New Carpinteria storefront celebrates homesteading activities, made accessible for modern life
Honing in on Heritage
By Leah Etling
If raising backyard chickens, baking sourdough bread or foraging for wild herbs sound like things that would have been part of daily life 100 years ago, a new Carpinteria business wants you to think again.
Women’s Heritage, which offers classes and hands-on activities celebrating days gone by, opened a storefront called Heritage Goods & Supply this fall at 5100 Carpinteria Ave. The business is the brainchild of three friends turned business partners: Ashley Moore, Emma Rollin Moore, and Lauren Malloy.
Ashley is a dedicated herbalist, Emma a talented cook and baker, and Lauren a passionate animal scientist. Their unique interests and skills are expressed in Women’s Heritage, which started as a blog and workshop series and then became a brick-and-mortar store in September. A wide variety of classes, ranging from fermentation to cow milking to bread baking to jam making, have been popular since 2016.
“We really wanted to stay true to ourselves and what each of us is passionate about, and bring that to the community,” Malloy said. And so, Women’s Heritage was born.
Cows, chickens and bees
“It feels like people really wanted to learn these skills that maybe were previously passed down from grandparents, and now aren’t,” Malloy said. She raises cows, pigs, chickens and even a Thanksgiving turkey on the coastal ranch she shares with husband Keith – one of the famous surfing and filmmaking Malloy Brothers — and their two young daughters.
Growing up in Vermont with a dairy down the street, Malloy fell in love with cows as a 7-year-old and became the dairy’s head milker by the time she graduated from high school. Today she has a dairy cow named Ruby and a calf, Coco. They help her educate others about where milk comes from and what’s required to raise a healthy cow.
Raising animals for food has also prompted open conversations with her children about life and death.
“I’m just really honest about it with them. Death makes me sad as well. So we talk about that, and we honor that animal and thank it. We talk about the fact that we have chosen to eat meat, and this is the way we are doing it – by raising it ourselves. It is nice to know exactly where our food has come from,” Malloy said.
For city dwellers, raising livestock for food might not be an attainable goal. Customers of Women’s Heritage can get started with a backyard chicken coop and a class or book on how to raise chickens. Adorable baby chicks are for sale at the store, to the delight of children who come in with their parents.
“It’s nice just to be able to sit and talk with a customer about what it really means to have chickens, and share ways to set it up so it’s best for you and for the chickens. We’ve had some free talks and it’s also on our blog, so it goes full circle,” Malloy said.
Backyard beekeeping is another more accessible entry point into homegrown agriculture that has become very popular. On the day Santa Barbara Family and Life visited, a little girl asked questions about the beekeeping supplies for sale and Malloy patiently explained what each tool was used for. She also can connect adults with a beekeeper who delivers bees to home hives.
Sourdough, fermentation, and yoga
Yoga and fitness enthusiasts in Santa Barbara have likely taken a class from Emma Rollin Moore, a longtime yoga teacher at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club and instructor of communication at SBCC. As the resident baker for Women’s Heritage, she has diversified her instructional repertoire.
Rollin Moore’s sourdough bread-baking class, the first to be offered by the trio, was marketed only on Instagram and sold out in two hours.
“There is just something about bringing people together in this day and age. I think in some ways, technology can really isolate us,” she said.
Bread making has become a very popular hobby in the last year or so, and Moore suspects it may be a backlash to the gluten-free movement. She doesn’t know for sure, but people seem very excited about the arts of sourdough and fermentation. Rollin Moore is teaching both at Women’s Heritage.
“There’s something about bringing people together, creating community, and also learning skills from the past. People have been making sourdough for years and years and years,” said the mother of two, who grew up on a dairy farm in the Central Valley.
The youngest of five children, Emma grew up in the kitchen with her mother, but skills like canning and bread making were not handed down. So when she and husband Kevin had their children, Rollin Moore set out to augment her healthy eating habits and learn how to cook and bake the highest quality food for her family.
“In the rush of today’s world, it’s nice to step back, and what we’ve found is that people really do want to learn these skills,” she said. “I just loved the idea of feeding our family the best possible foods.”
Rollin Moore has been challenged by her business partners to learn how to cook in creative ways. After one of Ashley’s foraging classes (read on for more details), she made dandelion green and mallow empanadas, as well as chickpea pesto flatbread and nopales tacos.
“Her class on foraging really encouraged me to think outside the box and create amazing food,” Rollin Moore said.
Herbs, plants, and skincare
Ashley Moore (no relation to Emma) has lived in Carpinteria since age 7. She and her husband Ryan own the Lucky Llama, the popular coffeehouse right next door to Women’s Heritage.
“My favorite thing about Carpinteria is the community. Everybody supports one another so much, it feels like extended family,” Moore said. “When I go to the Farm Cart across the street, I feel like I am always running into friends, whether I have known them for 30 years or 6 months.”
The day we visited, Moore had just come from an event at her son’s preschool. A former teacher, and a mother of three, she lit up when talking about introducing kids to foraging for native plants at a recent parent-child workshop.
“They just have this enthusiasm, and they’re such little sponges. Everything that we were talking about, they just got it, and then they were teaching their parents,” she recalled. An art project, snack and first aid treatment were all sourced from the plants they found in Toro Canyon, and the young students wanted to come back for more lessons the very next day.
Moore learned about plants thanks to her dad, a surgeon with a love for nature and gardening. As a kid, he was constantly urging her to taste new fruits and vegetables, and recognize herbs that grew like weeds. As an adult, she has studied with renowned herbalists Rosemary Gladstar and Susun Weed and continues to learn new things all the time.
After struggling to find skin care products without chemical preservatives or hormone additives, Moore decided to use her knowledge about the curing power of plants and make her own. They are sold at Women’s Heritage under the label BeautyShare, and handmade in small batches by Ashley herself.
“Rather than fighting my skin I needed to think about what my skin needs to achieve balance,” explained Moore, whose skin was blemish-free and radiant without a trace of makeup. “Our bodies are already trying to do this, and if we support the body, we can achieve equilibrium and be healthy.”
In addition to plant foraging walks, she teaches classes on natural skincare and herbal medicines.
When the three friends started talking about starting a business together, they knew it would be a lot of work. All have young children, and they met when they were preschool moms together.
“When we first started talking, I didn’t see all of this coming from it,” Moore said, gesturing at the shop around her. “But Lauren kept saying ‘I’m a big-picture thinker,’ so now I understand what she meant.”
“I couldn’t be luckier than to be with these two powerhouse women who are also just really kind,” Moore said.
“Since it’s the three of us doing this together, we really share the workload.” Heritage women, indeed.
To learn more about Women’s Heritage, log onto www.womensheritage.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.