We had the good fortune of connecting with Leila Caldera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leila, how do you think about risk?
The idea of risk excites me. I love taking risks. All kinds of risks. I love things like rock climbing, being up high, doing things that really make your heart beat fast, giving you butterflies in your tummy. It is something that really makes me feel alive. I am very lucky to be a person that is not ruled by fear, I am the ultimate optimist, so no matter the risk, I always have this deep down gut feeling that everything is going to be okay. I trust, always. Initially when my husband and I had the idea to start the business, we envisioned something small. We were not business people, we didn’t have much starting capital, and it was our first attempt at a real business so we didn’t want to be in over our heads. However, while we were looking for a space to rent, my husband came across this amazing rooftop in La Jolla, at first he didn’t want to show it to me because it was WAY over our budget and way bigger than we had planned, and he knew if I saw it, I would fall in love with it. As usual, he was right on all fronts and as soon as I walked out of the elevator onto the rooftop, I was totally in awe with the space, the view, and feel of it, and of course wanted to take it. We knew that it would be a HUGE project, having to build a kitchen from scratch on top of a four story building, and then hoping that people would find us there. All the ingredients to this space were very very high risk, and we were advised against it by multiple people. A business advisor gave me some kind of statistic saying that 95% of restaurants that are not accessible from street level, fail. He also said our target market (for gluten free, vegan food) was way too small and our rent would be way too high… it was a massively unadvisable project. Any sensible person would have definitely walked away. After much persuasion, my husband finally agreed that we would try to make it happen. If I had not of been so fond of risks there is no way this business would have happened. You have to be a risk taker to embark on something like this, I feel I have been very blessed with my optimistic nature, paired with my love of throwing myself head first into everything. I have a deep belief that if you really set your mind on something, anything is possible. That is the mindset that got us to where we are today. Of course, we could have failed, we could have lost everything. After signing our lease, the construction side of things got incredibly challenging and we made many mistakes along the way. We had lost almost our entire budget months before we were even ready to open, having to raise more money to finish building the kitchen and keep paying rent until we were ready to open. It was the most stressful two years of our lives, but somehow we made it through and Trilogy is a thriving community space in San Diego. Often, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. To this day, 7 years into running the business, I look around at what we created and it still blows me away. We were the ones crazy enough to think up this space, and then make it happen.
What should our readers know about your business?
Trilogy Sanctuary is definitely a one of a kind business. You will never find anything quite like it. Trilogy is a community space, which includes a beautiful 2000 square foot rooftop with an organic, vegan and gluten free restaurant. Complimenting our healthy food options and amazing views, are a variety of yoga, and aerial yoga classes spread throughout our two floors and three yoga rooms. You will also find an eco-conscious boutique selling local and responsible brands, featuring clothing, jewelry, crystals, gifts and tools for spiritual growth and healing. Trilogy hosts a huge number of events, including full moon drum circles, open mic nights, ecstatic dance events, meditation workshops, sound healing and so much more. Trilogy is a hub for health oriented, eco conscious and alternative crowd of San Diego. It is also a hot spot for tourists, and we are thrilled to have won an award for ‘The Best Place to People Watch’ in San Diego! This may be because while you are enjoying your plant based burger and raw carrot cake on the sunny deck, you may be lucky enough to catch a bunch of people hanging upside down like bats in an aerial yoga class that happens right there all on the same rooftop. Going to Trilogy is like going to a little festival, you never really know what you may find around the corner…. If you happen to arrive, unknowingly on the night of a full moon, expecting a quiet moonlit dinner, you would be surprised to stumble upon someone dancing with fire, or a circus style aerial performance. You may hear a few howls to the moon as the 40 drummers evoke a wild dance party. Another night it may be a small group sharing. Or in the morning you may enjoy a morning tea on the peaceful rooftop away from the rush and buzz of city life. Trilogy offers so much in one little spot. It is no wonder that we have become one of the top places to take your friend or family member who is visiting San Diego, you just get so much all in one place! You can spend an entire day with us, enjoying a class, a smoothie, followed by a little shopping in our boutique and maybe some live music for sunset. Trilogy was created with the goal of inspiring healthy life choices and living in harmony with yourself and others. Community was so important to us from the start, we feel so strongly that authentic connection is at the center a happy existence, and we definitely exceeded our own expectations when it came to the strength and closeness of the Trilogy community. It really has evolved into something so special. It has not been easy, of course there have been many challenges along the way (we won’t mention 2020!!!) But luckily we have learned to adapt quickly, and not let anything stand in our way. Our most exciting news right now is that despite the challenges that 2020 brought along, we are expanding! To our rooftop area, we will soon be adding another 2000 square foot of space to be used as a relaxed lounge area and a whole new dome for yoga, trainings and workshops. We want to share the gift of health, healing and happiness with as many people as possible.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Over the years Trilogy has been a hub for community, and we would never have gotten to where we are without the undying support of those around us. Sticking with us through all of our growing pains, and supporting Trilogy’s journey, no matter what! Although my husband and I were the catalyst, it has been the hard work of our staff and the dedication of the community that are a huge key to our success. Trilogy is a continuously evolving business, always changing and growing, and many staff members over the years have played a huge role in Trilogy’s creation. Giving their ideas, views, opinions, energy and time, and unwavering commitment. Our team feels like family and we all support and enrich one another. Really – it takes a village. This couldn’t be more true and we are so grateful for everyone who has been a part of this project.
Instagram: @trilogysanctuary @totem_trilogy