After 27 years of commuting, Jeannette Pulido “was done,” she said last Friday from a table in her new Hollister restaurant, 4th Street Eatery.
Pulido and husband Mark, who have three children, opened the sandwich and coffee shop unofficially on Good Friday and then more officially the following Monday.
With her husband involved in the IOOF organization that owns the building, the couple had their eyes on the spot for a while – knowing it would be ideal for such a sandwich shop – and decided to make the move last year when they saw the location open up once again.
“As soon as it opened again, I told my husband, ‘Let’s do it. I can’t do the commute again,’” said Pulido, who had previously worked in the optical industry.
The 4th Street Eatery, featuring sandwiches, coffee and pastries, has been a hit ever since opening – with lines out the front door at times from local consumers clamoring for something new. The restaurant has an authentic, rustic Hollister feel in design with a focus on such themes as agriculture and the military, with a special wall in the eatery dedicated to veterans and another in the works for farmers.
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It’s vision fulfilled for a family with local roots dating back to Hollister’s rich history in the apricot industry. And while Jeannette Pulido wants to keep things simple, because she knows this area so well, she also wants to maintain an evolving menu with weekly specials.
“It took us, more me, a little while to just sit down and go through these sandwiches and see if this is something Hollister would take to,” said Pulido, whose family has been involved in catering. “It was just a process. I would say so far, it’s been doing pretty good.”
Telling by the demand, most would agree. Pulido, meanwhile, wants to make sure customers enjoy the experience and keep coming back. That’s why she had to stay especially focused with lines out the door shortly after opening and one unexpected rush from the courthouse on a day when about 100 or so people were on jury duty at the nearby courthouse.
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“I don’t want to make a mistake,” she said. “I want to give them the best meal they’re paying for and not disappoint them.”
She wants locals to enjoy the overall experience, too, which was the case last Thursday when a man came in and noticed the wall dedicated to local veterans.
“He did two tours in Vietnam, and he was crying,” said Pulido, who called the moment “touching.”
Still, Pulido isn’t pushing to out-do other restaurants in the area. She said Hollister actually needs more eateries to meet the local demand. She just wants 4th Street Eatery to be different.
“This way they can still have their business and I can have mine,” she said.
She went on: “That seems to be working great so far.”
Look back for a story on Lorena’s Kitchen, another restaurant that recently opened on Fourth Street.
Below is audio of the entire interview with Jeannette Pulido: