Party of Four
A creatively driven couple plant roots for their family in Studio City.
- Written byHeather David
- Photographed byShane O’Donnell
After a six-year stint living in Montreal, Sam and Rachel Huntington were thrilled to return to the Valley. They chose a home in Studio City and moved in with their two young kids. He is an actor; she owns a kiddie party store on the Boulevard, called Bonjour Fête.
The couple, together for 16 years, has a typical LA story, falling in love at, well … first take.
“I was in my last year of college in Austin, Texas and Sam came there to act in an indie film. The actor Thomas Hayden Church was directing it, and he thought I would make a great girlfriend for Sam’s character. For the scene, eight of us had to cram into a car in the hot Texas sun. I ended up sitting on Sam’s lap for a good 12 hours. It was an easy way to meet somebody, especially when you have no choice,” Rachel chuckles.
Sam also had no complaints: “We still liked each other enough after a long sweaty day to still go out on a first date.”
They started their married life in the Valley, but in 2010 Sam landed a starring role in the Syfy network series Being Human, that shot in Montreal. So the couple, along with their baby boy, Charlie, relocated.
It wasn’t long before Rachel also came up with a new creative endeavor. “As soon as you have kids, you end up going to a lot of birthday parties, but in Canada the type of products I was looking for don’t really exist. Instead it’s whatever your local grocery store supplies,” she shares.
So Rachel kicked off an online business venture, Bonjour Fête, which offers an extensive selection of colorful, attractive paper party goods, favors and decorations.
Last year, after Sam landed a season on the FOX drama Rosewood, the family returned to the 818, now with a new addition, daughter Audrey. And Rachel decided to expand her business, opening a Bonjour Fête store on the Boulevard.
Just one year into it, the unique boutique has gained a loyal following. “I think what surprised me the most about having this business is relationships I’ve made with other moms and women. They’re planning for a celebration, so it’s a happy time.”
For the Huntingtons, it is also a joyful time.
“Initially, we had a lot of nerves moving back, but between the kids thriving at school, the success of the store and my work, everybody is really happy,” Sam says.
Audrey (5) faves: My dream day is to go visit pets at the shelter and everyone gets one. We’d go to the beach and have cookies and cake. Then we’d paint birdhouses for an activity.
Rachel faves: We’re obsessed with Coffee Source. The “Life of Pablo” drink hits the spot and is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. We also love Beeman Park because there are some shady spots, and it’s a great place to play basketball.
Charlie (8) faves: For my perfect day, I would rollerblade outside before heading over to Universal Studios and ride every single ride there except Walking Dead … that’s too scary.
Sam faves: For date night, Rachel likes Mexican, so our current favorite is Mercado, and then our old standby is Casa Vega. We have been going there for ages.
In 2015 locals may have questioned the fate of Artisan Cheese Gallery when Melody Dosch and her parents sold the Studio City cheese and sandwich shop after 10 years in business. 18 months later, new owner Shelley Janson has put Boulevard dwellers at ease by dialing in the décor, upgrading the sandwich offerings and adding […]
At the same time that LA diners are embracing authentic Asian food, other chefs and restaurateurs who have racked up experiences with unrelated concepts are taking their culinary traditions in new directions. Case in point: Hungry Crowd in Toluca Lake. Chef Juran Kwak, who previously worked at Manhattan Beach Post (M.B. Post), joined forces with […]