Del Mar store owner ‘Maggie’ to be remembered through new business named for her

Del Mar store owner Maggie Young (center) passed away July 22. Courtesy photo

Although La Mariposa Boutique owner Margaret Ann Young recently passed away, her legacy will live on in Del Mar. When her shop closes in the fall, another store will open in her name.

“It will be a nice honor,” said her son, Jon C. Young II.

Known by everyone as “Maggie,” Young opened La Mariposa Boutique, a women’s clothing store, 35 years ago in downtown Del Mar.

Originally from Indianapolis, Young raised three children, worked in the restaurant industry and was a successful real estate agent for 15 years in Indiana. In 1978 she moved to Southern California, and two years later, purchased the small gift shop.

“I was across from city hall and fell in love with this Stratford Square building and decided to sell handcrafted clothing and accessories from local people and small companies,” she explained in an old Del Mar Times article.

La Mariposa Boutique moved upstairs at Stratford Square in 1981 and later relocated downstairs, where the shop has been ever since.

“I knew her a really long time,” said building owner KC Vafiadis. “She loved to be there every day. She just loved to be with people.”

Vafiadis fondly recalled often visiting with Young. One of her favorite memories was when she and her mother encouraged Young to enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around the Del Mar Village during the community’s Winter Wonderland event.

“Maggie mentioned she’d never been on the horse carriage after all the years it had gone past her store,” she said with a laugh. “My mom said, ‘I’ll watch the store. Get up there!’ So we went on the horse carriage together and it was wonderful.”

Young was diagnosed with lung cancer about 15 years ago. The cancer returned about eight years ago and again several months ago, her son explained.

Still, Young worked at her store up until a month before her passing.

“She loved going to work every day,” her son said. “She loved people.”

Although the store is set to close after racing season, Young’s presence will remain in the shopping square.

Americana Restaurant chef and owner Randy Gruber plans to open a malt shop named after Young, with the name likely to be “Maggie’s Malt Shop.” The idea for the store stems from Vafiadis’ niece, Emily McCubbin, who worked alongside Young as an intern at La Mariposa Boutique.

“When I told her children, they were shocked,” Vafiadis said. “I don’t think they understood what a fixture she was in this town.”

The shop will be Americana’s version of an ice cream parlor, Gruber said. The store will offer shakes, sundaes, smoothies and other treats, including baked goods from Americana.

“I think it will be a nice addition to Del Mar,” said Gruber, a 15-year Del Mar resident.

“Maggie has been a neighbor of mine since I started the restaurant,” added Gruber, whose restaurant has been two doors down from La Mariposa Boutique for 15 years. “I would see her every day and we would talk to each other. She was always a really nice lady. A lot of people in the community really liked her.”

Young died July 22. She was 79 years old.

She is survived by her sister, Fran Watt, in Oregon, brother Fred and his wife, Nancy Baier, in California, children Jon Young, Honni Young and Kammi Montanero, grandchildren, a great-grandchild, and many nieces and nephews and their children.

“She was the matriarch and anchor for our family,” her son said. “We always knew how other family members were doing by communication through her, and she cared deeply for each and every one of us. She will be missed more than words can express.”