The Blenders is a local treasure trove

Saturday, March 20th, 2021


A unique blend of clothing and cosmetics are offered

For over 40 years, The Blenders, located in downtown Paso Robles, has created a sense of community and passion for fashion, skin care, and cosmetics among locals and visitors. The Blenders remains true to its namesake by offering a ‘blend’ of unique items, special orders, and beauty consultations to the San Luis Obispo community. 

The Blenders was opened by Barbara Lewin in 1974, offering Merle Norman Cosmetics, clothing, accessories, coffee and tea, and miscellaneous products that drew people into the store to find the perfect holiday gift or enjoy a hot drink and peruse the products. Her daughter, Lori Alpert, would help with sales and daily business ventures at The Blenders while engaging in her career in wholesale apparel, and after the 2003 San Simeon earthquake, became partners with her mother until Lewin’s passing in 2019. 

“The most rewarding aspect of working at The Blenders are the customers. After 47 years, our customers are not just customers, they become your friends. Having a business in this community that is part of my heritage is a blessing. Carrying on my mother’s legacy is fulfilling and I sure have some big shoes to fill! But I hear her guiding me every day,” said Alpert. “[Lewin] was driven, passionate, engaged in the community, and a great salesperson. I learned a great deal from her…We each had our strengths that we brought to the business.”

“[Merle Norman Cosmetics] motto is ‘try before you buy’ which is the concept we uphold [at The Blenders]…We encourage anyone looking for new skin care or makeup to come in and try before replenishing…We don’t encourage buying lots of different products that will sit on the shelf, but to focus on skin care first as your makeup only looks as good as what’s underneath!” said Alpert, who notes that the consultation studio follows COVID sanitation protocol and also offers ear piercings.

“We would like the community to know how grateful we are for your support over the years and especially during this past year full of challenges! We have become a destination community and we have a lot to offer…The Blenders offers a different selection than the other wonderful stores and if we don’t offer what you are looking for, we definitely refer to the other businesses…Now more than ever, keep your shopping local and support the local businesses” Alpert said. For staying connected The Blenders about new arrivals or sales, follow their Facebook at ‘The Blenders’ and their Instagram at ‘theblenders.merlenorman’.

Whether you are looking for a new skin care product or a fun new clothing item, The Blenders offers a unique selection of your retail needs.

The Blenders is located at 538 12th St in Paso Robles. Open Mon – Sat from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sun. For more information, call (805) 238 – 5554 or visit

—Sadie Mae Mace


About the Author