The HUB Santa Barbara Genesis: from Vision to Community


In August 2016, Santa Barbara artist Auna Salomé woke up in the middle of the night with a clear vision: how wonderful would it be if the 20+ businesses that surrounded the block where she worked were to join hands and market the neighborhood as a single destination called The Hub Santa Barbara? Instead of each establishment promoting itself on its own, all of them coming together as a community would create a powerful energy to bring locals and tourists alike to an area that is home to an attractive array of businesses, with the distinctive trait that they are all owned by Santa Barbara locals.

At the time, Auna worked for folio press and paperie, creating displays for the shop (she now runs the retail boutique at Yoga Soup, around the corner). When she described her vision to Marlene Bucy, the owner of folio loved it and thought the name Hub was very meaningful given the fact that the block is bordered by the 101 expressway, the train station and State Street, the major transportation thoroughfares in town. Furthermore, two of the streets that delineate the Hub, Motor Way and Parker Way used to be the address of a large automotive shop. 

What makes this district stand out is the fact that many of the businesses make/create their products on-site. This is the reason why the block is heavily frequented by a local clientele of regulars, and this has generated a real “buzz” around these tried-and-true businesses, solidly anchored in the community they’ve been serving, sometimes for decades.

Together, Marlene and Auna rallied the community of businesses, branding was created, the media alerted, and in November 2016 the first Hub Block Party was organized, pinning the business neighborhood on the Santa Barbara map as a destination for great food, gifts, spas, yoga, clothing and a variety of services, all centrally-located and adjacent to a city parking lot.