Montecito Natural Foods Is Getting Kicked Out of the Country Mart

The owner of the Montecito Country Mart has given Montecito Natural Foods 90 days’ notice that its lease is not being renewed. The news is sure to upset longtime locals, because the store is a local institution, having been there for 60 years. (And it comes hard on the heels of another longterm tenant, Little Alex’s, getting the boot after 32 years.) Slim Gomez, who has owned Montecito Natural Foods for the past three decades, is said to be unlikely to reopen elsewhere.

This will leave central Santa Barbara/Montecito without a dedicated health-food store; the nearest ones are Pacific Health Foods in Carpinteria and Lassens just this side of Goleta.

There’s no word on whether a new tenant has already been lined up—make that tenants, as the space could easily be divided into two. And another Country Mart space is rumored to be opening up soon, as Montecito Mercantile, is apparently on the verge of winding down.


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Someone would do well to tell the landlord Mr. R that Montecito is not Aspen by the sea, nor does it welcome a carbon copy of his luxe mini malls in Brentwood and Marin at the expense of its long established and cherished establishments.


I agree. Few of the retail replacements in that center, and others in town, have much meaning to the majority of us. It’s been trending that way for well over a decade now.


MNF has been a place where many elderly long time Montecito residents went not only to get advice on supplements, but to connect with the community. It’s a damn shame. I worked for Jim at the Von’s Shopping Center (it will never be the Montecito Country Mart) and he is completely out of touch with the locals.


The owner of Montecito country Mart is not in tune with our local shops or do they care? Little Alex, reading Post, now the Natural foods…… and of course Montecito mercantile goes out of business because they were not connected with locals nor do they understand our demographics.


Please bring back Read & Post. It was a wonderful, place run by great people and you could often see you local friends there too.