BizHawk: Owners of Bennett’s Toys and Educational Materials in Santa Barbara Calling It Quits | Company

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An era has come to an end for several generations of South Coast families.

Bennett’s Toys & Educational Materials in Santa Barbara is going bankrupt and closing permanently by December.

A rent increase is a common reason businesses move or close, but landlords Kurt and Lisa Richter made the decision to close before the end of the lease at the end of the year. They want to spend more time with their daughters, aged 10 and 15. Lisa Richter’s father also passed away recently. They say they plan to focus on their family.

On Monday, they hung a banner that read: “Store Closing.”

“The customers were great,” said Kurt Richter. “Just interacting with them was a pleasure. We had some great customers who became friends, in a way. That’s probably what we’ll miss the most.”

For over 50 years, Bennett’s has been a destination for toys, books, dolls, posters and school supplies. The store, in its heyday, occupied a prime spot in the Magnolia Mall, near Woody’s BBQ and across from a grocery store parking lot. But five years ago, the original owner, Vernon Moore, sold the store following a rent increase. He sold it to the Richters, who moved the Bennett’s to the back of the mall.

It wasn’t the same thing. The store was near a smoking room and out of sight of most travelers.

“That probably didn’t help us,” Richter said. “We were a stone’s throw from the other place. People looked at where the old place was, but never tried to find us.”

The store’s demise was caused by other factors. Online shopping, the new target in Goleta, and location all played a role in the company’s results. Richter said even the vendors began to cause problems for the small store.

“For smaller stores, it’s getting harder and harder to compete,” Richter said. “There is absolutely no way.”

He said sellers want bigger orders.

“For a small store, you just can’t buy in large quantities like they would like,” Richter said.

No other store like Bennett exists in town. The bright and airy space is part library, part toy store, part classroom, wrapped in a family atmosphere created by the owners.

It’s the end of an era, but for the Richters, it’s also a new beginning.

“We have kids and we don’t have time to vacation with them,” he said. “We just had to make a decision on what we were going to do. It was just the best for our family at that time.”

Store items are priced at 20% off.

Kyle’s kitchen turns to beer

Beer sells.

Kyle’s Kitchen has opened a faucet room.

The company had a soft opening Thursday night. It sells local craft beer and wine.

The Tap Room occupies the space that was once Kyle’s Protein Grill.

Kyle's Kitchen has opened a faucet
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Kyle’s Kitchen has opened a faucet room.

Thursday through Sunday, the tap room will offer beers for $4 and $2 off others. Menu items include “Kyle’s lager”, house lager, and “Kyle’s IPA”. It also offers seltzers, ciders and kombucha.

Also on the menu are a variety of Napa Valley and Central Valley wines.

Kyle’s Tap Room is at 7000 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara.

Peril BBQ Beans

Beans BBQ in Santa Barbara took to social media this week for help. Business must resume.

“As many of you can imagine, renting on State Street is no small feat, and like the hundreds of small businesses that have tried and failed before us, we are about to lose our little piece of paradise on State and Victoria,” the company said. posted on Instagram.

Kristi Bean and her daughter, Jenniffer Bean, opened the restaurant at 1230 State St. in March.

“We say this not to scare anyone or make them sad, but to give you a taste of the reality of being a small business trying its best to be successful in this city,” they wrote. “No matter how good the food we provide, how great the service, etc., if people don’t come through the doors daily and frequent our establishment, we won’t survive here any longer.”

They said they wouldn’t go down without a fight.

“Please keep coming to visit us for food, order online for takeout when you feel like it, and spread the word,” the message read. “We’ve only been here six months and would love to continue to stay here for years to come and become an integral part of the downtown business family. Thank you for the memories, the meals, the laughs. We love Santa Barbara and we want to stay as long as we can!”

It’s a beautiful life

The Good Life, bottle shop, tasting room and bar in Solvang, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Lisa and Alfred Mesa from The Good Life.
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Lisa and Alfred Mesa from The Good Life. (Courtesy picture)

Alfred and Lisa Mesa founded The Good Life to provide a tasting room for small independent producers.

“To say we are grateful and humbled by our success would be an understatement,” Lisa Mesa said in a statement. “We are also grateful to all the people who have supported us throughout our journey. We believe that our personalized and individual approach to service is key. With so many selections, customers can be overwhelmed. We’re both here to help every customer find something to suit their taste and budget.”

The Good Life offers tastings, glass service and take-out bottles from more than 100 unique producers of local small-production wines and Californian independent beer, all nestled in the underground cellar with an outdoor patio, according to a press release. .

The Good Life is located at 1672 Mission Drive in Solvang. It is open from noon to 9 p.m. from Sunday to Wednesday and from noon to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

The company is hosting a 10th anniversary celebration from September 30 to October 2.

Hiring doctor

Dr. Allison Pontius and Dr. Alain Polynice have joined Turner Medical Arts.

Dr. Allison Pontius and Dr. Alain Polynice
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Dr Allison Pontius and Dr Alain Polynice (Courtesy photo)

Dr. Allison Pontius is board certified in three specialties: Facial Plastic Surgery, Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck (ENT) Surgery, and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.

For the past 15 years, she has focused her career solely on maximizing facial beauty through non-surgical, minimally invasive injections with neuromodulators and fillers, according to a press release.

Dr. Alain Polynice is known as “Mom’s Makeover Specialist,” according to a press release. She is a board-certified plastic surgeon whose practice focuses on cosmetic breast and body surgery with particular expertise in “Mommy Makeovers” and body sculpting.

They join Dr Duncan Turne, owner of Turner Medical Arts, 1250 Coast Village Road.

– Noozhawk writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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