Friday, May 25 , 2018, 6:35 am | Fair 49º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with The Lab and American Riviera Bank
The LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Thanksgiving on the Go


At one local market, more and more people are doing Turkey Day the easy way.


Anne Shaw loves to cook, but she hates doing it for Thanksgiving.

The last time she spent hours laboring in the kitchen for the major feast was five years ago.

“It was a pain,” she said. “And all the stuff I fussed over, they didn’t like.”

Today, the Santa Barbara resident is hosting again, but instead of making a fuss in the kitchen, she decided to go with a faster method: purchasing a pre-packaged Thanksgiving dinner at Gelson’s Market.


Apparently, she’s not alone in her desire for a simpler solution.

If Gelson’s Market is a measure, more and more folks are doing Turkey Day the easy way. Every year, demand for the package goes up 17 percent, said service deli manager Julie Belanger.

Over the last seven years, she said, the number of people who pick up the package has doubled, hitting a record 500 this year.

“People just don’t have time to cook, they’re busy with their lives,” Belanger said. “It’s such an easy dinner to heat up and serve.”


The meals come with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and a couple sides of vegetables. Prices range from $35 for two to $140 for 12.

Because Gelson’s doesn’t have the resources to fully cook 500 dinners, the dinner needs to sit in the oven for a couple hours.

“It doesn’t require any kind of thought, basically,” said service deli employee Kris Arnold.

On Wednesday, the rush to the pre-ordered turkey-dinner counter was steady, and the reasons for choosing the on-the-go option were varied.

Joyce L. Trevillian of Santa Barbara was grabbing a meal for her daughter, who is recovering from knee surgery. The meal for two will be shared with Trevillian’s grandson, she said.

“It’s too much to cook a turkey for two people,” said Trevillian, as she sped away with her cart. “They don’t make turkeys that small. Now I just need to get a pumpkin pie and I’m ready to go.”

Joan Roche of Santa Barbara said she quit cooking the dinner after her husband passed away.


“I cooked it for 48 years,” said Roche, who will eat a meal for two with her daughter. Of the quality of the food, she said: “My potatoes, I prefer. But the turkey is good.”

Homer Swander of Santa Barbara had a very succinct reason: “I’m just doing what my wife told me to do.”

As for Shaw, she said going all out on Thanksgiving just doesn’t work for her.

“I don’t mind knocking myself out for Christmas Eve dinner,” she said, while placing the package in her shopping cart. “It’s a more expansive holiday. But Thanksgiving, it’s like this one day – then it’s over. I eat and feel like putting my face down on my plate.”

Plus, she said, “I’ve heard their gravy is to die for.”

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >