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What Do You Love About Petaluma? Locals Share Their Stories

Spend any time in Petaluma and you’ll immediately sense the warmth and engagement that permeates the riverfront community. Almost everyone you encounter – from the brewmaster to the business owner – has a story to share about why Petaluma is such a special place.

Here are some of their stories…

Ashley Harris has both fallen in love with Petaluma, and in Petaluma.

Several years ago, Ashley’s career in Adventure Travel brought her out from Colorado. In short order, she met Nick Harris and Petaluma Coffee & Tea. It was a match made in heaven because not long after that, Ashley fell in love with Nick and with coffee. Well, it was more like rekindling a romance with coffee, since working at a coffee shop had been her first job as a teenager.

Today, Ashley, Nick, and Sheila Bride are the trio behind Petaluma Coffee & Tea, a historic landmark located a few steps from the corner of 2nd and D Street. For Ashley, Petaluma Coffee & Tea is about much more than serving up great beverages. The cozy venue is a popular community gathering spot for locals who are passionate about their town, its many cherished traditions, and its promising future: people who are in love with Petaluma. Just like Ashley.

Karl Bundesen was first introduced to Peruvian food by Luis Nañez, a 20-year member of Karl’s team at Century 21 Bundesen on Petaluma Boulevard South. Naturally, as soon as Ayawaska opened its doors, Karl went in and ordered a Pisco Sour. He couldn’t believe how good the drink was. Karl also became  friends with Adam, the bartender on duty. Adam is golfer so Karl shared his favorite golf jokes with Adam, who has since shared them with other guests. Karl loves the food and friendly staff at Ayawaska, but it’s the Turning Basin location that stands out most, as the restaurant has one of the most scenic views in town.

To Karl, Ayawaska is an excellent example of why Petaluma is the preeminent connection point in the North Bay. For generations, folks from Point Reyes and other coastal communities to inland towns like Novato and Rohnert Park have made Petaluma their social center. Perhaps that’s why you’ll find a busy restaurant or friendly watering hole on almost every corner. Karl loves Petaluma’s cordial vibe, and the sense that we’re part of a special community that’s been drawing locals to meet, greet and eat by the river since 1858.

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