Limoneira Mercantile Brings County Heritage to Life; Grand Opening March 5 & 6, 2005

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Limoneira Company, a 112 year-old Santa Paula land, farming and food company, is bringing a bit of California and Ventura County history and heritage to its new Limoneira Mercantile, a seven-store retail and food destination in Santa Paula. The Mercantile, located at 55 Hallock Dr. and Highway 126 at the eastern entrance to Santa Paula, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6 with prizes and giveaways throughout the weekend. Radio station 95.9 (“The Octopus”) will broadcast live from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.

Limoneira Company, a 112 year-old Santa Paula land, farming and food company, is bringing a bit of California and Ventura County history and heritage to its new Limoneira Mercantile, a seven-store retail and food destination in Santa Paula. The Mercantile, located at 55 Hallock Dr. and Highway 126 at the eastern entrance to Santa Paula, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6 with prizes and giveaways throughout the weekend. Radio station 95.9 (“The Octopus”) will broadcast live from noon to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.

The Mercantile includes Limoneira Fresh, a 3,200 square foot, open-air farmers’ market with farm fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables. “Limoneira Fresh celebrates Ventura County’s long agricultural history,” says Scott Edwards, general manager of the Mercantile. “We’ll sell the finest quality produce—quality usually found only at high-end retail grocery stores.” Gift packs filled with fresh fruit and coffee products will be sold at Limoneira Fresh and are available now online at http://www.limoneirafresh.com.

A 300-square foot flower shop, Natural Beauty Flowers, will be inside Limoneira Fresh. The flower shop is owned and operated by Santa Paula resident Barbara Kroon. All her flowers are from local growers in Carpinteria and Oxnard.

Celebrating a Ventura County tradition of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, the Mercantile will Include Bob’s Big Boy Express, complete with the landmark Bob’s Big Boy statue out front. “This marks the reentry of Bob’s into Ventura County,” says Edwards. “The last Ventura County Bob’s Big Boy closed in the 1980s. All of Bob’s Big Boy favorites are back including the Big Boy Original double-decker hamburger, hand-breaded onion rings, fresh strawberry pie and shakes.”

Reaching back to the very beginnings of Limoneira Company is the introduction of Limoneira Coffee Company’s Café do Brasil. Limoneira Company founders were frequent visitors to South America in the early days of the company. The Limoneira Coffee Company will serve 100 percent Arabica premium coffee grown and roasted exclusively at a 40,000-acre family-run farm in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. “All Limoneira coffee beans are separated by size, density and color so each bean is roasted under optimum time and temperature conditions,” says Bill Allen of Limoneira International Division, which operates Limoneira Coffee Company’s Café do Brasil. “This ensures each cup of coffee comes from perfect beans. Most other retail coffee outlets mix or blend their coffee beans so the beans—and taste—are uneven and inconsistent.”

Besides serving and selling only Guará coffee brand products, the café will feature a full coffee house menu including hot and iced coffee drinks, gourmet teas, desserts, baked goods, bags of whole bean coffee and Brazilian coffee and chocolate gift packs. The café is a wireless Internet hot spot where customers can access the Internet from their wireless laptops or through the coffee house’s own bank of computers. Live weekend entertainment is planned.

Other merchants at the Mercantile include a Union 76 gas station, car wash and convenience store. “The original home of the Union Oil Company is right here in Santa Paula where the California Oil Museum is now located,” says Edwards. “As a nod to the mutual heritage of Santa Paula, Union Oil and the Limoneira Company, it’s ideal that the gas station at the Mercantile is a Union 76. Many Santa Paula residents will recall that some of the founding fathers of Limoneira Company also were involved in the formation of Union Oil as well as Santa Paula.

“The Limoneira Mercantile is a combination of Ventura County history and modern day progress,” says Edwards. “Those who visit will be able to enjoy both in one setting.”

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Diane Rumbaugh
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