kelly.
In about 1951, used automobile dealer Gordon J. Turner began selling cars at the site.
His business was replaced by Michael B. Cummins’ used car lot about three years later.
Cummins continued to sell cars from that lot until about 1959.
The property sat vacant for about the following two years.
Joe’s Used Cars, which was originally owned by Joe Hagopian, Jr., operated at 2615 Broadway from 1961 to 1987.
Located on the site today is a Carl’s Jr. fast food restaurant.

2700 Broadway
In about 1951, R. Earl Reeder established a used car lot at 2700 Broadway.
The site became home to Sutton Motor Sales about four years later.
Other used automobile businesses that occupied the site were Davey Hockett Auto Sales (1956-59), A& K Auto Sales (1959-61), E-Z Credit Auto Sales (1961-62) and Gresham Motors (1962-63).
The site, at different times since 1972, has been the location of several Mexican restaurants, with the latest of these restaurants being the present Taqueria Maya’s.

Mid-Century Modern enthusiast discusses Land Park home tour highlights

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography These photographs were taken at the June 26, 2010 Mid Century Modern Tour in South Land Park. This year’s tour will be held Saturday, May 18. See for more information.

Architectural design is a subject I don’t know a whole lot about. I ain’t gonna lie. But I know cool Mid-Century Modern when I see it. “Hey, look at that cool building!” I always just called it “retro” or “old school”.

I decided to get schooled on everything Mid-Century Modern by local MCM enthusiast Gretchen Steinberg. She is the President of SacMod (SacramentoModern) and researcher/blogger at Eichlerific. She is a resident of South Land Park Hills, and of course, resides in a beautiful Eichler home with her husband and two children.

She’s gearing up for another Mid-Century Modern Home Tour on Saturday, May 18. The tour will highlight more than 30 spectacular mid-century modern residential and commercial structures in South Land Park and Land Park neighborhoods of Sacramento. There will also be a vintage transportation show, historic displays and exhibits, and lots of goodies!

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

Here’s my MCM Q & A.

Greg Brown: How did you become interested in Mid-century Modern architecture and all things Modern?

Gretchen Steinberg: I was raised by my grandparents in SoCal near Palm Springs. We went there every weekend to hang at their second home. I would say MCM was imprinted in me big time from my childhood. But I didn’t realize it until I got older.

GB: How would you describe Mid-Century Modern?

GS: Mid-Century Modern in architecture has:
- clean lines with an emphasis on the horizontal/vertical
- a blend of natural and manmade materials
- large windows to allow maximum light and promote “indoor/outdoor living” (hangin’ on the patio, Daddy-O)
- open floor plans
- low-pitched, wide-angled or flat rooflines
and usually depicts the era between 1945 (post WWII) and 1970, give or take. It has roots dating back to 19th century design movements and Japanese design — but that’s a long history lesson.

GB: What’s the difference between architecture and design?

GS: Architecture is a type of design that focuses on structures that shelter people where they live, work and play. Design is a wider category that includes a wide array of items that are made to enhance our daily living — such as consumer products, graphics, fashion, machines, etc.

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

GB: I notice the slew of Eichler homes along South Land Park Drive and the surrounding areas. How many Eichler homes were built and why were they mostly all built in South Land Park?

GS: Eichler Homes wound up building roughly 60 homes in Sacramento. All Eichler Homes in our town are in South Land Park.

GB: I also notice the same type of homes in Carmichael. Would you call these homes Eichler inspired?

GS: Those are likely Streng Bros. Homes, designed by Carter Sparks. We have one on our tour. They built roughly 3800 homes in the Sacramento, Placer, and Yolo counties.

GB: Three of your most decadent points of interest on the Mid-Century Modern Tour are Marie’s Donuts, Mahoroba Japanese Bakery, and the Pancake Circus. Will there be free samples?

GS: We are providing the feast for your eyes – but don’t let that stop you from indulging your inner sugar monster!

GB: A lot of Mid-Century modern homes do not have a garage, they have a carport. Where the heck do you store all your stuff? A hoarder would panic in a Mid-Century Modern home!

GS: The carport was designed so that the post-WWII consumers could show off their gigantic finned cars! A well-designed MCM home has plenty of interior storage. Our home originally had a carport but the previous owner closed it in. Nowadays, garages are treated more like closets. Some people can’t even fit their cars in them.

GB: Why is preservation important? New is always better, right?

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

GS: Preservation is important because our very cultural identity and sense of place is inherently rooted in our historic landmarks. Take those away and you have a generic McCity. No one wants that.

GB: How important is color in Mid-century modern design?

GS: Very important! Hard to extrapolate from the old black and white photos — but if you look at old Kodachrome slides you will see that that era was quite colorful.

GB: Mid-Century Modern design is finding its way back into pop culture. Do you think the show Mad Men has helped popularize Mid Century Modern? You watch that show? And if so, do you find yourself looking at the furniture more than Don Draper?
GS: Definitely — but I think MCM was already starting to regain popularity before Mad Men. They just tapped into it. MCM has always been the darling of Hollywood. You can’t watch television or movies without seeing MCM in the background. Speaking of which, no time for me to watch TV — too busy with my family and volunteer work!

GB: I’m a “Generation Xer and mid-century modern is the look of my childhood. I think that is why I like some of its features. Which elements of Mid-Century Modern most appeal to you?

Photos by Sutter Buttes/John DiDomenico Photography

GS: I totally agree. I was born December ‘63 – the last month of the Boomer generation. I tend to gravitate toward the early 60s designs. I have a weakness for commercial buildings and neon signs of that era.

GB: Mid Century modern is being celebrated at the California Museum. It’s MCM Mania! Don’t you have some artifacts at the museum?

GS: I did some volunteer background research into Ray Eames’ childhood years in Sacramento and contributed some books that are displayed in the exhibit.

GB: You have some surprises at this year’s Mid-Century Modern Home show don’t you? Can you spill the beans for us here?

GS: We will have extra goodies and swag. Plus a surprise remodeled room at SacMod HQ. Here’s a hint: it abides, Dude.

GB: Preserving and protecting modern architecture is important, but I also think it would be cool to preserve the original concepts! I say bring back Woody’s Smorgasburger and The Zombie Hut to Freeport Boulevard. Whaddya think?

GS: I have been hoping someone would bring these classics back! In our guidebook we have devoted a two-page retrospective to Zombie Hut.

GB: A few of your favorite things:
Favorite Sacramento neon sign?

GS: Jugglin’ Joe in front of Gunther’s Ice Cream. I used to live in Curtis Park and would take the long way home just to see him throwing scoops at night.

GB: Favorite architect?
GS: That’s like asking who your favorite kid is.

GB: Favorite designer?
GS: See above.

GB: Favorite Mid-Century Modern home on the tour?
GS: See above.
GB: Favorite Point Of Interest on the MCM tour?
GS: I’d have to say the neon signs are my favorite points-of-interest. Our historic signs are really taken for granted. But we sure notice when they are gone.

GB: Okay, last question. Brady Bunch House. Mid-Century Modern or not?

GS: Oh sure — split level modern ranch. There’s a wacky one in SLP Hills. Absolutely enormous! Mr. Brady was an architect you know. Note that we will have four open buildings besides the homes and 22 additional drive-by points of interest. Ultimately what I’m hoping for is that people will know more about the stuff they pass by daily — and have an increased appreciation for and fondness of all that is around us. I’m proud to be from Sacramento. Everyone who lives here should be.

If you go:

What: MCM Home Tour
Where: Through out Land Park, starting at Sacramento Executive Airport, 6151 Freeport Blvd.
When: Saturday, May 18. The vintage transportation show is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., registration and exhibits open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Homes and other tour locations open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: Get your MCM Home Tour tickets at til May 15th. $30 general admission $20 for SacMod members. SacMod is also on Facebook

Taste and see – Sacramento store more than just beekeeping supplies

When it comes to the topic of bees in the capital city, Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies has a strong reputation, as it has served as a premier one-stop shop for bees, beekeeping supplies, honey and other bee-associated items for about a quarter century.

NANCY STEWART, owner of Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies, has operated her business for the past 26 years. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

NANCY STEWART, owner of Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies, has operated her business for the past 26 years. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

Located in the brightly-colored, bee-themed, artistically-painted building at 2110 X St., where the wholesale carpet business, Berven Carpets operated during the late 1960s and 1970s, this local business has been serving its customers at this site since 1993. The store was located at 2400 21st St. from 1985 to 1990 and at 2100 21st St., near Pancake Circus – 2101 Broadway – for the following three years.

Among the store’s offerings is a full line of backyard beekeeping supplies, including boxes and beeswax frames.

One can also purchase soap and candle making supplies, as well as many ready-made bee products, which include candles, lotions, creams, lipsticks, shampoos and conditioners.

The store also offers various gift items such as bee-related T-shirts, books, home and garden decorations, jewelry, cookbooks, stuffed animals and even beeswax crayons.

One of the most popular attractions of the store is its honey products tasting bar. A generous selection of raw, local honeys, comb honeys, spun honeys, honey sticks, pollen and royal jelly are available.

Many people are impressed by the store’s selection of honeys, and at times customers inquire whether the store adds flavor to some honeys, since they are only familiar the typical clover honey that is available in grocery stores.

Those interested in purchasing local honey from the store can do so at the $4 per pound, “fill-your-own jar” cost or at the $5.95 to $6.95 per pound, pre-bottled cost.

SACRAMENTO BEEKEEPING SUPPLIES offers a wide variety of beekeeping equipment and accessories, local honey, pollen, royal jelly and bee-themed gifts. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

SACRAMENTO BEEKEEPING SUPPLIES offers a wide variety of beekeeping equipment and accessories, local honey, pollen, royal jelly and bee-themed gifts. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

Because of its relatively large inventory, the store is also well equipped for setting up new hobbyists with all the necessities for entering the beekeeping world.

One can begin beekeeping for as little as $250 to $400, which includes a box, board bottom, suit and gloves.

Although the number of bee boxes one can operate depends upon the size of one’s property, a standard size backyard is allowed to contain up to two boxes.

As a mainly family-operated business, the store is headed by its owner Nancy Stewart, who is assisted by her daughters, Donna Stewart and Pam Hill.

Working as volunteers in the store are Nancy’s husband, Fred, who Nancy married in 1957, and her grandchildren, Courtney Hill, 15, and Brooklynne Hill, 12.

With a chuckle, Nancy, who earned a degree in psychology at California State University, Sacramento in 1972, said that Fred is a full-time volunteer, except when his golf outings get in the way.

Although the Stewarts’ involvement in the beekeeping business world began in 1985, the roots of Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies can be traced back much earlier.

JAMIE CONCANNON, an Amador County resident who was visiting the store last week, prepares to taste local honey at the business’s honey products tasting bar. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

JAMIE CONCANNON, an Amador County resident who was visiting the store last week, prepares to taste local honey at the business’s honey products tasting bar. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

During his youth, Fred found himself fascinated by the bees that his aunt kept on her property in Arkansas.

Already carrying with him this fond memory, in the 1970s, Fred was loaned a book about beekeeping and his interest expanded, resulting in his acquisition of his first beehive in 1975.

By the early 1980s, while working for Caltrans, Fred was maintaining 100 beehives with his friend and co-worker, Al Brink.

Through Fred’s interest in beekeeping, Nancy also grew fond of beekeeping. But her desire to venture into the beekeeping world did not occur until 1983, when she met Barbara Dwyer of the now-defunct, West Sacramento business, United Bee Craft.

After opening her store in 1985, Nancy purchased United Bee Craft a year later.

Pondering her years of operating Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies, Nancy, who resides in the Little Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento, said that she has had many rewarding experiences and that she is very content with her store and the success that it continually experiences.

“I really enjoy the store and its ongoing success,” Nancy said. “Most of all, I like dealing with people who are involved in beekeeping. I also enjoy helping people who are new to the hobby, who want to learn how to do it.”

Nancy said that the popularity of beekeeping is on the rise and that her business has assisted about 100 to 200 new beekeeping hobbyists within the past year.

“Beekeeping has become pretty popular as a hobby in the last three years,” Nancy said. “The bees have had something called colony collapse disorder and they’ve had some

BEESWAX candles are among the products sold at Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

BEESWAX candles are among the products sold at Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

heavy die out. That’s improving and there’s been a lot of people who I think were thinking about beekeeping for years who finally decided to do it.”

Nancy added that the current gardening boom has also added to the popularity of beekeeping.

“There have been a lot of people doing their own gardening and eating local and organic food, and bees and beekeeping go along with that, as well,” Nancy said.

Nancy’s desire to educate others about beekeeping is something that she has passed on to her store’s employees, who are eager to assist the general public in answering any beekeeping questions.

Wilton resident Brian Fishback, a past president of the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association, said that he is very appreciative of the willingness that workers of Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies have to share their beekeeping-related knowledge.

LOTS OF OPTIONS. The store offers a wide variety of non-beekeeping supplies, including candles, lotions, creams, lipsticks, shampoos and conditioners and bee-related home and garden decorations, jewelry, cookbooks and stuffed animals. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

LOTS OF OPTIONS. The store offers a wide variety of non-beekeeping supplies, including candles, lotions, creams, lipsticks, shampoos and conditioners and bee-related home and garden decorations, jewelry, cookbooks and stuffed animals. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

“I think (Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies) is a great asset,” Fishback said. “They’re not only an asset to the beekeeping industry, but they’re an asset here to local beekeepers. They are a hub for beekeeping issues in the city, in the county, as well as with local beekeepers. You have a lot of hobbyists who are coming into (beekeeping) and it’s like anything else; you can read a lot of books, but it doesn’t exactly always mean that that’s what is going to happen out in the field. And that’s where Fred, Nancy and, of course, their girls come in. When people come down and find them and have a lot of questions, they’ve always attended to everybody’s questions and answered them.”

Nancy emphasized that because her business has a partially misleading name, she strives to continuously educate others that her store offers much more than beekeeping supplies.

“I do like to (stress the) difference between just beekeeping things (and other products),” Nancy said. “I named the store Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies, because (beekeeping supplies) is all we had at first. It’s much more than beekeeping. Come and see for yourself.”

Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information, call (916) 451-2337 or visit