The Canyon Country Store Where Jennifer Aniston Used to WorkNov 5th, 2010 | By Lindsay | Category: Jennifer Aniston Locations, This and That
I just recently finished reading Jennifer: The Unauthorized Biography, a FABULOUS book about my girl Jen Aniston written by Sean Smith, a famed British biographer who has also penned bestselling bios about J.K Rowling, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake. According to the brief blurb about Smith featured on the book’s first page, the U.K. newspaper The Independent once dubbed the author a “fearless chronicler” and I honestly couldn’t agree with that sentiment more. The guy is a meticulous researcher and, while you wouldn’t think there would be much information about Jen that I didn’t already know, Smith managed to dig up a few factoids that had me spinning with excitement – one of which being that the actress once worked at the Canyon Country Store – a deli/market in Laurel Canyon – for a few months before becoming famous. Smith happened upon the market by chance, actually. At the time she worked there, Jen was living just up the road from the store in a home at the end of Ridgemont Drive and, while venturing up to her former abode while doing research for his book, Smith decided to stop in for a bite to eat at the small grocery store. While there, he happened to ask the owner if Jen had ever frequented the place and was shocked to discover that she had actually once worked there! According to Tommy, the market’s longtime owner, Jen did a little bit of everything at the store – from working the cash register to stocking shelves to making sandwiches at the deli counter. When she started landing jobs in the entertainment industry, she quit working at the market, but would still pop in regularly to buy cigarettes and other essentials. Well, as you can imagine, I just about died upon learning that information and immediately dragged my husband right on out to stalk the place.
The Canyon Country Store has actually been around since the early 1900s. At the time it was known as the Bungalow Inn Lodge and area hunters would congregate there each night to host picnics. The Inn burned down in 1929 and was subsequently rebuilt out of a more substantial brick material. A kitchen was added to the premises a few years later, whereupon food was served to hungry patrons. The property eventually evolved into a grocery store and then finally into the delicatessen/market/fine wine shop/coffee bar that it is today. During the ‘60s, the store became a regular hangout for Jim Morrison and his musician friends, who all lived nearby and would often gather together on the market’s front patio for spontaneous jam sessions. Everyone from Joni Mitchell to Three Dog Night to Frank Zappa has performed live at the market at one time or another. In his famous song “Love Street”, Jim sings of “this store where the creatures meet”. That store is none other than the Canyon Country Store and “Love Street” is actually Rothdale Trail, the street that runs behind the market which Jim and his longtime girlfriend Pamela Courson referred to as “Love Street” because of the many hippies and love children that would walk down it each day.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tommy while we were stalking the Canyon Country Store and, let me tell you, the guy could NOT have been nicer!!! Not only did he take us on our own little private tour of the place, but when I asked if I could snap some photographs, he suggested that I get behind the main counter and pretend to use the cash register like Jen used to do when she worked there! Well, as you can imagine, I just about had a heart attack upon hearing his offer and immediately jumped behind the counter to snap a quick pic. So incredibly cool! He also told us that Jen was an amazingly nice person and that she truly listened when speaking with people, which is a very rare quality indeed!
Tommy also informed us that when Jen was married to Brad Pitt, the two would often stop by to say hi and to grab a bite to eat at Pace Italian Restaurant, which is located directly below the market and is a place I am going to have to stalk in the very near future!
Because so many celebs live in Laurel Canyon, the Country Store is regularly frequented by stars. Sophia Loren, Jessica Biel, and Pamela Anderson have all been spotted there in the past and actress Christina Applegate (pictured above) is apparently a regular.
And the store is also a filming location! The market was featured at the very beginning of the 1980 horror movie The Fog, although it looked quite different at that time. You can see a photograph of the market as it looked during the ’80s here. The Canyon Country Store has also been featured in the movies Breezy, Rainbow Drive, and the aptly-titled Laurel Canyon – none of which I have ever seen.
Tommy was also nice enough to walk us down to Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson’s former house, which is located directly behind the Country Store. You can check out some great interior photographs of the home, which is currently for sale for a cool $1,199,000, here.
I, of course, had to grab a bite to eat while I was stalking the market, which the Grim Cheaper was not too happy about, especially when he discovered that the deli sandwich he ordered was going to cost him $8.99. He later said it was one of the best sandwiches he had ever eaten, though, and had to concede that it was worth every penny. I opted for the market’s chicken salad, which was simply AMAZING! Honestly, some of the best chicken salad I’ve ever had in my entire life, and that means a lot coming from me as I am VERY picky about my chicken. I honestly cannot recommend eating at the Canyon Country Store enough – it is FABULOUS!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Canyon Country Store is located at 2108 Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Laurel Canyon. Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson’s former home is located just behind the store at 8021 Rothdell Trail. You can order Sean Smith’s biography of Jennifer Aniston here.