Full O' Life from all over the San Fernando Valley, even as far away as
Thousand Oaks, recalled 80-year-old Kathryn Matheson, the family
matriarch who oversees the daily operation of the business since Barney's
death 10 years ago.
The market and restaurant, 2515 W. Magnolia Blvd. near Buena Vista
Street, looks the same today as it did when it opened, Matheson said.
"The only thing that has changed was that we [stocked] more products
through the years," Matheson said.
Today, Matheson works side by side with daughters Patti Comstock, 43,
and Cindy Moon, 41. But there's no doubt who's in charge.
"Mom's the overall boss," Patti emphasized.
Cindy manages the restaurant and runs the office. Patti works in the
market, and her husband, Clint, a naturopathic doctor, runs the vitamin
department and offers nutritional counseling.
Another family member, brother James, whose dental practice is down
the street from the market, worked there when he was a teenager.
"He was only 16, and he ran the whole store when we went to Europe,"
Matheson said. "Our customers still remember him."
One of the reasons customers return to Full O' Life year after year is
the restaurant's food. The homemade soups, entrees and desserts have
remained consistently good.
Matheson credits this to her head chef, Jeanne Dabbadie, who has been
with her for 30 years.
"She does all the cooking and baking, starting at 5 in the morning,"
Rebecca Kagan, who works nearby, has been shopping at the market and
eating at the restaurant for 10 years.
"Sometimes if I don't know what I want, I get the grilled cheese with
tomato," she said, adding that everything on the menu is delicious,
especially the pea soup.
Customers have requested that Dabbadie write a cookbook, but Dabbadie,
who learned to cook in her native France, replied that would not be
"I never measure anything," Dabbadie said.
Although no future generations of the family plan to take over the
business, Matheson said that Moon's 19-year-old son Chris would be a
"I've told Chris any time he's interested, I'll give him the whole
store," she said.
For more information, call the restaurant at 845-7411 or the market at