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Alma del Pueblo

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Alma del Pueblo


Santa Barbara’s Public Market Takes Shape

Alma del Pueblo Announces First Four Merchants


Tuesday, February 19, 2013
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Alma del Pueblo, the Chapala Street construction zone bordered by Victoria and Sola streets, is scheduled to open in late summer/early fall as a mixed-use building that will house both people (in 37 new condos) and merchants (on the ground level, Seattle’s Pike Place Market–inspired Santa Barbara Public Market). And the developers just announced said market’s first four merchants. I’ll warn you: There’s nothing that indicates lots of able-bodied men chucking fresh fish through the air as of yet, but, hey, a girl can dream. Here’s a rundown to whet your appetite:

Flagstone Pantry: Chef/owner Kristen Desmond, who graduated from New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute’s chef training program with a focus on health-supportive culinary arts, prepares food using wholesome, natural, and seasonal ingredients. She has a way with dairy-, egg-, and gluten-free treats and prides herself on operating on a small scale — and without the use of unpronounceable ingredients. Those who frequent Handlebar Coffee Roasters may well recognize Desmond’s goodies.

The Pasta Shoppe: Fresh pasta is to prepackaged as fresh apples are to appletinis. That is to say, one bears precious little resemblance to the other. The Pasta Shoppe will offer unique, fresh-made pasta — and all the proper accoutrements — and give “spaghetti night” a whole new meaning.

The Foragers Pantry: This will be your veritable one-stop shop for everything from the basics, like a gallon of milk, to the harder-to-find-but-should-be-basics items, like eco-friendly cleansers. They’ll even carry giftables such as artisanal dinnerware, as well as the organic produce with which to make your dinner.

Enjoy Cupcakes: No culinary scene is complete without a cupcake. Enjoy Cupcakes was established in 2009 and currently has one storefront in Los Olivos. Baker Amber Joy Vander Vliet takes her inspiration from local ingredients, and her rotating roster of flavors is often inspired by wine. (Somewhere, a woman squealed.) While you’ll find more “traditional” treats like the Salted Sugar Daddy or Honey Chocolate Mousse, you will also encounter confections such as the Blueberry Lavender Lime Chardonnay cupcake from time to time or the always-around signature Chocolate Blackberry Syrah.

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For info, visit almadelpueblo.com.

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Looks really cool. I hope it's affordable.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 19, 2013 at 1:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sure it won't be, Ken...the descriptions of the high-end shops already signing on are making it pretty clear that this is another "exclusive" project aimed at a specific demographic, and it ain't us!

BTW, I have been to Pike Place market, and it is far from a chi-chi spot serving the chosen few. As usual, Santa Babylon gets it wrong, and to make it acceptable, slaps a Spanish name on the project to fit in with the Disneyland Del Norte theme.

Meanwhile, real grocery stores where real people shop and buy milk that doesn't have the "organic" type labels (read: overpriced) so their kids can have breakfast, are torn down right and left. Downtown is a ghetto of tourist traps and high-end development. People who don't drive are forced to shop at high-priced convenience stores or "options" like this one.

Good job, SB; another perk for the preferred demographic...

Holly (anonymous profile)
February 20, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Because we do not have enough convenience markets for gluten-free whatever located downtown.

The market will shake out these retail spaces, driving down the prices because an increase in supply of these necessities and also thus tightening the margins of the numerous equivalent commercial offerings in the vicinity. Thus, profit margins will shrink while commercial rents stay high or even creep upward, resulting in more long-established downtown retailers squeezed out of our market.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 20, 2013 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah I was being sarcastic. It was a great idea at least. State St. Disney expands.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 20, 2013 at 12:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Another S.F. Ferry Building Marketplace for the precious few---in keeping with the "S.B. way". What a missed creative opportunity to bring the food revolution to the people in a myriad ways. Shame on the power elite for once again co-opting a great idea for personal gain.

LevantineLass (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 3:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I have been shopping at Foodland, corner or Micheltorrena & San Andreas. All kinds of cool ingredients there to play with, and the prices are definitely affordable. La Alma del Pueblo no es en State Street, compadres.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 3:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I've shopped at Foodland a few times myself, I highly recommend it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 3:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sure the price points will be as equally reasonable as the condos above.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 7:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dance while the Titanic sinks

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 23, 2013 at 7:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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