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Ants and Yogi Bear not invited 

The General Store in Paso Robles serves up locally produced gourmet goodies

click to enlarge GENERALLY COOL :  Downtown Paso Robles now has a store full of goodies for awesome picnic baskets (like the one Joeli Yaguda is holding on the left next to Jillian Waters) or for general household usage. - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • GENERALLY COOL : Downtown Paso Robles now has a store full of goodies for awesome picnic baskets (like the one Joeli Yaguda is holding on the left next to Jillian Waters) or for general household usage.

Summertime and the 805 Cali livin’ is easy. Yes, this is an amazing place we live in; there’s no denying that. Mountains for climbing; oceans for swimming; and a cornucopia of wineries and bistros for indulging. In these sweetly tepid evenings we often find ourselves gathered with friends at backyard barbecues and concerts at the community park. Such rendezvous deserve only the best in local fare, and the General Store in Paso Robles brings you all those goodies in a one-stop shop.

After much work and anticipation, the General Store opened its doors on May 17. Owned and operated by Erin Stuck, Jillian Waters, and Joeli Yaguda—three friends who know the local artisan community like nobody’s business—these ladies schemed up the idea for the store when they realized that there was something about SLO County that wasn’t being represented.

“People are proud to live here and they like bringing things that represent the area when they visit other places,” said Yaguda, explaining how the idea for the General Store developed. Lots of people like to bring a local bottle of wine or olive oil to friends when they go to visit them, and with so many local artisans of multiple mediums in and around the county it seemed like a clever idea to bring them all into one venue.

The General Store is the ultimate gift-basket-making place. Whether you’re gathering goodies to give to a friend or simply treating yourself, the General Store seems to have all the bases covered. Of course there is local food: olive oils, zesty seasonings from Anna’s Spices, David’s Blue Ribbon Honey, yummy Payne’s Pickles, and cheeses from Rinconada Dairy (just to name a few); but also jewelry from local artists, and a customized bath and body line from Veris Candles.

While local treats are always great, the General Store is aiming for something a little higher than satisfying your need for victuals. Ever appreciative of the community where they’ve rased their families, Stuck, Waters, and Yaguda strive to add to the charm and vibrancy of Paso Robles and inspire people through sharing their enthusiasm for all that is useful, lovely, and delicious. Throughout the start-up process of the project, Yaguda says there weren’t too many surprises; before they started they gathered together with their families and really honed in on what they wanted to accomplish. However, Yaguda shared a few wise words that she’s used to find success: “Do what you do and be who you are.” Don’t try to serve people, she said. If you find what you love, it’ll transfer to others.

Summer won’t last forever, so next time you and yours are planning an outing, drop by the General Store and let the ladies help you put together the ultimate picnic basket. A few must-haves: gourmet s’mores of handmade graham crackers and marshmallows with Cal Poly chocolates, and Bella Pops popsicles, lactose-free with flavors like orange-banana and iced coffee. Whatever your style, the General Store has something to serve your local pride.

Located on the park in downtown Paso Robles, the General Store is located at 841 12th St. They’re open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit their site:, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Local artisans are welcome to arrange a tasting or viewing appointment via telephone, 226-5757.

Fast fact

Besides the Tower of Pisa, being unbalanced is pretty lame. Thankfully, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center is hosting a free energy balancing session on July 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in their auditorium. Sessions are 25 minutes, during which a healer facilitates a silent energy balancing while the guest lies upon a massage table. The sessions are appropriate for all ages and best of all: they’re free!

Sierra Vista is located at 1010 Murray Ave. in San Luis Obispo. Call 438 -4347 or e-mail [email protected] for more information.


Contributing writer Ana Korgan packs picnic baskets like a boss. Send your business and nonprofit news to [email protected].


Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

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