For years, Orange County residents have braved the ever-crowded, miserable lanes of the 405 simply to enjoy the shopping of Los Angeles. LA was considered the best, and the shoppers of Orange County craved it. Their cravings for artisanal boutiques and food trucks and design studios remained, and as those desires grew, they were faced with two decisions: continue to make the trek north, or get creative and find a solution. Burnham-Ward properties of Orange County chose the latter, and their solution came in the form of the South Coast Collection and the OC Mart Mix of Costa Mesa, the fastest growing shopping hub in Orange County.
South Coast Collection, or more affectionately known as SoCo, offers over 300,000 square feet of design showrooms and creative studios, proudly flaunting the cutting edge of interior design, fashion and retail. Its companion, the OC Mart Mix, which is its own separate entity within SoCo, is an overwhelming marketplace of gourmet foods – all under one roof. The power combo of SoCo and the Mix have helped to put Orange County on the forefront of design, fashion and food. This new destination has grown at a staggering rate over the past months, gaining attention up and down Southern California – even shoppers from LA have started to frequent the hub’s stores and boutiques. Will Orange County take the shopping throne that LA sits on? Maybe… One thing is certain, and that is that OC residents now have a place of their very own to shop, eat, design, create and be inspired.
SoCo and the OC Mart Mix are getting ready to welcome six new arrivals to its existing repertoire of restaurants, pop-up and coffee shops, all of which are exclusive to Orange County (not LA). Let us introduce them…
Brown & Jordan, since 1945, the luxury outdoor furniture company has been creating and designing award-winning collections. They are respected and regarded as an industry leader in integrity and innovation.
Lili Claspe, a truly organic & original collection of accessories designed by Huntington Beach-based designer, Stephanie Tchamanian. “I never sketch or plan a collection. It just happens. I like to let the stone choose what it wants to be,” Tchamanian said of her jewelry.
Wardrobe LTD., a luxury fashion consignment store, which has previously been run entirely online. Owner Austin Deepa said, “We offer complimentary pick-up and closet consultation services for our clients to make the consignment process as smooth and effortless as possible.”
Taco Maria, is the food and catering truck-turned wood-fired sustainable Mexican food restaurant. Chef Carlos Salgodo will open his first restaurant in the OC Mart Mix, featuring handmade tortillas and tamales, a seasonal Farmer’s Market menu and seasonal sangria made of fruits from SoCo’s farmer’s market and still and sparkling wines from California and Mexico.
ARC, is an American eatery with a hands-on, scratch cooking approach, serving only the freshest locally sourced ingredients. The American roast house and classic cocktail bar offer homemade dishes and cocktails with an artisanal twist – and they are open late.
Birdie Bowl and Juicery, from the minds that brought you Milk + Honey, will be the first cold-pressed juice bar in the OC Mart Mix. Focused on 100 percent cold-pressed juices, nut mylks, and acai bowls, the juice bar also offers incredible three to five-day cleansing programs.
There they are – the new arrivals to SoCo and the OC Mart Mix. The wonderful support and rapid expansion of the project has been an important way to bring the community together and solidify some real, traceable growth in Orange County. It no longer feels like it’s playing second fiddle to LA. It feels as if Orange County has established its own unique blend of fashion, food and design.
With the booming expansion going on in OC, it’s fair to say that a treacherous trek up the freeway for artistic stimulation is no longer necessary, and for that, the residents of Orange County are happy.