Retail Therapy

By Joanne A Calitri   |   July 30, 2020

The Montecito Country Mart (MCM), located at 1016 Coast Village Road, is home to 21 boutique shops anchored by the Vons grocery store and Union Bank. MCM owner Jim Rosenfield acquired the mall in 2010, reconstructed its original 1960s façade and added outdoor patios to make it an upscale Montecito shopping destination. “I am so grateful for the support of the Montecito community through these extraordinary times,” Jim said. “The patronage of our customers has, quite literally, allowed us to keep our doors open and our employees employed. Our small shops of independent merchants have made us all proud through their tireless efforts to serve the community. We look forward to seeing, and serving, you all soon.”

This week I visited each shop with MCM local rep Kristin Teufel for a photo-op and check-in. The shops are taking precautions as directed for our safety and expressed its gratitude:

Monelle Totah and Jen Williams, Hudson Grace: “We are so grateful for the support of the community and for our wonderful team. Hope to see you soon! Thank you, Montecito. We are thrilled to be back, and servicing our clients in the safest way possible. We are grateful for the support of our local community. Stop by to see our newest additions for summer entertaining!”

Some of the Hudson Grace team: Jennifer Williams, Francie Lufkin, and Medeighnia Westwick

Heather Rosenfield and Jenny Belushi, Poppy Marché: “When we opened a little over two years ago as a pop-up, it was just after the debris flow and we immediately fell in love with the strength and camaraderie of the Montecito community. We are honored to be a part of this special community – whether it is popping in for that afternoon candy pick me up or celebrating births and birthdays. We urge our fellow parents to check out Poppy’s book club and scavenger hunt, a mix of fun and summer learning! Thank you, Montecito, for your love and support of small businesses.”

Poppy Marché’s Doreen Wilson

Malia Mills: “We are so damn lucky to have a store in the little bit of paradise that is Montecito – the community is so full of good chi and has been incredibly supportive of our small, sister-owned business. Since reopening we’ve seen so many familiar faces and it’s been beautiful to catch up with everyone, including our neighbors in the mart. We feel totally invigorated – we are stronger together indeed! Onward!”

Pressed Juicery: “We are so thankful for our loyal customers and their support through this crazy time in history. Sunshine and summertime have given us tourists and locals who grab a couple of juices and take them to the beach. Our store is a walk-up juice bar, perfect to take some juices or our new frozen vegan ice cream quickly and on the go! We also provide curbside pickup to anyone who requests. Thank you to Montecito for its continuous support, and we are happy to be providing the community a healthy product at an affordable price.”

Rachel Greenspan and Brendan Smith, Bettina: “We are extremely fortunate to be part of such a supportive community. From the day we closed our dining room on March 17 until now, we’ve been so appreciative of the continued patronage of the regulars we’ve gained since opening our doors in 2018. Seeing the friendly faces of our guests (even from car windows and behind masks) has been the source of our motivation to keep going. It’s given us and our team the strength to stay afloat and continue moving forward. For the safety of our staff and guests, we made the tough decision to keep our dining room closed, but we couldn’t be happier that both locals and tourists continue to love and support our pizza.”

Rachel Greenspan and Brendan Smith, Bettina

Tim Sanchez, Montecito Barbers: “We have absolutely loved serving Montecito since 1966. Our customers have become family and we cannot thank this amazing community enough for their love and support the past 54 years. We love you, Montecito!”

Tim Sanchez, Montecito Barbers

Diane Honaker, Montecito Cleaners: “Thank you all for your business and support during this COVID-19 pandemic. We are an essential business and have remained open for your needs. We look forward to coming back strong together! Thank you and stay safe and healthy!”

Montecito Cleaners owner Diane Honaker with her team and favorite customer Steve Gumins

Rori Trovato, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery: “First I want to thank Montecito and all of SB community for supporting our little store in Montecito Country Mart. This was my very first store and we’ve always had such a loyal following and fan base. Even during the pandemic customers have flocked to us and appreciate all the spacious outdoor dining available at the Mart. We couldn’t be happier being here and through ice cream, give people a little break from these bizarro times we’re living in. Ice cream seems to melt away a whole lot of stress!”

Rori Trovato, owner of Rori’s Artisanal Creamery, and her team

Jan Hendrickson, Read n’ Post: “Read n’ Post has been in business more than 35 years; it relocated to the Montecito Country Mart in 2012. The store offers a large selection of greeting cards, magazines and gifts, as well as newspapers and books, and houses a US Post Office, where patrons are able to purchase stamps, mail packages, and access other postal services such as certified mail and money orders. Our team is Eva Bartha, Assistant Manager; John Devereaux, co-owner; and staff members are Wendy Hawksworth, Carol Finston, Donald Faith, Robin Machado, and Jacqueline Terry.We enjoy being a part of Montecito County Mart, with its vibrant atmosphere, courtyard seating, and variety of interesting shops, and we especially appreciate our wonderful customers and friends who keep us smiling – even behind our masks in these unusual times!”

Read n’ Post Owner Jan Hendrickson and her team

Ron Brand and Matt Albiani, Mate Gallery: “We are so excited for the Mart to be back open! We’ve missed our local friends, and can’t wait to welcome people back into our shop.”

Ron Brand, co-owner of Mate Gallery

Merci Montecito: “We are looking forward to a summer of picnics – whether that be in nature or in our own backyards. We’re so grateful for our customers stopping by to see us and taking their favorite items on the go.”

Merci’s Elizabeth Colling

Gary Chau, Mark Wain, and their family of baristas, Caffe Luxxe: “As a small independent business, we are so thankful for the support from our neighborhood community during these trying times. We feel that we are in the business of people, and not only about coffee, and so we are all better together.”

Gary Chau, Mark Wain, and their family of baristas, Caffe Luxxe

Montecito Natural Foods: “Grateful to have been part of this wonderful community for over 55 years. We were recently reminded of how amazing our community is when the 93108Fund, supported by the Montecito Association, Coast Village Association and the Montecito Journal, supported workers who had lost income from the fire and debris flow, and then the challenges from the COVID-19 shutdown. We were also proud to be able to stay open during all of these challenges to take care of our customers and first responders. We look forward to another 55 years of keeping people happy and healthy.”

Montecito Natural Foods team Slim Gomez and Matt Mosby

Little Alex’s: “Little Alex’s has been part of the Montecito community for over 30 years. We have survived recessions, fires, and even a devastating debris flow alongside our community, and we will get through the current COVID-19 pandemic as well, because the Montecito community is special and amazingly resilient. We are blessed to have been part of this community for three decades and want to express how grateful we are to our customers for your support. We are open for dine-outside or take-out. We have abundant outside seating, adhering to the recently updated social distancing protocols, where you can enjoy the beautiful summer days and your meal. So, come on out, we would love to see you!”

Little Alex’s Lynette and Dan Briner and their team

George Pet Shop: “So pleased to be able to remain open to take care of our customers and friends, and make sure that all of our dog and cat companions continue to be well-provided for during the pandemic. Montecito has been no stranger to tough times during the past few years; we are immeasurably grateful to be a part of such a resilient community that continues to show us nothing but support and love. With every customer that walks through our door – two- and four-legged alike – our George family grows. Thank you for, in turn, welcoming us into your family.”

George Pet Shop

Jennifer Walsh, Mesa Produce: “Mesa Produce is excited to bring an outdoor-only market to the Montecito community. Our little satellite stand is stocked with 100 percent local, either organic or pesticide-free produce. Come taste local fresh produce outside.”

Mesa Produce’s Madeline Swenumson
James Perse team of Angela Johnson and Bailey Patterson
Team Panino
Space NK’s Bianca Warnock
Toy Crazy’s Raina Mendonca
CocoCabana’s Heather Fort

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