Herrick House

Photo by Trevor Povah

Not long after his forty-fifth birthday, Terry Herrick had a disconcerting thought—he may be digging his own grave. His employer, which manufactured plastic pipe valves and fittings, was asking him to hire a steady stream of young, fresh-out-of-school eager beavers. To Herrick, who wasn’t getting any younger, it dawned on him that one slip up, “getting sideways,” as he put it, with upper management would have been the end of the line. It just did not seem like a fair trade-off, especially when he thought about it while inching along with a half-million other idling commuters in Los Angeles morning traffic. So, he did something about it.

Franchising seemed like an interesting idea, so he started calling around. The people at Jack in the Box seemed like nice folks and were willing to roll the dice on a newbie restaurateur, so it wasn’t long before Herrick was flipping burgers at his very own location in Agoura Hills. Over time, he got the hang of things and decided to acquire another restaurant, then another, then another. He just kept going and going. After 34 years in the business, Herrick owned seven Jack in the Boxes—or do you say that “Jacks in the Box?”—plus, along with a partner, another 58 restaurants.

As time passed, Terry brought his son into the family business, teaching him the ropes and helping him cut his teeth as a manager at the various locations. After the 14-year mentorship, father was bought out by son, and it was time to slow things down. In 2008, along with his wife, Annie, the couple headed north to plant roots in Shell Beach. They found a great little house that was just nine blocks from the water and the pair moved in permanently a year later. Things were great, so quiet and nearly traffic-free, but they did wish they had set up shop a little closer to the water than they had. One day they passed by a little falling down bungalow not quite a half block from the ocean cliffs when they turned to each other and said, “Let’s do it.”

That old house was razed and the lot was flattened in preparation for what they expected to be their forever home, an open, airy, welcoming Cape Cod-style house, just as Annie had been dreaming about for years. So, with the vision in mind, the couple called Mark Sullivan Fine Custom Homes, who then referred him to Arroyo Grande-based architect David Einung. With the team in place, they got to work in turning the vision into reality. The whole process, as the Herricks report, was remarkably “smooth and drama-free.”

Perhaps the most peculiar aspect of the home is the fact that it has two separate master suites: a “His” and a “Hers.” Because, as Herrick explains matter-of-factly, “Well, you just sleep better that way.” The ground floor suite belongs to Annie, and the upstairs version goes to Terry. Someday, if needed, an elevator stands at the ready. But, as of now, 80-year-old Terry, who loves to golf, and his 76-year-old wife show no signs of slowing down any time soon, especially since moving into their new place a little more than a year ago.

Views abound from just about every vantage point. The home was designed with one priority: Shell Beach sunsets. The decks, balconies, and windows are all placed in such a way to take in the nightly show as the big orange ball of fire dunks itself far off into the Pacific. The ambient light becomes softer and the palette overhead looks like something Van Gogh would have been proud to call his own. It took a whole lot of Jumbo Jacks to get to this point, but to Terry and Annie Herrick, taking in those sunsets make it all feel worthwhile.

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