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Bristol Farms debuts new store in Santa Barbara

Bristol Farms
Blake DeVine/KEYT
Bristol Farms opened its new location in La Cumbre Plaza on Thursday.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — After months of construction delays and community speculation, Bristol Farms opened its new location in La Cumbre Plaza this weekend. 

The company is calling it a “soft opening,” due to COVID-19 safety precautions. 

Store director Denis Lacey is a lifelong Santa Barbara resident and brings his decades of grocery experience and deep community roots to his new position. 

“We would love to have a grand opening but for the safety of the community as well as the employees, we decided to make it a soft opening,” Lacey said.

“COVID-19 is going on, we’re all cognizant of it,” Bristol Farms CEO Adam Caldecott said. “We want to make sure that we deliver a safe experience.”

Throughout the pandemic, the job market has been relatively unstable for people in the restaurant and culinary industry. 

The new grocery store is providing over 140 new jobs to many of these individuals.

“These are exactly the type of people we want working at our food stores,” Caldecott said. “We want knowledge, experience and quite frankly, the restaurants offer a substantial amount of that.”

This marks the company’s 14th location, featuring an extensive natural living section, coffee & juice bar and a large hall offering full-service food stations along with grab-and-go options.

Since 1982, Bristol Farms has supported local farms and launched countless emerging brands. 

“We’re an experiential store,” Caldecott said. We’re predicated on bringing people together around food.”

Providing grocery essentials along with artisanal ingredients for professional and home chefs, the grocery store offers convenience within a one-stop shop.

Many customers were blown away by the new store. 

“Oh it’s beautiful,” Maria Elenas-Lopez said. “Just checking everything and it looks so nice.”

“It’s definitely going to set a new standard for Santa Barbara,” Rob Hardy said. “I’m sure they’ll do well, it’s quite a beautiful store.”

Bristol Farms hopes to provide the public with a unique shopping experience. 

“I hope that through this grocery store we create a fun experience which excites people’s senses through color, smell and taste,” Caldecott said.

“During this time, we feel that customers will be looking for a special experience,” Lacey concluded. “I like to call it the Disneyland of grocery stores.”

The store is offering a variety of deals and discounts throughout its opening week. 

Bristol Farms has a senior shopping hour from 6 a.m. until 7 a.m. The grocery store is open to everyone from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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