Specialty Food Magazine

WINTER 2015

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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W hen developer Barney Aldridge shared his plan to build 300 condominiums to revitalize a decrepit industrial park near downtown Sebastopol, Calif., the community chimed in. "The townspeople hated that idea," Aldridge recalls. "[They] came out by the hundreds to the public hear- ings to shut me down." When he asked what they did want, their responses helped shape the vision that would become The Barlow, a walkable food, wine, art, and shop- ping destination for West Sonoma County residents. Aldridge, a food enthusiast and North Bay native, took inspiration from San Francisco's Ferry Building and New York 's Chelsea Market, as well as Woodlands Market, a regional spe- cialty grocer, to bring the district to life. "I wanted people who cared about making the product, the process, [and] the end result more important than the bottom line," he says. Grandfathering in three existing businesses—a foundry, a glassblower, and a tea shop—the developer filled 18 buildings across the 12.5-acre property, handpicking several of the now 38 tenants, including farm-to-table restaurants, an organic coffee roaster, two full-production wineries, a worker-owned natural foods grocer, and boutique retail shops. Four years in the making, The Barlow held its grand opening in November 2013. The aesthetic is industrial-rustic, with an airy, open plan. Grass-lined sidewalks and young saplings soften the industrial- ized landscape, and each storefront sports rolling glass doors to This 12.5-acre property went from grim industrial park to multimillion- dollar restaurant, retail, and arts destination, paying homage to small, local businesses while serving the greater Sonoma County community. BY EVA MESZAROS The Barlow PHOTOS: EVA MESZAROS From top: Community Market co-op grocery; Wind Gap Winery tasting room; Vignette Pizzeria's brick oven; Zazu Kitchen's hyperlocal ingredients store tour WINTER 2015 107

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