In today’s world where “everything faster” tends to be synonymous with “better,” it’s refreshing to have a place to stop for a few minutes to regroup and reflect on what’s really valuable. There’s something very comforting about having a favorite neighborhood hang out, be it one of the coffee chains, a bar, or a corner café. At a time when it’s easy to get lost in an anonymous crowd of people rushing through life, how pleasant is to walk in the door and be greeted with, “Hi, Mona, how ya doing? You want your usual today?” And when I get my usual, I might turn around from the counter and hear a few variations of “Hello” followed by a sentence or two about what’s new from some of the other patrons who are regulars. And I, in turn, greet them in much the same way.
My favorite neighborhood hang out is Basecamp – High Horse in the Rancho District of Burbank. It’s unique in style and offers delicious food ranging from healthy to slightly decadent: something tasty for everybody. The indoor and outdoor seating and casual atmosphere is conducive to singles, couples, families, and the local wild life-mostly horses, dogs and the occasional goat or two. The goats even do yoga with you on some Saturday mornings. It’s becoming more and more popular, and that’s because the owner, Jack Stocking, has worked hard to make this little eatery a welcoming gathering place for the Rancho community and beyond.
Once the owner of another charming little café, The Republic Of Pie, on Magnolia in North Hollywood, Jack was retired. The next thing we in the Burbank and adjoining neighborhoods knew this insightful restaurateur had taken the corner building that had housed the old Riverside Café and then Not Just Another Burger Stand and figured out how to use that and the adjacent building and lot to create the user friendly Basecamp – High Horse Café. With more seating, great coffee, tea, health drinks, a delicious, eclectic menu, (including homemade baked goodies, veggie patty, yummy burgers and plenty of vegetarian choices), and and energetic & friendly service staff, Jack has built a delightfully inclusive oasis.
With horses, dogs and children in abundance, Basecamp – High Horse, may not appeal to everyone, but for me, it’s a second home. Emma Sue, The Tale Wagger, likes it too. It’s often our destination after a long walk where an almond milk latte (provided by them) and doggie treats (provided by me) await us as our reward for keeping our limbs moving and grooving. Mostly though, it’s a place to relax, or catch up with friends, or have a date with my sweetheart, do some work, or just have a few moments to sit quietly and reflect on life.
So, being an entrepreneur with my own creative venture, Adventures Of Puss ‘N Dick – A Survivor’s Guide To Relationships, I gave some thought to what makes Basecamp – High Horse such a hit.

  1. Vision
  2. Creativity
  3. Persistence
  4. Knowing your community/audience
  5. Giving That community/what it needs
  6. Consistency of quality

Nothing really happens by chance, not even finding a comfortable place to be…inspired. It works for me.