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Meet this homegrown Citrus Heights entrepreneur

Christina DeCelle, center, is an owner of Legado and multiple other businesses. // Image courtesy, C. DeCelle

By Nadezhda Chayka Otterstad–
Born and raised in Citrus Heights, 41-year-old Christina DeCelle has plenty of experience as an entrepreneur, owning or co-owning more than a few businesses in the region.

Some of her endeavors include being co-owner of Ben’s Barketplace, owning three locations of Beach Hut Deli, and running the Chronic Tacos Truck in Citrus Heights along with its brick and mortar location in Auburn. She’s also one of four women who own Legado, a Sacramento whiskey brand.

Additionally, DeCelle has served on the Planning Commission and stays active in the Kiwanis Club, the Sunrise MarketPlace board and other local groups. She also has a five-year-old daughter.

“I love the city; I’ve been here my entire life, so I wanted to help see it grow,” Decelle told The Sentinel in an interview last week, referring to why she previously joined the Planning Commission, although she left due to family matters.

DeCelle attended Arlington Heights Elementary, Sylvan Middle School, and Mesa Verde High School.

“Going to Mesa Verde, it was a small school it was a tight knit community,” she said. “I like that it’s a small community.“

She said her biggest entrepreneurial inspiration was her mother: “I’ve watched her. She’s a hardworking lady and so I’ve just learned a lot of my work ethic from her. I would honestly say I am where I am because of her.”

Other family members were also entrepreneurs, which helped her get involved. DeCelle first entered the entrepreneurial world after her uncle approached her about an opportunity with Beach Hut Deli.

“Beach Hut was just kind of random. We were actually looking at buying a bar, but that deal didn’t go through,” she recalled. “I signed for Beach Hut several years later.”

She soon expanded that to seven locations, but has since sold four of them.

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As advice for those starting out in the entrepreneurial realm, she says the first step is to take the leap: “Have faith in yourself to actually take that leap. Give it your all.”

As a window into the world of being a business owner, she also said she’s on call 24/7: “If my phone rings at 2 a.m. in the morning, I’m jumping on it. If I’m at dinner with my family and my store needs me, I unfortunately have to leave my dinner.”

“Business comes first over anything. You gotta make sure you take care of it. It’s your ‘bebeh’ (baby).”

With a tight schedule, DeCelle says her secret to staying on top of a wide range of responsibilities is a hand-written task list. She called it an “old school” system compared to modern tech tools available, but said she finds fulfillment crossing off each item on her list as she accomplishes them.

Her words to live by are summed up as work hard, play hard: “I enjoy my life, but I also work my butt off. So that’s kind of my motto that I live by.”

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