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I am a freelance writer for newspapers,magazines as well as a journalist for TV.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and have been living in Los Angeles since 1990.

#243- Malibu (L.A.) = Laidback Luxury [Sjobeck Malibu] (@SENKEN-SHIMBUN /daily newspaper for fashion business)

The other day, I had a fabulous, luxury and fun time with Garrett and JesseRay in Malibu.

Fabulous PEOPLE + Fabulous LUNCH + Fabulous CONVERSATION = Fabulous INTERVIEW

Fabulous PEOPLE:

Mr. Garrett Gerson

The owner of the “CALAMIGOS RANCH” ( and the founder & co-fashion designer of fashion brand “Sjobeck Malibu” (

Mr. JessRay Vasquez

The COO & co-fashion designer of fashion brand “Sjobeck Malibu”


Fabulous LUNCH:

Lunch with Garrett and JessRay at Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch Country Kitchen & Bar ( was fabulous!!

I had a CHIPOTLE BBQ CHICKEN SALAD (romaine hearts, avocado, queso fresco, crispy tortilla strips, green onion, cilantro lime dressing). It was so fresh and delicious!



Talk + Eat + Talk + Walk (JesseRay showed me around the Ranch after lunch) = Special Lunch Time Interview for Senken-Shimbun Column

I really impressed with Garrett and JesseRay… “Good looking” & “Sweet” & “Kind” & “Intelligent” & “Creative” entrepreneurs.

They are really fun to talk with!

There are a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, wedding garden, wedding & special banquet rooms, company picnic places etc… within 140 acres…Wow, I had a nice walk to see some places.

After this interview, I had a big smile on my face on the way back to Eastside (Los Feliz) from Westside (Malibu).


Here is my translation into English of my column.


On Senken+

Updated on May 22, 2014 (in Japan)

 “I Love Los Angeles by Yoko Fujimoto” (title of my column series)

By Yoko Fujimoto

Writer in Los Angeles


Title of the new column: Malibu (L.A.) = Laidback Luxury


The place for relax and laidback luxury is Malibu in L.A. There are mansions of celebrities, stylish café & restaurants and boutiques by the water, Malibu Beach. We could enjoy nature and city both, and it’s a very sophisticated town.


Since 1947 there is a family which has a large-scale enterprise in Malibu, the fourth generation of the founder, Mr. Garrett Gerson who took over the business from his father “CALAMIGOS RANCH (” (Restaurant & Bar, Wedding & Special Banquet Rooms, Alcohol Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center for celebrities, Studio for a reality TV show, etc.), and he also launched the fashion brand “Sjobeck Malibu (”.


“Casual, but chic. Comfortable, but luxury” is the brand concept, and this is exactly the Malibu life style.


Mr. Gerson said, “We can easy to connect with people by online (SNS), but we need to connect with people direct in this kind of place like ranch, to eat a meal and to shop. The balance is important for our lives. We would like to re-think about this.”  So he is planning to launch the boutique in this Calamigos Ranch this summer.


The COO of “Sjobeck Malibu”, Mr. JessRay Vasquez was supposed to become a lawyer after graduated from Pepperdine University, but since he had recovered from a serious illness, “I want to work for a creative business”, and he has been changed his career path.


Both said, “Malibu is the best place that we can enjoy the beach, the mountain, and the city. The L.A. weather makes this town more laidback and luxury”.


Photos captions:

 (As you know, I don't want to post photos in my blog due to copyright issue etc. If you want to see photos, please visit at

Photo 1:

Calamigos Ranch is a couple of minutes away from Malibu Beach (©Sjobeck Malibu)


Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch


At Malibu Café

From left, Mr. JessRay Vasquez (The COO & co-fashion designer of the fashion brand “Sjobeck Malibu”), Mr. Garrett Gerson (The owner of “CALAMIGOS RANCH” and the founder & co-fashion designer of the fashion brand “Sjobeck Malibu”) and Mr. Garner Gerson (Mr. Gerson’s younger brother and financial service of  “Sjobeck Malibu”)

They live in this ranch


There is a big pond, many trees & green plants next to Malibu Café. This area is for a relaxing & healing time


At Malibu Café

Mr. Garrett Gerson (left) and Mr. JessRay Vasquez are enjoying lunch. Ducks are walking from the pond


The luxury life style that we sit on the wood chair on the lawn and eat organic food, only we can have this life style at ranch. The Malibu Café has a bar, so we can enjoy to eat and drink until late evening


By the building of Alcohol Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center for celebrities, there is a merry-go-round!


There are five Wedding & Special Banquet Rooms, two Restaurants, Fitness Center & Spa for celebrities. There is also company picnic area with a Ferris wheel. It’s like a dream paradise


Ranch lost in a fire in 1979, so there is no ranch business anymore, but the animal lover Gerson’s family has been keeping cows, goats, ducks, and rabbits


One of the Wedding & Special Banquet Rooms. Many celebrities had a wedding ceremony and party at this place


This wedding garden has a big tree with a chandelier. It’s an amazing place. This place is a special memory place for many celebrities


The reality TV show “The Biggest Loser” (NBC TV) is filming the show in this ranch. There is a resort which has a theme of this show “The Biggest Loser Resort”. They have a restaurant, fitness center and spa


The boutique (main products are from Sjobeck Malibu) will open this summer at this ranch. They are currently building under construction


Sjobeck Malibu, “Sjobeck” is a Scandinavian word, means by the water. This photo is from the fall 2014 collection (©Sjobeck Malibu)


I can’t wait to visit Malibu café, and I can’t wait to see Garrett and JesseRay again.

If you visit Malibu Café, you will understand what I am talking about.

You will have a “Laidback Luxury” time there.


By Yoko Fujimoto
Los Angeles May 22, 2014
Copyright © 2014 Yoko Fujimoto 

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