Biz News: Grierson Farms Offers Equine Training in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara Hive Opens, and More

By Lauren Bray, Edhat Staff

Grierson Farms in Santa Ynez is opening for specialized equestrian services, Santa Barbara Hives is hosting its grand opening on Saturday, and Bacara Resort is once again sold out.

These are just a few stories that happen in our local business community. Scroll down for the latest.

1. Grierson Farms offers specialized equestrian services in Santa Ynez

McKenna Grierson (Courtesy photo)

McKenna Grierson has ridden nationally since she was 12, competed in prestigious horse shows across the country as a junior rider, was recruited to ride at Division I College of Charleston, and worked in the ranks of the prestigious hunter/jumper barn at Blue Ridge Farms in Orange County.

It was only natural that she would take her skills and experience to open her own hunting/jumping farm in Santa Ynez. Makenna opened Grierson Farms in September specializing in training horses and riders of all ages and levels, horse imports and sales on a ten-acre property fully equipped with stalls, barns and paddocks.

“The goal of my job is to provide complete client care and support and to implement training that is consistent with my ethos and values ​​of treating horses with respect and the best care available,” she said.

Unique to the Santa Ynez Valley, Makenna focuses on Welsh ponies. I recently traveled to the Netherlands to find talented sales opportunities so I imported a couple of them (see above).

“I love Welsh ponies. They have been bred to have great brains for kids and are also very athletic. For the world hunters, their fitness is exactly what the stewards are looking for,” she said.

With this new business venture, McKenna said, she hopes to forge strong bonds with local riders and learn from fellow riders and women in the Valley.

“I also hope to place sales ponies in loving homes where they can reach their full potential. I want to bring joy to my customers and make riding accessible to all levels in the Santa Barbara/Linz areas,” she said.

Learn more here.


Barnaby Draper and Ashley Farrell (photos courtesy)

Santa Barbara Hives is hosting the grand opening of its second store on Saturday, November 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., including meet and greets with local vendors, a flow hive, solar displays, holiday gift raffles, and more. Located at 3328 State Street, the former Instrumental Music store across from Loreto Plaza.

The store was officially opened on October 22nd by Ashley Farrell and Barnaby Draper, two local beekeepers focused on bee support and sustainability. On top of retailing bee-friendly products, they also provide resources and support for beekeeping, hemp products, and local art.

Plus, the owners mention that with every purchase they’ll plant a tree to ensure they shop for sustainability.

Their flagship location at 516 Palm Ave in Carpinteria has been open since 2019 and has already become a favorite with locals. Learn more at

3. The Wildling Museum in Solvang reaches a new level

An exterior view of the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature at 1511 Mission Dr. In Solvang (photo courtesy)

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature announced this week that the museum has paid off the mortgage in full thanks to a number of private backers and careful financial management.

Now the museum is preparing to plan its next chapter as a growing cultural institution in Santa Barbara County.

The Wildling Museum was founded in 2000 and purchased its building at 1511 Mission Drive in Solvang in 2017 with a $1.6 million loan from the Adams Legacy Foundation, after making a $1 million down payment. This ambitious effort has been generously supported by dozens of benefactors, and the Private Family Foundation has set a 10-year repayment schedule.

In 2012, the Board of Directors set a major goal of improving the museum’s financial sustainability. After moving to their current facility in Solvang, they set their sights on purchasing the building as the most important step toward this plan. Now, they’ve reached their goal five years ahead of schedule.

“I am so happy to see wildling flourish,” says Pete Adams, founder of the Adams Legacy Foundation. “The Wildling have built a strong foundation and can now look confidently into the future. I look forward to seeing what they do.”

The board and staff plan to expand the educational offerings in 2023, which may include more hands-on art experiences for families to enjoy during their visits, as well as more classes and free family days — the next scheduled for February 12, 2023 — to make the museum more accessible to all. .

Learn more at

4. Bakkara Resort sold for $529 million

The Restaurant Guy reports that The Ritz-Carlton Baccara resort in Goleta has sold for $529 million to Brookfield Properties of New York.

This was apparently the “largest non-oil sale in Santa Barbara County history” as the city of Goleta earned $583,855.90 in transfer tax.

Brookfield Properties purchased a hospitality organization, the Watermark Portfolio, earlier this year for $3.8 billion that included 25 properties in 14 states. The company has also reportedly purchased DreamWorks’ 14.7-acre campus in Glendale.

5. Standout! Golf Klub is now Golf Max in Loreto Plaza

Tom Noyes of Golf Club and Alex Polag of Golf Max (photo contributed)

Alex Bollag, 24, has taken over the Golf Klub and called it Golf Max in Santa Barbara’s Loreto Plaza. It remains Santa Barbara’s only retail golf store.

Bollag states that the store will bring a fresh perspective to the game, provide an unparalleled commitment to customer service, and sell equipment to the budding Pickle Ball community.

“We are in a digital age, which is directed against the opening of new retail locations,” said Polag. “You can’t buy golf clubs without the luxury of touch and feel. It’s a tactile experience.”

Polag, a graduate of Bishop Diego High School, decided to switch jobs during the pandemic so he could work from home and play as much golf as possible. On 22 September he bought The Golf Club from Tom Noyes. “When Tom decided to retire, I had the opportunity and I knew I had to act fast,” said Polag.

The shop offers a golf simulator, installation space, custom fixtures, re-holds, and club repairs. They sell the best stock from brands such as PING, Titleist, Srixon, Cleveland, Callaway, Mizuno, and Taylor-made.

GolfMax is located at 3313 State Street next door to Harry’s and Gelsons.

6. Confetti Ready Set opens in Montecito

Ready-made scrapbooking kit (Courtesy photo)

The new holiday supply store opened on Coast Village Road in Montecito last month.

Located between Blenders in the Grass and Occhiali Eyewear, the new store was created by owner Emma Morton-Smith who envisioned a one-stop party shop with quality supplies and community events.

They offer tableware settings, home decor items, ornaments, greeting cards, custom balloon services, and handmade holiday wrapping services.

Ready Set Confetti is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 AM to 5 PM and is located at 1046 Coast Village Rd, Suite G in Montecito.

7. The Santa Barbara Dojo is celebrating 20 years in business

(image courtesy)

The Santa Barbara Dojo, a family owned and operated school dedicated to improving lives through martial arts, celebrated its 20th anniversary last month.

“When we opened the school 20 years ago, we hoped to attract students interested in fitness, kickboxing and family martial arts, and it exceeded our expectations,” said Master Melodee Meyer, co-owner of the Santa Barbara Dojo. “We are so grateful for the success of our school and for the many friends we have made over the years. Our success in Santa Barbara is the success of the community.”

Santa Barbara Dojo was opened in 2002 under the name Martial Arts Family Fitness by Master Melodee Meyer and Grandmaster David Wheaton and their two sons, Master Austin Curtis, and Master Garret Curtis. All four taught classes until the school was large enough and they trained additional instructors.

Master Austin was promoted to partner in 2020 when Grandmaster Wheaton retired to Hawaii. Mr. Austin oversaw the upgrade and rebranding of the Dojo during the mandatory Covid lockdown. “We survived the pandemic when many small family businesses could not, so this month we are celebrating,” Master Curtis said. “We are so grateful to everyone from the Santa Barbara Dojo/Martial Arts Family Fitness family. Our celebration last night was just a small ‘thank you’ to everyone we met along the way. We look forward to celebrating again in another 20 years!”

Santa Barbara Dojo opened its doors in 2002 and is located at 122 E. Gutierrez Street. They teach the martial arts of Hapkido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, fitness classes for adults and children, and specialize in children’s life skills, youth leadership and family fitness. For information about Santa Barbara Dojo, visit or call 805-963-6233.

8. Catherine G Boutique Grand Opening Friday

(image courtesy)

Fashion designer Catherine G celebrates the opening of her new boutique on State Street located at 1114-24 State Street in La Arcada. The community is invited to the grand opening party on Friday, November 18 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

Catherine G is a fashion designer and artist based in Santa Barbara. Launched in 2015 as a full silk collection, Gee became known for its staple slip dress style and has since evolved the brand into a ready-to-wear with a focus on silk – blouses and dresses printed with luxurious velvet and high quality cotton and rayon. Eye-catching bold jacquard.

Gee achieved industry recognition when she became the winner of the WWD and Galeries Lafayette (Paris) Creme de la Creme Emerging Designer in 2016.

Over the years, Catherine’s designs have caught the attention of celebrities including Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, Mila Kunis, Kate Bosworth, Olivia Wilde, Alessandra Ambrosio, Debra Messing, Jessica Alba, Rebecca Gayheart, and more.

Visit for more information.

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