Restaurateur Sherry Villanueva Shares one of Santa Barbara’s Best Kept Secrets
Updated: Apr 22, 2020
3 miles from Rincon beach, 10 minutes from the charming seaside village of Carpinteria, and 20 minutes from downtown Santa Barbara… a surprise awaits. Gobernador Canyon is one of Santa Barbara’s best kept secrets, an understated and private neighborhood made up of sprawling orchards, fruitful nurseries, verdant ranches and charming farmhouses of varying styles, sizes and characters. An eclectic mix of agrarian farmland and peaceful homes, this unique stretch of California coast offers an unprecedented rural lifestyle in a convenient and easily accessible locale.
7170 Gobernador Canyon Road is positioned on over 4 acres in the heart of the canyon, ideally positioned to take advantage of the canyon views looking out to the east where you can see mountains and all the other local neighboring farms. To the west there is a beautiful ocean breeze that graces the property with a cool wind year round.
The lush environment in the canyon has attracted generational farmers and boutique growers from a plethora of backgrounds. Two of the property’s immediate neighbors are well known growers of very high quality produce:
Robert “BD” Dautch
Known locally as an “Organic Alchemist” who turns dirt into gold, Robert "BD" Dautch is one of Santa Barbara's original organic farmers - he is highly respected as one of the best farmers in the County. He began his career in organic farming over 40 years ago and currently farms 5 acres of organic produce in Gobernador Canyon. He is also the mastermind behind Ojai's Earthtrine Farm, famous for their culinary herbs producing over 100 varietals of heirloom crops every year. Although his main produce is oranges, he also grows an abundance of other fruits, veggies and herbs. BD is a local legend and a familiar face at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
"“It’s important for people to really discover where their food comes from, to get back to their roots. Being in touch with your local farmer brings back that connection with the earth.”
The Coleman Family
Another direct neighbor, the Coleman Family, have been farming organically in the Canyon for generations. Bill Coleman was one of 7 original farmers who started the Santa Barbara Farmers Market and was highly respected and regarded for his passion and legacy.
Romeo Coleman is now the lead farmer on their property and they've become one of the largest producers of farm-to-table products going into restaurants throughout Santa Monica and Santa Barbara County.
The Coleman Farm recently hosted the well known “Outstanding in the Field” event at their property - it turned out to be one of their most popular and fastest selling events. Hundreds of people came to Gobernador to share in the bounty and enjoy the high quality food coming out of the Canyon.
The Villanueva's discovered Gobernador Canyon about 4 years ago and immediately fell in love with the area - the fertility of the soil, the thriving nature and verdant surroundings and the magical year long climate was ideal for their lifestyle and vision. They had a lifelong dream of building a regenerative organic farm and family compound, a place to raise their grandchildren, a pace for kids to run and get dirty and skin their knees, a place to experience and come to understand the cycle of life and growth in an organic, natural environment.
They also wanted cultivate the farm in collaboration with, and support of, Sherry's eight restaurants in Santa Barbara County, which are known for providing high quality farm-to-table organic cuisine.
They designed it to be a social place, where friends and family could come together and experience the outdoors and connect with nature. They wanted to create food and share it with the people they love.
This farm was that dream.
“Our vision was to create a magical place for our family, friends and extended community to grow, share and celebrate life in perfect harmony with our farm.”
- Sherry Villanueva, Homeowner & Managing Partner, Acme Hospitality
The Villanueva's worked with Danny Longwill, of Two Trees Architects, and Eric Nagelmann on Landscape Design to design the ultimate organic farm and family compound of their dreams.