Relocated Paradise business owners continue to adjust

It's now nearly eight months after the Camp Fire. Many businesses on the ridge were also forced to relocate.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 11:19 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2019 11:30 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- It's now nearly eight months after the Camp Fire. Many businesses on the ridge were also forced to relocate. 

Several business owners told us they thought it was risky to start all over again in a new city, but they've been pleasantly surprised to see it paying off.

"I think many business owners are risk-takers by nature," said Dove Detches, the owner of Dove's Gypsy Heart Boutique.

Sometimes, it's not about the cards you're dealt, sometimes it's how you play the hand. 

"There was no way we could remain in Paradise," Detches said. "I knew Chico, so I was confident I would be happy here."

With 90% of Paradise's population lost after the Camp Fire, Detches said she couldn't afford to keep her store in Paradise.

Kathy Hafer lost her business in the Camp Fire. She relocated Wilson Printing & Signs to Downtown Chico back in February.

"We just hit the ground running and we haven't even put our signs up," Hafer said. 

The business owners say customer loyalty has played a huge role in their new success after leaving Paradise.

"Every day we are finding more people who are finding us from Paradise," Hafer said. 

"They're the best, they're loyal, they know what we do, how we do it,' Detches said.

The Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce said more than 100 businesses have left the Ridge since the Camp Fire, such as Americana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

"I lost my whole student base, you know, there was no real way to make money in Paradise anymore," said Andrew Osterlund, owner of Americana Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Since moving his jiu jitsu school to Chico, Osterlund says he's now got about 60 students.

"It's only growing, and the momentum is just carrying, it keeps moving," Osterlund said. 

The business owners say as they continue to grow, they'll always support each other, no matter the location.

"There's trust and there's love. We care about our fellow business owners," Osterlund said.

Click here for a business directory for members of the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce. 

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