The Story of FoF
By Tracey Lubben, Founder
Friends of Fallbrook began on a whim. I saw that other communities had successful Facebook groups that provided crucial information to its members during emergencies and also helped businesses reach thousands of locals for free. Social media wasn’t new, but the ways in which we could use it for massive community outreach were gaining popularity and growing rapidly.
During a heat wave and dry Santa Ana conditions in May 2014, multiple wildfires broke out simultaneously in San Diego County. Fires popped up seemingly out of nowhere along the coast, crossed over into Escondido, and made their way up the 15 freeway into Bonsall and Fallbrook. I had never seen anything like it.
I was working in Escondido that day and I remember what a useful tool one of their community groups was. We were receiving information, in real-time, about new fires and evacuations. The local news stations just couldn’t keep up.
When I left work that day and saw the fires burning along the 15 freeway, it was terrifying. This fire seemed to have encompassed all of north county in a giant circle and was returning back to its origin. When I got home, I flipped through every news station in an attempt to find information about evacuations in our area and it seemed that most of information being broadcasted on the local stations was hours old. I logged into Facebook to see what friends in the area were posting and that seemed to be more helpful, so I relied on Facebook to show me where the fires were and which directions they were heading. That’s when it occurred to me that as fire-prone as Fallbrook is, we should have a community Facebook group to share information.
Another incident that contributed to the launch of FoF was seeing one of my favorite markets and deli (Rocky Peak) basically disappear overnight. One day, the brick-colored building that I had parked in front of thousands of times over the years was there and the next it was being painted yellow and turned into a discount marketplace. I was crushed. My son and I loved to go to The Rocky Peak after school for “shakes” (that were actually healthy smoothies). I always picked up a couple of salads, a few sandwiches, and some Nirvana bars (if you know, you know) while we were there, too. The Rocky Peak’s sudden closure shook me. But Rocky Peak wasn’t the only business that disappeared in the night. It wasn’t uncommon and it spoke to the level of support our small businesses received from residents.
Friends of Fallbrook was created shortly after that.
Over the past 9 years, Friends of Fallbrook (FoF) has evolved into a positive community chat and business promotion group. In the early years, we had one rule: “Be kind.” It was important to me that we practiced thoughtful consideration when posting in the group because I wanted FoF to be a safe space for all. Businesses could promote every day instead of once per week like many other community groups. Members could ask questions, post events, and receive recommendations for just about anything…for free.
Our Group Team
The Friends of Fallbrook Admin team was hand-selected based on their knowledge of Fallbrook and our sister-cities (Bonsall, Rainbow, and De Luz). Most, if not all of our admins have lived in the community the majority of their lives. FoF admins are volunteers who dedicate their personal time to the betterment of Fallbrook, with an emphasis on the local economy and member/business support. If you have any questions about our site or the group, any of our wonderful admins can help you!
Peggy Hanne, Founding Admin
Hi FoFers! My name is Peggy and I’ve lived in Fallbrook for 38 years!
Lisa Wilson, Founding Admin
Hello Friends! My name is Lisa and I’ve lived in Fallbrook my entire life.
Michelle Funkhouser, Admin
I started my FOF admin journey in 2018. I’ve had the opportunity to be super involved in the community.
Kathryn Adams, Admin
I’ve been involved with Friends of Fallbrook for the past 6 years and enjoy being a part of our community
Holly Schaefer, Admin
Hi friends, my name is Holly and I am an admin and the VP of Events and Marketing for Friends of Fallbrook!
Tracey Lubben, Founder
Hi everyone, I’m Tracey! I grew up in Vista, moved to Fallbrook in 1998 and settled in Bonsall in 2002.
Why Choose Friends of Fallbrook?
FoF was created by residents who understand the unique challenges of "small town" life.
Support From Locals
Our group was founded by your neighbors and friends. Our operations are based in Fallbrook & Bonsall, California
We are here to serve 365 days per year!
We do our best to serve our community by providing important information in a timely manner.
Here's what our members have to say!
As a non-profit with a very small marketing budget, Friends of Fallbrook has been an invaluable resource for connecting the Fallbrook Land Conservancy with volunteers, publicizing events and accomplishments, and disseminating information. FOF has also been instrumental in helping people find our trails and alerting our staff to problems on our preserves so we can address them quickly. Often, these problems come with a silver lining, as locals learn about the challenges our organization encounters and caring community members step up to help out.
My name is Faro Trupiano and I own 2 restaurants in town. As a business owner in a small town, I was always looking for a way to communicate with my community and do it instantly without the lag time of print advertising, FoF (Friends of Fallbrook) was that vehicle. I cannot say enough about this Facebook page. I never thought there could be such an amazing tool for my small businesses. I am able to promote specials, announce upcoming events, report any operating issues, as well as receive referrals from potential customers looking for products and services like mine. To be able to reach so many many people, so quickly has been amazing. Shout out to the admin for monitoring this page, keeping it in line with what it was created for, to promote small local businesses. Thank you for your vision.
FoF is the first place I go to for anything related to our town. Love it and I love the community you have created. Thank you!
I am so proud to be a part of this community and thankful for the FoF group! So many recommendations and such a thoughtful community! It has helped us slowly adapt to this environment and given us the knowledge that we are all dealing with “like” issues. Most of all, I have to commend you all for not having a petty sounding board for locals to make others unwanted or shamed. Thank you for all you do, FoF
FoF has been an important part of helping my family get to know our new community and local resources.
Tracey Lubben, thanks for creating FoF! I’ve met some pretty amazing clients, some who have turned into best friends and family and quickly built my clientele through the years, thanks to you!
Hairstylist/Hair By Merissa Jean
FoF has kept us informed about all the local fire activity much quicker than the news channels! So grateful!
After just short of 36 years in Fallbrook, I am positive that the only advertising that has really worked for our business is Friends of Fallbrook. Overall I believe that Friends of Fallbrook has been a very useful tool for many businesses in our village. It has shown us that Fallbrook can be the friendly village and that businesses can cooperate and thereby help each other while helping themselves. Keep it positive FoF! That is what makes this page as powerful as it is.
I joined FoF in December of 2014. Here is where I learned there was a new yoga studio in Fallbrook. I became a member of Sage Yoga in January of 2015, a teacher in March and I was the owner by August! All thanks to FoF! I’d say that’s a huge life changer for me. FoF has been such a huge part of our yoga studio’s success. So much so that we’re getting ready to open our 2nd location! Thank you times 1 million!