Love where you live!
Then he thought about South Park. Not the right mix.
Then Dittmer found La Mesa Village. A quaint location surrounded by single family homes and families.
So Dittmer jumped. He signed a lease for his new store -- What A Dish! -- and has quietly opened offering a unique mix of classic Fiestaware, Dansk products and a collection of gourmet foods and specialty products in an artfully decorated shop at 8209 La Mesa Boulevard just west of the trolley line. "Dinnerware They'll Talk About" is his store motto.
"I have wanted to be in the Village for quite a while,'' Dittmer says. "I think this is one of the local places with a small town feel, but here you are just off Interstate 8. I don't know why people haven't jumped at this location.''
Dittmer's analysis should be music to the Chamber of Commerce, which will gather at his new shop on Sept. 12 for an official ribbon cutting, but Dittmer is currently having a soft opening, keeping hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Opening a retail shop in the age of surging Internet commerce is more of a challenge, but Dittmer believes his expertise in the oft-collected Fiestaware and his own Internet integration of his shop will help him.
"I will be able to meet people's unique needs,'' Dittmer says. "You can't walk into a big box store and get a replacement piece. I plan on doing special orders and eventually we'll add a bridal registry as well.''
Dittmer, 48, a former professional archeologist, is a New Jersey native, but has lived in California for years. He is currently living in Spring Valley. He has been collecting classic Fiestaware for years and loves the color and shape of what he describes as a piece of Americana. "Fiestaware is American. It's all made in West Virginia. Always has been. In fact, I'm trying to sell almost exclusively American products, though a few European things will get in.''