Recognizing their extraordinary contributions to the Santa Barbara community, including being a gathering place following the devastation of the Thomas Fire, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) recently honored Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery as Senate District 19’s Small Business of the Year. Each year on California Small Business Day at the State Capitol, members of the California State Legislature recognize a small business for their contributions to the community.
“Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery exemplifies a business that deeply cares about its staff, its customers, and its community,” said Jackson. “Since its founding, Jeannine’s has shown that food can bring us together and be a source of community and healing.”
Founded in 1987 by Eleanor and Gordon Hardey, Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery is a family-owned restaurant and bakery with two locations in Santa Barbara and one in Montecito. It is well-known in the Santa Barbara community for its fine food and friendly customer service as well as its efforts to create community through food.
Now primarily under the direction of Alison Hardey, who is a co-owner along with her parents, Jeannine’s continues to encourage its staff to get involved in local community efforts. Their commitment to public service is reflected through their numerous contributions to nonprofit organizations, including hospice, local pre-schools, schools and colleges, the Breast Cancer Society Center, and the Santa Barbara Music Academy.
Following the Thomas Fire and subsequent Debris Flow, Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery opened its doors to offer what Hardey described as “a cup of coffee, a scone, a willingness to listen,” and to be a location for the community to get the latest recovery information post-disasters.
Jeannine’s Restaurant and Bakery’s most recent community service project is with the Walter and Lois Capps Foundation, to start “Common Table” events in various cities throughout the county including Montecito, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, and Carpinteria. They co-host these events to provide spaces for people to share a meal and establish a greater sense of community.
Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.