July 20, 2024
Merger with local gastronomical entrepreneur will expand Grocer+Goddess.

After celebrating their first anniversary on Derby Weekend, Montebello Market in Los Gatos is shuttering. The combination deli, market, gift store and bottle shop will undergo a bit of reorganization as it takes on a new vibe and menu under the direction of Yvonne Khananis, a gastronomical entrepreneur who operates Reverence Catering, Grocer+Goddess, Polentaria and Oy! Gluten-Free bakery—all in downtown Los Gatos.

Khananis is joining forces with some of the former Montebello Market team to turn the market’s location near the post office into an expanded version of Grocer+Goddess, a provisions shop she began during the pandemic when her Reverence Catering business dried up.

Montebello Market was opened in May 2022 by Jim Foley, local real estate and restaurant entrepreneur, and David Cohen, executive chef and co-owner of Oren’s Hummus. When asked about the new direction for his old business, Foley, Khananis’s landlord at Polenteria, said, “We have lots of plans.”

Back in 2021, Khananis said she had used her last $70,000 to front Grocer+Goddess, which her son Luke, then a Los Gatos High School student, was helping to run. He is now off to college, where he plans to major in business administration. Khananis says she expects he’ll be back to play a larger role in the business one day.

While she’s merging her business with Montebello Market, Khananis says she’s keeping the name Grocer+Goddess for the new space.

“We’re keeping the good stuff, like corned beef and pastrami,” which will be made in house, she adds. “And the hot dogs, but they will be Chicago style, not East Coast style. We’ll keep some of the popular breakfast items and will expand the menu so you can get a spun salad, not just something out of a container. We’ll have a pan of lasagna, and you can order a slice to have there or to take home. We’re also going to be carrying a lot of our (OY!) gluten-free baked goods.”

The interior will change significantly to match the business’s new direction. The big fridges that are in the middle of the floor will be moved to the walls, allowing for more seating, and the merchandise will be displayed on custom-built shelves instead of metro racks. The seating will be all two-tops that can be configured to handle larger groups. “I’m going to add a cute little booth, too, and maybe table service,” Khananis says. “The emphasis will be on service.”

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The color scheme is also due to change. “I don’t like blue and orange,” Khananis says.

Customers will be able to place catering orders at a dedicated station, where they don’t have to stand in line with those waiting for on-premise orders. Khananis is hoping that some of the existing staff will stay on, but says she understands that having a sudden change of direction might be disruptive.

Khananis expects the remodel to occur over the next month and hopes to reopen in mid-September.

The current location of Grocer +Goddess is slated to become dedicated event space for groups like the Kiwanis Club, of which Khananis is a member. She says Kiwanis and other groups need a space for monthly meetings that exceed the capacity of many local restaurants.