Boy did I have a fun afternoon on my first ever walking food tour! I recently went on the maiden voyage of Carla and Linda's Walking Food Tours NEW Vista tour with a group of wonderful food-loving people. We started our tour at Starbucks in the village where we all assembled and introduced ourselves. Our first stop was Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern & Grill, where after a brief walk we enjoyed crispy plantains topped with pit-roasted mojo pork and dressed with cilantro, citrus sauce and me so honey cream. Next visit was Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen for house-made pasta with veggies, sausage, micro greens and a carrot reduction sauce. Next we looped around to When Pigs Fly BBQ for a smoked rib with slaw. We finished our tour by walking back to Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen to indulge in our choice of cupcake. I selected chocolate peanut butter and it was divine.
All along the tour we were blessed to be able to chat with the chefs and owners/operators and find out more about them, their food and restaurants. While on the walking portion of the tour Linda told us great little facts about different pieces of art and businesses along the way. One of the fun things about these tours is that ahead of time we have no idea what we will be served. We just show up and enjoy!
***Update: Since I originally wrote this, I have also been on two additional Oceanside tours and they were both fantastic as well as was the Vista tour. I highly recommend this experience. The concept, restaurants and tour guides are all tops. I definitely plan to do this again and again in the future. Find out more at www.shoesandchews.com. Use code Barb to save $10 on each ticket you purchase.
I thought I would introduce you to the talented and delightful Sophia, owner of Lotus Moon Market that just moved to 347 Main St in downtown, historic Vista, and help you get to know her and her mission.
Tell me about yourself Sophia: I grew up Navy and was raised in a small town an hour west of Seattle. I went to college at the Art Institute of Phoenix, worked full time as a Graphic Designer, and finally moved to Vista in 2015!
How and when did you get started with Lotus Moon Market? I started off making crystal jewelry (Sup Goods) as a part time gig while I worked full time; I did street fairs and local markets throughout Phoenix and carried it over when I moved to California. I was a vendor at local street fairs and even did a few in Temecula. Along the way I've met so many talented artisans that I thought it would be nice to have a shop dedicated to makers (for those who have missed the markets).
At the end of January 2018, the company I was working for closed and laid everyone off. That's when I decided to make Lotus Moon Market come to life! It's funny because the universe really works in mysterious ways! I had this makers market shop in the back of my head for probably over a year before I actually made it happen. I even had my logo and name drawn out already!
What is your goal for the store and what are your future plans?
90% of the shop is handmade. I work with a lot of local artisans (around the US) and work with global artisans as well. The global artisans are all fair trade meaning they get a fair wage for their creations living in underdeveloped environments so that they are able to sustain jobs feed their families and communities. That's really important to me. My goal is to help small businesses and artisans by showcasing their hand made creations.
The future of Lotus Moon Market has so much potential, especially in this new amazing location. I really want to really bring in the community. I eventually want to host workshops to learn how to make macrame, jewelry, essential oil rollers, etc. I'd like to host events like plant swaps, maybe have a farmers market type thing a couple times a month. So many possibilities!
Why Vista and what do you love about the city?
I chose a location in Vista because I live here! I also think there is a need for a handmade focused shop here. I've seen similar stores in the coastal cities, but nothing in Vista (or not to my knowledge) I have been a vendor of the Vista Vintage Makers Market multiple times (now Artifact), Vista Night Out, Winter fest, and Alley Art Festivals so I know there is a market here. There is so much talent and art in Vista and I am thrilled to be located here.