OCEANSIDE - Jan Des Rosiers was one of the first people to start a yellow-ribbon
campaign to remind people to keep Camp Pendleton Marines serving in Iraq in their thoughts.
"She was all over town giving out yellow ribbons and tying them on trees," said David L. Nydegger, director
of the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.
Having a big heart is one of the reasons Des Rosiers, one of the owners of The Flying Bridge restaurant, was
recognized by the chamber as Oceanside Business Person of the Year.
Another reason is that she is very active in the chamber and the community.
"She's a can-do kind of lady. If you ask her to do something, it gets done and you get more than you asked
for," Nydegger said. "She's a champion for Oceanside.
"Not only does she run the restaurant, she epitomizes the meaning of 'service above self' through her membership
on several chamber committees, as well as city of Oceanside workshops and committees."
The award in June was her "Sally Field moment," Des Rosiers said, referring to the actress's famous Academy
Awards acceptance speech: "They like me!"
To be recognized by your peers for doing what you love is overwhelming, she said.
She and her husband, Ron, have lived in Oceanside for 20 years. They went into the restaurant business four
years ago after losing their longtime jobs in medical records management.
"I was devastated," Des Rosiers said.
But almost immediately, friends Dan and Patti Cannon asked the couple to be partners in the Flying Bridge.
"It was a classic example of God closing one door and opening another. Sometimes you don't see it, but you
feel the breeze," Des Rosiers said. "We decided to use the restaurant as a vehicle to get involved in the community and to
use that as a marketing strategy."
The plan worked. The restaurant has doubled its business each year, four years in a row, she said. Although
running a restaurant can sometimes take 12 to 14 hours a day, Des Rosiers said she is happy and thrilled to serve the community
through the restaurant.
She is active on the chamber's education, business expo and Christmas fair committees. She helped organize
a fund-raiser for high school scholarships, and she hosts fund-raisers at the restaurant.
Des Rosiers said the reason she promoted the yellow-ribbon campaign was to unite the community during a divisive
It was at a time when protests against the war were being shown on television, and she feared the troops would
see them and believe their country didn't support them. The yellow ribbons said it all.
"It didn't matter if people were for or against the war," she said. "They wanted those Marines to come home
Patty McCormac is a freelance writer from Vista. Do you have a story idea for Oceanside? Contact Linda
McIntosh at (760) 476-8214 or