Sunday, February 25 , 2018, 12:56 am | Fair 48º


Unity Shoppe Celebrates 90-Year Milestone

Celebrating Unity was the theme on a breezy Thursday evening in September as acollaborative effort between the Santa Barbara Young ProfessionalsClub, Montecito Bank & Trust, Tom Caesar of Hub International andTony Abrahim recognized Unity Shoppe’s staggering 90 years of serviceto Santa Barbara’s less fortunate.

Celebrating Unity was the theme on a breezy Thursday evening in September as a collaborative effort between the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club, Montecito Bank & Trust, Tom Caesar of Hub International and Tony Abrahim recognized Unity Shoppe’s staggering 90 years of service to Santa Barbara’s less fortunate.

About 250 guests lounged on the modern and eclectic pieces that comprise Open Wide’s vast furniture emporium, centered by a wine bar and buffet inundated with hearty eats from Jake’s Café, Lettuce B Frank, Don McMahon, Cajun Restaurant and Tri County Produce. The lively sounds of Still Evolving got the crowd going, as did the enthusiastic raffle sales promising a grand prize of $10,000 to spend on the lavish rugs from Afghanistan, a trademark of Open Wide. Perhaps equally coveted, though, was the recently published Unity Shoppe commemorative book compiled by Barbarba Telefson, Unity Shoppe President and CEO. The book, a 90-year celebration in pictures, historical documentation, anecdotes and quotes, signified what the evening was all about.

“We are merely a distribution center,” noted Executive Director Tom Reed. “The real kudos go to our sponsors, volunteers and the generosity of Santa Barbara to provide the resources that enable us to do what we do.”

Founded in 1917, by Pearl Chase, Unity Shoppe is now the largest, single direct distributor of food and clothing in Santa Barbara County. In addition, they assist 250 other nonprofit clients in need of basic necessities, groceries and work training.

“Tonight we celebrate the dream that Pearl Chase envisioned, one that evolved into a unique model to allow Santa Barbara County to take care of low-income families, at-risk children, the sick and the elderly in need right here in their own community,” announced an openly grateful Reed as he mixed with the crowd and enthusiastically thanked everyone for coming.

Unity Shoppe is gearing up with Cox Channel 8 for their annual telethon on Dec. 15 in an effort to provide $1 million dollars in food, supplies and toys to those in need this holiday season. For more information, visit .

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