The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker

Irvine is home to many family-owned businesses, like these classics from an old nursery rhyme.

Jackie Jeon


At Wagyu Meat & Grill, you can take home the world’s best cuts of steak

Looking for a world-class steak? Stop by the premium butcher shop at Wagyu Meat & Grill and ask for the Japanese A5 Wagyu beef.

“It’s the best of the best,” co-owner and general manager Jackie Jeon says of the intensely marbled beef that sells for $140 a pound. “When you cook it, it literally tastes like butter – with no butter in it.”

Wagyu beef comes from a Japanese breed of cattle, and A5 is the highest quality awarded by the Japanese government.

The family-run Wagyu Meat & Grill sells both fresh and frozen wagyu beef to take home and cook – from rib-eye to brisket to burger patties.

In addition to the butcher shop, the Wagyu Meat & Grill also serves sit-down diners.

Tiffany Sepetjian


Pandor Artisan Bakery & Cafe is modeled on a modern Parisian cafe

Fans of buttery French croissants and pastries, rejoice.

Tiffany and Raffi Sepetjian have just opened a Pandor Artisan Bakery & Cafe at The Market Place.

Prior to starting Pandor (French for golden bread), Raffi traveled France, scouting talent. The couple have brought a dozen master bakers to America to train them and ensure authenticity.

A Brittany baker gets credit for their crepes recipes, while a baker from central France provided their vanilla custard pie recipe. “It’s really beautiful,” Tiffany says. “Each baker has their own signature.”

The couple import most of their ingredients from France, too, from the raspberry jam in the sable sandwich cookies to the butter in the croissants.

Troy Arntsen


Voluspa’s handmade candle business burns bright in Irvine and worldwide

It was 22 years ago when Traci and Troy Arntsen quit their jobs in the aromatherapy business to start hand-crafting candles out of their kitchen – wrecking their stove and microwave in the process.

Now Voluspa candles are sold in thousands of boutiques around the world, the standard for affordable luxury candles.

Each candle is hand poured, packaged and shipped under a solar-powered roof at the Voluspa headquarters in Irvine.

“We were fortunate to find a great space right off the 405 Freeway, which increases our brand awareness in the community,” Troy says. “In Irvine, we have access to an incredible talent pool.”

The headquarters reflect the brand. The chic showroom has distressed old world floors, a stunning crystal chandelier and lots of velvet tufting.

Troy pioneered the wax Voluspa uses out of a natural coconut oil so that it doesn’t smoke when it burns.

“This luxurious, white, creamy wax burns cleaner and longer,” he says. “It serves as the perfect base to encapsulate Voluspa’s fragrances, releasing the fragrance in its truest form when the candle is burning.”

The company sources oils and botanicals globally to whip up unique fragrances like Moso Bamboo, Baltic Amber and Apple Blue Clover.

Celeb fans include Selena Gomez (her favorites are Mokara and Saijo Persimmon), Kylie Jenner and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Voluspa is named after an ancient Viking poem about the creation of the world from chaos. “And as the chaos in the kitchen signified, great beauty is often born of great passion.”

Each candle is hand poured, packaged and shipped at the Irvine headquarters.