Rendering of the upgraded New Frontiers Market at The Merkantile

Rendering of the upgraded New Frontiers Market at The Merkantile

Star Staff

Celebrating the kick off of “Concert on the Green” summer music series at New Frontiers, guests also had the chance to see the plans for the major rennovations the natural food store will undergo starting soon.

“The idea was formed together with New frontiers owners because they are busting at the seams and needed to expand. We wanted to help because we love what their business brings to our community so we decided to give the whole complex an upgrade,” said Josh Richman, manager of 1980s Old Mission Drive LLC.

The Richman family has owned the center at the corner of Alamo Pintado and Mission Drive for 15 years and are excited to give the complex a facelift complete with renaming it to The Merkantile, which is Danish meaning “related to commerce”.

“This is the biggest project we have seen in awhile in Solvang and we are so excited and grateful to the Richman family,” said Tracy Beard, executive director of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Jim Richardson commented it will give a great new look as people enter Solvang.

Construction will begin this summer, demolishing the buildings surrounding the current New Frontiers Market, where Giovanni’s Pizza and the donut shop used to be. To replace them it will take about two years and four new buildings and space for eight to 10 retail spaces will be in their place. The Richman’s are also hoping to add another entrance from Highway 246 for easier access to the shopping center. Above the retail spaces will be apartments from studios to one-bedrooms.

When asked by a customer if there will still be a community space Richman replied they are centering the shopping around a bigger better space for community gatherings.

“We love events like Music on the Green because it gives people a chance to come together and enjoy the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley weather,” he added.

New Frontiers will stay open during the duration of the construction as many customers were concerned their beloved market might close temporarily. The market came to the Santa Ynez Valley first to farm at their property Nojoqui Farm in 1992, and grow year round produce for their flagship stores in Salt Lake City and Flagstaff, Arizona. They opened the Solvang store in 1997 and now farm more than 85 acres.

Anyone interested in leasing a space when construction is completed can contact Evan Lash for more information at

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