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  • April 07, 2022 5:35 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    After 2 years of virtual runs, the Freedom Run returns LIVE, IN-PERSON this year!

    The Freedom Run is a Ladera Ranch tradition, in its 16th year, that is the kick off event in Ladera's fantastic Fourth of July community festivities. It benefits local charities: James Henry Ransom Foundation, Laura’s House and us, the Ladera Rancho Chamber of Commerce.

    Sponsorship is a great way to give your business visibility and to show the community you support them, as they support you!

    See the attached levels below and reach out to Todd Stearns with any questions (949-436-1868):


  • April 06, 2022 11:10 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    This is sure to be a fun event for the kids!

    Participating businesses include:

    Code Ninjas, Mama's, Kumon, Row House, Stews, NuAge Spa, Board & Brew, Z Pizza, OCMA, Thai Fix, Touch of Jane, Legends, Barrels & Birdies, The Sweet Hand and Westar.


  • March 23, 2022 7:19 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


  • February 17, 2022 8:15 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    The County of Orange, in partnership with the Orange County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB),  California Office of the Small Business Advocate, U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Orange County Public Libraries, City of Garden Grove, City of Irvine, City of Laguna Niguel, City of Mission Viejo, City of Rancho Santa Margarita, City of Santa Ana,  Special District of Rossmoor, and various Chambers of Commerce including the Ladera Rancho Chamber is awarding grants to assist qualified microbusinesses in Orange County that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

    Qualified microbusiness means an entity that meets and self-certifies, under penalty of perjury, all of the following criteria:

    • The microbusiness began its operation prior to December 31, 2019.

    • The microbusiness is currently active and operating or has a clear plan to reopen when the state permits reopening of the business.

    • The microbusiness was significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The microbusiness had less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in revenues in the 2019 taxable year.

    • The microbusiness currently has fewer than five full-time equivalent employees and had fewer than five full-time equivalent employees in the 2019 and 2020 taxable years.

    • The microbusiness is not a business excluded from participation in the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, as specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 12100.82.

      Visit the link here for more info


  • February 10, 2022 9:56 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


    Like our California image, the Mercantile West Shopping Center has gone from boom to bust and is in the process of hitting the mother lode again. It has been the site of more business closures than any other retail center in Ladera. And just 24 months ago, the center was a virtual ghost town after 6pm.

    Residents were beyond frustrated at the lack of desirable businesses. Then Stater Bros. opened a bright, airy new-concept store, generating traffic to the center all hours of the day and bringing visibility to the smaller tenants.

    If You Open It, We Will Support It

    Property manager Westar conducted market research to determine what types of businesses Ladera residents wanted. The feedback was overwhelming: quality food and drink. That clarified Westar’s task: find the right businesses. And find them they did. 

    Mama’s on 39th planned to open Mama’s Comfort Food & Cocktails in the Casa Ranchero space and Joe’s Italian Restaurant was slated for the former Cinnamon Productions spot. Both were experienced restauranters: Mama’s had three locations and Joe’s operated Pepino’s. Both offer popular, quality menu items made from scratch at reasonable prices and even have Happy Hour.

    Real Estate Agent Amy Sims’ new office and Code Ninjas were already open, when the pandemic hit. Many businesses were forced to reduce their capacity or close. “It was a little scary. Numerous times I was like, what am I doing?” said Joe Moscatello, who co-owns Joe’s with his girlfriend, Denise Silva. 

    But both General Manager of Mama’s, Robert Corrigan, and Moscatello saw value in Ladera’s central location and access to surrounding communities and persevered with their plans. Local resident Abby Longo opened her cupcake decorating and party venue The Sweet Hand October 2nd, 2021 with the support of the deaf or hard-of-hearing community.

    Brittany De Anda opened her beauty concept Med Lounge on October 28th to a huge opening and tour of her state-of-the-art facility in what used to be E. Madison facing the Towne Green Park. 

    Then, on Jan 28th of 2022 we cut the ribbon of Board & Brew in the former Project Pie space. Owner Jacob Clemons loved the strong family orientation of the area and said he is anxious to build partnerships with community groups. 

    The center is now packed with activity, especially at dinner, with residents anxious to try the new hot spots. These additions have helped unlock the potential in Mercantile West.

    Give Us Wine We’ll Be Fine!

    In Feburary, Rancho Capistrano Winery - with its popular wine club - will bring a tenth eatery to the center in the only free-standing restaurant space in Ladera. 

    The Mercantile West Shopping Center has quickly morphed into one of the hottest new venues in South Orange County to dine out and socialize!

    -Todd Stearns

  • February 01, 2022 7:14 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    It has been both an honor and a pleasure to be a part of our Chamber for the past five years, four of which as your President. Thank you for your support! As you know, we are the only Chamber operating in the unincorporated areas of Orange County and we do so completely independently, without the support of a city (because we are not one). 

    The last 24 months have been a wild wide to say the least with and the COVID-19 virus and a global pandemic. Every single business was forced adapt. Our Chamber was no exception. But business is the backbone of our respective communities. Our businesses make our communities some of the best to live on the planet because they make it convenient for our residents to shop, work out and receive services. They provide jobs and their tax revenue is used to keep our areas functioning as they should and looking tip top!

    In many respects, our businesses are more: they are a place to gather, cultivate relationships and to have fun. They are a grounding element and the central hub of the community. They are the cement. 

    We continue to network back channels with our elected officials at the county, state and local level to keep them informed on the business climate and to encourage business-friendly policies whenever possible. Throughout the pandemic, we were hyper focused in helping our member businesses know about all of the available programming and to help them apply for and get their unfair share of that funding. We successfully advocated for more than $400k that flowed directly to Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo businesses from the County of Orange. The amount was more than many cities received directly from the Cares Act.

    I want to take this opportunity to remind you that we are all in this together. The pandemic illustrated that perfectly. So did the housing-market crash of 2008. “A rising tide raises all ships.” To that end, I want to encourage each of you to help each other whenever the opportunity arises. We are a business community, a community of partners and friends, not a business island.

    We are stronger than we have ever been, but we can be stronger! How many other business owners do you know and know well? One of my goals in 2022 is to encourage greater collaboration between our member businesses. There are signs of this all over the place and I love it!

    Another of my goals is to make sure our unincorporated communities are not disadvantaged in any way in comparison to our surrounding formal neighboring cities. We did not choose the governance structure here and will continue to work with the county and the state to develop a more participatory path for our areas into the future, one that ensures political representation and a fair return of our tax dollars. Many areas receive economic development funding and we do not. We will continue to work on the maintenance and upgrading of our infrastructure, most visible to you in street maintenance.

    One of our big projects this year will be to return a State of the Community). We have not held a State of the Community since 2018 and this year is a perfect opportunity to do so. The purpose of this gathering is to assemble the four legs of Ladera Ranch (LARMAC, LARCS, the Civic Council and the Chamber) and the 5th District to summarize the recent past, to look to the future and to connect the community at a single gathering. 

    Many of you have told us how hard it is for you to step outside of your businesses and participate at our in-person events and mixers. This year, we plan to do one a quarter and hope that you will indulge us with your participation at those fun, collaborative events. This is your chance to meet your peers and our Board and to share best practices and grow partnerships. 

    As most of you have done, we realized the power of social media in 2021 and the way it can be used to communicate directly with our residents. We plan to continue using it vigorously and are happy to share your news when you would like us to. We strongly encourage you to utilize the various platforms that make the most sense, grow your following and be consistent in your communication.

    Despite the pandemic, we cut the ribbons of many new businesses last year and will do so again in 2022. The most notable new businesses are opening soon with Board & Brew on January 27th and Rancho Capistrano Winery by the end of the month. If you have an idea for a new business here, we want to help! Contact us and we will tell you what to expect.

    Last year was the best in our history for membership. Some Chambers’ saw their membership halved during the pandemic; we reached new highs. We want to help all businesses but do not have the resources to do so. We are a membership-based non-profit and only help our members. That’s easy to remedy; all you have to do is join! Be a part of the Ladera Rancho TEAM!

    Wishing you a successful 2022 and calmer waters!

    - Todd Stearns, President/CEO

  • October 20, 2021 3:50 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)


    You Haven't Been to a Party Like this in Ladera

    Costume optional (but encouraged) event includes food and drink

    Ladera Ranch residents and businesses are invited to the Chamber of Commerce's version of adult Halloween fun on Wednesday, October 27th at Mama's Comfort Food & Cocktails in the Mercantile West Shopping Center.

    No treats here... only tricks! We'll have spooky music playing in the background and see who shows up in the most unique costume. Mama's will be hosting a full self-serve taco bar with drink (beer, wine or other) included! Additional elixirs may be obtained from the bar.

    Photographer onsite to capture and document potential evidence. Will it be a crime scene? We hope so.

    Business participants may bring a raffle item valued at $25, which is always fun. 

    Consider it a warm up for the 31st. 

    $10 pre-pay discount offered with early registration here: https://laderaranchochamber.org/event-4523680 

    The Ladera Rancho Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly networking mixers to encourage collaboration between the residents and businesses. Are you a member? Join us!

    Mercantile West, also known as the Stater Bros. shopping center, is located at 25612 Crown Valley Parkway, at Antonio Parkway, in Ladera Ranch.

  • August 06, 2021 1:30 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    Two landmark housing bills will be considered on the state Senate floor starting August 16th. Assemblywoman Laurie Davies has asked us to post this one-pager about it. Our Chamber has not taken a position but will consider it at our regular monthly meeting August 10th. Reach out with any feedback or questions:


  • June 09, 2021 5:13 PM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    The Chamber works with Orange County Public Works to help direct maintenance projects that need periodic attention and two biggies will begin next week: road resurfacing on Narrow Canyon and Avendale Boulevard. There will be some temporary closures but residents will be alerted with signage along the affected areas as well as door knockers.


  • April 29, 2021 8:33 AM | Todd Stearns (Administrator)

    If you live in Ladera Ranch, you may not know that new businesses are starting to open in the Los Patrones Business Park on the other side of Ladera Ranch, in Rancho Mission Viejo off of Los Patrones Parkway. 

    Is it a retail Center or a Business Park? Who cares!

    Some of the New businesses in the works or already open include:

    • Frisby Winery & Brewing
    • Zuri Pet Spa RMV
    • Evolve Martial Arts
    • Smart Stop Storage
    • Coretown Pilates
    • Evolution Swim Academy
    • Tint Crafters
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