In 1987, The Hardey Family founded Jeannine’s and built it into an iconic Santa Barbara restaurant and bakery, with locations in Montecito, downtown Santa Barbara near the historic courthouse, Upper State, and one soon to open in Goleta, The Good Land. The authentic food and atmosphere reflect the Hardey family’s own values and taste; black and white photos adorn the walls and trace decades of family life. Taking time to sit down at Jeannine’s and have coffee and breakfast feels like being on vacation! The core principle that has kept Jeannine’s growing, one customer at a time, is their personal approach to handling each guest as if they were cooking food just for them. One of their founding principles has been to create community through food, and Alison Hardey, one of the founders, is often heard saying, “food feeds the body, kindness feeds the soul”.
Jeannine’s works tirelessly to support others by demonstrating their passion for their patrons and the community during times of both harmony and turmoil. If there is a volunteer looking for food, chances are they will be enjoying a Jeannine’s scone and a cup of hot coffee. Every year, Jeannine’s donates to non-profits such as Hospice; local pre-schools, schools, and colleges; the Breast Cancer Society Center; the Santa Barbara Music Academy; local bake sales. The list is endless. Jeannine’s also strives to create a work environment which encourages their staff to become contributing members of their community, giving many young adults their first job and an opportunity to see who they could be and how they can grow.
It then came as no surprise that after the Thomas Fire and the deadly debris flow struck, Jeannine’s became a gathering place, a place to find a friend, a place to try to regain normalcy. Jeannine’s became the symbol of resilience, recovery and a place for the community to gather because that’s what it has always been. (https://www.keyt.com/lifestyle/food/jeannines-reopening-in-former-disaster-zone-with-complimentary-treats/691936003). Steve Lopez from the LA Times visited Jeannine’s right after the debris flow and wrote a wonderful article (https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-montecito-recovery-02112018-story.html) about how Jeannine’s was an example of hope and resilience for their beloved community. As Alison Hardey told a longtime customer, “We aren’t going anywhere.” And they haven’t. Their role in the recovery cemented Jeannine’s reputation as an essential part of the beating heart of Santa Barbara.
In 2018, The Santa Barbara Independent recognized Jeannine’s with its Lifetime Achievement award (https://www.independent.com/2018/08/30/foodie-awards-2018/). In 2018, Alison Hardey was recognized as an Honoree for the SB Foodbank (https://foodbanksbc.org/event/table-of-life-2018/), as well as Santa Barbara Independent’s Hero’s Honoree (https://www.independent.com/2018/11/21/local-heroes-2018/), and in 2019 Alison was the recipient for the County of Santa Barbara, California’s Commission for Women Service Award. Alison also joined forces with the Walter and Lois Capps Foundation and helped spearhead “Common Table” events in Montecito, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, and Carpinteria (https://www.cappsproject.org/common-table). The philosophy behind this gathering is to create a space for people to sit down and have a meal together in order to bridge divisions and build community. No speeches, no politics just a chance to break bread with a new friend.Other events are planned and the concept is getting rave reviews. And, of course, the group’s meetings are hosted after hours at Jeannine’s with coffee and treats from the bakery.