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Business

Cheese Tops Bread (and Books) in Low-Key Race for Santa Barbara Street Space

C'est Cheese expansion claims second victim, Our Daily Bread, but bakery vows to relocate and keep the ovens on

Co-owner Ze’ev Zalk said that noise has been an issue at the mixed-use building but that was just an excuse behind their move.

Our Daily Bread will be moving after more than 30 years at 831 Santa Barbara St.

C’est Cheese is expanding and will displace the Our Daily Bread bakery and café as well as used bookstore Thrasher Books.

Viejo Properties owns the mixed-use building on the corner of Canon Perdido and Santa Barbara streets, and manager Trey Pinner said C’est Cheese is best suited for the property’s long-term success.

“We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Karen (Thrasher) and Our Daily Bread, and if I could work out an arrangement for all tenants to stay, I would,” Pinner told Noozhawk. “But there is limited space, and we’re looking at the long-term success of the property.”

Katherine and Michael Graham opened the specialty cheese shop more than eight years ago. C’est Cheese offers artisan cheese, meats, wine, sandwiches and catering, and also sells to local restaurants. The extra space will allow the store to expand its breakfast, lunch and retail business, Katherine Graham said.

“I think there will be a transition time in a sense that they have been excellent local businesses,” she said of the displaced tenants. “Karen’s going to retire essentially and Our Daily Bread is looking for another location, so I don’t think people will be without, but it will change the corner a bit.

“But I also think it will be a nice step forward. Things need to change and grow, and I think that the other businesses on the corner like Julienne Restaurant are really excited.”

Our Daily Bread is essentially an all-hour bakery and café that works throughout the night to get ready for the morning. The business is doing well, and co-owner Ze’ev Zalk said residential tenants have complained about the noise but he wasn’t sure why the property managers decided to move the bakery.

“It’s the nature of the business to make some noise during the night,” he said. “Tenants have complained about it, but I would say it has nothing to do with the noise, and it’s just an excuse. We’ve generated less noise now than we have over the past 31 years; business equipment malfunctions and makes noise occasionally. Maybe you can go back to them and pose that question, I don’t know what is in their mind and in their hearts.”

C’est Cheese owners Katherine and Michael Graham are excited about the upcoming expansion of their specialty cheese shop at 825 State St. The additional space will provide customers with breakfast, lunch and retail options that are unavailable now. (Alex Kacik / Noozhawk photo)
C’est Cheese owners Katherine and Michael Graham are excited about the upcoming expansion of their specialty cheese shop at 825 State St. The additional space will provide customers with breakfast, lunch and retail options that are unavailable now. (Alex Kacik / Noozhawk photo)

While Pinner didn’t confirm that the late-night noise was an issue, “there has been an ongoing discussion about their tenancy,” he said of Our Daily Bread. There have been two noise-related complaints over the past two years, according to Santa Barbara police records. One complaint filed on Jan. 17 was addressed “loud equipment” and the other was filed June 2011 regarding the noise from bread carts moving back and forth.

Pinner said Viejo Properties and Our Daily Bread have agreed to part ways and it will be “very successful in its new location.”

Thrasher Books will vacate the space by October, Our Daily Bread will move when it finds a new location and C’est Cheese will begin expanding in January and be ready by spring of 2013.

“It’s a great locals’ corridor,” Michael Graham said. “Especially with State Street kind of being the tourist area, we see this being the locals’ downtown. Also, it’s becoming more of a food destination with Handlebar (Café) moving in, Julienne, Sojourner and a Farmers Market down the street. People can do all of their shopping on this one corner.”

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkBiz, @noozhawk and @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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