Story by Nancy Ransohoff
Located downtown at the corner of Chapala and Victoria streets on the site of what was previously a Vons grocery store, the long-awaited Santa Barbara Public Market is slated to fling open its foodie-friendly doors by the first quarter of the year. The market is a delicious celebration of artisanal food and drink, showcasing 15 independent top-notch merchants.
Graze your way through the airy high-ceilinged marketplace while stocking up on handcrafted regionally sourced, sustainably made food from meats and bread to ice cream and coffee…and don’t forget the wine and beer. Occupying the ground floor of the Alma del Pueblo mixed-use project adjacent to the historic Arlington Theatre, the market is poised to become a vibrant community gathering place. Look for a mixed bag of events and activities, along with a commercial kitchen serving up cooking classes, winemaker dinners and more.
Diane Harding, owner of The Pasta Shoppe, one of the market purveyors, is excited to offer “fresh artisan pastas made with all locally sourced organic eggs, wheat, produce, meats and cheeses, including gluten-free pastas. Customers can also pick up house-made sauces, pestos and compound butters to take home, as well as sit at our chef’s counter to sample pasta flights paired with wines from the same region of Italy. Additionally, we’ll feature a signature pasta and meatball special daily.” Harding knows her pasta from agnolotti to ziti, having trained under Felipe Saint-Martin, the original head pasta chef at Eataly, Mario Batali’s celebrated Italian marketplace in New York City.
You’ll feel healthier just talking with Sharon Egan, owner and co-founder with business partner Manya Williams of JuiceWell, about their fresh-pressed juices. “Our mission is to get more fruits and vegetables into people’s bodies…and they have to taste delicious. We pull produce from Harvest Santa Barbara and local farms… it’s all from sustainable practices and almost all organic. Sometimes we meet at the farmers’ market for just-picked produce and juice it that day.” In addition to their wide variety of flavorful, nutritious juices, JuiceWell offers juice cleanse programs and whirls up smoothies made with infused coconut water. Aaah, we feel better already.
100% Handmade: Wildly popular Full of Life Flatbread will soon fire up a new oven and turn out its tasty über-local natural flatbreads, salads, appetizers and desserts in a restaurant space adjacent to Santa Barbara Public Market. The original Full of Life Flatbread continues to thrive in Los Alamos, with the Santa Barbara outpost slated for a spring opening. Owner/chef Clark Staub promises “an oven similar to the one in Los Alamos and a bit more extensive menu.” He notes the restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner with a menu spotlighting local farms and organic, sustainably grown ingredients.
At Santa Barbara Public Market, you’ll also find:
• Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar
• Foragers Pantry, Green Star Coffee
• The Kitchen
• Wine + Beer and more…
Underground parking will be available for both Santa Barbara Public Market and Full of Life Flatbread.
Originally published in the Winter 2013/14 issue of Santa Barbara SEASONS Magazine.