Montecito’s First Plant-Based Market

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 28, 2021
Owners Sam and Lauren Benon and Kamren and Tim Morton-Smith at PLNT PWRD MRKT

Montecito and Santa Barbara locals have opened Montecito’s first “meatless” market, PLNT PWRD MRKT (i.e. Plant Powered Market), in Coast Village Walk on Coast Village Road. Borne after owner Tim Morton-Smith and his wife, Kamren, found themselves buying plant-based items mostly online instead of in local stores, the goal of opening the market was to help other vegan and plant-based enthusiasts have a local place to get everything they need to live a meatless lifestyle.

“We were driven with a goal of helping people discover some of the alternatives that are out there and introduce them to more plant-based products,” Morton-Smith told us. 

During a recent visit to the store during their soft opening last week, we met with co-owner Sam Benon, whose family has a long background of owning supermarkets.

“I was born and raised in supermarkets,” Benon laughed, adding that he himself went on to work for Trader Joe’s before working in marketing and public relations. Benon has worked hard making the new shop, which is located in the space most recently used as a Lululemon pop-up (before that it was home to clothing boutique, Chasen), aesthetically pleasing.

“We are using the space as a stage to highlight small batch products as well as products that are well-known. I like to think of it as ‘curated grocery shopping,’” Benon said. The space is welcoming and approachable, and the location in Coast Village Walk was chosen as an accessible location for both Montecito and Santa Barbara residents. 

“We can’t be the only ones in this town seeking more plant-based products,” Benon said. 

The owners hope to spread more awareness about the plant-based lifestyle, and take away some of the stigma that the word “vegan” has attached to it.

PLNT PWRD MRKT has opened on Coast Village Road; the completely plant-based store is the first of its kind in Santa Barbara and Montecito

“We are hoping to redefine that image of being plant-based into being more forward thinking, hip, and healthy. To come into PLNT PWRD MRKT you don’t have to be a vegan – just plant curious,” Morton-Smith said, adding that meat eaters will feel comfortable at the store, and will hopefully discover the possibilities of plant-sourced food. 

The shop offers a variety of products, from frozen and refrigerated options, to snacks, cereal, pantry staples, dressings, pastas, and even plant-based beauty and wellness products.

“We have a lot of products not found in other stores, and we are competitively priced,” Benon said. There are local products as well, including Hungry Planet plant-based meat and Kos organic plant protein powder. Morton-Smith and Benon have plans to eventually offer ready-made deli items, and potentially expand the shop if the demand allows.  

“Our intended result is not only to create a valuable brand, but also make plant-based options more discoverable, approachable and sustainable for everyone. We’re not trying to make everyone meatless; our goal is to get people to discover some of the alternatives that are out there and hopefully eat less meat,” Morton-Smith said. 

PLNT PWRD MRKT is located at 1046 Coast Village Road Unit G. Current hours are 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday. For updates, as well as information on a grand opening in January, follow @plntpwrdmrkt on Instagram, or visit


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