The recession continues to hit businesses hard. In the beginning, some closed right away, others struggled to survive, and some transformed to keep up with the changing times. Business owner Larry Gutin has been through it all and realized it was time to reinvent his business.
Ocean Blue has been a bustling community shop on the Venice Boardwalk for more than 20 years. Gutin has enjoyed coming to work every day, being part of the beach community, and interacting with tourists.
However, on Jan. 4, Gutin plans to close the Ocean Blue retail store to create a homeopathic and holistic center.
This Sunday, Dec. 4, Ocean Blue will host a farewell party from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. with 50 percent discounts on all merchandise for this one-day only event.
The farewell party will include performances by poet Ava Bird, singer/guitarist Greg Cruz with Petr Hromadko on upright bass, as well as singer/songwriter Geoffrey J.
Ocean Blue features a variety of merchandise such as colorful, wood framed mirrors, incense, candles, sterling silver jewelry, and more.
After next year’s renovation and reopening, the new homeopathic and holistic center will offer services such as energy and body work, a mix of various eclectic healing modalities as well as seminars and classes.
The new center will be an open, relaxed oasis for locals and tourists to stop in and rejuvenate their spirits.
As with most businesses, the economy definitely affected sales at Ocean Blue in the past few years, but Ocean Blue managed to stick it out with the help of the Venice community’s support.
When asked if he was sad about closing, Gutin said it was time for a change.
“This is the next chapter of my life, time to get mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy while offering the same for our beautiful community,” Gutin said.
Gutin has always been a big supporter of the arts.
Each month, Ocean Blue participates in the Venice Art Crawl by featuring local artists at his store.
Gutin has consistently donated merchandise to local charity events such as silent auctions for Jazz at the Palms Court and the Venice Music Festival, which benefit the Venice Community Housing Corporation.
Ocean Blue will remain open through Jan. 4.
Ocean Blue is located at 1313 Ocean Front Walk Venice. For more information, call 310.396.8044 or visit www.shopoceanblue.com.