Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Sara Tofanelli-Barroso Sara grew up in Chico, California.  She started working in the family business (Nantucket Home) at a young age.  She learned the family business, learned to save and learned to travel with her savings.  After high school she left Chico to live in Italy and travel throughout Europe.  It was here that her love for food, coffee, language and culture flourished.  Upon returning, she attended Chico State, met her future husband, John (who was also intrigued with traveling), graduated with a degree in English Literature and Italian and left Chico with him to live and work in Torino, Italy.  Sara currently is the ‘shopkeeper’ at Nantucket Home.  She spends her time away from work playing with her children, dogs, and husband.  And whenever she can find spare time she enjoys reading her favorite blogs on everything from design to food to lifestyle.

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Tell Tale

18 Jan 2011
Our Favorite PlacesOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

A friend of mine recently told me that she goes out of town so often because when she comes home her head is clear and she can see things in a different light.  I never put it into words myself but that's exactly what this San Francisco trip was... enlightening.   I love Chico (which is why I chose to live here) but there's something delightful about finding hidden paths and enjoying new places. 

Tell Tale Preserve Co. is just that... new, fresh, enlightening and delightful.  With a new pâtisserie and delicatessen opening Spring 2011 (on Maiden Lane off Union Square in San Francisco) their "trunk show" location is where we found them...attached to Big Daddy Antiques by way of one interior door to the shop and one exterior door to the world beyond.

As you can see, Tell Tale Preserve Co., is by no means a normal cafe to enjoy your coffee and delectables. 

Their cafe/showroom exhibits their pastries, etc like works of art (which they may well be) and houses a well, trunk-load of antiques to admire and be entertained by while benefitting from a cup of joe.

They were (almost) sold out for the day but had we been earlier we would've seen these rustic stools displaying all of their pastries.


Wheelbarrow wheels replaces canvas.

With just a few specially placed jars, flowers and tables this cafe is simple, demure and completely inviting.

And with the slight opening of a door you're in a entirely new fantastical world...


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NH Holiday Party

17 Jan 2011
Our Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Last Night Rick and I hosted our annual Holiday party for our staff. Usually it is held sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas but this year we scheduled it for after Christmas because we were having our hardwood floors refinished and couldn’t squeeze it in before.

I have to say that I enjoyed planning it and being there much more than ever before. With so much going on during the holidays, it was always very chaotic for me to plan a big party too. This time I didn’t have to decorate for Christmas, I could do whatever I wanted. I asked Rick to cut some pear branches from our trees. They looked very spring-like.

I used our Nantucket Home vanilla candles in a grouping on the coffee table with some white tulips (clearly one of my favorite flowers) and I placed some tea lights in a bowl of white “moonstones” collected from a beach in Sayulita, Mexico. Whenever we would vacation in Mexico, our suitcases were at least 10-20 pounds heavier coming home  because of all the beach rocks I would collect.

My tray of liquers became festive with a string of tiny white lights

Jeff Page, cult caterer and formerly the chef and owner of JP’s Restaurant, catered our affair. And my, oh my, was it an eating orgy! So many wonderful and exotic foods…my favorites were the Ginger Soy Cured Steelhead topped with a Crème Fraiche Citrus Sauce and the Gorgonzola Cheese Cake with Pear and Fig Compote and the heavenly light Chocolate Souffles for dessert with homemade Banana Ice Cream. Jeff outdid himself and his wife Kristin arranged the buffet table like a painting with a huge slab of walnut burl to hold the delicacies.

Lamb and Currant Meatballs with Walnut, Arugula Pesto and the Gorgonzola Cheese Cake. Before and...


A quick smile before the serious work starts…Brooke our server, with Kristin and Jeff.

Jeff, in action…in my kitchen!

Tiger Lily (our cat for the next two years while Robin and Mike study in Berkeley) keeps watch over the orchids we gave as gifts.

Our valuable crew of twelve… one absent (Jenna we missed you)!


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Our Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Another really interesting site we found ... next to Bulthaup, upstairs from Robin's new work and right out the door from Limn... was this cottage that was brought over from Finland.

We don't know much about it but the story goes a little something like this... It was brought over from Finland and placed here in the hopes of renting it out.  I can't imagine how it was lifted to this rooftop location... crane or helicopter maybe? 

For a while a shoe store inhabited it but with a lack of electricity (and no heat probably)  the shoe store had to move.

One of the things we love most about this cottage is how it juxtaposes it's background...

Do you know history about this cottage? 


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