By Rochelle Karina
Pastores is a Pasadena tradition dating back to 1966 when they first opened in a little block building about a mile from their current location in Pastores Plaza on Mountain Road. The story is long and full of fun history. The original, family-owned, store is in Baltimore; the Pasadena branch is the first non-Pastore family owned shop.
When Linda and Richard Pearson decided to go into the restaurant business they were looking for something to jump out at them, and Pastores fit the bill. I was looking for a business to get into looking for a restaurant, explains Linda Pearson. I looked around a lot of places, then saw this one and really liked it.
The store was in need of some TLC, but Pearson saw potential. At the time, she continued, I didnt know how much of an icon it had been in the community.
Pearson set her sights on restaurant management and took a job at Chick-Fil-A to learn the ins and outs of the trade, starting as a catering manager before moving on to manage the kitchen and finally moving out front to understand the customer service end of the business.
I felt confident I was ready, Pearson said. So, I started looking.
The Pearsons took over Pastores just last February, and theyve focused on what works. We do beautiful catering trays, exclaimed Pearson. Pastores is, indeed, Pasadenas Party Central. Grocery stores dont offer the customer service and quality we put into our trays, said Pearson.
And just like the family-owned Pastores in Towson and Baltimore, the Pasadena location offers Sun of Italy products too.
The Pearsons have five grown children, all of them married, and four grand-kids with three more on the way. Its a family business, laughs Pearson, adding, Family is very important to us. We have regular customers who consider themselves part of the family and we want to encourage that and build more of a relationship with the residents of Pasadena.
Pearson feels they offer a connection that many find lacking in todays world. Pastores is a family business, in addition to Linda and Richard, their oldest son James is General Manager, son Chris also helps out, as does son-in-law Davey Ermold. Youngest son, Tim, was involved in the business but is currently heading back to school.
Around the community, theyve started a new program called Spirit Nights where schools, groups and organizations can plan a fund raiser at the restaurant. Were not making a whole lot, explained Pearson, but we feel like were connecting with people. And there is nothing better than seeing this place full of kids.
One of the first participants was Saint Jane Frances, which had a successful event despite the cold and snowy night.
Looking ahead, there are plans to break into the wedding sector. Pastores Plaza is home to a florist, a salon, a bank, a cleaners, and of course Pastores the goal is to offer a complete wedding package to get just about everything you need at one location.
The Pearsons, originally from southern Maryland, are new to the area, but it is the sense of community that makes them feel at home here.
The longer Im here, Pearson says, The more I like it! I love the large number of people, its metropolitan, but in a rural way.
Pearson fell in love with the trees, the water, the family feel that Pasadena offered, and she and her family are working to keep a local family business serving the community.
You can find Pastores on Facebook or visit them at 3820 Mountain Road in Pasadena, or call 410-255-8822 for carryout orders.