Biz News: Grierson Farms Offers Equestrian Training in Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara Hive’s Grand Opening, and More

By Lauren Bray, edhat staff

Grierson Farms has opened up in Santa Ynez for specialized equestrian services, Santa Barbara Hives is hosting their grand opening on Saturday, the Bacara Resort was sold once again.

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

1. Grierson Farms Offers Specialized Equestrian Services in Santa Ynez

Makenna Grierson (courtesy photo)

Makenna Grierson has been riding at a national level since the age of 12, competed in world renowned horse shows across the country as a junior rider, was recruited to ride for the Division 1 College of Charleston, and has worked up the ranks for the prestigious hunter/jumper barn Blue Ridge Farms in Orange County.

It was only natural she’d take her skills and expertise to open her own boutique hunter/jumper farm. Makenna opened Grierson Farms in Santa Ynez this past September, specializing in horse and rider training for all ages, equine imports and sales, all on a ten-acre property fully equipped with stalls, corrals, and pastures. 

“The goal of my business is to provide clients with full care, support, and implement training that stands true to my morals 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. She recently traveled to the Netherlands to find talented sales prospects where she imported two of them (pictured above).

“I love the Welsh ponies. They are bred to have great minds for children and are also very sporty. For the hunter world, their physique is exactly what the judges are looking for,” she said.

Makenna hopes this new business venture will make strong connections with local riders and give her the opportunity to learn from fellow horsemen and women in the valley. 

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

Learn more here.

2. Santa Barbara Hives Hosts Grand Opening on Saturday!

Barnaby Draper and Ashley Farrell (courtesy photos)

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

The store officially opened on October 22 by Ashley Farrell and Barnaby Draper, two local beekeepers focused on supporting bees and sustainability. On top of selling bee-friendly retail products, they also offer beekeeping resources and support, hemp products, and local art.

Additionally, the owners state that with every purchase they’ll plant a tree to ensure shopping for sustainability.

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

3. Wildling Museum in Solvang Reaches New Milestone

Exterior view of the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature at 1511 Mission Dr. in Solvang (courtesy photo)

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature announced this week that the Museum paid off its mortgage in full thanks to a number of special supporters and careful fiscal management.

It’s an achievement now poising the Museum to plan for its next chapter as a growing Santa Barbara County cultural institution, the museum stated.

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 was generously supported by dozens of donors, and the private family foundation set a 10-year timetable for repayment. 

In 2012 the Board of Directors set a key goal to improve the Museum’s financial sustainability. After moving into its current facility in Solvang, they set their sights on purchasing the building as the most significant step toward this plan. Now, they have reached their goal five years ahead of schedule. 

“I’m so happy to see the Wildling thriving,” says Pete Adams, founder of the Adams Legacy Foundation. “The Wildling has built a strong foundation and now can look confidently to the future. I look forward to seeing what they will do.”

The Board and staff are planning to expand 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 is scheduled for February 12, 2023 – to make the museum accessible to all.

Learn more at

4. Bacara Resort Sells for $529 Million 

The Restaurant Guy reports the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort in Goleta has sold for $529 million to Brookfield Properties of New York. 

This is apparently the “largest non-oil sale in Santa Barbara County history” earning the City of Goleta a $583,855.90 transfer tax.

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

5. Fore! Golf Klub is now Golf Max in the Loreto Plaza

Tom Noyes of Golf Klub and Alex Bollag of Golf Max (contributed photo)

Local 24-year-old golf enthusiast Alex Bollag has taken over Golf Klub and renamed it Golf Max in Santa Barbara’s Loreto Plaza. It remains as the only retail golf store in Santa Barbara.

Bollag states the store will offer a fresh perspective on the game, provide an unbridled commitment to customer service, and sell equipment for the emerging Pickle Ball community.

”We are in a digital age, the tide is against opening new retail locations,” said Bollag. “You can’t buy Golf clubs without the luxury of touching and feeling them. It is a tactile experience.”

Bollag, a Bishop Diego High School grad, decided to switch jobs during the pandemic so he could work from home and play as much golf as possible. On September 22 he purchased The Golf Klub from Tom Noyes. “When Tom decided to retire the opportunity presented itself and I knew I had to act quickly,” said Bollag.

The store offers a golf simulator and putting area, custom fittings, re-gripping and club repair. They sell top performing inventory 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. Ready Set Confetti Opens in Montecito

Ready Set Confetti (courtesy photo)

A new holiday supply store had their grand opening on Coast Village Road in Montecito last month.

Located between Blenders in the Grass and Occhiali Eyewear, the new shop 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 and greeting cards, custom balloon services, and handcrafted holiday wrapping services. 

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

7. Santa Barbara Dojo Celebrates 20 Years in Business

(courtesy photo)

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 were hoping to attract students interested in fitness kickboxing and family martial arts, and we surpassed our expectations,” said Master Melodee Meyer, co-owner of Santa Barbara Dojo. “We are so grateful for the success of our school, and for the many friends that we have made over the years. Our success in Santa Barbara is the community’s success.”

Santa Barbara Dojo opened in 2002 under the name Martial Arts Family Fitness by Master Melodee Meyer and Grandmaster David Wheaton and their 2 sons, Master Austin Curtis, and Master Garret Curtis. All four of them taught classes until the school got big enough and they trained additional instructors.

Master Austin promoted to co-owner in 2020 when Grandmaster Wheaton retired to Hawaii. Master Austin oversaw the Dojo’s upgrade and rebranding during the mandatory Covid shutdown. “We survived the pandemic when many small family businesses couldn’t, so this month we celebrate,” said Master Curtis. “We are so grateful for everyone that is part of the Santa Barbara Dojo/Martial Arts Family Fitness family. Our celebration last night was just one small ‘thank you’ to everyone that we have met along the way. We look forward to celebrating again in another 20 years!”

Santa Barbara Dojo opened its doors in 2002 and are located at 122 E. Gutierrez Street. They teach the martial arts of Hapkido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and fitness classes to adults and children, specializing in children’s life skills, youth leadership and family fitness. For information on Santa Barbara Dojo visit or call 805.963.6233. 

8. Catherine Gee Boutique Grand Opening on Friday

(courtesy photo)

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

Catherine Gee is a fashion designer and artist based in Santa Barbara. Launched in 2015 as an all silk collection, Gee became known for her core slip dress style and has since grown the brand into full ready-to-wear with an emphasis still on silks – printed blouses and dresses with luxe velvets, high quality cottons and bold eye-catching jacquards.

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

Over the years, Catherines’ designs have attracted celebrity attention 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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Written by lauren

Lauren is the Publisher of She enjoys short walks on the beach, interesting facts about bees, and any kind of homemade cookie.

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