“I had my coffee machines completely break on me one morning and he let all my staff run over and fill all our coffee pots and bring them over here so we could open,” Fooks said. “He had big orders that morning, too, it was really nice of him. He’s a good guy.”
After three years at 1226 State St. in Santa Barbara, Weinstein has closed his Ultimate Bagels shop. The UCSB graduate told Fooks in November that the business was struggling and he was ready for something new.
“Due to a myriad of factors, the business model I formulated, going back to my days at UCSB, didn’t come to fruition the way I had hoped,” a sign marked Friday, April 13 reads on the door. “Though disappointed by this particular outcome, I was still able to attain my goal of becoming a welcomed member of this great community. When I started this business it was my intention to not only run a viable business, but to give back and help the community around me as well.”
Ultimate Bagels served breakfast, sandwiches, open-faced melts and customizable bagels, and donated to various food banks, homeless shelters, schools and organizations. When Weinstein took over the former Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf location, he broke into a tough market in an expensive area, Fooks said.
“It’s a hard town for bagels, and that downtown location is a tough location for a bagel shop ... but I thought his bagels were delicious,” she said. “I think he was getting frustrated. It’s hard when you have that turnover of employees and no one cares as much as you do.”
Fooks said Weinstein’s goal was to grow the Ultimate Bagels brand.
“He wanted to expand it, and maybe he saw the writing on the wall that it wasn’t going to happen,” she said. “That’s where his passion was — to brand something and market it.”
Spoons Santa Barbara Gelato employee Jane Wynn was sad to hear that it was closing.
“I don’t think they closed down because of anything that was wrong with their business, it was just circumstances,” she said. “I feel that they would’ve done better in a different location.”
Weinstein said he is moving to San Francisco to pursue a new job. Laura Waters, who previously ran Sweethearts Bakery out of Ultimate Bagels, relocated to 205 Yanonali St.
“Although I have loved my time living in Santa Barbara, and especially being a proud business owner, there comes a time for change and new adventures,” he wrote. “I may no longer be living in Santa Barbara, but its beauty, people and community will always be in my heart.”