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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Le Travel Store in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego

Travel the world to meet your customers.

San Diego:  Meet Joan and Bill Keller, founders of Le Travel Store.  They are extraordinary people who love this world and all the people in it. Everybody is a friend and it seems that one of their missions in life is to meet every one of us.

These people have traveled so much, one asks, "Where haven't you been?"

"The Antarctica." But, they got close -- Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego - Patagonia down on the tip of Argentina, the most southern city on earth and on a clear day ... of course, Joan and Bill Keller have the Antarctica on their list, but compared to most people, their list is rather short.

Become an independent traveler, but do it with panache. Take some of your customers, your investors, CPA and banker, and of course, your family with you. You can do what WalMart is doing, source the world. Look at every possible place on earth where you can find products and services to make your business work just that much better.

As you visit Le Travel Store and see how Joan and Bill have just added value to everything they have touched, you get a clear insight about life and business.

Just add more value to existing value.

Though their retail store is quite local, the entire staff is always global. They think travel, and whenever they can, they're traveling. Yet, this team is well-grounded in their community. They lead the "return to authenticity" movement that champions Main Street. It was the National Trust for Historic Preservation that led us to them and advised us with this show. Bill and Joan have been very active within many restoration groups.

For our KVCR-TV viewers...

If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, watch each week on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM.   Invite your friends. This posting will remain on this page throughout the broadcasts of the show. There is also a link on our homepage, "KVCR-TV viewers" that will always go to the current  episode. That link will remain on the homepage, on the last line in the left column.

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Do What You Love

3:17 | Play Now

Joan and Bill Keller started trekking some of the world's most remote places in the early 70s. They are explorers and adventurers who have tales to tell about places most people have never heard of before they become customers of Joan and Bill's shop, Le Travel Store. 

Start Small

1:11 | Play Now

Joan Keller says that she and her husband did what most of us do; they started their business with what they could scrape together.

Hire People Who Sparkle

1:23 | Play Now

Owner Joan Keller says, "...we love diversity... age diversity (and) ...ethnic diversity."  The key ingredient is that everyone loves to travel and they share that enthusiasm with customers.  More...

Turn Insight Into A Product

2:25 | Play Now

Bill Keller says that the insight his customers and employees share contributes to Le Travel Store's unique knowledge base.

Reinvent Yourself

1:37 | Play Now

Bill and Joan talk about reinventing Le Travel Store in relationship to their location because they thought about their lease cycle as a type of alarm clock.

Buy a Building

1:55 | Play Now

After 15 years of paying rent to landlords, Bill and Joan Keller figured they should buy their own building.  Le Travel Store is an important part of the Historic Business District in downtown San Diego.

Invest in Your Neighborhood

1:34 | Play Now

Learn how Joan and Bill Keller grew their business by helping an entire shopping district  thrive.

Stick with Core Products

2:43 | Play Now

Bill Keller said the travel pack, which looks like a large backpack, has been critical to the success of Le Travel Store since they started selling it in 1977.

Stick with Core Customers

2:05 | Play Now

Host Hattie Bryant says that for Joan and Bill, some things have never changed and some things have never stayed the same. What hasn't changed is their focus on the independent international traveler.

Respect Your Partner's Talent

1:14 | Play Now

Bill Keller and his wife Joan are a two-person admiration society.

Prepare for Unknown Unknowns

3:36 | Play Now

Joan says they budget for the "unknown unknowns."