The Montecito Association’s inaugural “Holiday Magic” event drew the participation of more than 20 businesses. Stores and boutiques celebrated with food samples, wine tastings, live music and family-friendly activities.
“This was an idea the Montecito Association had last year, and that evaporated when the fire hit,” executive director Sharon Byrne told Noozhawk. “This year, the community is coming back with a roar.
“What we have seen coming out of the debris flows and fire is that our community wants to be together.”
Customers browsed cheese, deli meats and other food items at Village Cheese & Wine Shop, which has been a part of the Upper Village for 45 years.
New Montecito-branded wine, coffee and olives were displayed inside. The brands were inspired by first responders who worked tirelessly to make the area safe for residents.
“It was inspired by the heroic job, and the job that the Montecito Fire Departmentand first responders have done,” said Patrick Braid, owner of the Village Cheese & Wine Shop and CEO of Montecito Coffee Company, Montecito Wine Company and Montecito Olive Company.
“Every label is associated with iconic locations throughout Montecito and Santa Barbara.”
One of those iconic locations is Montecito’s Old Firehouse, directly across East Valley Road from Braid’s shop. The building is now home to a number of offices, and the Fire Department headquarters is around the corner on Upper San Ysidro Road.
The image of a black lantern on the building is incorporated into the coffee, wine and olive logo.
“The logo itself means a lot,” Braid said. “The logo, which is a lantern, is inspired by the historic Montecito Fire Department. The flame represents the Thomas Fire and the heart represents recovery.”
Braid said the Montecito-branded items are modeled after a donation initiative launched by Ventura-based Patagonia.
“One percent goes to the Montecito Village Recovery Fund, where it’s contributing to communities ravaged by natural disasters,” he said.
Braid also kept his store doors open after the debris flows to feed first responders and neighborhood families for free.
Businesses participating in Saturday’s event included Blake Ashley Design, Carty & Carty Antiques, Clare Swan Clothing + Travel, Gazebo Gardens, Giuliana Haute Couture, Glamour House Intimate Apparel, Haskell Antiques, House of Honey, Imagine, Jenni Kayne Apparel and Home, Lilibeth Salon Hair & Makeup, Montecito Coffee Shop, Montecito Village Grocery, Montecito Village True Value Hardware, Oliver and Espig, Santa Barbara Travel Bureau, Skin Essentials, Stationery Collection, Tecolote Book Shop, Via Vai Trattoria Pizzeria, Village Cheese & Wine Shop and William Laman Furniture Garden Antiques.