By the Bay

Cayucos couple finds joy in travel

Special to The TribuneJune 3, 2013 

If “home is where the heart is,” then the “world is an oyster” for Lou and Sheryl Barbich until they “park their boots” in Cayucos and Bakersfield, where “it’s a wonderful life.” In between tax-prep time for his accountancy firm and her consultancy business, the couple travels the world to exotic and favorite places.

“We enjoy learning the history and culture wherever we travel,” said Sheryl. “While on safari we went to a school in Tanzania. While talking to the teacher, we noticed a letter on the wall. It was a thank you from Cayucos Elementary School students. We are all connected in so many ways.”

Sheryl got her wanderlust while in college traveling Europe. They enjoy New York City a couple of times a year as investors in Broadway shows like Hairspray and Smokey Joe’s Café, and they annually plan additional worldwide adventures.

“We always wanted a home at the beach,” said Lou, a past president of the California Society of CPAs. “We were actually looking at La Jolla when I visited clients on the coast. I was reminded of summers with my uncle in Cayucos and fishing off the pier.” They decided to look at real estate and found their dream home in north Cayucos. “When we could look through the front door and see the ocean, we knew this was our home.” They spend three to four days in Cayucos each week and then back to their Bakersfield offices.

After Lou served in Vietnam, the couple settled in Bakersfield where Lou quickly became a partner in an accounting firm that grew into today’s Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman Accountancy Corporation. Lou’s focus is agriculture and regularly meets with clients in Kern, Tulare, and San Luis Obispo County.

“With today’s technology, we can work anywhere,” he said.

The author of two industry nonfiction titles, Sheryl says her business, Barbich Consulting, focuses on strategic planning for businesses and nonprofits. Her current avocation is “nuttin’ but fun.” As a board member of the Kern County Museum, she will co-chair the inaugural Kern County Nut Festival at the museum June 15.

“Bakersfield didn’t have a festival. Since nuts — almonds, pistachios and walnuts — combine to be the number one crop, we created the Nut Festival to help local nonprofits, create industry and community awareness and bring visitors to Bakersfield,” she said.

Two familiar Central Coast names at the festival will be Leonard Gentieu, owner of Morro Bay’s Papagallo II, and Craig and Nancy Stoller, owners of Sextant Winery. Sheryl touted food demos all day, “nutty” activities for the children, 35 nut-related food booths with restaurants and nonprofits collaborating, and nut industry trade booths demonstrating the production of Central Valley nuts.

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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