Juice /Smoothie Bar
Blenders in the Grass
Food: Finding and Getting
Juice /Smoothie Bar
This in-town chain gives a gentler meaning to the phrase “liquid diet.” There are times in our poor digestive system’s rocky history when it needs pampering with something sweet and pure and wholesome. Juice makes a good meal; add protein powder and other healthy additives and you can positively rocket. Blenders has been around town for many years, and the voters want you to know.
Finalist Jamba Juice
Health Food/Nutrition Store; Wine Shop
3025 De la Vina St., 563-7383; 29 S. Milpas St., 564-7878; 5767 Calle Real, Goleta, 692-2234
“It’s not just our health food,” said De la Vina’s manager Gavin Grayson. “It’s the whole vibe of our stores. People love coming in here.” And now that there are three TJ’s in the S.B. and greater Goleta areas, it’s become familiar to most folks. “I don’t want to say anything as dry as market-share, but people know us better now, and because they do, they can see what great deals and quality items we sell.”
Finalists Health Food/Nutrition Store: Lazy Acres Market Inc.; Wine Shop: Wine Cask
4317 State St., 967-9213
“The funny thing is that we have condensed the meats,” laughed Jennifer Fredericks. She and her husband, the former chef and cooking instructor Charlie Fredericks, took over the longtime-favorite store almost two years ago. “We realized that the deli section was doing a lot better, so we cut down on the meat we always carry. But I think people like us because we feature clean meats without steroids and antibiotics, and we can get them anything they want. We have a great clientele. Next year, though, we want to win for our sandwiches, too,” she said.
Finalist Lazy Acres Market Inc.
Fresh Fish Market
117 Harbor Wy., 965-9564
The place actually has two official names, according to owner Brian Colgate. There’s the one listed above, which is new, and there’s the original moniker, Santa Barbara Fishermen’s Market. The latter name is the title of the Saturday morning, boats-pulled-up-to-the-pier outdoor market that this store actually hosts and promotes, too. “Our key element in everything we do is to be the commercial fishermen’s outlet to the public. We want to keep it local,” said Colgate, who is proudly moving into a bigger store in the harbor in November. “Our motto is ‘High quality fresh fish from the boat to you,’” he added. “But mostly we want the customer always to leave happy.” (By the time you read this, reminds Colgate, it’ll be lobster season in the breakwater.)
Finalist Kanaloa Seafoods
Gourmet Food Store
302 Meigs Rd., 564-4410
Rudy Chavez is a 12-year employee and director of the part of the store that leans a little more toward the gourmet than to the stereotypical health-food purist. He chooses many items that are one-of-a-kind in S.B. — like the virgin olive oils, vinegars, and all that cheese. What’s new and exclusive this year is a food called battarga, which was suggested by a customer who had tasted it in a restaurant in Italy. It is dried mullet roe that was grated onto his pasta, and the customer was wild for it. “I searched and searched, and I found it,” said a proud Chavez. “It’s really kind of expensive, but we’ve developed a small dedicated following for the stuff.” Can’t wait to taste it.
Finalist Trader Joe’s
Produce/Greengrocer; Flower Shop
See The Week for days and locations There’s one somewhere nearly every day of the week, if you’re willing to travel from Carpinteria to Goleta. The produce and the flowers and the booths and the wandering customers nodding to live music and gentle offers to taste the wares puts one in mind of the village faire from ye olde era. But the bottom line is its buckets and stands of just-picked, mostly organic, and reasonably priced food from local farmers, along with flowers sweet to smell and lovely to behold. You’re thinking global, but sniffing local now.
Finalists Produce/Greengrocer: Tri-County Produce Co.; Flower Shop: Victor the Florist Inc.
Bakery; Place to Get Cakes
1253 Coast Village Rd., Montecito, 969‑7878; 3607 State St., 687-8701; 3305 State St. (in Gelson’s Market), 569-3222
“Jeannine” became synonymous with quality baked goods starting in 1985. Since then, it has become the quintessential corner bakery, with its products popping up in other shops around town. There are now two Jeannine’s restaurants and it is also the resident bakery inside Gelson’s Market on upper State Street. It is a family-run business, according to Gordon Hardey. “We just brought in my sister and my parents and lifelong partner Richard Sanchez — the people who make Jeannine’s.” And yes, they still sell 900 scones per day which go very well with Peet’s coffee.
Finalists Bakery: Anna’s Marketplace Bakery; Place to Get Cakes: Hennings Cake Boutique Inc.
Ice Cream Shop
201 W. Mission St., 569-2323
Three months ago, our town’s iconic sweet shoppe changed hands. Bob Moss, lifelong award-winning restaurateur, and his spouse, Jean, decided to fill their golden years running the kind of place that could make them proud. It just so happened that the building was on the market and after upgrading the exterior, hiring new staff, adding European coffee and low-fat yogurt, and not touching the recipe of our beloved gourmet ice cream, they’re ready. And one more thing: “My stock-in-trade has always been generous servings,” said Moss. “So we think customers will be even happier.”
Finalist Cold Stone Creamery
Place to Get Fresh Bread
831 Santa Barbara St., 966-3894
Our Daily Bread had a fire last year, and it only keened the local appetite for its baked goods. All over town, the return of ODB was heralded with joy, and stores featured signs reading “Our Daily Bread Is Back.” You like the multigrain, I like the big baguettes. For the contented crowds who nosh on their lunch and enjoy their coffee breaks there every day, the return of our readers’ longtime favorite has bred a lot of good will in the neighborhood.
Finalist D’Angelo Bread
222 W. Carrillo, 899-2779; 3629 State St., 569-3719
The name is funny and pretty catchy, too. Their sinker’s reputation throughout the years has stayed remarkably solid, when you think about it. Through fads as various as low-cal, no-carb, whole foods, and even the bagel invasion, the doughnut is still where America meets for a quick bit of pleasure — from the police on the beat to the Friday office treat, it’s been fried dough shaped like a tire smeared with frosting and jelly. And Spudnuts in our town is the proclaimed cynosure of devoted dunkers.
Finalist The Eller’s Donut House
5050 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, 566-1558; 53 S. Milpas St., 564-4331; 3891 State St., 563-2524 There are three of them, and it’s tough to imagine a chain that harbors such internal dissimilarities. For instance, the bagels from the homey, high-ceilinged Carpinteria store seem much flatter than the supply racing out of the hopping Milpas Street emporium. The shop inside the Galleria, Barry Berkus’s architectural jewel near La Cumbre and Five Points, features big bagelwiches that are the shop’s lifeblood. Whatever store the readers love, though, there’s no question that all give us the best and most bodacious bagels and bialys in town.
Finalist Bagel Café