On a rainy Sunday morning, you’d be hard pressed to find a comfortable refuge outside of your own cozy abode. This was obviously not the case at the local spot, The Lost Parrot Café in South Pasadena.
A full house was in attendance for the official ribbon cutting ceremony as members of the board and citizens filed in early in the morning. The real kicker, though, was that at a majority of those in the room were regular customers – a testament to an already established (and growing) fan base. The Lost Parrot’s owners, Winston Secrest and Justin Prietto, have certainly made themselves right at home in the community and why shouldn’t they? As South Pasadenans who have both lived here for several decades combined, they’ve translated that cozy, small-town vibe well with their homegrown aesthetic at their own establishment.
Council member Bob Joe and Chamber CEO Laurie Wheeler both enjoyed fresh brewed coffee, while President of the Police Officer’s Association in South Pasadena, Avick Manukian, and assistant Janee Hannible enjoyed on of the Last Parrot’s signature drinks, the Cali-gold latte.
Not only were people enjoying deliciously brewed beverages, but also delectable dishes from their newly curated Sunday Brunch menu.
“We’re always slammed on the weekends now.” Says co-founder, Winston Secrest. ” I would describe our breakfast as a ‘Classic Diner Americana’ style, mashed up with a Pacific Latin twist.”
Head Chef, Jeana Pecha – who also works for Huntington Catering, the catering company the Lost Parrot Cafe is umbrellaed under – has made her culinary mark here in South Pasadena. While there are already many budding favorites on the menu, Jean has a couple of noteworthy highlights, ” I’d say the breakfast taquitos because they are unique and fun things to try for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Then the French Toast sticks; a cross between a churro and most people’s favorite morning carb!”
Always ‘cooking something up’ so-to-speak, Jeana and The Lost Parrot continue broadening their reach with special pop-ups like the up-coming ‘White Girl Wasted Ramen‘ event. Offering unique items such as beer-infused ramen, the pop-up is for a charitable cause as well; helping young women transition out of the foster care system.
With all the booming business, and buzzing atmosphere, Mayor Marina Khubesrian and Evette Kim, District Representative for Senator Anthony Portantino, stood beside the POA and council members as the oversized scissors cut the ribbon, symbolizing the official recognition of the Lost Parrot as a South Pasadenan establishment.
When asked how he felt about being recognized as an integral part of his hometown community, co-founder Justin Prietto mused, “It’s great, because as a kid I went to Arroyo Vista (Elementary), then the middle school, then the high school, and these were all adults to me. Now I know that they’re just grown up kids and I’m one of them.”
As two boys who have been around the block a few times and come back to their hometown with new knowledge and ideas to share, it’s heartwarming to see the success that they have experienced in such a short amount of time. But it’s no wonder given their sense of involvement in the community and earnest attitudes towards their fellow South Pasadenans.