Everybody’s business

It’s the Baja Grill’s chicken quesadilla.

It’s the Baja Grill’s chicken quesadilla.

To market…
Cost Plus World Market is set to open today, July 31, on Whitman Avenue next to the future Bed, Bath and Beyond. New Cost Plus stores average $3 million a year in sales, so I guess we in Chico have more spending money than we thought. The now-publicly traded company dates to 1958 San Francisco, when a businessman there started selling wicker goods off a boat docked at Fisherman’s Wharf. Now, Cost Plus has 187 stores and carries “pillows, lamps, floor and window coverings, frames, baskets, garden, collectibles, tabletop and kitchen accessories, along with gourmet foods and wines.”

I’ve never been to a Cost Plus (I’m so deprived; I haven’t been to Ikea either), but judging from its Web site it looks like a cross between Linens & Things and Pier One.

The motto is “50 countries in one store,” which, if true, could add some needed diversity to Chico.

Attack of the Mexican grills
OK. We’ve got Chipotle, the McDonald’s-owned taco and burrito joint going in on Mangrove and Vallombrosa. Businessman Gary Lewis expects his franchise of La Salsa Mexican Grill will open at the North Valley Plaza Mall in about three months (but it’s only two months until he has Ben & Jerry’s in). On the southeast side of town, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill is joining the tenants at the new Hollywood Plaza shopping center on East 20th Street near WinCo. Baja Fresh, a national chain, boasts burritos, tacos, enchiladas and salads—and there’s a “light” menu in the summers, along with several vegetarian options. This will be the northernmost Baja Fresh in California. It was started in 1990 after a Ventura County couple took out a second mortgage on their house. Now, it’s a subsidiary of Wendy’s with more than 200 restaurants.

Taking-care-of-business degree
Been thinking about getting that MBA? Well, if you don’t fixate on the crummy job market that’s facing graduates of various disciplines, getting a master’s in business administration sounds like a good idea.

Chico State University is offering just such a degree, called the Professional MBA, starting in August 2004 (applications are due by May). It will also be offered in Redding. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The whole deal takes two years, in which students accumulate 30 units by going to school on Saturdays. Chico faculty members will lecture here, and there will be teleconferencing broadcast from both Chico and Shasta College.

Information sessions are on Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. and Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Continuing Education Building (behind Colusa Hall by the creek) at Chico State.

They want to suck your blood
I just got word of a BloodSource blood drive slated for Monday, Aug. 4, from 4 to 9 p.m. at Funland (you know, the skating rink and new miniature golf course). What could be more fun than giving blood? I promise, it will only hurt for a minute.

The co-sponsor is KLRS 92.7, and donors will get several gift certificates for Round Table pizza and Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Bring your bloody bod—which must be at least 17 years of age (16 if your folks say it’s OK) and 110 pounds—to 2465 Carmichael Drive.