The Coast News Group
Dawn and Shane Pursell began their business Thyme in the Ranch 17 years ago, and are still going strong. Photo by Patty McCormac

Thyme in the Ranch finds lasting business

RANCHO SANTA FE — Thyme in the Ranch was spotlighted at the May 17 meeting of the Association. 

“You hear about businesses that can’t make it — there’s no parking, you can’t do this you can’t do that,” said Jack Queen, Association president. “Here’s a business that can for the last 17 years.”

The owners of Thyme in the Ranch, Shane and Dawn Pursell, told the Association the pleasure has been theirs.

“Our customer base is phenomenal,” Shane Pursell said. “Most are locals, but many stay at the Inn.”

The little restaurant that offers breakfast and lunch, and an impressive amount of baked goods, went into business in October of 1995 in a 750-square-foot space.

“There was no parking, no visibility,” Dawn Pursell said. “We thought we must be crazy opening up at this spot.”

It was not long before the charming little restaurant was discovered.

“We just kept getting bigger and bigger,” Shane Pursell said.

In 2002, they were able to take over the entire building from which they had been operating, which gave them much more elbowroom.

On a recent Wednesday during the lunch rush, the line for sandwiches, salads and desserts snaked out the door and the staff was on the run.

“We never knew how much heart there was in this community,” Shane Pursell said. The two met in Los Angeles in 1972 and had gone into business owning restaurants in West Hollywood and Santa Monica and a catering business.

They were successful, but when they began their family, Shane Pursell found himself running the businesses by himself and supervising about 50 employees.

“We had always worked together. It was no fun anymore,” he said.

As their family grew, they have two sons, they began to look for a place with a better quality of life in which to raise their kids. They settled on Rancho Santa Fe and opened their business.

“That was 17 years ago and we are still going strong,” Dawn Pursell said.

“It’s just been wonderful and we’ve met so many great people,” she said. “We are grateful. Our customer base appreciates what we are doing.”

“I think we are the ones who should be grateful,” Queen said.

Thyme at the Ranch is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is at 16905 Avenida de Acacias. It can be reached at (858) 759-0747.

The business accepts no credit cards only cash or checks.

It has become a regular part of the meeting to invite the principals of a club, group, or business to tell the Association what it is like doing what they do in the Covenant.