Romantics — and Stevie Nicks — say that you are lucky to know love two, maybe three, times in a lifetime. Anyone lucky enough to have met Cisco Home founder Cisco Pinedo probably fell in love. I’m guessing that he was No. 1 or No. 2 in many folks’ heart. Pinedo’s unexpected passing on February 11 left his closest friends “stunned,” “hollow,” “lost” and “paralyzed” — by my latest count of adjectives.

Cisco Pinedo was not only the coolest cat in the room but one of the most generous, kindhearted and selfless people who have walked the planet. The expression “He never said a bad word about anyone” could have been first said about him, I’m confident. 

Cisco Pinedo in the kitchen at Oakbones.

Yes, there’s the story of Cisco Pinedo’s rise from humble beginnings, moving from Mexico to South Los Angeles when he was a child. Then there’s the story of his nomadic journey with a motley crew of designers from Los Angeles to New York for a  furniture show in the early 1990s. There, a style writer from The New York Times picked up on his innate design talent (or his wicked charm) and wrote about a couch that he’d designed. That article started a flow of orders — and demand — for this guapo from Mexico. 

The better story is how, as a teen, Cisco and a buddy started going to church so they could meet girls. The story got better when he met Alba — the best-looking gal in the pews, he’d boast. They leveraged everything to launch his business and, as a newly married couple, embarked on their life’s journey. Three amazing daughters entered along the way. However, the addition of Pinedo’s first grandchild Mara brought the last love of his life. He was obsessed and texted countless videos of his little lovebug. Mara has an infectious laugh in all the videos, and it’s impossible to ignore that she carries Cisco’s charisma and zest for life. One day, undoubtedly, she will be Cisco Home.

Cisco with his daughter Maurishka at Fayette County Performing Arts fundraiser.

Fayette County is lucky that this furniture nomad made his way here, well over 20 years ago. During COVID, Pinedo decided to plant a permanent flag in Round Top, bought two properties and transformed them into Cisco Village and Oakbones. I think his favorite place was in the commercial kitchen at Oakbones, where he was able to display his other innate talent as a chef. Occasionally he’d call and ask: “What do you have in your fridge?” I’d bring whatever I had and he’d turn it into some magical dinner —  truly, restaurant quality.  He supported many local charities and, this past Thanksgiving, organized a group to clean the grounds at Round Top’s Festival Hill

Pinedo also donated his house in Puerto Escondido — his special place — for a fundraiser. Click through the photo slider below for some images from a magical vacation. 

This story is personal. I was blessed to have known Cisco Pinedo, albeit only for a few short years. He often proclaimed that my wife Zuzana and I were family. We joked that we had good genes and that our families would spend many more years together. My dad lived until age 94 and mom lived into her late eighties. Zuzana and I met Cisco’s 96-year-old dad and eightysomething mother when we stayed with him and Alba at their home in Los Angeles the last week of 2022. Sometimes life throws us curveballs, and as I write this, I feel like I’ve been hit square in the chest with one.

Luckily, Cisco built a business where most of the major players are family — a family as strong as pyramids. His daughter Maurishka was already running the business, and other close family members were running the Round Top outposts. In brief conversations over the past few days, there seems to be an unwavering commitment to Round Top. If the family allows, I and everyone else here who loved him in ths community will do our part to ensure that his legacy, like his smile, shines for generations. 

Hasta luego, guapo. 

Cisco Pinedo