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Rising Stars of Downtown & Little Italy

The heart of our mission at the SD Voyager is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the San Diego’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out inspiring stories from Downtown & Little Italy below.

Laurie Britton

My background prior to coffee was in manufacturing. A close friend, who had been obsessed with coffee since as long as I’d known him, asked me if I wanted to be his partner to start a specialty coffee company. I was a little apprehensive at first. Read more>>

Julian Hakim

I got into the restaurant business out of pure luck. I had finished medical school and was applying into residency programs to get into surgery when a space opened up next to my uncles pizzeria in La Jolla back in 2o13. Read more>>

David McCullough

A graduate of Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, David formed McCullough Landscape Architecture as a sole proprietorship in 1999 while consulting for another San Diego firm. After wife and partner, Catherine joined the business in 2001 and became Chief Executive Officer and President in 2002. Read more>>

Karen Cervantes

I’ve had an entrepreneurial mindset for as long as I can remember. Born in Los Angeles, but raised in Tijuana, Mexico the financial situation of my family was extremely poor. Growing up, our family would see our father less and less as he spent most of his waking hours working. Read more>>

Suzana Norberg

I grew up in Wisconsin, the offspring of Yugoslavian immigrants who encouraged me to pursue a career in nursing. Knowing that my preference to be a comedic actress like Carol Burnett would never fly (to my grandmother, “actress” was synonymous with prostitutka) I chose advertising copywriting. Read more>>

Berenice Pandit

My name Is Bere. I currently live in Grant Hill, San Diego. As a business major I saw myself as a business owner. I wanted to create a fun brand to inspire women. I am a jewelry fanatic and I had a lot of bad experiences when purchasing jewelry. Read more>>

Susana Jones

Yoga has been a part of my life since childhood. While growing up in La Jolla, I used to find my dad practicing Yoga in his office, and my mom, a local spiritual leader, decorating the house with icons from all the world’s faiths. Read more>>

Madeline Sherry

I grew up in a conservative male dominated society of New York City in the 1950’s. II always wanted to be an artist but my parents discouraged this as a profession and advised me that teacher, wife and mother would be a safer choice for me .Fearing poverty and failure I became a teacher and a wife. Read more>>

Greg Spalenka

I grew up a California (Arcadia, Mission Viejo) and loved the beaches from Newport to San Clemente enjoying their picturesque, fluid beauty. Yet, it was the muses of art and music playing on the heartstrings of my soul, that won the focus of my life. Read more>>

Noemi Garcia

My Name is Noemi Garcia and I am the owner, creator and designer of Trendee Flowers. My Floral business officially began in 2009 after many years of volunteering my talent for family weddings and organizing my friends celebration events. Read more>>

Jessie Wright

This time last year, I was 5 months old to San Diego. Moving here from Boston, I knew one person and with a lot of grit, hustle and determination, San Diego Real Producers Magazine was born. San Diego Real Producers is a platform to connect the best Realtors in town with the best affiliates. Read more>>

Jimena Garcia

My world turned a complete 360 last year and I found myself reflecting a lot about who I am and where I saw myself in the next 5 years. The first significant event that led to the creation of @nenagarciablog was when I decided to no longer pursue medical school. Read more>>

Jarrod Joachim

I’ve been a creative my whole life. When I was younger my main outlet was drawing, but that all changed when my family got our first DSLR camera. I treated that camera as if it were mine and spent every free moment learning how creative I could be with light. Read more>>

Josh Kober, Lisa Saunders

Glide Training Co. was founded by Josh and Lisa in June of 2016, who met while working as trainers at a San Diego based personal training studio. Upon moving into their intimate, upscale live-work space Josh and Lisa had 15 clients come with the from their old studio. Read more>>

Rhami Aboud

I was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. I was an Electrical Engineer for a few years working at various companies such as IBM but realized that wasn’t my passion. I took my first Web Design course when I was 12 years old and have been in love with making websites ever since. Read more>>

Wolf Bielas

Most of my adult life I have gravitated toward building & growing businesses, started in the Computers, barcoding to RFID manufacturing, to Land Development, Crowdfunding to the Tech industry. Most recently my partners and I have invested in San Diego’s startup community, building a premium coworking space for teams and companies to Reach Higher! Read more>>

GG Benitez

My plan was to become an attorney. I did well in school growing up, and I always loved the art of debate, persuading people to agree with my angle of any situation. However, coming from a strict Middle Eastern family, I was set up to be married just after completing my freshman year at UCSD, and became pregnant with my first child just a few months later. Read more>>

Braden Drake

I was born and raised in Indiana and went to Indiana University where I graduated with one major in Slavic Language and Literature and another in political science. After deciding to pursue law, I explored my options, and ultimately decided I would be happiest in San Diego (who isn’t?). Read more>>


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