Whereas most general stores offer buyers finished goods like foodstuffs and soap, homestead-themed Heritage Goods and Supply in Carpinteria gives customers the option of making their own.
With a goal to “bring elements of the homestead into everyday life,” Heritage Goods and Supply offers finished products as well as the raw ingredients with which to make them. Originating as a series of classes that teach skills like sourdough-bread making, animal husbandry, herbalism, and cheese making, Heritage Goods and Supply helps local residents to learn how to make their own food and remedies from scratch, and provides the materials needed to “bring people back to their roots,” said co-founder Emma Moore.
Formerly a Santa Barbara City College adjunct professor of communications, Emma and her business partners Lauren Malloy and Ashley Moore, no relation to Emma, came up with the concept of Heritage Goods and Supply when the three took a trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
During the trip, Emma brought some homemade sourdough bread, which she now sells every Friday at the store. Ashley brought tinctures, which were a product of her studies in herbalism. As the three women shared their passions with each other, they wanted to know how to do each other’s skills and came up with the idea of workshops for the community. Emma taught sourdough-bread baking, Ashley taught herbalism, and Lauren taught her specialty, animal husbandry.
As their list of classes grew over the course of two years, they decided to expand their venture to address a need of many students: Where to buy the materials used in their classes?
“We hatched this idea, like, wouldn’t it be great to open up a store? And it happened. We decided to take our idea further and really all along, it’s connecting people back to their roots, bringing elements of the homestead to everyday life,” Emma said.
Heritage Goods and Supply opened in August 2017, carrying on the classes that preceded the shop and selling products such as chicken feed, beekeeping supplies, herbal remedies, scoring knives for sourdough bread, and books related to the classes. By selling both finished goods as well as the raw materials used to make them, Heritage Goods and Supply not only provides its customers with the means to take what they learn in the classes home, but to educate them on how the products they buy are made.
“You can learn how to make soap, and you may not ever want to make soap again once you learn the process, but you are a more conscious consumer about buying the soap,” Emma said.
Now nearly two years into business, Heritage Goods and Supply’s main challenge is determining where to take the store next, be it opening another location or focusing on building Heritage’s online presence. Although the classes that preceded the store owed much of their success to a strong presence on Instagram, Emma told the News-Press that the shop ultimately gets customers to come back because of its personal connection with the community.
“I feel like we build community through our workshops, having a potluck every now and again, we build community through my bread bake day on Fridays, that people have something to look forward to,” she said.
Heritage Goods and Supply’s most difficult period of business was getting off the ground. Emma recalled the store’s first year as particularly difficult due to the Thomas Fire in December 2017 and the debris flows of January 2018, which greatly affected the sales push the store expected during its first holiday season.
Whereas some small businesses weren’t able to recover from the disasters’ economic impacts and closed their doors, Emma said she was “blown away” with how many local residents nevertheless supported Heritage Goods and Supply. With a brand established and business now stable, Emma is confident the store has nowhere to go but up.
“I feel like now we’re more and more rooted and we’re just getting stronger and stronger,” she said.