The Tri-County Produce property at 335 S. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara has sold for $9.75 million to a team of local investors.
The Tri-County Produce property at 335 S. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara has sold for $9.75 million to a team of local investors. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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A team of local investors has purchased the property where Tri-County Produce sits for $9.75 million, according to county property records.

Tri-County Produce, owned by John Dixon, is among the local investors, which includes general partners Austin Herlihy, Chris Parker and Steve Leonard.

The popular market will remain unchanged for now.

“As I have approached 61 without any heirs or current partners, I felt it was time for me to begin to plan for the next decade as the sole owner of Tri-County Produce,” John Dixon, Tri-County Produce owner, told Noozhawk. “My goal is to prepare to retire in the next 10 years while finding a means to allow the business to continue. It is important to me to know that my family’s legacy, the dedicated service of our staff and the loyal patronage of our customers will be honored well into the future.”

Although the team has not stated its plans, the site at 335 S. Milpas St. is a block from the beach and a prime spot for housing, at a time when the City of Santa Barbara is looking to meet state housing demands.

Still, those involved said it’s “very early in the process.”

“As I consider what to do, I have met with financial planners and real estate experts to understand the potential best approach,” Dixon said. “An important thing I have learned is that selling our real estate without a plan for Tri-County Produce makes no sense — and neither does selling a business without selling the property.”

Dixon said he is looking to optimize “this great asset for a sustainable role in Santa Barbara, factoring real estate, the produce business and our incredible team.”

He said he is excited about the potential to transition ownership of the business in some manner in the future.

“Right now, my ultimate wish is to leave this property on a better track to grow with and serve the evolving needs of our community, just like when my family and I first took over decades ago,” Dixon said. 

Dixon said for now and the coming years, Tri-County Produce will remain unchanged.

“Now matter what takes place, it will be a long, thoughtful and thorough process of listening, planning, designing and reviewing,” Dixon said. “This will allow me sufficient time to explore the best path forward, for my retirement goals and the continued viability of this legacy, business and property. I will remain the owner of Tri-County Produce and continue to be a partner in the real estate.”

Tri-County Produce sells fresh fruits and vegetables, juices, and other food and beverages. It’s known for its catchphrase, “If it’s any fresher, it’s still in the fields.”

“We are excited to begin this partnership with John Dixon and his thoughtful vision to continue the legacy of Tri-County Produce,” Herlihy told Noozhawk. “We are at a very early point in the process.”

Jeremy Frankel Joins Price, Postel & Parma

Jeremy Frankel has returned to his hometown of Santa Barbara to join Price Postel & Parma’s Litigation Practice Group.

Jeremy Frankel

Jeremy Frankel (Courtesy photo)

Frankel provides counsel and representation in the wide range of civil litigation matters handled by the firm, according to a news release.

Before joining Price Postel & Parma, Frankel served for two years as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Ted Tow III at the Colorado Court of Appeals. He then served an additional one-year term for the Hon. M. Terry Fox.

Frankel, as a law clerk, drafted more than 60 full-length opinions resolving civil, criminal and administrative appeals.

“In the civil context, he frequently addressed issues involving state permitting decisions, real estate and land use, commercial contract disputes, corporate liability, and federal and state constitutional claims,” according to a news release.

Assisted Living Help Grows

Santa Barbara is now home to an Assisted Living Locators franchise.

Tracey and John Chudacoff

Tracey and John Chudacoff (Courtesy photo)

The company is one of the nation’s largest senior placement and referral services. The organization offers free guidance in locating “quality assisted-living and in-home care options” throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, according to a news release.

The franchise, owned by senior care advisers Tracey and John Chudacoff, helps people in need of home care, independent living, assisted living or memory care. They are also available to meet with individuals and families, either virtually or in person.

“People need a trusted adviser to help them navigate what can be an overwhelming amount of information,” Tracey Chudacoff said.  “Assisted Living Locators offers a complete needs-based assessment and recommends a plan that provides the full continuum of care. Our goal is to assist families in choosing appropriate care options for their loved ones, to save time, decrease stress and to provide peace of mind.”

According to a press release, the two “have a unique background that blends business and health care.”

John Chudacoff is a business owner, and Tracey Chudacoff is a registered nurse.

“Our understanding of the aging community and the assisted-living landscape will provide you with the most credible resource for your family’s assisted-living placement journey,” Tracey Chudacoff said. “We will guide you through the ever-changing demands of caring for an aging loved one to find the right solution.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.