Little Saint: A Unique Destination in Sonoma County Wine Country

Pretty much everyone who ever visited SHED in the Sonoma County wine country town of Healdsburg still laments its demise in 2018.

SHED was a combination café, store and event space, all hyper-focused on local agriculture. It even had a fermentation bar for wine, kombucha and more.

At SHED, one could not only buy the freshest local produce, but also the seeds to grow it as well as the fermentation crock needed to preserve it. I have an aunt who lives a little farther north in Cloverdale who had one of those pots and stopped by SHED often to pick up fruit.

But the unique business closed four years ago, citing financial problems. Its 10,000-square-foot footprint no doubt had something to do with that. The venue probably couldn’t have survived California’s looming COVID shutdowns, but at least we could have had a few more months…

That was then and this is now. Today, the former SHED space is occupied by Little Saint, another multi-function business that combines a wine shop (no shortage of those in Healdsburg!) with a plant-based restaurant and a quick-service café. Regular music performances also are scheduled, which was something of an organic afterthought at SHED.

On the venue’s website, there’s a mission statement that defines Little Saint. It reads: “Little Saint is a farm-forward gathering place where food, music, art and conversations are good for the soul, the earth and the community.”

If there weren’t so many wineries in the area to visit, one could spend an entire day at Little Saint. Literally.

Its coffee bar opens daily at 6 a.m. and changes out its drip coffee quarterly utilizing local roasters, smaller format roasters, BIPOC roasters and female roasters. The coffee is perfect for washing down a sweet pastry to kickstart the day.

Next, stop by the Café and stock up on some all-day snacks that you can store in your hotel room for the NEXT day. Remember, we’re not leaving Little Saint on THIS day.

A visit to the Provisions area provides an opportunity to pick up still more items for the following day’s picnic, including fresh produce, bento boxes, salads and grain bowls. Plant-based cheeses also are available.

Okay… maybe you can’t stay ALL day. So head out to a local winery and do some tasting, then come back in time for dinner at the Little Saint Restaurant & Bar, where the entire menu is plant based and driven by what’s growing seasonally in the region.

There’s a focus on dishes that are meant to be shared, which makes the experience even more fun.

After dinner, head upstairs to The Lounge at Little Saint, which has gained quite a following among locals as a place to enjoy live music, creative snacks (baked corn dip, anyone?) and unique cocktails. To see who’s playing next at The Lounge, click here.

SHED is gone, but much of its spirit lives on at Little Saint. These unique spaces are special and worth supporting. So the next time you’re in Sonoma County wine country, check it out — even if you can’t spend the whole day.

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Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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