updated: Sep 28, 2013, 11:00 AM
By Kelley Skumautz
Around Town Asides - Local Finds With Refill In Mind.
Armed with reused containers and bags, I scour the greater Santa Barbara area for places where
bringing your own is not taboo.
The California Milk
Advisory Board might like us to think that all California cows are happy, but I think happy cows
might live exclusively at the farms of Broguiere's and Straus Family
dairies. When Peter and I made our home in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles, we lived so
close to Bristol Farms Market that we made shopping there a habit not because of their gourmet
inventory, but simply because its proximity could be measured in feet. There we primarily sought
specialty sodas, bakery items, last minute gifts, and Peet's coffee. Then, in a milk emergency, I ran over
and stumbled upon Broguiere's - an L.A. area brand of dairy products packaged in returnable and
refillable glass bottles. Along with the cows, I was happy.
Something happened when we moved to paradise. I neglected to look for Broguiere's at Santa Barbara
area grocers. But over the summer a friend's social media photo post jogged my memory, and after
making a quick call to the company's customer service department, I found out that Broguiere's milk
can be had at six area stores: Gelson's, Lazy Acres, Montecito Village Grocery, Ralph's on Carrillo, Tri-
County Produce, and Whole Foods. And now that I am again shopping in the dairy case rather than on
the almond milk shelves, I have noticed that Straus Family Creamery (based near Petaluma, CA) also has
a strong presence in our neck of the woods and that they have various dairy products in different
volume sizes in returnable, refillable glass containers available at Gelson's, Isla Vista Co-op, Lassen's,
Lazy Acres, Tri-County Produce, and Whole Foods.
Needless to say, our family is back on Broguiere's. We choose them because Montebello, CA is at least
three times closer than Marshall, CA thus requiring fewer miles for distribution, and because their quart
size best suits our needs (I see a lot of Straus half-gallons around town). Admittedly, I was prepared for
sticker shock, but pricing turned out not to be as high as I remember it. Montecito Village Grocery
charges $3.59 for a quart. There is also a $1.50 bottle deposit that I am pleased to pay because the
returnable/refillable option is so darned important. Yay and moo!
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Kelley Skumautz is the owner of Refill to You a home
and small business delivery service that replenishes products for the kitchen, bath, and laundry. She
also writes a weekly blog about simplicity, sustainability,
community & commodity.
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