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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Latin Garden Restaurant and Baja Nueva, a Design and Decorating

By Robin Waters

When love of what you do meets opportunity, often a creative new business emerges. Witness Baja Nueva Design and Decorating Studio. Born of the desire to transfer her career from Scottsdale, Arizona to San Felipe, Baja Nueva allows owner Sharon Lankin to continue the career she started in Scottsdale. She and husband Jerry, came to San Felipe three and a half years ago after living 30 years in Scottsdale, to explore potential investments. They bought some land and built a house to sell. Throughout the process, they asked themselves, “Why are we going back?” They put their Arizona home on the market and it sold in one day. “Now what are we going to do, retire or ??” As they were completing construction on the house, Sharon discovered she still loved her Scottsdale career, and decided to continue her design work with builders and homeowners in San Felipe. When the Lankins met Stephanie and Jesus to discuss adding a wine and cheese bar to the design studio, Latin Garden was born.

Baja Nueva carries items from small California artisans, hand painted handbags from Tucson, glass from Poland, as well as pieces from Africa and Ecuador and elsewhere around the globe. Sharon offers color and design services, complete furniture packages and accessories for your home. There is a lot of excitement about this new dining and art experience, and Sharon is not letting the excitement wane. Her first Artists’ Reception is planned for January 24th from 2pm -5pm.

Sharon met artist and chef, Michael Cunningham and mentioned she needed something special for a large wall in her home. Three months later a collage mysteriously representing the Lankins’ life story (which Michael didn’t know) was unveiled at a poolside brunch. Sharon says the symbolism to their life was so amazing she was in tears.

Michael is an award winning Executive Chef and graduate of the California Culinary Academy. In 2000 he followed his other love, and became a full time artist and gallery owner. His list of exhibitions, commissions and collectors is dazzling. You can see his art and list of credits at: www.cunninghamgallery.com. Baja Nueva also carries many of his art works.

January 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm, you are invited to Baja Nueva where Michael will create a 20x20 painting and discuss the process while he works. The painting will be auctioned off to benefit the Rotary Foundation. The following night he will don his Chefs hat once again and prepare Gumbo and Rice with all the accoutrements at Latin Garden. Reservations for this unique culinary event are highly recommended. Call U.S. (602) 803-5990 or 686-211-4676 locally. Find them at KM 183 north of San Felipe. E-mail them at: Bajanueva@aol.com