Senator Portantino Honors Burbank’s Blast From the Past as the 25th Senate District Small Business of the Year

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Senator Anthony J. Portantino presenting to Duncan Barclay.

Blast from the Past, a film and comic book collectible toy store in Burbank, was honored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino as the Small Business of the Year for the 25th State Senate District. Store manager, Duncan Barclay, flew to Sacramento and accepted the award on behalf of the business.

In the heart of Magnolia Park is Blast from the Past. They are easily recognized by the two-story mural layered with film icons like Indiana Jones, Frankenstein, Darth Vader, and Marty McFly. The front of the building dawns another mural, this time with the heroes of Star Wars’ The Mandalorian. Established in 2004, owners Larry and Kathy Ross, have created a store of nostalgia, warehousing vintage toys and other memorabilia that excites customers of all ages. 

Photo of Blast from the Past. Instagram: @blastftp

“While there are other comic book stores, toy stores and horror stores in the area, we are the only small business that covers horror, sci-fi, super heroes, pop culture, Disney and more, all under one roof,” said Kathy Ross. “We also have friendly and knowledgeable staff members who are more than happy to share their wealth of knowledge and love of a variety of pop culture classics with our customers.  We love to talk about the current movies and tv shows as well.”

Blast from the Past owners, Kathy and Larry Ross.

Every year the California State Legislature and California Small Business Association celebrates the small businesses of the area. Senator Anthony J. Portantino recognized Blast from the Past this year for their contribution to the community and to the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, where Kathy has been President for the last couple of years. “It is well-deserved and I am proud to have it in my district,” said Senator Portantino who is a regular customer of the store and enjoys pop culture and memorabilia, as well as their regular comedy nights. “The Rosses have created a social space that compliments the commercial enterprise and Burbank benefits from that successful effort.  For me, it’s a pleasure to enjoy, appreciate and honor them for their community spirit and business spirit,” he added.

The Rosses were very shocked when they got the call from Senator Portantino, especially after learning how many cities were in the 25th District. Their commitment to the community is what made them stand out among the rest. As President of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, Kathy Ross works to build the Magnolia Park area in order to help promote the stores around her and unite the area together as a team. “When customers do have questions about Magnolia Park, they will probably get more information than they wanted,” said Ross. “I always know what is going on behind the scenes and can help make decisions that will benefit all of the small businesses in Magnolia Park.”

Blast from the Past. Instagram: @blastftp

Not only is Blast from the Past a leader in Magnolia Park, but they also stay community-minded by donating gift baskets to local schools and offer their parking lot for schools and organizations during street events. “Due to the size of our store, we have also been able to host many event that are loved by the community, one of which is our free stand-up comedy show on the second Friday of each month,” added Ross.

Duncan Barclay attended the ceremony on behalf of the Rosses who were on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland and Scotland.  Barclay has been with Blast from the Past for over 14 years and helped the Rosses grow the store to what it is today. “All of us at Blast From the Past wish to express our honor for being chosen for this award and our sincerest thanks to senator Portantino,” said Larry and Kathy Ross.  “We would also like to thank all our loyal customers for your continued support and patronage through these difficult times.”