A Message From Tracey

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 was 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 its 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 what was being broadcasted was hours old and sometimes completely inaccurate. I logged into Facebook to see what friend’s 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 an indoor market place. 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 grabbed a couple of salads, a few sandwiches, and some Nirvana bars (if you know, you know) while we were there, too. It’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.
 
I honestly had no idea what I was doing. In the early days, it was me posting where I ate, shopped, and encouraging members to join in the conversation. There were a few times that I considered giving up because it just wasn’t catching on like I had hoped and people seemed reluctant to participate or promote their business. But, refused to become discouraged and I kept posting and sharing. I would post events for the weekend every Thursday evening and that seemed to give me a foothold as a viable community resource. I began reaching out to the small businesses in the area and encouraging them to offer an exclusive discount or special to our members. Slowly but surely, the group grew, evolved, and ultimately thrived. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, I reached out to our many non-profits, and I attended community meetings, all in an effort to stay on top of what was taking place in Fallbrook and our sister cities like Bonsall, Rainbow, and De Luz. I loved sharing small, relatively unknown businesses with our members. As FoF grew, I took on new admins to help the group stay on track. We didn’t have many rules in the early years of FoF, but the one most important rule was to “be nice!” We also encouraged members to speak directly to businesses before complaining in our forum. It felt to me like Yelp created a society of terrorists that ruined reputations over cold French fries and unrealistic expectations. My goal was to open the lines of communication again, between consumers and businesses, to offer a small business the chance to make things right and to simply encourage kindness and grace between neighbors/members.
 
It was a lofty dream and an uphill battle, to say the least and our Mission Statement was constantly challenged.
 
With all of that said, the positives by far outweighed the negatives. People decided to stick around and try a new (to them) restaurant or a small shop instead of venturing out to Temecula or Oceanside. Dollars began pouring back into the community and “FoFing” became a trend.
 
Looking back on that time, it was truly magical. To have a dream, to execute it, to not back down and to succeed beyond anything you could imagine is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.
 
To do something good.
 
To dedicate 8 (almost 9) years of your life to making a difference.
 
I’m so proud of Friends of Fallbrook!

Our Mission

Our Team

Meet the admins that currently serve the FoF Community!

Peggy Hanne

I have lived in Fallbrook for over 38 years. I feel blessed to have raised my children in this friendly village while owning and operating a printing company for 26 years, retiring in 2017. I now spend my time as a travel advisor, traveling with my handsome husband as much as I can. I love the friendships I’ve made here in town, knowing that where ever we go, we can find a familiar face to share some laughs with and make more memories. I think I started as an admin shortly after FoF started in 2014. I enjoy being a part of such a valuable community asset and am proud of how all the fellow admins consult with one another to help make the page as best as we can make it. Always a work in progress!

Lisa Wilson

Michelle Funkhouser

I moved to Fallbrook in elementary school, moved away after high school and returned after having children. There is nothing like growing up in a small town, especially a town like Fallbrook. There are so many special people and places that make this town so great! I started my FOF admin journey in 2018. It’s been a fun and challenging experience. I’ve had the opportunity to be super involved in the community, behind the curtain. My youngest daughter, Indie, was born with Down Syndrome in 2020. I had the most incredible support system in this town. It felt like the whole community rallied around our family through her open heart surgery. She has many honorary grandparents, aunties, and fairy godmothers in the community. We are forever grateful for the people who continue to cheer her on daily! There is nothing like walking through Main Streets Saturday Market. I’ve discovered so many awesome businesses that way! Taking my kids into the same sandwich shop I loved as a kid, Dominick’s, never gets old. Gathering ingredients there to make a family favorite, meatball pizza is a tradition in our house! Grabbing a froyo from the ladies at Yogurt Palace reminds me of my sweet grandma who loved their shop so much. You really get the small town experience here!

Kathryn Adams

I was born in Fallbrook, and grew up in Bonsall, attending both Bonsall Elementary School and Sullivan Middle School. I love this area and my fondest memories are riding my horses with friends through the hills of Fallbrook and Bonsall. I worked at Fallbrook’s favorite deli, Dominick’s, while in high school and college, and made lifetime friends with my coworkers and many of the customers. After graduating from California Baptist University with a degree in Public Relations, I worked for Murphy & Murphy, Southern California Realty doing marketing in downtown Fallbrook. While working with the Murphy’s, I was able to help execute their yearly fundraiser for the Fallbrook Food Pantry, and that was one of my favorite projects. Most recently, I’ve been working in the mortgage industry and am currently trying to break into the utilities industry. I’ve been involved with Friends of Fallbrook for the past 6 + years and enjoy being a part of our community both on and offline.