O Content Days: The nexus of Altadena

By Christopher Nyerges
Pasadena Weekly Contributing Writer

O Delighted Days overall health food retail store in Altadena has a poet laureate, 7 Dhar. 

In accordance to Dhar, “O Joyful Times is a lot more than a keep. It’s a meeting place, a middle of radical thought and subversive dialogue, ecology, new age teachings, herbalism, holistic health and fitness ideas, and heaps of kombucha.”

For far more than 40 many years, the eclectic overall health foods retailer run by vegan John Hopkins has served as the nexus of Altadena. It’s a area where locals can meet up with, share concepts and take pleasure in contemporary soup and lunch — vegan, of study course.

In accordance to Pasadena lawyer Philip Koebel, “John has a genuine a person-on-a person relationship with anyone who walks into the retail store. If you do not talk with John, then you have not seriously been there. I commenced heading to O Delighted Days often because it’s the only put close to to get a good vegan food every single day. It is like John is my personal chef.”

These times, Hopkins is advising his prospects that the rate of the freshly served food items will be mounting thanks to a sizeable hire raise. He’s hoping regulars rally to the lead to and keep on to guidance the quaint mainstay of Altadena.

The beginnings

It commenced in 1977, when a little shop appeared on the north aspect of Woodbury Street in the vicinity of Los Robles Avenue. It was a crowded store, with contemporary create, well being food goods and several herbs dangling from the ceiling and walls. A welcoming proprietor, Hopkins confirmed that his charges were being less expensive than co-ops.

John Hopkins acquired commenced in the wellness meals and food items co-op enterprise a number of decades previously when he was heading to Cal Condition LA and was striving to reduce fees with other students with whom he resided.

1 of his roommates moved out and still left at the rear of a copy of Adelle Davis’ “Let’s Try to eat Right to Keep Fit” book, which even further inspired Hopkins’ path.

Hopkins acquired how to bake bread, make good quality soup and market healthful living. “I understood that wheat bread was superior for you,” he claimed. “But I did not still know why.”

Though he was painting his new store on Woodbury Street, he listened to the phrases “Oh happy days” in a gospel track on the radio. Which is when he arrived up with the shop’s identify.

In just 6 decades, he moved farther into Altadena on Lake Avenue, just throughout from Elliot Center College, exactly where there was far better publicity. Immediately after another 6 decades, he moved north another block to the store’s present-day internet site, 2283 N. Lake Avenue. 

“Our existing locale is good since now we have parking in the rear, and a great deal of space for folks to sit inside and outside the house,” Hopkins explained.

Upon entering O Content Times, company are greeted with community papers and magazines, and a bulletin board of local happenings. It feels like a throwback to the late 1960s.

In accordance to Jane Tsong, artist and conservation planner, “Stepping into O Content Times feels like you are stepping into a different world, where values and people and even the speed of time are distinct.”

There are tables in the middle where diners hold out for a bowl of Hopkins’ soup of the working day. The walls are lined with herbs and economically priced solutions, and the higher partitions mimic an eccentric art museum with images, statues, juicers, artwork and various political statements. Just one poster lists famous vegans, with the final just one on the listing becoming Hopkins.

“We boost a healthful life style here, and we consider that our attempts will aid lead to a sustainable globe,” Hopkins mentioned. “I’ve generally tried out to make health food items inexpensive and deliver info for all our customers.”

Buyers have stated O Happy Times shares a feeling of local community.

“It’s crucial to contribute to the sensation of neighborhood and to persuade people to sit and socialize,” Hopkins spelled out. “Anyone can sit in our chairs, and there is no tension to acquire nearly anything.”

Hopkins is a uncommon, outdated-school proprietor who helps make friends come to feel at residence, even when he’s below pressure.

Previous Altadena resident Michael Shermer — publisher of Skeptic magazine, executive director of the Skeptics Culture and presidential fellow of Chapman College — is an additional supporter of O Delighted Days.

“For a quarter century now, I have been enjoying the healthiest food items on the earth at John’s O Satisfied Days retailer and restaurant,” Shermer reported.

“John is an Altadena treasure, and his outfit signifies every thing we like about our town: nutritious dwelling, genuine friendship and very good eats. These days, Gen Zers like to invest in merchandise with a good trigger guiding them, but newborn boomer John was way in advance of his time when he turned food into a political and environmental trigger. I’m searching forward to another quarter century of dining there.”

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