Breakfast at Nuccio’s – 2008

Fifteen years ago Altadena Heritage thought we should celebrate one of our community’s oldest businesses, Nuccio’s, world famous for its camellias. February should be good, plenty of blooms, and we’ll have to drink tea (camellia sinensis). We staged a breakfast event for a Sunday morning, but when the  day came it was raining steadily. We stood with umbrellas, greeted the few cars that came, and asked them to come back next Sunday.

It was a glorious cool day, around 80 people showed. We  set up in the upper corner by the house among trees and flowering rhododendrons  The following was written in 2008, shortly after the Breakfast.

“Events chair Anita David kept the “camellia beverage” warm under what seemed like dozens of tea cozies, with help from Lily Etezady and Brownie Allen. 

Lili Etezady and Anita David serving tea.

More board members, Sandra Miller and husband Jim, collected money and rounded up chairs, and Thomas Stahl created his normal beautiful graphics. We heard the intriguing family business story of Nuccios as told by one of its founders, Julius Nuccio. Local historian Michele Zack gave a talk on Altadena’s Nurseried Past, providing lots of evidence on how important commercial and private nurseries and gardens have been to Altadena from the very beginning.”

It wasn’t just for fun that we invited the public to this glorious spot in the hills; memories of the bitter struggle over the La Viña development were still fresh, and we wanted people to be conscious that this land was eligible for development. Someone asked Julius about the future of Nuccio’s “It’s for sale,” he said.  “Make me an offer.” The Nuccio’s knew that when they retired, it would be the end of the nursery.

Guests enjoying the morning