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Goleta Coffee Company brews up its final cups this month

GOLETA, Calif. - The Goleta Coffee Company is closing next week, marking the end of 25 years in the Turnpike shopping center and countless memories that perked up the location.

For the last three years the owner has been Stacy Rebich-Hespanha.

"It has a lot of Goleta in it," said Hespanha. "It has kind of the old school coffee shop vibe."

She has tried to make it a cross roads for all kinds of people in the "Noleta" location between Santa Barbara and Goleta at 177 S. Turnpike Road. It is also walking distance from San Marcos High school and often has students stopping in on their breaks.

"People who have kids, they like to come here because they don't feel nervous about their kids getting into trouble," said Rebich-Hespanha.

The change for Goleta Coffee comes after an all out effort to stay open during the pandemic. "It has been a tough few years because of Covid and all of the pivots and swings and everything but it has been so amazing to get to know a lot more people in the community," said Rebich-Hespanha.

The coffee shop is also known for healthy menu items. "People who are coming looking for healthy gluten free options, a very health conscious crowd."

Signs are already up about the opening of the Loca Vivant Kitchen, the next venture for Rebich-Hespanha. It will be located in the El Mercado on outer State Street. This will be a wholesale bakery with vegan and gluten free items that will be sold with area partners. Her goal is to prepare, "locally sourced fresh local foods."

It may be open in mid-March.

"We are really excited about the next stage. This store has to close but other doors are opening right now," she said. " I am super excited about things on the horizon for us."

When it comes to the new menu items and the future Rebich-Hespanha said, "I have seen first hand the market grow here in our own shop and the balance of what people are buying currently shift in that direction. Currently we can't bake bread fast enough to keep up with the demand for it."

The coffee shop is known for unique items on the wall.

One is an art piece of the United States of America made up of license plates from each state. Some are still missing but it is largely complete. It appears as if that creation will find a new home after some offers have come in. "The rest of it is going up for donations on our final day in business it will be on Friday the 15th. All day long we will have a lot of those decor items out," said Rebich-Hespanha.

Looking back on her time at the site, she said, "everyone loves food everyone loves a place to hang out and it has been really a pleasure to be able to offer that."

The shopping center is finishing up on new construction in a corner close to Hollister Avenue. That will feature locally owned Lighthouse Coffee which already has locations on the Mesa and in downtown.

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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