State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson recognized one of Santa Barbara’s favorite cafés, Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery, as Senate District 19’s Small Business of the Year on June 19.
Though many locals may know Jeannine’s for breakfast, lunch, and coffee, those who lived through the Thomas Fire and subsequent 1/9 Debris Flow are likely to remember the restaurant for its generosity during those dark weeks. Owners Eleanor and Gordon Hardey opened Jeannine’s doors to residents and first responders in late 2017, offering free coffee, scones, and an open ear. The restaurants also became a location to get the latest recovery information following the disasters.
In honoring the restaurant, Sen. Jackson said, “Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery exemplifies a business that deeply cares about its staff, its customers, and its community. Since its founding, Jeannine’s has shown that food can bring us together and be a source of community and healing.”
However, Jeannine’s contributions to the Santa Barbara community don’t stop there. The restaurant also provides many of its goods to nonprofit organizations — including hospice, area preschools, schools and colleges, the Breast Cancer Society Center, and the Music Academy of the West.
Most recently, Jeannine’s has begun to help the Walter and Lois Capps Foundation’s project, “Common Table.” The “Common Table” project aims to provide spaces in cities across the county (currently including Santa Barbara, Montecito, Isla Vista, and Carpinteria) for participants to share a meal and try to create a greater sense of community.