Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock

City Guide

  • The Schweitzer Family: A Long Legacy of Serving Brea, Pt. 2

    8 years ago by

    "The Schweitzers, clockwise L to R; Frank, Jr, Charles, Don, Ruth, and Jim"


    Previously, BBON was pleased to provide a history of one of Brea's pioneer  families, the Schweitzer's, Part 1. We now proudly present, the second  installment...

    Most Breans are familiar with the name "Schweitzer", not  just for scientifically relevant reasons (Albert Schweitzer), but for a more  contemporary reason, Brea Mayor and Councilman Don Schweitzer. Those who  attend city events or view the council meeting broadcasts are familiar with  Don's easy smile and affable demeanor. But like his father and grandfather,  before running for and winning a council seat, Don was involved in the community, volunteering at the Brea Historical Society and serving on their board, as well as donating time and fundraising for the Lions Club, where he  was awarded the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship.

    A third-generation  Brean, Don attended schools, played in, and grew up with Brea, much like his  father, Frank Jr. After graduating from BOHS (at the old Birch Street  location), Don attended San Diego State College, served in the Army National  Guard, traveled  extensively, and eventually ended up in Bozeman, MT, where he  attended Montana State University, studying architecture.


    While  attending school in Bozeman, Don saw an opportunity and, with a friend, opened  one of the first submarine sandwich shops  in the city, across from the  university dormitories. The sandwich shop was converted from an old barbershop, and to  memorialize his entrepreneurial venture, Don kept one  of the old barber chairs that is still in his home today.

    Eventually,  the sandwich shop was sold and, after forty years, is still a popular gathering  place for students and teachers at the University.

    After graduation,  on a trip back to California, Don got the idea for a coffee, tea and spice shop.  Taking the idea back to Bozeman, he opened one of the first shops of its type  in Montana, even purchasing coffees from a little coffee importer in Seattle,  WA called Starbucks...long before Starbucks ever opened their own retail coffee  shops!


    "Don and Janis at a Lions Club Event"

    Eventually selling the coffee shop, Don decided to return to  Southern California and the Orange County area, where he started working with  an architectural firm. He landed the job to design the Scout Center in Brea, so  he, along with his new wife Janis, began looking for a home in his hometown.  By turn of a happy coincidence, a friend told him about a home for sale that  happened to be located right next door to the home his father, Frank Jr., had  built back in the late fifties. The house, at one time, had been the home of  his best friend, who had been the best man at his wedding.


    After settling  into his new home, another old friend and long-time Brean, Al Tremaine,  suggested Don get involved in the Brea Historical Society. It was while  volunteering with the Historical Society that Don learned of  preliminary plans to turn the old American Legion Building, at City Hall  Park, into the new Boy's and Girls Club. Don saw an even better use for the  building and became the driving force, organizing support for his proposal, to  turn the building into the Brea Museum and Heritage Center. After presenting  his proposal to the City Council to a favorable vote, the Historical Society  Board of Directors named Don to the voluntary position of Museum Director, where  he oversaw the building's renovation process before it could assume its new  role.


    Don says he never intended to run for city council, but that his  experience with the museum convinced him that he wanted to accomplish more to  secure the future of Brea and Breans. Among the accomplishments he is most proud  of since serving on the council is retaining the Brea Firefighters contract  with Brea; the Sports Wall of Fame at the Brea Sports Park on Birch Street,  honoring notable Breans who have achieved national recognition in various sports; and the Brea War Memorial, honoring Breans who have given their lives  to preserve our freedoms since WWI, currently in process with artist Susan  Narduli.


    Each year, Brea's Mayor chooses a signature theme to mark their  current tenure. This year, Mayor Schweitzer's theme is "Make a Difference,  Green Brea", to educate and promote awareness on ways to save energy and help  reduce carbon emissions.


    Don is very excited about the results of the  recently completed Civic Center Solar Project, that has already seen  a savings of 50,000 kilowatt hours, which is an approximate savings of $1  million, or enough energy to provide electricity for 40 homes.


    Along  with the theme, the website was created for Breans as a resource for tips on what we can do as individuals and a community to reduce our energy consumption. Be sure and visit the website and watch for various educational events that will be presented throughout the  year.  Story courtesy of Kathy Cannon.

    "Don and Janis Schweitzer, with their daughters"

  • Road work taking place along Carbon Canyon Road

    8 years ago by

     Brea's capital improvement project has begun along Carbon Canyon Road and will continue through the end of the month, according to Chris Ryan of the city's communications office. Water mains, vaults and valves will be replaced along the road during this project.  Work will take place during the hours of 9 a.m.-3 p.m., so as to avoid traffic congestion.  Ryan said that the city is waiting to hear from Cal Trans to see if the road will be resurfaced after the work is completed.

  • Sarah Bain Gallery celebrates the legacy of artist Dr. Suess

    8 years ago by

    The Cat and the Hat popped into the Sarah Bain Gallery and 110 W. Birch in the Brea Downtown and interacted with children (Dominique Webb shown in picture.) The Dr. Theodor Seuss exhibit continues until April 29. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

    Dr. Theodor Seuss Geises private artwork was not  discovered until after he passed way.  The famous children’s illustrator thought  he was known for his children’s books and illustrations, therefore, he never  thought he'd be taken seriously as a fine artist. The Lost, Forgotten, and  Hidden works of Theodor Seuss Geisel are now being displayed at the Sarah Bain Gallery in the Brea Downtown at 110 W. Birch Street.  One can purchase the  replicas of lithographs, books, and whimsical sculptures.

    In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and  Read Across  America, the  new exhibition explores a comprehensive survey of Dr’ Ted Geisel’s seventy-five artistic legacy.  Do pop in and bring your kids. The  Cat and the Hat pops in and out. By the way Dr. Seuss had no children he said  “You have em, I’ll entertain them”. Call the gallery (714)990-0500 the hours the  gallery is open and you can also book a school tour by calling this  number.

    Story by Susan Gaede

  • SUO COMING SOON: Brea Downtown vintage-inspired store

    8 years ago by


    SUO peach dress ensemble

    SUO Boutique is a women’s fashion forward clothing store. They opened in 1999 and currently have three locations including their newest in Brea Downtown which is scheduled to open in the end of March. It is located on Birch St. directly across from the Edwards Theatre.

    Along with women’s apparel, SUO also carries a large selection of affordable handbags, shoes,jewelry, and other accessories. They have an experienced team of buyers and receive new items weekly. The selection is always fresh and on-trend with looks ranging from classic and casual to vintage-inspired and feminine. SUO has a strong denim following and they carry several denim lines including Miss Me, Silver, H&G, and Flying Monkey. They have wonderful jewelry and the Brea location will be carrying items from the sassy retro collection of Classic Hardware.

    For more information about this adorable boutique, follow them on Facebook at


  • Albertsons Brea 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt

    8 years ago by

    On your mark, get set....GO!

    Did your kids attend the inaugural Easter Egg Hunt at Albertsons Brea last year? If not then you'll want to take them this year, as last year’s event drew over 300 children, many eager to hunt for eggs bringing their own bags! Last year the eggs were filled with candy and prime prizes such as tickets to Disneyland! Albertsons Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, March 31 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Kids’ ages 1-8 will enjoy a fun filled afternoon with plenty of activities, prizes, and a delicious BBQ.  And of course, Mr. Easter Bunny will be there to greet and take pictures with the children.


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    Bob Farrell comes to Brea!

    8 years ago by

    Brea has had a treat this past week, as Bob Farrell, the founder of Farrell's, has been visiting and helping out with operations at the Brea location! Farrell's installed a plaque in his honor also at the front today and Mayor Schweitzer was on hand to give a proclamation from the city. Many helped unveil the plaque in front of Farrell's, along with Brea management staff and Brea community members, Paul Kramer, President, and Michael Fleming, CEO of Parlour Enterprises, Inc. Bob and his wife Ramona were at the ceremony and posed for pictures with customers and staff members alike after the ceremony. Bob said that he loves Brea Downtown and that this is his first visit to the location. He said that Farrell's is "customer oriented." Kramer said that Farrell's is living up to the standards Bob put in place almost 50 years ago, in fact, which is evident by the line that was waiting outside to come in.

  • Inventor Rick Hopper of Brea makes over a million in sales

    8 years ago by


    Photo by Kevin Lara, Orange County Register

    Inventing products since he was 13, Rick Hopper of Brea scored big with 1.4 million in sales for inventing ReadeREST, a magnetic glass holder as seen on “Shark Tank.”

    We all have fantasies, some come true! Name your dream job: Inventor, Baker,  Actor, Chocolatier, Private investigator, Sports announcer, Winemaker ,Writer/publisher, Music producer, Nonprofit director, Brew master - other.

    The luck of the Irish is upon us. Get a green clover for tomorrow's lucky charms!

  • Official City Proclamation Ceremony for Mr. Farrell

    8 years ago by


    Bob and Ramona Farrell

    Mr. Farrell, Founder of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, is coming from Vancouver, Washington to spend a few days in the area. Health issues have kept Bob Farrell from attending the recent grand openings of Brea and Rancho Cucamonga Farrell's locations.  Farrell's Brea is holding an event on Sunday, March 18, at 11:30 a.m. inviting everyone to attend the festivities planned for Mr. Farrell.  There will be an official proclamation ceremony from Mayor Don Schweitzer and council members honoring Mr. Farrell with a plaque dedication at the event.

  • Disney Store to celebrate 25th Anniversary

    8 years ago by

    Be the first 250 guests to arrive at Brea Mall Disney store on Wednesday, March 28, and receive a FREE signature “Mickey Ears” cap!  Disney store wide sales to include kids sleepwear, kids and adult graphic tees, and costumes while supplies last.  Doors open at 10:00 a.m.

    Prior to the big 25th anniversary party, they are hosting Stickermania & Storytelling where kids can use their imagination in creating their very own Disney party story using stickers.  This kid fun event is scheduled on Saturday, March 24, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

    Disney Store is asking that people line-up no earlier than 30 minutes prior their anniversary event! Event limited per session based upon store capacity. Minimum age for participation is 3 years.



  • There’s a new vintage store in town!

    8 years ago by

    Storefront picture

    Have you been to Elle Vintage Suite?  Long-time Brea resident and skilled antique dealer, Darla Beason, opened Elle Vintage Suite last month at 420 West Lambert Road, Suite L.  Darla has been in the antique business for over 12 years working shows and swamp meets, selling at antique malls, online and at her private home.

    At Elle Vintage Suite you will find three different rooms filled with Victorian, French Country, and Cottage items including  furniture, accessories, jewelry, art, textiles and more!  There are quality items for men and women at prices for every budget.  In addition, you can rent space to host a small party up to 24 people.

    Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Closed Sunday and Monday, but available for private appointments.  For further information, call 1-714-256-2136 or visit