Montecito Magazine: Sam Mckaig Talks Family Business

Montecito Magazine: Sam Mckaig Talks Family Business

A Passion for Business Innovation – Montecito Magazine Interviews Luxury Real Estate Team Samuel McKaig & Louise McKaig

Celebrating 100 Years of family history in Santa Barbara, the Montecito Magazine sits down in a feature article interview with Louise McKaig “Manzo” about her family ‘s longtime history of entrepreneurship and successful Santa Barbara businesses.

Louise McKaig quote – “As a kid I had learned so much about business and being an entrepreneur from working with my dad,” says Louise. “My dad taught me that a successful business is created by long-time personal relationships, by always giving a customized experience and by providing a better service to your clients than they can get anywhere else. I think these values have always been at the core of our family’s businesses from my grandfather’s first Italian Store in the 1920s to my real estate business and my children’s businesses.”

Montecito Magazine feature article titled “A Passion for Business Innovation”
Story by Leslie Dinaberg

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Manzo family patriarch came to the U.S. to pursue the American Dream. Mission accomplished. From the Italian Store to the Pan American Market chain, Enrico’s Deli, Casa Flores Tortillas and their current successes in entrepreneurial ventures, hard work—and a love of food and family—run deep in the Manzo gene pool. Luigi Manzo came to the United States from Italy shortly after World War I and— together with his wife, Luigina, an Italian immigrant who grew up in Santa Barbara— opened the Italian Store on February 1, 1929, according to a 1956 story in the Santa Barbara News-Press (“Store Will Give Birthday Orchids”). The imported food market was the first of its type in Santa Barbara, says Manzo’s granddaughter, Louise McKaig. The original Italian Store was located at 10 East Cota Street, the historic building that now houses The Palace Grill. In the early days, Luigi and Luigina operated the store themselves. “Specialty and imported groceries and their own make of salami and sausage brought popularity to the store. With a small truck, they delivered orders as far as Santa Paula, Camarillo, Oxnard and Carpinteria,” according to the Santa Barbara News-Press.

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The Manzos’ son, Enrico “Pete” (Louise’s father), began working in the store at the tender age of seven. “His first job was dusting, straightening shelves and stacking the bulk eggs into cartons,” says Pete’s wife, Dorothy “Dottie” Manzo. “Pete was still in high school when his father, Luigi Manzo, got sick and handed Pete the keys to the store.“ In 1947 the family moved the store to larger quarters at 802 Chapala Street (now the back side of Paseo Nuevo mall). Pete graduated from Santa Barbara High School in 1948 and served as an Army medic during the Korean War. He formally took over the management of the store when he completed his military service in 1953. He also met his sweetheart, Dottie Flores. “She was an elevator girl at the Granada Theatre,” says Louise. Shortly after Pete’s return from the war, the couple was married at St. Raphael’s Church in Goleta in 1954. “Seven days after we married, Pete put an apron on me and taught me to use the cash register,” recalls Dottie. “I was the head checker and was in charge of training the other checkers. I also prepared the figures for bookkeepers and accountants.” The Manzo family grew quickly. Michael, Louise and then Louis were born—all three siblings still reside in Santa Barbara. Michael is an architect and both Louise and Louis are real estate agents. Dottie also lives in town and enjoys lots of family time. The business grew too. In 1955 the store more than doubled its floor space. “At that time there weren’t very many grocery stores in Santa Barbara,” says Dottie. Unheard of for the time, Pete also built a 14,000-square-foot paved parking lot in the rear of the Chapala store property. “My father was always so innovative,” says Louise. “We were one of the first stores to have a parking lot, which made it easier for people to buy more groceries since they didn’t have to carry them as far.” “I remember we were probably all under ten years old and during the Fiesta Parade one year… our dad gave all of us kids a refrigerated chest full of drinks and sodas and told us to make sure the parking lot was used by customers only, and that we could sell drinks to parade goers in the meantime and keep all the profit from the soda sales for ourselves,” says Michael. Montecito magazine, Santa Barbara magazine, The Montecito magazine, feature article, montecito businesses, montecito real estate, village properties

“That was probably our first taste of running a business without our parents,” Louise adds. According to the Santa Barbara News-Press report, at that point the Italian Store had 15 employees—including six butchers in the meat department—and stocked more than 5,000 grocery items. In 1956 the store’s name was changed to Pan American Market, which quickly became a chain of five stores (co-owned with Jack Woolsey), including one on Milpas Street (current site of Chapala Market), one on upper State Street (now home of BevMo), one in Carpinteria and one on the Mesa. “Jack was a partner for a while when we opened our second store on the Mesa, where Lazy Acres is now,” says Dottie. Pete continued to be creative and pioneering with his stores—which featured state-of-the-art checkout equipment, modernized frozen-food departments and other innovations to make shopping easier. He was also always cutting edge with his marketing strategies. One such promotion delighted local children. “My dad had a friend who was a helicopter pilot, and at Christmas he would fly Santa over Santa Barbara and land him at our store on the Mesa,” says Louise. “Pete was always coming up with new innovative business ideas, something inherited by our daughter Louise,” says Dottie. The Italian store santa barbara, montecito magazine, santa barbara business history, santa barbara history, louise mckaig, manzo family,

“We had special events, guests or prizes for customers throughout the year, especially for holidays and special occasions.” “Sometimes Dad would hire a photographer to take family photos for customers wanting a keepsake,” explains Louise. “Creating an experience is an important approach to running a successful business. I’ve tried to follow in my father’s footsteps by implementing a lot of his teachings into my business, like by selling a good product but also a good experience. On Mother’s Day he would have orchids given to all the mothers who were shopping at the store.” “Growing up, my brothers, Mike and Louis, and I spent a lot of time at the grocery stores. Most of the employees were like aunts and uncles to us,” recalls Louise. “I remember bagging groceries for customers, stocking shelves, unloading cases of food off delivery trucks and miscellaneous repairs around the stores,” says Louis. “There were a lot of good characters, and we had a lot of fun times,” Michael adds. The Pan American Market was one of the first grocery stores to have a full-service deli on the premises, says Louise. A portion of the Chapala Street store eventually became Enrico’s Deli, which was beloved for its Enrico sandwich with Enrico sauce. “It was olive oil with really finely chopped celery and parsley and salt and pepper and garlic and a few other things—it was just really good,” recalls Louise. “It had just enough strength that you probably didn’t want to go on your first date to Enrico’s, but it was so good! Plus we used [high-quality] Italian meats.”

Magazine montecito santa barbara, santa barbara, dottie manzo, pete manzo, enrico manso, louis manzo“Enrico’s Deli was a success because we had great food and quick lunches,” says Louis. “The fast food chains were not in Santa Barbara yet, and for customers who wanted a reasonably priced quick, hot lunch, such as a meatball, roast beef, turkey or pastrami sandwich on a French roll, Enrico’s was the place to be.” The folks at the website also remember Enrico’s Deli and the Italian Market fondly, writing: “They sold salami, salciccie, cotechini alla vaniglia, etc., as well as ‘delicacies’ of every sort. Many people remember…the extraordinary sandwiches that were made to order, and no matter how long the line was, it was worth the wait. The deli cases were full of cheeses, olives and meats. The shelves were still stocked with ‘delicacies’ that were hard to find anywhere else—authentic Italian food in colorful packages and tins, and treats from other places, too… France, Germany, Spain…The air was heavy and rich with possibilities. It seemed like the whole city was sad when they closed their doors.” The Pan American Market and Enrico’s Deli shut down around 1980 when the City of Santa Barbara wanted the property to become part of Paseo Nuevo mall. Of course, the Manzo business doors didn’t stay closed for long. “My father would retire and then decide ‘I’m too young to retire, I’m not retired,’” laughs Louise. “And then he’d start something again.” That next business was Casa Flores, a brand of tortillas. “When my dad went into the tortilla business, tortillas weren’t produced and distributed at the level that my father envisioned,” says Louise. “My dad’s idea for Casa Flores Tortillas was to make tortillas the most popular substitute to the American bread industry.” Prior to that, people either manufactured flour tortillas or they manufactured corn tortillas, she explains. “But this was the first time they were both under same roof.

Louise McKaig, Louise Manzo, Manzo Family, Enricos Deli, Pan American Markets, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara italian store, montecito homes, santa barbara real estate, commercial real estate santa barbara, village properties…His goal was to have people think of tortillas like bread.” Dottie says, “For Casa Flores Tortillas, the boys were our route managers, in charge of the trucks and routes, while Louise and I ran the day-today of the business, accounting, payroll, human resources, scheduling of over a hundred employees and the office side of things. The main office headquarters was located on Laguna Street.” Louise adds, “Our family set a lot of standards in the food industry, like seeing tortillas in every store with their own section, ‘food best by’ dates and tortilla delivery schedules that matched the bread schedules. These are expected these days, but before my dad thought of these things, it was relatively unheard of.” According to a 1975 story in the Santa Barbara News-Press (“Fiscal Front: Tortillas Abound at Casa Flores”), the wholesale Casa Flores Food Factory, located at 526 Laguna Street (now Santa Barbara Paint Depot), had a million-dollar gross per year, turning out 30–40,000 dozen tortillas a day, with a daily fleet of 30 trucks taking tortillas to stores and restaurants between San Diego and Paso Robles. The company was eventually purchased by Mission Foods. Later another company bought both Mission Foods and Casa Flores Tortillas and created the largest tortilla company in the United States. But back in the day, Louise would travel to various supermarkets and food trade shows to demonstrate how to make quesadillas and other things with the tortillas. She explains, “At that time bread was at the center of the American meal, but my dad wanted people to think of tortillas like bread was at the time.

Santa Barbara real estate agent, Top santa barbara realtor, top montecito realtor, montecito real estate agent, best montecito realtor, top santa barbara realtor,As part of our campaign I would travel doing food demonstrations in various grocery stores, which was a new concept but has become a common marketing strategy today.” She continues, “My father employed a chemist and they would experiment with new formulas to make tortillas, but also new ways to use them. … In those days tortillas were typically fried, which is not as healthy, so I started steaming tortillas at trade shows and it became a big hit. At the weeklong Smith’s Food King trade show, I made so many quesadillas and I had so many people lining up to try our ‘steamed tortilla’ quesadillas that I remember making them in my dreams.” Louise says her family grew up having family meetings about the businesses. This is a tradition she’s continued with her own family, which includes her high-school sweetheart husband, Bruce McKaig, a retired Santa Barbara County firefighter. The couple met when they were students at La Colina Junior High. They have two sons, Samuel and Ian, and a daughter, Shelby McKaig Rowe. “My brother and I started in media and film, so we were doing commercials and helping Louise with her marketing,” says Louise’s son, Sam McKaig. “My grandfather was always trying to come up with innovative things and that was something he passed on to us, our business meeting family dinners,” he laughs. “I love that my family actually invented the honey wheat tortilla. No one was doing that back then and now it’s used every day,” says Sam. “I even saw a section for them in the grocery stores in France while we were there filming a movie.” In addition to business, the kitchen is also at the heart of this family. “Another thing that we’ve duplicated from my childhood is that we lived three generations together,” says Louise. “So my grandmother would be cooking, and we had our chores for how everything would run smoothly, because my mom was working full time. At some point my Uncle Joe came to live with us too. … Now my husband’s mom lives with us. And now with me working full time and my husband retired, we sort of switch off making meals.” “My parents and grandparents taught me that if you work hard, provide the best products and great service, your customers and clients will keep coming back,” says Louis. “As a kid I had learned so much about business and being an entrepreneur from working with my dad,” says Louise. “My dad taught me that a successful business is created by long-time personal relationships, by always giving a customized experience and by providing a better service to your clients than they can get anywhere else. I think these values have always been at the core of our family’s businesses from my grandfather’s first Italian Store in the 1920s to my real estate business and my children’s businesses.” Top realtor, top real estate agent, best realtor montecito, best realtor santa barbara, top real estate agent in santa barbara, top real estate agent in santa barbara, california real estate, california realtor, luxury homes, luxury realtor, interview about real estate, interview about santa barbara

36 Montecito Magazine Spring–Summer 2015

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Front Page of the Daily Sound

Front Page of the Daily Sound

Overcoming Obstacles

Local brothers’ ‘free running’ film debuts

When most people encounter a picnic table, tree branch, barricade or other obstacle in their path, they naturally step around, duck under or otherwise avoid whatever stands in their way. But parkour athletes see the objects as a challenge — something to leap, bounce off of, roll over or swing around – all in the name of sport.
Now, two local filmmakers are taking viewers behind the scene to see how the parkour athletes – as well as practitioners of two other peripheral extreme sports called “breaking” (which involves head spinning and other dance-like moves) and “tricking” (a cross between martial arts and flips) – train, prac- tice and perform the feats. “Stunt Sports,” which premieres 2 p.m. Saturday at the Metro 4 as part of the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, represents the feature documentary debut of Samuel and Ian McKaig, brothers in their mid-20s who are fifth generation Santa Barbara natives. The two produced, wrote, edited, shot and did all the special effects for the film together, with Ian mostly handling the camera and computer work and Samuel writing and co-directing.
“It’s all about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, overcoming as many obstacles as you can with just your body.”
– Samuel McKaig, filmmaker

“I train with all these guys from the other sports on regular basis,” he explained in an interview outside the film festival headquarters earlier this week. “They’re all my friends. I just sort of said, ‘Let’s pull all our stuff together and show the world what we’re doing.’”

Film seemed an appropriate medium since so many of their athletes appear in the movies anyway, performing dangerous and astonishing stunts for such movies as “Tron,” “Green Hornet”
and “Twilight” – the so-called “faceless acrobats of show biz.” “Skating, BMX and roller blading have the X Games,” Samuel said. “But this is the first thing – movie or otherwise – to bring all these sports together. And we use only our bodies – no tools, no equipment, nothing. But no one put it together before. We all train and do similar movements and end up on same movie sets or commercials. We end up using a lot of each other’s moves.”
take you behind the scenes so can see how they train and how they do what they do, as well as the struggles they go through to be as good as they are.”
But unlike a lot of documentaries, the emphasis is on the action, not the explanation. “We wanted to make it more like a (real) movie,” Ian explained. “So we don’t have a lot of talking head interviews or narration. The camera is moving as much as possible and there are lots of special effects.”
The brothers self-funded the film – which was shot in Santa Barbara and on location around the world – through Samuel’s earning performing for competitions and commercials. “I didn’t even have to exchange one dollar of my own when I arrived overseas,” Ian said with pride.
“He was chasing after the guys jumping off roof tops with a full on steady cam rig,” Samuel said of Ian.
Why anyone would want to endure such physical tribulations is a natural question.
While breaking and tricking are surely athletic, parkour, which also goes by the name “free running,” is perhaps the most amazing to watch.
“That’s what the film is about,” Samuel said. “Everyone has their different reasons. It has a lot to do with overcoming your fears, dealing with the injuries….The fear is always there, but you just deal with it. And try to use the adrenaline to do the moves even better.”
“The guys are jumping and flipping off of rooftops two stories high,” Samuel said. “It’s all about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, overcoming as many obstacles as you can with just your body.”
For Samuel, the benefits go beyond the sport itself.
Ian said making the movie was thrilling to see even from behind the lens. “It’s exciting to watch people jump off build- ings. And the acrobatics that you see every day in movies, we
“It helps you overcome everything,” he said. “You train yourself how to succeed by determination and working hard. You learn that everything is possible. If you can do a flip off a two story building and land on your feet, you can do anything.”

Flippin the Script Movie Review

Flippin the Script Movie Review

“Welcome to the world of Tricking, Breaking, and Parkour; the new global phenomenon taking the extreme sports world and Hollywood by storm. These 3 urban athletic disciplines have captivated our youth and become a global sensation from their vast performances in almost every film, commercial, video game, or TV-show that features acrobatic stunts.” –

There’s a new documentary out there featuring tricking, and I was lucky enough to be at the world premiere. My only regret about this film is that I should have shown up more than 15 minutes early as I was forced to sit in the second row, but let me tell you, a little stiffness in the neck was completely worth it. The film follows Travis Wong’s road to transitioning from stuntman to producer, King David’s journey to perfect his parkour, and Sammy Styles (aka one of the directors) road to overcome his chronic back injury to stay on top of his game as a breaker. After a year of development, the directors Samuel McKaig and Ian McKaig have produced something every tricker will be proud of.

I think the directors did an outstanding job showing how these three movements all have similar crossroads in the Hollywood scene, but yet are three distinct disciplines. The film starts out by giving a brief but concise history of each discipline. Throughout the film, the directors played close attention to keep each movement looking completely distinct from one another. The film does a great job balancing equal time to highlight parkour, breaking, and tricking. The tricking primarily features Travis Wong, but also shows Sammy Vasquez, Micah Karns, Marc Canonizado, Jacob Pinto, Cody Sanders, and a number of other tricking bosses.

The McKaig brothers did a fantastic job shooting and editing this project. Without ruining too much, there is a scene of the breaker Sammy Styles in the gym working out, and they put in a few special effects which blew my mind (as an editor). Also the way they shot King David’s parkour scenes with a steadycam was pretty amazing as well. I will critique the tricking shots though- as many of the shots were a little too close for comfort and sometimes it was difficult to see exactly what the movements were, but as a tricking editor, I probably am being a bit overly critical.

If you want to learn about the struggles of being a real athlete and trying to find a way to turn your abilities into a career, this is your Chapter 1. I believe this is a film every single tricker on the planet should see. I am very excited to see how this film progresses over the year through his film festival run. I have been told there will be a free screening sometime in April 2012 in Santa Barbara, California with 800 seats waiting to be filled. To find out more about this film, visit

This film is HUGE for tricking. It’s wonderful exposure and it brings tricking on the same pedestal as breaking and parkour are at now in the Entertainment world. 2012 is going to be year we got tricking known!

Stunt Sport Movie – The Independent Magazine

Stunt Sport Movie – The Independent Magazine

Stunt Sport

An Interview with Director Samuel McKaig

Featuring the occasional splash of footage from Santa Barbara comes Stunt Sport, the world’s first comprehensive look at the athletic intersection of parkour, break dancing, and tricking subcultures. These are the twisting, turning, leaping, launching, and spinning people behind the acrobatic stunts (think the Matrix) that have become so popular in action flicks coming out Hollywood these days. The movies follows the trials and tribulations of three young men, including parkour heavyweight King David (trust me, just look this dude up on YouTube), Santa Barbara’s Sammy Styles, and UCSB alum Travis Wong, as they work to make a living in this emerging and body beating line of work.

The Independent chatted with one of the film’s directors, Samuel McKaig (also from Santa Barbara), last week about the making of Stunt Sport and the underground world that it helps shine a light on.

Could you define breaking, tricking, and parkour and maybe give an example of each where the average person might have encountered them before?

As individual movements, tricking, breaking, and parkour can be seen in almost every film, commercial, video game, or TV-show that features acrobatic stunts.

Tricking: Full name is Martial Arts Tricking. A mix between martial arts and stunts emphasizing kicks and rotational flips. The flips and martial arts in films like Green Hornet, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The main bad guy called Rinzler in Disney’s new Tron: Legacy is a tricking athlete named Anis who trains at White Lotus (a Los Angeles-area gym featured in the film).

Parkour: Also known as free-running. The act of overcoming obstacles as quickly, efficiently, and creatively as possible using one’s own body. Basically the act of getting from point A to Point B as quickly as possible using only your body. Parkour is becoming much like skateboarding was in the ‘90s where after school all the kids go and do it. It’s not about jumping off roofs. Much like the other disciplines its about learning to over come obstacles using your body and mind. You can see it in most “on foot” Hollywood chase scenes such as the opening sequence in the James Bond film Casino Royale and Cop Out with Bruce Willis.

Breaking: Slang term for going crazy or “Breaking Point,” also called B-boying or breakdancing by the media. It’s the feeling people get when they hear music and can no longer contain themselves so they go crazy and jump on the floor and move in a unique way. It’s a form of acrobatic expression to music with a focus on flips and spins, and a primary focus on originality, showmanship, and difficulty. The basic goal is who can do the craziest/coolest move. You can see it in every dance-film with high-flying acrobats such as Step Up 3D, You Got Served, and Honey. These films are always about Hip-Hop dancers, which use breakers to add the “Wow” factor to their dancing.

Besides the obvious “wow” factor of watching people do crazy things, what is it that attracted you to this subject matter?

I train and participate with all of these stuntmen and athletes and my brother Ian and I have always made demos, webvideos, and commercials using myself and other stuntmen friends. Ian and I would like to work and direct films that are action and stunt oriented and because of our background in training these disciplines, we have gained a very strong edge over directors and cinematographers who have not worked with stunts on a daily basis. We have been recently asked and are in development on a decent size action film in the UK through a production studio in Europe, which I will be writing and co-directing with Ian.

Why do you think these sports have not necessarily got the broader attention in America that they have in Europe and South America?

Actually they are very popular in the USA and worldwide but I think it is most popular in Asia then Europe then USA. But each of the disciplines have gained a huge amount of participants on every continent. I think it offers kids a free sport with no real rules that limit your creativity, no referees saying you’re out of bounds, and it doesn’t require special tools or equipment. It’s a constructive way for kids to spend their time and gives them the opportunity to push their bodies and minds to its maximum potential. It helps a lot of kids stay away from drugs and gang violence which is a big reason why it is very popular in urban environments. It’s a way to express creativity in our very structured lives.

I noticed the film has some sections filmed here in Santa Barbara. Could you explain that connection? Do we have a parkour/tricking/stunting scene around here?

The directors of the film, Samuel McKaig (me) and Ian McKaig, are fifth generation Santa Barbarans. Travis Wong is a UCSB graduate and is one of the main characters of the film. He is now a very accomplished stuntman in films like Twilight: Breaking Dawn, and GI Joe 2. Sammy Styles is a born and raised Santa Barbara breaker who was recruited by the World Famous L.A. Breakers. There are probably a few hundred local athletes that participate in either of the three disciplines. It is more difficult here because there are no gyms or coaches other than Sammy Styles, who can teach people to get to the top level.

Did you guys witness any injuries while filming?

As crazy as they look, these athletes are very disciplined in their training and do not just throw moves. They break down each movement to a science and train and condition properly to be able to achieve a new jump or new move. So witnessing injuries is very rare and usually only happens when we do something stupid or are not pay attention to our surroundings.

However, during the filming process, Sammy Styles almost died and was sent to Cottage Hospital after over training about 10 hours a day, to the point that his immune system was breaking down. He ended up catching swine flu, passed out from lack of fluids, hit his head on the hospital sink, and stopped breathing for over a minute. He was revived by nursing staff and a couple weeks later flew to Germany, France, and Switzerland to represent the United States in competition.

Last, can just anyone roll up to White Lotus and start learning about this stuff?

Anyone can come and learn from these masters by coming to White Lotus and signing up for their classes. Or you can come to their open gym sessions and train along side them. It’s an amazing place with tons of talented people every night. Travis Wong will now be opening a second gym in L.A. called JAM.

Stunt Sport screens on Saturday, February 2, 4 p.m. at the Metro 4.