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.
For info, visit almadelpueblo.com.