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Laurie Jervis: Industrial Way Businesses Team Up to Promote Buellton Street

Businesses on Buellton’s Industrial Way put together a visitor’s guide to the establishments in the area. Click to view larger
Businesses on Buellton’s Industrial Way put together a visitor’s guide to the establishments in the area. (Industrial Way illustration)

When Margerum Wine Company opened its production facility and offices on Buellton’s Industrial Way five years ago, the dead-end street was home to mostly service-related business, Figueroa Mountain Brewery and Terravant, Santa Barbara County’s largest winemaking and custom-crush facility.

The street was truly an “industrial” neighborhood, popular with light manufacturing and the Buellton office of the California Highway Patrol.

With the December 2013 opening of the now wildly popular Industrial Eats restaurant, at 181 Industrial Way, the street’s vibe began to change.

A craft distillery, Ascendant Spirits, opened near Terravant, and more recently, so did a handful of wineries, including Alma Rosa, founded by winemaking pioneer Richard Sanford.

Like Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, Industrial Way is a walkable destination with local food and drink, intermixed with industrial uses.

Earlier this year, Hugh Margerum, who oversees the wine club and brand promotion for Margerum Wines, envisioned uniting every single business — food, drink or service — to promote the half-mile long Industrial Way as a destination.

Under Margerum’s direction, “Industrial Way: Food, Wine, Spirits, Beer,” launched the website, and is on Facebook and Instagram. A brochure has already been shared with area businesses, and lists those participating in the effort, he said.

“The service (industries) are included in the brochure, because they are the heart and soul of Industrial Way,” Margerum said.

He said the group will debut a street-wide open house-style event on Sunday, Jan. 14, in the form of a fundraising effort, via Direct Relief, for victims of the Thomas Fire.

Coincidentally, the nearby Flying Flags RV Resort has a similar benefit in the works, so the Industrial Way organization will tag-team with the resort’s “Fight the Fire” event, scheduled for the day before, Jan. 13, he noted.

The Industrial Way event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Jan. 14. Among the businesses already committed to participate are Margerum Wines, Ascendant Spirits and the tasting rooms for Buscador Winery, Helix and tierra y vino.

A percent of each business’s sales will be pledged to Direct Relief, he said, and he hopes the various participants will each come up with something special for the benefit.

Margerum will host “a pink party,” and sell a preview version of the winery’s Riveria Rosé in growlers and “pink-themed” food, he said.

He praised Kathy Vreeland, executive director of the Buellton Chamber of Commerce, and Shelby Sim, executive director of Visit Santa Ynez Valley, “for their enthusiasm” about supporting Industrial Way as a destination location.

On Nov. 19, Margerum coordinated a benefit event similar to the one he has scheduled for Industrial Way in January.

He invited fellow Santa Barbara Presidio Neighborhood-based tasting rooms in El Paseo to offer small bites and wine tastes in a fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

The event raised $6,000, he said, with 100 percent of its ticket sale proceeds going directly to the Foodbank.

Margerum and his brother, Doug, owner and director of winemaking for their namesake winery, founded the Wine Cask restaurant in 1981.

— Laurie Jervis blogs about wine at, tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

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