GOLETA, Calif. - Even before the pandemic, Old Town Coffee in Goleta has been serving both customers and the community.
The Hollister Avenue coffee shop has put a spotlight on other local businesses by buying their products wholesale, then selling them to coffee-seeking customers.
Tim and Rachel Ward own the shop, which opened about two and a half years ago.
“It was part of our original business plan, was to support local,” Rachel said. “To embrace our community and honor our community.”
Old Town Coffee features features local businesses' doughnuts, pastries and snacks, as well as customer favorites like empanadas from Buena Onda Empanadas.
During the holidays, the shop is selling board games and puzzles from Santa Barbara's Game Seeker. It has also featured items from a local mask maker and local artists.
Rachel believes the effort to highlight the community creates a "domino effect."
“If any one of our businesses does better, we all do better,” she said. “It means more of our people are being hired. It means all of the money goes back into our economy.”
Locals also helped design and make Old Town Coffee's merchandise, which is for sale inside the coffee shop. The Wards began roasting their own coffee this summer, creating the 'Goleta Coffee Roasters' brand.
“From the very beginning, our CPA [certified public accountant] is a local guy,” Rachel said. “He’s down the street. Our bookkeeper is a very nice local woman… Even our payroll service [is local].”
The community support has been even more crucial in 2020, with the pandemic hitting small businesses hard.
“It’s been rewarding, too, just to see people being able to survive through this,” Tim said. “And if we can help, all the better.”
You can learn more about the coffee shop by visiting its website.