Everybody’s business

In-the-black Magic?
Magical Blend, the 25-year-old Chico-based magazine that focuses on “spiritual growth,” may be down but it’s not out, its owner says.

“It’s a challenging time but we’ve been through a number of them,” said Michael Peter Langevin, the magazine’s owner and publisher. “I won’t go down without a fight.”

Langevin said that while he was focusing on promoting the magazine, things went financially downhill under the management of a former employee. The magazine, which started in San Francisco in 1979, circulates 100,000 copies of each issue throughout the U.S. and in 20 other countries.

Meanwhile, MB Media Inc., Magic Blend’s company, was ordered to pay a $40,000 “sister state judgment” because it lost a court case filed by the magazine’s printer and distributor, The Freeport Press. Langevin said the company was doing such a bad job that, “I broke the contract, and according to Indiana law I didn’t have the right to do that.”

To make matters worse, Langevin almost got arrested after he failed to appear in court and was served with a warrant by sheriff’s deputies. Langevin said he had written the court dates down wrong in the midst of dealing with a family emergency, but his attorney, Michael O. Hays, was able to get him a four-week stay.

As a result of the problems, Langevin cut the magazine’s staff from 20 to six. “I’ve got some excellent people here,” he said. “We’re repositioning ourselves.”

Burritos and ice cream for sale
A couple of businesses offered for sale popped up this week on one of my favorite Web sites, www.bizben.com. It’s always an interesting exercise (at least I find it interesting) to put together the clues to figure out what’s up for grabs.

One is an 18-year-old taqueria and burrito shop in a freestanding building, proud to have been “Nominated Best Of Multiple Times Over The Past Decade.” The owner—who is retiring—works 20 hours a week and “the store operates itself,” seating 35 inside and 30 under the patio cover. It’s $150,000.

Also available is an ice cream franchise going for $99,000. It serves organic and original flavors and “Caters To Multiple Audiences.” There’s seven and one-half years remaining on the lease, which is $2,580 a month. In 2004, the store—operated by an absentee franchisee—grossed $220,000.

Brag on Craig
First Trader Joe’s, now Craigslist. Chico is really coming up in the world.

No more wading through Sacramento’s listings to find that used car, apartment or ride. The site, www.craigslist.org, was founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark, who bests eBay without even charging for listings. The Chico section has been up for about a month and a half, but I’m just now following my coworkers’ lead and checking it out.

The entertainment of the site is the “rants and raves,” but it’s going downhill fast with random stupid bathroom humor. You can find out where the hot girls work (Lulu’s and S & S Produce, apparently), among other scandalous tidbits.

Of course, you could also reach a lot of people through the News & Review’s fabulous classifieds section. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)