Historic town of Harmony sold to new owners
Historic Harmony’s new owners hope to revive creamery, preserve charm
The tiny coastal community of Harmony, California, population 18, has been many things to many people over the years: a dairy town, an artists’ colony, a pit-stop on the road to and from Hearst Castle, Central Coast Wine Country and Big Sur. The town’s new ownership hopes to embrace the past and incorporate that history into the town’s future.
Harmony’s new owners, Alan and Rebecca Vander Horst, are dairy farmers by trade. Alan fell in love with the Central Coast during college days in the Cal Poly Agriculture department. Today, they dream of reviving Harmony’s dairy past.
Purchased for an undisclosed amount in 2014, Harmony is currently in preparation for the addition of the Harmony Valley Creamery Dairy Shoppe that will showcase locally-sourced dairy products, a farm-to-table restaurant and gardens for large gatherings from special events to weddings.
Galleries and studios like Harmony Glassworks, Harmony Pottery Works and the Painted Sky Recording Studio continuing their residence.
“Harmony has always been a special place for many people,” said Alan. “Given its background as a dairy community centered around a creamery, we’re looking to bring that element back and expand it a bit while keeping Harmony’s authenticity, charm, and artists’ studios intact.”
The town of Harmony founded in 1869 around a burgeoning local dairy industry, Harmony served as the capital of Central Coast dairy production for nearly half a century.
Following the ultimate closure of the creamery, Harmony’s population steadily waned as the community saw much of the state’s dairy production transition from the Central Coast to the Central Valley. While undergoing periods of relative dormancy in the years leading up to its current renovation, today the 2.5-acre, one-block town of Harmony looks to “bustle once again.” Currently the town is undergoing renovations and installation of proper ADA access, and the creamery courtyard is being expanded to accommodate the new storefronts and the farm-to-table restaurant.
“The Harmony Chapel has seen a lot of weddings in its time, and we’re not about to change that,” said Alan, adding that chapel weddings continue to host up to 60 guests and up to 120 outdoors once the garden grounds are completed. A limited number of dates to rent the entire town—including the restaurant and gardens—for weddings and special events are planned.
Consumers may contact Harmony directly regarding hosting events at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (805) 927-1028.