In Praise Of Local Businessmen

Father and son, Vekder & George Khacherian
Father and son, Vekder & George Khacherian

I’m a big fan of local business. There’s a personal connection and a level of service you get when you patronize local owner-operated businesses that you’ll never experience with an hourly-wage clerk at the MegaCorp Outlet SuperStoreā„¢.

It seems this generation has seen the greatest decline of the family business in history. The Wal-Marts of the world have figured out a pretty effective business model. Sadly, in most cases their volume allows them to undercut the “mom & pop” shops, offering goods and services cheaper and more efficiently than small businesses are able to. Maybe cheaper and more efficient, but that doesn’t necessarily mean better.

This is why I was so excited to discover La Gondola in Silver Lake, operated by the father/son team of Vekder & George Khacherian. I say “discover” only because they’re new to me; the Khacherians have been in business for 33 years. Clearly I’m not the first to find them, either. There is a framed commendation for service to the community signed by none other than CD13’s own Eric Garcetti.

George met me at the counter and was immediately friendly, helpful and professional. He sized my wristwatch while I waited. Vekder is repairing my shoes, which I’ll pick up later today. All for about half of what I expected to pay.

This unassuming little shop on Sunset seems to do it all. They make keys, replace watch batteries, all sorts of expert leather repair, and I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface.

Support local business. Go see my new friends George & Vekder in Silver Lake. You’ll be glad you did.

La Gondola
2929 Sunset Blvd. (just west of Parkman,) Los Angeles
(323) 661-0148

2 Replies to “In Praise Of Local Businessmen”

  1. Thanks for sharing the tip about this useful local place. BTW, if you scratch the surface, it sounds like they can repair that too.

  2. What a great find, and you are correct its these little shops that add that something extra the big boxes can’t. I certainly try to support my local Old Town merchants first before I venture out. Thanks for sharing.

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