The Alchemy of Ojai Botanika

The Alchemy of Ojai Botanika

Eco-friendly soaps and candles find a following in Central Coast shops — and on the web
Story by  Misty Hall Photos by Malina Majikina

In a lot of ways, Ojai Botanika bridges the gap between old-school and new. Founder Malina Majikina started her soap and candle company the way craftspeople have done since, well, forever: through word of mouth. But her business really took off when she began connecting with customers through social media platforms, which allowed her to vastly expand her reach. Today, Ojai Botanika ships its all-natural soaps, candles, and curios around the world.

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Tri-tip tribe: Searching for the best barbecue on the Central Coast

Tri-tip tribe: Searching for the best barbecue on the Central Coast

Story and photos by Katherine McMahon

Barbecue: Technically, it’s just food cooked over a flame. The term comes from a Native American word for slow cooking meat over a fire. But today there is so much cultural complexity that goes along with the word, particularly when meat is involved. Depending on where you’re at and who you ask, you’ll get very different definitions. While many famous barbecue styles come from the southern U.S., there are countless other varieties like Hawaiian, Korean, and even a style native to the Central Coast dubbed Santa Maria style. In my travels on the Central Coast, I have eaten at barbecue restaurants that encompass a range of tradition and innovation, drawing from regional preferences and those across the globe.

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Fall Comfort Food

Fall Comfort Food

By Randy Graham

Fall brings a yearning for cozy blankets, hot apple cider, and comfort foods here on California’s Central Coast. One of my go-to comfort foods is poutine with plenty of tangy gravy.

My riff features French fries, cheese curds, and gravy made with vegetable stock and rice vinegar. If you’re looking for comfort food for Halloween or Día de Los Muertos, give my quesofundido a try. It is good with a bowl of fresh tortilla chips or small handmade flour tortillas for dipping. If you need to provide comfort food to vegetarians visiting at Thanksgiving, we have you covered there too.

Try my veggie meatballs made with walnuts, onions, fresh sage, and mild longhorn cheese. Veg heads and meat lovers of all ages love this recipe. AnotherThanksgiving favorite of mine is my mom’s riced potatoes recipe, made with russet potatoes, butter, half-and-half, sour cream, and Parmesan cheese.

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Beato Embodied

Beato Embodied

With handcrafted chocolates and inspired tableware, the Mama of Dada is back in the spotlight at the Porch Gallery

By Misty Hall

Part of the allure of Ojai’s Porch Gallery is its juxtaposition of contemporary art housed in a historic Victorian building. An expansive porch wraps around the exterior, creating a welcoming space dotted with pink lounge chairs. This is not a cold and formal “look reverently and leave” type of gallery. It is inviting — intentionally so. Come on in, it seems to say. Stay awhile.

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Farm Stand Fans

Farm Stand Fans

Ojai’s country roads offer fresh-picked produce — and nostalgia for simpler times

By Hannah Little
All photos by Misty Hall

the Ojai Valley citrus trees bulge with juicy and delicious oranges, lemons, and Pixie tangerines. But thanks to the valley’s ideal growing conditions, you can find fresh fruit year-round in this corner of Ventura County.

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Jewelry With Meaning

Jewelry With Meaning

By Marlowe Hast

Sometimes when you step into an unfamiliar place, there’s a vibe, an energy, a magic to it — something that’s hard to describe, but undeniably there. That’s how you’ll feel entering Jes MaHarry’s shop in downtown Ojai. The renowned jeweler/artist and her family have put countless hours into revamping the flagship store, where every item, every light fixture, even the boards in the floor, tell a story that’s entirely MaHarry’s.

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