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Comfort Market: A little comfort in the middle of Arroyo Grande village


TO DIE FOR:  Comfort Market’s Cuban sandwich is a must-try sensation. - PHOTO BY HENRY BRUINGTON
  • TO DIE FOR: Comfort Market’s Cuban sandwich is a must-try sensation.

Kari Ziegler’s dream is to have lunch with some famous chef, and to make her dream come true, she went into the food industry. Because "great chefs get to eat with each other, right?"


Six years ago, this self-taught cook—also a wine lover who’s in love with a winemaker—dropped her 17-year career as a web designer to do research on food, wine, and “hard-to-find ingredients,” everything from Chicago barbecue sauces or English ginger-mango Stilton cheese to Ojai mayonnaise. Of course, her research involved a lot of tasting and eating.


In the beginning of May, Ziegler opened up a business called Comfort Market at 116 W. Branch St. in Arroyo Grande. It’s a combination of a bistro with hard-to-find ingredients and a market that sells gift baskets. The business’ motto is “everyone needs a little comfort.”


“Everybody has a different kind of idea of what ‘comfort’ is for them,” Ziegler said. So her strategy is “to cover the entire gamut of what people are looking for.”


Customers have a choice of gluten-free bread and gluten-free items. She also uses seeds instead of nuts for crunch in her homemade goodies.


Ziegler said the gift baskets at Comfort Market are meant for travelers who come to the Village of Arroyo Grande and want to bring something home to remember their trip.


Comfort Market is a spacious, family-oriented bistro with a patio overlooking the street. Besides sandwiches, it also serves salad, soup, and wine from both local and foreign areas at retail prices. Bread is provided through Anna’s Bakery in Goleta, and greens through the Berry Man Inc. in San Luis Obispo.


Comfort Market has two chefs, one of whom makes all the dressings for the bistro.


Ziegler tries to stay classic with her 12 sandwich recipes, but with fun little touches and twists.


“Cuban sandwiches are to die for,” she said. “We make our tomato mayo, we make our pickles, we make our pork loin, and we serve it on an Edna’s Bakery brioche bun.”


Ziegler created all of her own recipes. Some are inspired by food her family has enjoyed, such as the Village Meatloaf Sandwich.


Every time Ziegler talks about ingredients, she has a happy smile on her face and goes into details about their origins as well as tastes. For more information, check out or 
call 481-1558.


(Ed. note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Kari Ziegler’s title and the name of the bakery from which she gets her brioche bun. Its depiction of her winemaker love’s heritage, the way she makes her gluten-free bread, and the fact that she’s developed all her own recipes might also have created misunderstandings or confusion. This version of the story corrects those errors and issues.)


Fast fact

For the first time, Playground Sports will bring its Adult Kickball League to the Central Coast with the first stop at Paso Robles.

Each league runs every Sunday for five weeks. The first one will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. from June 1 to 29 at the soccer field at Sherwood Park. Participants should be 18 or older. The cost is $350 per team of 10 to 20 players or $35 per individual.

Registration includes a minimum of five games, a raffle for players, and an after party.

To register or for more information, visit and click on the Paso Robles tab, or call Ashley Miller at (541) 968-8269.


Intern Tram Nguyen compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to

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