We were back in Pt. Reyes Station yesterday, planning to buy some plastic Adirondack chairs at the Ace Building Supply Store. They were out of the red ones we wanted so we’ll be checking back.  The town was a hive of activity; a big change from the quiet morning we had last week.  There were cyclists pooled up by the Bovine Bakery, a row of motorcycles that took up nearly half a block, and parking was getting scarce.  We didn’t have long to spend today but since we made the trip we couldn’t resist grabbing a cup of coffee and hanging out for a bit at Toby’s.’

You don’t have to be a local to know that Toby’s Feed Barn is the heart of Pt. Reyes Station. It is a general store, of sorts, with roots that go back to 1942 when Toby Giacomini started a business delivering milk and cream from West Marin to the East Bay. In 1972 the store was established by his son, Chris, and over the years it has evolved into an eclectic conglomerate of businesses that speak to the lifestyle of a community.  The main store is part produce market, part gift shop, part toy store, part t-shirt shop, and more. There is a continuity of quality and conscience in the products they sell; whether it is a locally produced ghee from Ancient Organics or “green” sweaters from Peru. At the back of the store there is a sizable art gallery that is known to exhibit works of prestigious Northern California artists.  It is currently featuring a colorful display of works from the West Marin School student art show.

In the feed barn they sell feed, of course, but just inside the large rolling door you’ll also find Toby’s Coffee Bar steadily churning out hot drinks.  Tables and benches are spread out near the bags of feed.  A small assortment of chicks is for sale in the corner.  A fenced in area out front sells a variety of plants displayed beneath a wall-sized mural of a train; homage to the days when Pt. Reyes Station was a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad. Occasionally a few yoga students make their way through, going to and from the Yoga Toes Studio in the back of the barn.

If all of this doesn’t seem like enough for one enterprise to undertake, Toby’s is also home to a community garden and plays host to a variety of cultural events and entertainment.  And, last but not least, there is the summer farmers market that is the only all local and all organic market in the Bay Area; even HRH Prince Charles and Camilla have been there!  The market starts next Saturday, June 26th, 9am – 1pm.  Check the calendar for the guest chef of the week. We’ll be back to visit the market and, hopefully, to pick up those Adirondack Chairs.

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