Editor’s note: The letter writer is referring in her first paragraph to a comment made by Brian Brunello, co-owner of The Liquor and Wine Grotto in Montecito, in a story about the parklets on Coast Village Road.
The Aug. 10 front-page story in the News-Press that singled out Jeannine’s and its owner Alison Hardey as being “disingenuous and greedy” (“Parking on Coast Village Road”) was uncalled for and misdirected.
Alison Hardey is the most kind, generous, and giving person I know. During the fires she gave food to the firefighters. During the tragic mudslide when many businesses like Jeannine’s were not allowed to sell food until the city deemed the water supply safe, she brought pastries and coffee from her other establishments and gave them away free to “anyone” in need. She gave the Red Cross a place to set up a station at her business to make it easy for anyone to access help. She then posted a large poster with the words “I Need” and across from those words “I Have” so that people could connect with other people in need that lost “everything” and some that walked away with only the clothes on their back.
She has volunteered her time and resources to support the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and took charge of one of their fundraisers. She partnered with the Capps Foundation to support the Common Table on State Street and in Carpinteria to bring the community together after the tragic mudslide.
She volunteered her business to be the central distributor of checks from an anonymous philanthropist to supplement income to all servers in the community and other workers who lost their jobs while the community was being put back together. (I know because I asked how I could help and sat many days handing out these same checks to people in need.)
Many of the patrons of Coast Village Road and Jeannine’s enjoy the parklets and the ability to eat outside in the fresh, coastal air when COVID is still an issue.
Jeannine’s is truly a business with a heart.