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Local Woman Makes Good with Princeton Pantry

Elizabeth Knier is transforming the space she took over from Huck Finn Sporting Center at Pillar Point Harbor.

There’s going to be a new flavor at Pillar Point Harbor come December.

Make that many new flavors.

El Granada native Liz Knier is coming back home and opening the Princeton Pantry on Dec. 1. Just in time for the opening of the window.

The Princeton Pantry will operate in the spot where the now resides.

Knier will continue to book fishing trips for rock cod, salmon and crab out of the space formerly run by , but will remodel the shop to sell a variety of food and products to locals and visitors alike.

The Princeton Pantry will feature locally produced goods such as bread from the , produce and flowers from local growers and ready-made meals from local restaurants. The first new piece of equipment going into the store is an espresso machine which will provide quality coffee for the early risers at the harbor.

“It’s going to be a very tiny version of what the San Gregorio Store used to be,” Knier said.

The idea is to attract a more varied customer base than the party boat fishermen looking for hooks, weights and candy bars. Knier is hoping surfers, kayakers, hikers, bikers and locals will frequent the shop.

“I do want to serve a broader clientele,” Knier said. “The live-aboards and RV folks need sundries and visitors would be able to get picnic supplies. It’s always been a bee in my bonnet that after I go to buy fish in Princeton I have to go into Half Moon Bay to buy the rest of the dinner.”

Knier envisions having recipes for the various species of fish being caught by local commercial anglers and then having the ingredients available, solving the going to town quandary. There will be picnic boxes for sale, as well as wine and cheese. She plans to grow fresh herbs, too.

“We’re going to build around local, organic and things you can’t get anywhere else,” Knier said.

Knier knows local. She grew up in El Granada and went to , and before heading off to UCLA and University of Chicago law school.  Knier became an anti-trust and international trade and securities litigator. She took the bar exam in the United Kingdom and was a solicitor in London before coming back to the States and working at large law firms in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The economy changed and so did Knier. She began a solo general law practice on the Coastside before seizing the opportunity to open shop in the harbor.

She’s not unfamiliar with . Her father had a boat in the harbor from which Liz fished. “I spent a lot of time around the harbor when I was younger. It’s a pretty nice place to work. There was a time when I really wanted to be in London practicing law but as I look out from the shop I thought, ‘this is better.’ It’s pretty great.”

Changing gears from law to retail and high-rise offices to piers is going to be a new challenge, but Knier is game and is excited to run the store.

“I’m hoping I can pull it off,” Knier said. “I am creative and have a lot of ideas. But I’m not an accountant and I’m not a fisherperson. My first job was at Village Green in El Granada and I got through college waiting tables so I do have a lot of customer service and local experience.”

The store will stay open booking fishing trips during the November opening of .  The goal is to have the remodel done by the end of the month for the grand opening, coinciding with the Mavericks season opening.

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Christa Bigue (Editor) October 26, 2011 at 03:46 PM
Great article. Sounds fantastic! You will be a welcomed addition, especially with moms living in El Granada, Moss Beach and Montara who will love your espresso, flowers and ready-made meals from local restaurants. Finally someone is doing this in our neighborhood!

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