Escondido’s Students Benefit from Diverse Education, Resources

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The Classical Academies have three campuses in Escondido including an elementary school.
Photo courtesy of The Classical Academies.

Back-to-school energy is building for students in Escondido. Wherever they open a new notebook means embarking on a solid foundation of personal and academic growth. 

From award-winning charter schools to STEM-focused academies, traditional public schools and specialized private schools, students can access an enriching educational landscape to meet their diverse academic needs and various resources that set them up for success. 

“Each year holds great promise and potential,” said Cameron Curry, chief executive officer of The Classical Academies, a tuition-free charter school serving 5,500 students in North County, including three campuses in Escondido. 

The Classical Academies organization differs from the traditional school district because it offers flexible programs including hybrid, virtual and independent study. This flexibility encourages students to explore their interests, personalize learning and reach their maximum potential.

“We have an obligation to be our best and do our best for those we are honored to serve,” Curry said. 

This profound commitment to students and their families is one of the many reasons The Classical Academies is consistently ranked highest in the city by “Great Schools.” 

A Classical Academies classroom. Photo courtesy of The Classical Academies.

Escondido Union School District is also gaining recognition in unprecedented ways. Last year, It caught the eye of billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott who gifted $16 million to the district. A representative for the philanthropist said she was impressed with the district’s work and wanted it to “keep moving forward.” District officials said changes are expected to be visible this 2023-24 school year and will likely include an emphasis on real-world skills such as financial literacy and cooking. 

On a related note, an award-winning future planning program is rebranding and expanding to Escondido this fall. Soon-to-be called Project Next, formerly San Marcos Promise named 2023 Community-based Organization of the Year by the San Diego County Office of Education, helps high school students prepare for their future — whether that’s college, military, trade schools or the workforce. The nonprofit empowers students to “own their next.” 

“There is no one-size-fits-all path to success,” said Lisa Stout, Project Next’s executive director. “If no two students are the same, why does society encourage them to follow a single formula? Our kids deserve to know their many options — and pursue what works for them.”

Most Project Next programming occurs in future centers at participating high schools, think co-working space meets Starbucks, where students have immediate access to post-graduation preparation and planning with career coaches. Students also connect with local businesses, learn practical life skills, financial planning and more. 

Teens gather at a Project Next future center in San Marcos. Photo courtesy of Project Next.

Students nearing graduation are also encouraged to apply for the Legends Scholarship Program, awarded to eight seniors attending Escondido high schools. Honorariums, linked to a legend in Escondido’s history, go toward academic and higher education expenses such as college application fees, tuition, and books. 

“There are excellent K-12 educational opportunities for families in the City of Escondido that will prepare students for their next educational choice after high school graduation whether it’s a four year university, community college or trade school,” said Jennifer Schoeneck, Deputy Director of Economic Development of the City of Escondido.

For more about The Classical Academies, go to

For more about Project Next, go to

How Escondido’s Agriculture Companies Remain Agile

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As the epicenter of San Diego County’s agricultural history, Escondido’s fertile hills and valleys are a significant economic contributor to the region – making up 19% of the County's agricultural production. While the city’s agricultural roots remain strong, farms, growers, and producers are evolving to adopt sustainable, efficient strategies to combat shrinking resources. Thankfully, Escondido is home to numerous AgTech companies helping the region operate in our diverse ecosystem. From traditional to tech, here’s how Escondido’s agriculture companies are adapting to the challenges of modern consumerism. 

Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply

Since 1952, Grangetto’s Farm & Garden Supply has been the go-to resource for growers, landscapers, and homeowners in Escondido. Selling a variety of products, from farm hardware to fertilizers, Grangetto’s mission is to help educate and inspire people at levels of their farm or garden experience. In addition to the storefront, Grangetto’s offers trainings and workshops and commercial services for large scale local growers, such as Henry Avocado Corporation.

Photo courtesy of Grangetto’s.

After 71 years in business, the leaders at Grangetto’s know that staying ahead of change is vital to their business, especially in agriculture. The store uses point-of-sale, inventory management, and account software to ensure they are always stocked for the farm community. Relying on business software solutions allows brothers Eddie and Kevin Grangetto to focus on addressing some of the pressing challenges facing farmers and growers.

“The escalating price of water and its limited availability in California is one of the biggest challenges facing our local growers and farmers,” said Kevin Grangetto, owner of Grangetto's Farm & Garden Supply. “We rely on our decades in business to manage our water resources, using data loggers, soil moisture monitoring equipment, and more. We help our customers determine when to irrigate, for how long, and best practices to minimize erosion.”

Grangetto’s also works with local agriculture organizations – University of California Cooperative Extension and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service – to help provide the latest technology to the farming community.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the future, but are actively working to get us through labor limitations, an aging workforce, and price drops on produce,” shared Grangetto. “Farmers markets and exposure to the local farming community is critical to any future growth as well as encouraging and educating our customers about how they can grow their own fruits and vegetables.”

The city’s focus on agriculture development and investment in the incubator has also been helpful, shared Grangetto. “We appreciate the City of Escondido’s leaders and economic development team who have backed the agriculture community and advocated for our growth.”

Henry Avocado Corporation

Founded nearly 100 years ago, Escondido-based Henry Avocado was one of the first growers to plant avocados in San Diego County. Avocados remain the largest local crop and despite the pressures facing growers today, continues to thrive and expand. Five years ago, the company moved into a 50,000-square-foot, two-story facility, which is 20% larger than their previous site, yet remaining in Escondido. The new site has allowed Henry Avocado to implement the latest processing, refrigeration, and forced-air ripening technology in the industry.

Photo courtesy of Henry Avocado.

The new site has helped Henry Avocado sustain their evolving roles. While the company originally started out as a grower, Henry Avocado has expanded to harvesting avocados from its groves and distributing them to customers throughout Southern California. The steady avocado demand in California has allowed Henry Avocado to expand to other states as well. The company opened its Charlotte, North Carolina facility in 2017, allowing them to distribute California-grown avocados to the East Coast.

“We have chosen to remain in Escondido because it is a great place for our co-workers and their families to live, it has excellent transportation access, and because city leaders proactively recognize the value of agriculture and related services to Escondido’s economy, residents, and quality of life”, said Phil Henry, President of Henry Avocado.

Grangetto’s and Henry Avocado are just two of the many agricultural companies leading change in Escondido and beyond. There’s no better way to learn more about their work and the other exciting opportunities in agriculture and AgTech than at the upcoming AgTech Gathering on August 17th. The Gathering brings together farmers, technologists, community leaders, engineers, and more to enjoy a jam-packed agenda that focuses on food system problems and innovative solutions. Secure your ticket here

Photo courtesy of Fresh Brewed Tech.


Plan Your Perfect Summer Experience in Escondido

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Known for its picturesque landscapes and near perfect weather, Escondido offers a range of activities and events for family fun this summer. Engaging in outdoor adventures, exploring artistic endeavors, and enjoying culinary escapades are just a few of the many activities that will make this summer truly unforgettable for the whole family.

Escondido’s Wine Region

Find yourself immersed in rich experiences in all that Escondido has to offer, beginning with touring our diverse group of wineries, each offering its own unique flavors, entertainment, and beautiful scenery. See the full list of Escondido wineries here.

Orfila Vineyards and Winery

The 70-acre estate offers a pastoral view from its tasting room and patio. Families can enjoy the tree-lined picnic area, complete with grassy knolls and picnic tables. Orfila is renowned for crafting exceptional wines, carefully curated from Italian and French varietals, including those hailing from the esteemed regions of the Rhône Valley, Burgundy, and Bordeaux. 

Forgotten Barrel

Experience the utmost delight at Forgotten Barrel’s charming and rustic tasting room, open Friday through Sunday. With ample outdoor seating, Forgotten Barrel offers an extensive array of meticulously crafted, premium wines.


Stroll through the vineyards, take a tour, and savor great wines at Altipiano, which is perched high above San Pasqual Valley’s San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido’s Highland Valley Wine Country. A cozy picnic area enables families to relax and enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. Learn more about the women-owned winery on this episode of Fresh Glass, the television series hosted by Cassandra Schaeg, owner of Escondido's SIP Wine & Beer, that shines a spotlight on the inspiring stories of women and BIPOC innovators in the realms of food, beverage, and entrepreneurship.

Courtesy of Altipiano.

Rancho Guejito

Rancho Guejito offers a range of outdoor recreational activities in addition to sampling its sumptuous wines. Horseback on trails, hike and bike, birdwatch, and fish in the ranch's ponds. The tasting room is kid and dog-friendly and offers shade in the gardens and air conditioning inside for hot days.

Summer of Cultural Events

Enhance your family’s summer fun by pairing your vineyard adventure with exciting entertainment from the California Center for the Arts, Escondido’s hub for visual and performing arts.

“The key to any great city is its vibrant arts and culture scene,” shared Gina Lopez, CEO of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. “Escondido has championed this concept as a visual and performing arts destination with the California Center for the Arts, centrally located in the heart of downtown”.

This summer’s lineup includes:

  • June 25: Juneteenth Celebration, Free educational and wellness activities

  • July 2: Latin GRAMMY winning recording artist, Chiquis

  • July 4: Independence Day Celebration - Free music and activities

  • The Last Friday of each Month: Musica en la Plaza - Free

Musica en la Plaza. Courtesy of California Center for the Arts.

If you’d rather explore inside, discover the transformative power of colorful perspectives and storytelling as you and your family tour several new and dynamic museum exhibits opening on June 10:

  • Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

  • Nan Coffey: Positively Animated!

  • Let’s Face It: Portraits from the Permanent Collection

Frida Kahlo exhibit. Courtesy of California Center for the Arts.

From July 7-23, the California Center for the Arts is hosting the world premier of Bottle Shock, the Musical, fusing just two of Escondido's greatest assets, art and wine.

Of course, it would not be a true Escondido summer without attending the beloved Cruisin’ Grand event, kicking off on June 23 and running every Friday throughout the summer. Dubbed the No. 1 car cruise in the nation by Curbside TV, Cruisin’ Grand invites people to stroll through Grand Avenue and beyond to admire hundreds of high-end hotrods and vintage cars.

Courtesy of Cruisin' Grand.

This year, embrace the season, embrace the joy, and embark on a summer of family fun in Escondido.

10 Things Your Economic Development Department Can Do for You

Escondido’s economic development department is the go-to resource for businesses

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From public works to parks, cities rely on their various departments to serve residents and businesses. While these departments work collaboratively to execute a city’s strategic plan, they also spearhead their own initiatives based on the city’s unique needs. For Escondido’s business economy, the city’s economic development department works extensively on creating the best environment for burgeoning industries that can spark innovation, solve city challenges, create jobs, and nurture future investments. But economic development extends far beyond drawing in new business, it also acts as a core resource for existing businesses to continue to thrive in Escondido. Want to know more? Check out our list below to see what Escondido’s economic development can do for you.