ENCINITAS — Soon European-style cabanas with waiters to respond to your every whim, from food to body boards, will make their debut at Moonlight Beach.
This is the latest feature being offered since June and Treggon Owens took over the Moonlight Beach Concession Stand last year.
Treggon is a fourth-generation Encinitan. His grandfather, Vern Owens, was en route to Hawaii from North Dakota in the 1930s when he arrived in Encinitas and decided to stay. He met his wife, Mabel, while working as a banker in downtown Encinitas. Treggon’s parents, Mark and Judy Owens, owned Owens Flowers on Santa Fe Drive for many years.
June and Treggon met in high school in the early 1990s. Afterward Treggon earned a degree in physics from San Diego State. June went to Palomar College to work on a degree in nursing. They eloped in Maui in 2003.
Son Gage was born in 2004. Following Abbigail’s birth in 2006, June contracted a staph infection that entered her brain and exited her eye.
It was an “ah ha” moment for the couple. Treggon was suffering from job burnout, working in a cubicle and traveling much of the time. June, who suspected she contracted staph while on the job, didn’t want to be anywhere near a hospital anymore.
“I wanted to be around healthy, happy people,” she said. Specifically, she had her eye on the Moonlight Beach Concession Stand where people don’t get much happier.
“I said, ‘If you’re serious, do a business plan,” Treggon remembers. June responded by taking a business class at Palomar College and producing her business plan.
“OK, I guess you’re serious,” Treggon said.
They landed the concession contract with the city of Encinitas last June. Treggon cashed out his 401K to embark on a total remodel of the building.
“We worked with the city to replace everything from the sewer to ceiling fans,” he said. “We bought all new restaurant equipment. We wanted a clean start. I didn’t want to worry about equipment that might break.”
They also redesigned the menu enlisting some of the finest food purveyors in the area: Garden State Bagels, Sadie Rose Artisan Breads, Foster Farms corn dogs, Block and Barrel Specialty Cheese and Tillamook Cheese.
Ice cream made by Blue Bunny is imported from Le Mars, Iowa.
“I did a blind taste test with the company we had,” Treggon said. “It is a richer, real ice cream.”
San Diego-based Café Moto provides free trade coffee and black current lavender ice tea.
Cane sugar and cream are added indoors.
“Out of respect for the environment we want to keep all trash inside the building,” Treggon said. “We don’t use any packets.”
Cocoa, hot cider and Cup of Noodles are offered year-round.
“It’s great when it’s cold,” Treggon said. “Last year we were open Thanksgiving and Christmas Day because of the Santa Ana winds.”
The Moonlight Beach Concesson Stand is open a minimum of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the year.
“We have Hawaiian-style hours,” Treggon said. “We stay open as long as there are people on the beach and the weather is nice.”
Recently, Treggon got some sound advice from a friendly competitor.
“Greg Lukasiewicz and his wife, Laurel, own Bull Taco at San Elijo State Beach Campground,” he said. “They said, ‘The only thing you’re missing is a snow cone machine.’ That was the best advice anybody gave me.’”
Young Gage and Abbigail Owens are the biggest fans of snow cones, which come in a wide selection from Bubblegum Pink, Cotton Candy and Root Beer to Margarita and Tamarindo.
Treggon said the new kids park and alcohol ban have brought many more families back to the beach. The only problem is with motorists who stand with their engine running in the handicapped spaces instead of using the yellow loading zone.
“A few weeks ago an ambulance wasn’t able to get on the beach to the lifeguard station because a woman in a Porsche was on her phone and refused to move,” he said. “The sheriff is cracking down and giving tickets.”
For more information or to view the full menu at the Moonlight Concession Stand, visit moonlightsnack.com.