A Village Within A City: Santa Rosa's Montgomery Village
Many out-of-town visitors to Sonoma County are unaware that there is an entire village of shops located within the city limits of Santa Rosa — the Montgomery Village Shopping Center, with beautiful landscaping, innovative 'Town and Country' architecture, and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.
Billing itself as a "premier open-air lifestyle shopping center" doesn't begin to cover what you'll discover while strolling sidewalks lined with local, regional, and national businesses with everything from gourmet cooking to one-of-a-kind fashions.
Add to that restaurants that offer outdoor dining and ongoing events: recently a cadre of North Bay artists displayed their works in the center's plaza under the canopies of brightly colored market umbrellas.
You'll find some universally loved shopping destinations that offer everything from button-down classic looks to more active wear, including J. Jill and Chico's to Lululemon for women, and Patrick James to Sonoma Outfitters for men.
And here are a few of Montgomery Village's local, family-owned shops that can hold their own against national retailers with their personality and uniquely artistic perspectives.
You'll also want to look for locally made crafts such as cutting boards, and trays made out of recycled French oak wine barrels, salvaged from local wineries by artist Jonathan Black. Or any of the fragrant products by Matanzas Creek, a Santa Rosa winery that grows fields of lavender to make their own unique bath and body products.
Do ask for the background on whatever strikes your fancy, because there is probably a good story behind the product — such as the beautifully sculpted wood bowls by Doug Smith. He was seriously injured on the job while working in Windsor, and while dealing with the downtime of a slow recuperation, began turning reclaimed local woods, such as redwood and bay, into art. A life and an art reclaimed.
Modern accessory designer Adelle Stoll features her handmade goods in her new boutique in Montgomery Village.
Stoll creates handmade handbags and jewelry with classic and bold architectural shapes, using soft materials and minimalist construction. Everything is created in Sonoma County, and Stoll presents new designs and wearable art every season. Modern women’s shoes, men’s accessories, and minimalist home-décor items are all in the design pipeline.
Hand-fabricated brass rods and hardware, and 100% German wool felt in vibrant, saturated colors define her work. The finest oil tanned leathers (sourced from the United States) are hand cut to create stylish accessories designed for years of use. All materials used are specifically chosen for their quality and durability.
And don't forget to stop by the Classic Duck, another inspiring destination for those who consider living well to be an art. You'll find wonderfully curated and creatively showcased things you may not knew you needed until you were properly introduced.
For example, have you heard of Think Outside, a company dedicated to innovative design using naturally sustainable and recycled materials? They have workshops around the globe utilizing the talent and workmanship of artists from Zimbabwe to Vietnam to, of course, the USA. Check out the incredibly cool ice chest/coolers fashioned out of repurposed 44-gallon oil drums — including a whimsical vintage hippie van design.
And then of course there's the Sonoma County company, Catstudio, offering pillows and dish towels featuring vintage travel maps of all the places you love, from Sonoma County to your favorite states. And finally, take a look at Uno de 50 handcrafted silver jewelry from Spain, perfectly styled to take you from the beach to boardroom without blinking an eye.
When you're ready for a bite to eat there are many delicious choices, from craft coffee, breakfast, and sandwiches at Acre Coffee to amazing Mediterranean wood-fired cuisine at Monti's, classic Italian at Tomatina, or noodles and sushi at Raku Ramen and Rolls.
Details: Montgomery Village Shopping Center is located just off Montgomery Drive and Farmer's Lane at 911 Village Court in Santa Rosa.
Written by Sonoma Insider Vicky Ness.