Shilo market in Goleta.
Michelle J. Wong

Shopping at Trader Joe’s, Albertsons, and even Lassen’s can be good enough for some, but there are many people in town who have a taste for more exotic fare-particularly Santa Barbara’s Eastern European community. Luckily, Shilo Market (231 Magnolia Ave., Goleta) caters to those hankering for anything from fresh pierogies to canned herring fillets in tomato sauce. The market is named for the family who owns and operates it-Rostislav Shilo and his daughters Nadya, Inna, and Irina. “When we came here, we tried [to sell] American food,” said Irina, “but we found out that a lot of Poles, Ukrainians, and Russians in the community were going to L.A. to get food. Now they can come here. We even get Germans coming here to buy food.”

The products at Shilo Market, purchased from wholesalers in Los Angeles, come from Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern European countries. Some products from Israel, such as blackcurrant preserves and pickles, can be found there as well. The market also sells produce and bread-bread of the thick, dark rye variety, among other kinds. For those who have never eaten Russian cakes and pastries, Shilo offers some of the best-ones that you would usually have to drive to L.A. to get-and they are delicious. “Doing this helps us and it helps other people,” said Irina from behind the counter of the store’s very well-stocked deli.

The Shilo family came to the States from Ukraine seven years ago, having relatives who were already here. At the time, Rostislav needed medical attention, and they felt that their needs would be better served in the U.S. “It’s expensive, but much better,” said Irina of the medical services here. At first, they held jobs in supermarkets and liquor stores to make ends meet. “My first job was working at Foodland,” she said, “and then I worked at the Westside Market Liquor Store.” The family opened Shilo Market in November 2006.

If you’re looking to buy vodka, they don’t sell it at Shilo, but they do sell the sala, pickles, and dark rye bread to go along with it. To contact Shilo Market, call 967-5720.


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