There’s a reason why the wall at California Luggage Co. is covered in postcards from around the world. For over 25 years, their friendly staff has been sending people to the airport, boarding pass in one hand and quality luggage in the other. Walk in just about any hour of the day and there’s a “personal shopper” experience going on, with a customer’s personal packing and travel habits considered for the ideal luggage option. In this way, the place is a living example of the type of one-on-one service that’s impossible online. Even if you’ve never walked through the front door, you’ve no doubt seen the store’s mascot, a life-size shaggy stuffed dog standing out on the sidewalk. (Actually, it’s a sheep these days, I think? The most recent dog “died,” and a “funeral” service was held…) Local politicos, downtown merchants and journalists know owner Bernie Schwartz as the “silent mayor” of Santa Rosa—he knows everybody, and everything—but two generations of customers know him as the best thing that ever happened to their vacation since even before the vacation began. 609 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 707.528.5799.
The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.