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them. Pearce said, “I think when you can get them to see it and

Their steakhouse menu has offerings such as San Luis Sourdough

changing peoples’ worlds with trail riding, but we’re shifting their

sausage. They also have a kitchen garden at the Inn, which

smell it and feel it, it becomes real to them. It’s not like we’re paradigm of what agriculture and the land really is.”

In addition to offering guests a taste of the Western lifestyle

through trail rides and interaction with livestock, the Madonna

Inn offers a large selection of food and wine. It has a bakery, café and steakhouse on site, and offers wine, cheese and chocolate

tastings. The Inn’s food and beverage buyer, Randy Halterman, influences which foods the Inn provides.

“I have a [budget] for how much to buy every week, and

I purchase everything from liquor to meat and produce,”

Halterman said. “We have six main food vendors and I make the decision on what is purchased.”

The Inn purchases large volumes of food, which makes it

garlic bread, Cayucos-farmed abalone and locally handmade provides produce items for menu specials. The Inn is able to

support local agriculturists and exhibit the quality of both Santa

Barbara and San Luis Obispo County’s agricultural production by providing these local products to guests.

Halterman shared one of the best parts of his job is deciding

which foods to buy through taste tests. “We have cook-offs of

different products—like today we had a prime rib tasting. Then whichever one wins, we buy,” he said. The quality of food and wine is a priority at the Madonna Inn. The staff works closely with local retailers and producers to ensure their guests are getting the best products available.

The uniqueness of the Madonna Inn is what continues to draw

difficult to rely solely on local producers, but they buy local when

travelers, but what keeps them coming back is the wide range of

Berry Man wholesaler here in San Luis Obispo, or from produce

for a one-of-a-kind resort showcasing the Western lifestyle is

possible. “Nearly all of our produce is purchased locally from The retailers in Santa Maria,” Halterman said.

The Inn’s extensive wine list contains nearly 50 local wines.

activities, food and wine it has to offer. Alex Madonna’s vision

successfully carried out by the family and employees today, and poised to continue for many years to come.

agcircle 23

Profile for Brock Center for Agricultural Communication

Ag Circle Spring 2016  

Ag Circle Spring 2016