REI Co-op’s 3rd OC store closing in on debut in Laguna Hills – Orange County Register

REI Co-op’s third store in Orange County is nearing completion in a former Marshall’s retail store in Laguna Hills.

The outfitter for all things recreational is in the final days of refitting the 33,000-square-foot store at 24271 Avenida de la Carlota in Oakbrook Village.

If all goes to plan, the store will open its doors at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept.15.

Shoppers will find a vast array of gear and apparel for camping, hiking, cycling, running, fitness and paddling. REI said the store also will have a specialty bike shop with certified mechanics available to tune or repair equipment. A ski and snowboard shop will mount bindings and also tune gear.

“From Santiago Peak to Laguna Beach to all the South OC parks and trails along the way, we’re here to run, ride, hike and paddle alongside our fellow adventurers,” said Alan Ortega, the Laguna Hills store manager. “We’re stoked to invite the community out to party with us, our vendors, our non-profit partners during our grand opening weekend.”

The grand opening will continue through that Sunday and include giveaways (while supplies last). Early birds can get free coffee from Verve and a camp mug with a donation (Laguna Canyon Foundation on Friday and Saturday and Environmental Nature Center on Sunday).

The store is operated as a “consumers’ co-operative” and shoppers are encouraged to join. There are 1.7 million REI members in the Los Angeles metro area and 4.6 million in California.

The county has seen a revival in recreational retail with the addition of Sports Basement in late 2022 and the expansion of REI. Also coming in the near future is a Bass Pro Outdoor World in Irvine. The former Walmart Supercenter at Alton Marketplace is in the process of a makeover with the signature log-cabin roofline of Outdoor World taking shape at the building along Technology Ave.

Brewmasters buy Delahunt Brewing Co.

The 3-year-old Delahunt Brewing Co. has been acquired by a group of veteran beer makers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re proud of what we built,” said company founder Todd Delahunt. “And we’ve found the right people to whom we’ve passed the torch.”

Those new owners include Dana Point resident Chris Linn as the head brewer. Linn has worked previously with Bottle Logic Brewing, Modern Times Beer, Beachwood Brewing and Laguna Beach Beer Co.

Miles McLennan is the new CEO of the brewery. He’s a longtime craft beer enthusiast who’s won national and local awards.

Brandon Portnoff is president and the brewer behind O’Shea Brew Co., a craft beer keg and bottle shop in Laguna Niguel.

Other owners in the transition include Noah Lunt, Chris Leal, Dylan Butler and Tom Linn

The company, founded in 2020, has recently opened the Dana Point Taproom + Taqueria and has a dedicated taproom at its San Clemente production facility.

For more information, go to

On the move

Regina Cheung, the chief financial officer of Irvine-based Pokeworks has been promoted to chief executive of the chain. She will hold both executive titles moving forward, the company said. Cheung previously was vice president of finance at Blaze Pizza in Pasadena. Founded in 2015, Pokeworks is in expansion mode with new restaurants opening in Toronto later this year. The chain has 60 locations in 20 states plus Taiwan and Mexico.

Eli Kumekpor is the new chief executive officer at Mitchell & Ness, a vintage lifestyle and sports apparel company. Kumekpor, who will be based in Irvine, has 20 years of experience and previously was at Nike, serving as global vice president and general manager of the Jordan Brand’s men’s business. He replaces Kevin Wulff, who retired Sept. 1.

Chad Costello is the new director of fund development at Costa Mesa-based Project Independence. The nonprofit provides services to at least 750 people with developmental disabilities in their homes, at work and in the community. Costello previously served as manager of the independent living and supported living programs at Project TEAM, a Riverside Unified School District vocational program for young adults with disabilities.

Mark J. Higgins has joined Irvine-based Index Fund Advisors as a senior vice president and institutional adviser. He has 12 years of experience working with large institutional investors, such as endowments, foundations, public pension plans and a variety of corporate plans.

On board

Santa Ana-based MOMS Orange County appointed three new board members: Dr. Lisa Cowan, Kathy O’Donnell and Victor Villanueva. Cowan is the executive director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Providence St. Joseph. O’Donnell is the founder and executive director of the O’Donnell Family Foundation, which promotes pre- and post-natal support, early education, and first-generation college support. Villanueva is co-owner of StrikeWorks Solutions, an IT service provider.

New ventures

Santa Ana-based System Pavers is expanding into Nevada, opening an office in Henderson beginning Sept. 6. System Pavers’ services will be available for Las Vegas Valley residents looking for help on their outdoor living spaces. Sam Leisman, a long-time System Pavers employee, will lead the expansion effort.

Fountain Valley letter carrier Jonathan Paterson was awarded the Postmaster General Hero Award after helping Maria Chavez, left, a customer who had fallen and couldn't get up. (Courtesy of USPS)
Fountain Valley letter carrier Jonathan Paterson was awarded the Postmaster General Hero Award after helping Maria Chavez, left, a customer who had fallen and couldn’t get up. (Courtesy of USPS)


Fountain Valley letter carrier Jonathan Paterson was awarded the Postmaster General Hero Award after helping a customer who had fallen and couldn’t get up. The award is given to those who perform “a heroic act above and beyond the call of duty while on the job.” Paterson came to the help of Fountain Valley resident Maria Chavez. She was out for a stroll when she tripped on a rock and fell to the pavement.

Good works

Santa Ana-based Orange County’s Credit Union raised $22,700 for Children’s Health of Orange County. The credit union ran a fundraising campaign in honor of the 2023 CHOC Walk in the Park. The initial fundraising goal was $15,000.

Status Update is compiled from press releases by contributing writer Karen Levin and edited by Business Editor Samantha Gowen. Submit items and high-resolution photos to Allow at least one week for publication. Items are edited for length and clarity. REI Co-op’s 3rd OC store closing in on debut in Laguna Hills – Orange County Register

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