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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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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Our Favorite PlacesOur FurnitureOur Home AccessoriesLatest TrendsOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

With full stomachs after enjoying breakfast at The Butler and the Chef we continued on our journey of scouting out the great stores of San Francisco. With notes on stores written years ago, some given to us by friends, other stores seen only in print and online, we google-mapped each location and started our journey. 

A few highlights...

Robin's new place of business... HD Buttercup in SOMA.  

Robin had the day off to tour with us but we were happily greeted by our old friend and past Nantucketeer, Neisa.

HD Buttercup's flagship store is in L.A. and they just opened their San Francisco location with Robin helping lead the team.  (As you can see, no heater here either).

Zonal on Hayes offers a lot to take in.  Local art, found objects and reclaimed pieces make this store intriguing and elaborate.  

We love how they group their antique collections together.

Our list then lead us to Cisco Home and Marc Jacobs... who could resist this window filled with colorful rainboots?

We then headed down a little alleyway to see if Nan's memory served her correctly in finding one of our old vendors.  She found it and then slipped through the secret door.  

We also found one of the locations of the famous Blue Bottle Coffee Company.

I wanted to try a cup for myself but didn't want to wait in line... it was just way too cold outside.

We did take the time to admire the neighborhood's sidewalk planters

and the dogs waiting for their owners to get their coffee.

On the way to the next stop we took in a few neighborhoods... never getting out of the car though.  Again, it was too cold!

And we just couldn't take a trip to the city without visiting Sue Fisher King.  We were there just in time for their January Sale and found some great deals!

There you have it.  The Research and Development part of our day was completed.  We then headed to Union Square to take in some sale shopping (boots, really).  



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