Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods

  • Health-food-store Health Store
    ( 9 reviews )

211 E Matilija St (at Signal, downtown), Ojai, California, USA, 93023

Well-stocked natural food market located just north of the main street (E Ojai Ave) in downtown Ojai. Has organic produce, snack foods, vitamins, natural care products, grocery, gifts, and much more. The deli menu is vegetarian friendly with a few vegan options. Open Mon-Sun 8:00am-9:00pm.

9 Reviews

First Review by Brett

I simply love this store! - Edit

If I was living in the area (and was rich), I would buy all my groceries, including beauty and hygiene products here. The vibe is calm and warm and I can always find things to buy I didn't even know I needed.

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It's So Much More Than Just A Natural Foods Store. - Edit

I've shop here occasionally for groceries and they carry good products. The cost is higher than some, but then again it is considered a Natural or Health Food Store. I still shop down in Ventura or Oxnard and even in Camarillo or Thousand Oaks for a wider selection. But for the Ojai area, this is the best place to go for many of your needs.
However, the Rainbow Bridge is more than just a food store. It is a very cool specialty store and this is one of my favorite places in Ojai to find little gifts for people. There is fun stuff and cool stuff, but there is also "unique" ordinary stuff like casual sun hats or colorful straw market bags and beach bags. I can't explain it, but whenever I need to buy a small birthday gift or token of appreciation, I always seem to find it here.
Even if I run through most of the typical Ojai gift shops first, and completely exhaust my mind and body shopping... When I stop in for a Deli juice or even walk through to use the restroom (they have interesting items for sale back there too!) I always seem to find "it!" You know, that special little... "That's it!" kind of find. Yes, the Rainbow Bridge usually has it.
I've noticed at the Bridge, they have a free-flowing one-of-a-kind merchandise stream that if you don't "buy it when you see it" you may never see it again. So, browse that this Natural Foods store, and browse it well, because you just never know what little treasures you'll be taking home with you that day.

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Nice place - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow, and here's my Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods review.

I've stopped in both times I've visited Ojai, most recently in February 2012. The market is just off the main drag of downtown. It's a good size store and very well stocked. You can find just about anything you need, all the usual items that vegans and vegetarians eat.

There is also a deli with indoor seating area.

Overall, a nice source for the local community.

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Food at the cafe - Edit

The food was fresh but my sister-in-laws salad had dirt in it and my avocado sandwich was as follows; had a quarter of an avocado sliced on it (they have hundreds of avocado orchards there in Ojai), and the sourdough bread was like cheap sliced white bread. I talked with an employee there about both these items and he could care less. Not going to eat there again. Many other fine restraunts in town other than this high priced place.

Pros: fresh produce

Cons: small portions, dirt in salad, staff could care less

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surprize ojai =) - Edit

Stumbled accross this town recently & was super excited to find a good food store in such a remote place :) I was searching for fake cheese & vons had fake cheese with milk products....so I found rthis store & they had 1 vegan cheese option out of about 4 types. Why stock any fake cheese with milk products? Dosn't make sense to me.

Overall good store, large for a small town...smaller than most corporate stores

Pros: location, vegan cheese, decent size

Cons: i really only quickly bought vegan cheese

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Not vegan-friendly - Edit

The last time I went into this place they did not have even one vegan entree in their fresh 'deli' section. They had a couple of vegetables only, but no vegan entree. I had to buy something from the market to eat.

Pros: nice atmospherre

Cons: Expensive, not vegan-friendly

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Poor quality food - Edit

I ordered a sandwich to eat in and one to go and was disappointed with the quality of both. Essentially they were cheap bread with the listed ingredients - which were themselves not the highest quality - shoveled between with no attempt to integrate them into an actual sandwich. The staff seemed easy going enough but were student types with little training or idea of how to prepare food. I cannot recommend this as a place to eat.

Pros: location, lots of light

Cons: food preparation, ingredient quality

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Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods & Deli - Edit

Rainbow Bridge is a full service market providing natural foods and an amazing deli. But they are more than that. As their home web page says they are "A community gathering place". The sidewalk tables filled with folks enjoying their coffee, tea and deli menu items are testament to that.

The market and deli gets its name from a local legend. According to the Chumash, Earth Goddess, Hutash, made a bridge over the water out of a very long rainbow so her people could get from from the tallest peak on Santa Cruz Island to the tall mountains near Carpinteria.

The store Co-Owner and General Manager, Ernest Niglio, describes the Rainbow Bridge market as follows: "Rainbow Bridge provides a wide range of healthy and natural products. In the general store, we carry a vast selection of specialty foods, many of which are made from organic ingredients and formulated for special diets. All of our produce is fresh, most of it is organic and some from local farms. The cosmetics aisles have chemical-free personal care items from deodorants and lotions to bath salts and aromatherapy oils. In the vitamin department, there is a vast selection of vitamin and mineral supplements, homeopathics, herbal remedies, and protein powders. For a snack on the go or a savory sit down dinner, our deli offers salads, sandwiches, juices, smoothies, and hot foods."

Ernest's market and deli, therefore, is similar to the rainbow bridge of Chumash legend: it provides a link between the people of the Ojai Valley and the wholesome, natural foods found at the market.

Pros: Fresh, Organic, Wide Variety

Cons: High Priced

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Rainbow Bridge - Edit

Rainbow Bridge is a long time fixture of Ojai. The current owners have made it a more upscale commercial operation, and price increases have reflected this change (as has the amount of non-recyclable plastics they use) but it's still a nice place to go. The deli usually has a couple vegetarian/vegan options, and the grocery is nice too if you don't mind paying the premium prices.

Pros: Selection, Interesting recipes in the deli

Cons: Prices, Lots of plastic if you dine in, or out., Help can be less than friendly

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