Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café Receives Award

Sam and Shawnda Marmorstein, owners of the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, received the 2013 Family Business Award-Santa Barbara County (Medium Sized Business)during a recent ceremony with other honorees from the tri-counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

The annual Family Business Awards recognize companies with two or more family members actively involved as owner-managers or a company where ownership is now in the second generation under family control, according to staff of the Pacific Coast Business Times, award sponsors. According to organizers, family businesses are the backbone of the free enterprise system in our region.

For this eighth year, 11 companies were recognized. Shawnda Marmorstein stated, “We are so honored that Central Coast business leaders and our guests wrote in and nominated us to receive this award. We are thrilled to be named along with companies such as and Santa Barbara Travel Bureau.”

The story of the family-owned and operated Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe began in early 1995, when Sam Marmorstein, a former stock broker and entrepreneur, decided to leave Los Angeles and follow his dreams to own a restaurant that would offer great wine paired with great food, in an approachable and welcoming atmosphere in Santa Barbara County wine country. The Café has been successful since its crowded opening day December 30, 1995. In a perfect blend of food, wine and dreams, Sam met Shawnda at the Café in 1999 and they married in 2000. A former real estate agent, Shawnda had dreamed of owning her own restaurant and is now an integral part of all the family businesses and has been blessed with three children. In 2001, when the retail space adjoining the Café became available, Sam and Shawnda expanded the Cafe by opening the Wine Merchant—featuring over 500 local and international vintages and exclusive distributor of Sam’s own Bernat Wines. In Fall 2003, a movie producer decided the Los Olivos Café would be the perfect backdrop for some pivotal scenes in his film—Sideways—shot on location in the Santa Ynez Valley,, winner of an Oscar and two Golden Globes, continues to bring worldwide recognition to the Los Olivos Café and the wines of the region.

About: The Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café received the 2012 “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator and was named one of the top 50 “Most Notable Wine Lists in the USA” for 2011 by Located in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s wine country at 2879 Grand Avenue in downtown Los Olivos, the casual yet elegant Café (as seen in the award-winning movie SIDEWAYS) serves fresh, local wine-friendly cuisine for lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM. The Wine Merchant features over 500 local and international vintages and is the exclusive distributor of owner Sam Marmorstein’s Bernat Wines. For more information, call 805-688-7265 or visit or

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