Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Backcountry living is an old-fashioned lifestyle. We are neighborly, pay a little extra for the convenience of buying something locally, and in many ways, still live off the land. No matter what lifestyle you choose, there are pros and cons. One of the inconveniences of rural life is that it can be hard to find services. Thanks to the help of many of my backcountry neighbors, I have compiled these recommendations into a resource guide for you.
It is my standard to be completely transparent, never recommending something that I have not tried myself. That being said, my dad is very handy, and therefore I have not had personal experience with all the companies in this resource guide. If I have used them, I’ve stated so. Being a born-and-raised Julianite, I am familiar with almost everyone’s reputations. I have not included anyone whom I know has a bad reputation.This doesn't mean that someone who is not listed necessarily has a bad reputation. It is just the only way I can remain transparent without publicly disrespecting someone and their business. You are always welcome to contact me if you are concerned. Additionally, I have been very open about the pros and cons locals have reported about these companies in order to remain transparent. Julian handyman and contractors have a reputation for not always being formally trained, bonded, and doing things to current codes. I highly encourage you to ask around and read online reviews about a company before you hire them.
Disclaimer: It is the responsibility of the homeowner or tenant to make sure an individual or company has the proper credentials and insurance before you hire them to do a task for you.
Riccio's Accounting Service - Julian local Kelly Riccio is an IRS-enrolled agent specializing in tax preparation and e-file services (personal and business), bookkeeping, payroll, sales tax, and workers comp. She is also a QuickBooks ProAdvisor. I love working with Mrs. Riccio!
Wetduck Design - Owner Leslie is an expert in promotional products. She helps everyone from small local organizations to Fortune 500 companies find the most effective marketing solution for their needs. She offers services including graphic design, printing, signs and banners, custom T-shirts, mugs, bags, hats, and so much more. Leslie designed my logo, and I use her all the time!
Jennifer Gutierrez Photography - Jenny is one of my go-to photographers for Mountain Made. She is sweet, professional, and very efficient during photoshoots. Some of her photography specializations include maternity, engagements, family, and more!
Creative Flow Media - My dear friends Rami and Shantel are the community’s go-to for all digital marketing needs. They have a large portfolio of successful, locally-focused video campaigns. They create meaningful branded digital content that brings the art of storytelling into every outreach channel.
Mobile Notary, Rowlynda Moretti - https://www.carrisitoranch.org/notary-pubilc
FHL Realty, Inc. - Offers notary and registration and title services to Julian locals.
Community Valley Bank - Julian’s only local bank. The ladies are so nice every time I go in. I don’t even know my account number because they have brought up my information before I get to the counter. I will note that the company's banking app is a bit user-unfriendly but workable.
Mandie Bullock, estate-planning attorney - Mandie can help you with wills, trusts, and kids’ protection planning. Mandiebullockesq.com
Real Estate: Buying, Selling, and Renting
FHL Realty, Inc. - Offers notary and registration and title services to Julian locals.
Orchard Reality - Allison at Orchard Reality will help you buy or sell your home.
Red Hawk Realty - This local real estate brokerage specializes in dealing with land, ranches, homes and commercial properties in the immediate area is our specialty. We've helped countless individuals happily integrate into this town, and will continue to do so.
Julian Chiropractor - Mr. Denny will fix you up. He got rid of my headache by adjusting my neck. I didn’t even know that was possible.
Julian Medical Clinic - The only doctor office in town is Julian Medical Clinic. I am not a patient so I can not speak on what level of medical care they provide. I will note that in October 2020 the FBI began investigating their parent company Borrego Community Health Foundation (BCHF) for fraud.
Urgent Care, Arch Health Medical Group - The closest urgent care is Arch Health Medical Group in Ramona.
Alpine Urgent Care - They offer a variety of services including Physicals, Blood Work, In-House X-rays, Injury Evaluation, Sutures, and more.
Hospitals, Palomar Health District - Julian is located in the Palomar Health District. They have two hospital locations, Palomar Medical Center Poway aka “Pomerado hospital,” and Palomar Medical Center Escondido. This big difference between the two is Palomar Medical Center Escondido has a trauma unit and the Poway location does not.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Rady Children's Hospital are also about the same distance as it takes to drive to Pomerado or Palomar Hospital.
Wynola Flats - Wynola Flats is known for its locally sourced, farm-fresh organic food selection. It’s definitely a favorite among locals.
Jack’s Gregory and Deli - At Jack’s, the shelves are always stocked with the best products for both their local and visiting customers. With a great selection of USDA choice grass-fed meats, the freshest produce, and premium organic and gluten-free groceries, you’re sure to find something for your next meal.
Julian Cider Mill - Known for its local section of cider and honey. The Julian Cider Mill also has soups and stews, snacks, and canned goods.
Don's Market - Don’s is the largest grocery store on the hill. They strive to serve locals by offering quality meats, fresh produce, local products, and reasonable prices.
Julian Market and Deli - located in the heart of Julian, the corner market is a convenient place to do some shopping.
Flyin' F Ranch - Sells locally raise beef directly to consumers.
Star B Ranch - Over the last 15 years, this family-run business has been working hard to produce the highest quality USDA all-natural buffalo meat. The ranch is home to the state's largest commercial herd. Buffalo meat has a high nutritional value—low in fat, cholesterol, and caloric content.
Carrisito Ranch Cattlemen’s Butcher Box - Carrisito Ranch is as local as it gets. Their beef is all-natural, grass-fed, and USDA choice meat.
Diamond B Ranch - Has ranch fresh eggs, beef, and turkey.
Hello Fresh - Ships to our area
Food Pantries and Charities
Mountain Manna - The Julian Methodist Church sponsors Mountain Manna. This is a local food pantry providing monthly distributions to low-income families.
Feeding San Diego - No information
Crow and Lilac - This cute boutique might be tucked away off Main Street, but boy, does it have a lot to offer. Their natural skincare line is known for its quality. Best of all, they have a bulk refill station where locals can buy soap and other household items for a great price.
Julian Mountain Spa - Known for relaxing massages, acupuncture treatment, holistic skincare, sound and light therapies, and energy work, JMS is popular among locals.
Julian CrossFit - This supportive group of locals is determined to get and stay fit together.
Julian Fitness Center - Julian Fitness Center, a sister company to Alpine Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, Inc., is a local favorite place to work out and receive physical therapy when needed.
Wellness & Life Coach, Kayla Szampruch - Call Kayla at (619) 219-4245 or visit her website www.pasturewellness.org
Blanca's Salon - In addition to haircuts and coloring, Blanca also does facial waxing.
Backcountry Barber and Beauty - Find them on Main Street next to Homes and Happenings.
Tree-Cutting and Yard Work
Pope Tree Service of San Diego - With over 25 years of experience and backed by the proper licenses and insurance, you know you’re getting the right person for the job.
The Julian Tree Company - They are licensed and bonded local tree experts. Call Eric at (760) 271-9585.
Ace Ramos, weed whacking - (760) 997-3608.
RCLF (Rock Work, Concrete, Landscaping, Firewood) Company - Guillermo (Bill) Lopez is a good family friend. His stonework is stunning. He did a ton of work on my neighbor’s yard, and it completely transformed the property. He always goes out of his way to help community members. 760-504-8842
Dr. Fix-It - Brian Denny is a popular go-to local handyman for plumbing, electrical, drywall, concrete, brush, and firewood.
Danny Blosedale - His phone number is (619) 906-1749.
Larry Noble Construction, Inc. - Larry is a general contractor who will do new construction, room additions, decks, and remodels. (760) 765-2363
Tamayo Construction - Rodrigo Tamayo is a retried contractor always looking to do handyman work. He can do renovations, additions, doors, windows, floors, decking, and cabinets. CTLic #615014 Give him a call at (203) 258-0476
Julian Welding Co. - Welding and Fabrication by Jerry Ramos (760) 440-4060
Patrick Engineering & Surveying - Land surveyor, 2110 Main St., (760) 765-1343.
Richard Stanley Backhoe, Inc. - (760) 765-1521
Bruce Strachota Heavy Equipment - (760) 765-0152
Greg Angel Grading - Lic #835353 Call him at, (760) 415-4764
Home Inspector, Jeff Duncan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Well - (951) 763-2210
Ransom Pump and Well - (760) 789-5955
Septic, Todd Waples - (760) 789-5791
Construction, Bill Freeman - (760) 788-6846
Sludgebusters - (760) 789-7054
Wynn Engineering - (760) 749-8722
Coffey Engineering - (858) 831-0111
Stanley Backhoe - Your go-to for septic systems, tranching, dump trucks, and road work. They also have gravel. You can call them at (760)-765-1521.
Julian Material & Trucking- Long time Julian local Matt Figel has been serving the area for over 30 years. He does all kinds of bulldozer work. About a year ago we had him deliver some gravel to us. (619) 540-9723
Julian Interiors, Inc - Julian Interiors, Inc. offers a wide array of flooring and window options to residential and commercial clients throughout the San Diego Backcountry.
Marsh Construction and Electrical - Contact Nate at (760) 518-0296
Toby Xtreme Labor - Toby is up for any odd job. “I recommend Toby Miller for any work you need done. He has done an awesome job for us! He has fixed our roof, rehabbed the deck, he did erosion control, fixed all the stucco & painted our house. He's fair, hard-working, & reliable. It hard to find someone that comes up here, so I definitely recommend including him.” - Heather, San Diego Backcountry resident Give him a call at (760) 990-3628
O'Connor & Family Construction, Kevin O'Connor -
Gus Garcia’s Home and Business Electrical Service - Gus is licensed to put in new meters, new panels, lighting, and water well electrical. He can be reached at (760) 271-0166.
Quick Response A/C will respond even to the backcountry. Call them at (619) 301-3694.
Hague Quality Water - Call Bert Huff to fix your water problems. (760) 789-5010
Palomar Pest, Marty Melton - (951) 775-7819
Spartan Termite - (760) 295-9949
Sears Appliance Repair - All I know is they have serviced the San Diego backcountry.
M.H. Washer & Dryer Repair - Primarily service and repair of washing machines, dryers, and laundry centers. Also can work on ovens, dishwashers, cooktops, ranges, microwaves, and refrigerators. Servicing San Diego, east county, and surrounding areas. (619) 456-7174
Blanton Appliance Repair - (760) 315-7141
House Call Appliance Repair in Ramona - (760) 788-5476
B & B Appliance in Escondido - All I know is they have serviced the San Diego backcountry.
Jim Hayworth - (760) 789-5119
Carrisito Ranch - They sell firewood by the cord, half cord, quarter cord, and smaller quantities.
Julian Oak Firewood - Guillermo (Bill) Lopez is a good family friend. He always goes out of his way to help. (760) 504-8842
Robert Kendall - Locally known for being the friendliest, and an honorable person.
The Warm Hearth has Bear Mountain wood-burning pellets for sale!
Julian FireWood Company, LLC - call Brad Wohl at (760) 703-7003
Pot Belly (in Ramona) - They do all things to do with stoves and fireplaces.
Chimney Sweep, Donna Lord - When soot happens call Donna, Julian’s well-loved go-to chimney sweep. She is a charter! She not only goes out of her way to make sure the job is done right, she also shares her knowledge with you. Call her at (760) 484-3294.
Tito and Adolfo - Are a father-son duo. They specialize in tree trimming, chipping, rock work, and firewood delivery. Call them at (760) 315-6594.
San Diego Window Masters - Call Mike Macino for window cleaning. (619) 598-8980.
Dayna Ferrara -
Rayna Cruze -
Act 1 Carpet & Tile Cleaning - (760) 995-0919
Flow Services - Window, roof, pressure washing, and gutter cleaning. They also put up holiday decorations. (503) 839-7821
Carla Lynn Jacob - She is a local housekeeper. Call or text her (760) 270-6081.
House Sitting and Pet Sitting, Debra Ryan - Call or text her at (314) 914-5897.
California FAIR Plan (government-provided) - Because we live in a high-risk area for wildfires, California FAIR Plan is increasingly becoming the only option for many residents.
Farmers - I do know some residents with Farmers Insurance. I am not sure if they are writing new policies.
USAA - Will only write new policies for those on active duty military.
Allstate - I know multiple residents who have been dropped by Allstate.
State Farm - I do know a few residents with State Farm. I have been told they are no longer writing policies in the area.
Ramona Disposal - The only trash service provider in the area. (760) 789-0516 Ramonadisposal.com
Kamps Propane - Need propane? Kamps can help you. Call them at (760) 789-7079. https://www.kampspropane.com
Southern Star Propane - Call (760) 407-3037
Allstate Propane -
Babysitting and Daycare
Pete’s Auto Repair - Pete keeps Julian locals on the road. Give him a call at (760) 996-4320.
JB's Auto Parts & Tire Service - JB keeps a good inventory of auto parts and accessories. If they don’t have what you need, they can special order items for you. Additionally, they offer all tire services and have U-haul available.
RV Repair - N/A
S & R Towing, Inc. (760) 547-1719
RBS Towing (760) 789-0086
Most households are transitioning to streaming services, so I will keep this short. I know that both DirecTV and Dish service the area.
Here’s the deal: internet and cell service coverage varies on a case-by-case basis, depending on topography, trees, and exposure, which varies from property to parcel. One neighbor may get bulletproof service while another has marginal service. It’s pretty random in these hills. I know it’s frustrating and an inconvenience. To enjoy the benefits of rural life, residents have to put up with a few cons, and this is one of the inconveniences. Here is what I have gathered on the providers and coverage areas. Worst-case scenario, the Julian Branch Library’s WiFi can be reached in the parking lot and is always on.
Zito Media (bought USA Communications) - Without a doubt, Zito Media has a reputation for having awful customer service. That being said, customers said they are the “fastest and cheapest internet.” It works great when it’s working. Service seems to go down periodically for a few hours to days. Locals believe that these outages are connected to power outages in surrounding neighborhoods. There seems to be a reboot fix, and some customers use a phone hotspot for a backup. It reportedly works in the neighborhoods of Kentwood 1 and 2 as well as Pine Hills.
AT&T - AT&T offers DSL and U-verse. My family uses their “high-speed” DSL internet. It works well for web surfing and streaming when the weather is good. When it is raining or snowing, it goes in and out. I have heard from multiple residents that the upgrade to U-verse is not worth it. As for customer service, it needs improvement. The customer support center often over-promises, and any fixes done over the phone don’t change much. Residents in Kentwood 1 and town use them. One local stated that AT&T won’t service Wynola.
San Diego Broadband - Backcountry customers who have San Diego Broadband rave about them. Customers state that the service is reliable and fast. Being that it is a broadband network, it is not available in all areas. It is available in Cuyamaca, parts of Harrison Park, and they are trying to expand into town.
CamTech BroadBand - The only information I have on this provider is that there are customers in Wynola.
HughesNet/dishNET - I am unsure where it is available, other than a few residents have reposted that this service is unreliable.
WildBlue (Exede) - One customer reported that it worked well for them in Kentwood.
Landline and Cell Service
Just like with internet service, cell service varies on a case-by-case basis depending on topography, trees, and exposure, which varies from property to parcel. The Julian Historical District has the best coverage in the area. I highly recommend having a corded (not wireless) landline in addition to a cell phone. I know this is an old-fashioned thing and an additional cost, but hear me out. For areas with bad cell service, when the power goes out, and during natural disasters, a corded landline can be depended on. Yes, living in the country, you will experience all of these. Here’s what I found about phone companies:
Verizon - Verizon is one of the top recommended providers. Many residents have a cell phone plan with unlimited data. Service is pretty reliable from Julian to Ramona along Highway 78. Residents in Kentwood 1 & 2, the Julian Historical District, and Harrison Park report good coverage. I will add that our house went from no service to service, then suddenly had no service, and now we get service again. I have no idea why.
AT&T - AT&T was also highly recommended. I have heard that for the most part, it works around Julian, but there are a couple of dead zones on Highway 78 between Julian and Ramona. Good reception was reported in Cuyamaca, Shelter Valley (some dead areas), and the Julian Historic District.
T-Mobile - Wynola reportedly has good reception for T-Mobile cell service.
Cricket - No information at this time.
Viasat - No information at this time.
Serivces for Aninamls
Julian Animal Hospital - (760) 765-0500
VCA Adobe Animal Hospital - This Ramona based vet is frequently used by Julian pet owners. (760) 789-7090
Kahoots Feed and Pet Store - Julian no longer has a pet store. The good news is Kahoots Feed and Pet Store is owned by a local family so you can still support a locally owned family business at their Ramona or Alpine locations.
High On Kennels - High On Kennels specializes in bird dog training, obedience training, behavioral problem solutions, and rattlesnake aversion training. (760) 782-0728 https://www.highonkennels.com/
Pet Sitting, Debra Ryan - Call or text her at (314) 914-5897.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife - They can assist you with any wildlife-related issues.
Julian Mini Storage - Need storage space? Julian Mini Storage is there to help you. Find them on Newman Way.
Community volunteer, Ireland Hacking - We offer anything from yard work to moving help, to cleaning to helping with animals, tutoring, organizing, etc., and all for free! (619) 988-0508.
Alterations, Kathy's Dress Shop - Kathy is everyone’s go-to for alterations. She is a lifesaver! While you're there, check out the store selection.
Mr. Tuner - Piano Service, call 888-MRTUNER