When caterer Deb Goldman decided to open a specialty food store on Carpinteria Avenue, she knew she would bring her brand of fresh, homemade produce to the downtown storefront. Goldman’s Carp Kitchen Grocery opened last year in the former Crush Cakes space, offering locals and tourists a chic take-out restaurant, a small market for homemade and local produce, and a crate of take-out, heat-up deli meats and serving up plenty of healthy family staples, from New York prime steaks and matzoh meatball soup to a vegetarian Shephard lentil pie.
Goldman said the motivation to open Carp Kitchen came after his restaurant business suffered an economic hit from the quarantine. “We are caterers,” Goldman said, “and this shop was our Covid hub to stay alive.”
The shop offers fresh and packaged gourmet foods and cheeses as well as home-prepared dressings and pickles, among other delicacies. At the food counter, Goldman offers organic coffee, freshly baked pastries and a take-out and delivery lunch and dinner menu. For lunch, Carp Kitchen prepares sandwiches, soups and quiches/frittata. For dinner, meals are designed to be taken home and reheated later.
“Our primary focus is making homemade food,” Goldman said. “All of our dishes are homemade right down to the mayonnaise. We make our own aioli. We don’t buy Hellmann’s or Best Foods, we make our own.
Goldman runs his restaurant business and Carp Kitchen with his intuition and love of food along with knowledge from cooking school. She learned to cook at the Manhattan Gourmet Institute, a health-focused cooking school. The company’s chef, John Trotta, studied at Cordon Bleu in Oregon and is the former executive chef of the San Ysidro Ranch.
“We love restoration, it’s our thing,” Goldman said, noting that restoration is coming back, “which is wonderful.”
Carp Kitchen is located at 4945 Carpinteria Avenue and is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Carp Moon Cafe
Laura Samperio opened Carp Moon Café last month because she wanted to bring some joy to her community. At the corner of Carpinteria and Linden Avenues, Samperio oversees a small, friendly team, squeezing fresh orange juice daily, brewing local organic coffee, making smoothies, and handing out traditional coffee snacks throughout the day.
“It was my dream for many years, and it finally came true,” Samperio said. “Having a cafe where people can come and enjoy really delicious coffee and have a good time sitting around, reading a book or a magazine.”
Carp Moon sells Greenstar organic coffee, roasted in Goleta. Baristas prepare gourmet coffee drinks. Smoothies are made with freshly squeezed orange juice made daily with organic oranges from Las Palmitas, a citrus ranch in Carpinteria. Acai bowls are made with fresh organic fruit. The cafe provides a bright, clean respite for tourists and locals alike, offering outdoor seating with select people and comfortable indoor seating for working, reading, or meeting someone to chat.
Samperio, who is the sole owner, decided to take over the central downtown space after Juice ‘n Things closed. Prior to Juice ‘n Things, which opened during the pandemic and closed earlier this year, the space was the longtime home of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which closed permanently in 2020.
Going into it, she knew it would be a big challenge, but Samperio said she felt good when she saw people’s expressions when they walk in and see the place. “They are happy, it means a lot to me to see people enjoying a beautiful place,” she said.
“So far, people are very happy that there is finally a cafe in this area. It was great, everyone was very welcoming to a new business here,” added Samperio.
Carp Moon Café is located at 4991 Carpinteria Avenue and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.