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Independent Voice

Rosemary’s Taking the Next Step

Feb 14, 2024 11:33AM ● By Debra Dingman, photos by Debra Dingman
Rosa and Andrew Barbee with their new baby boy are busy overseeing the changes to the former Linde Lane Tea Room. Andrew is a commercial construction worker with Rusty Potts and Stephen Jonas who were getting ready this past Saturday to put in new flooring. Rosa is the owner of Rosemary's Farm to Fork on North First Street and will be relocating her business to the larger space April 1.  

DIXON, CA (MPG) - If you have not had the pleasure of going into Rosemary’s in downtown Dixon, you have certainly missed some extraordinary food. And Dixon is very lucky to have Rose Barbee because she was one of Dixon’s first restaurateurs who was classified as ‘Farm-to-Fork’ using exclusively organic produce, grass-fed beef, and free-range poultry from local farms in Northern California.

She was also the first to fully prep the meals that one could order in advance and have them delivered to their home or office.

“I’ve been on my own [as a restaurant owner] now coming up on eight years and I finally made it to my next step,” she said. “I’ve been waiting to walk into a building that I thought I would be so incredibly proud of.” That time has come. She’ll be moving into the former Linde Lane Tea Room location April 1, a space possibly three times larger, and a big step from when she first opened at 127 North First Street. Then, she wasn’t open to the public. She was just doing the meal prep and delivery using the back part of the restaurant. 

“After a year, I told her the food was so good, she needed to go public,” landlord Robby Robben said.

Rosa didn’t think it was her dream building but it was a first step, so she opened the front part of the restaurant to the public with a simple menu. In that old building, she created an urban feel that young professionals gravitated to. Staff were always friendly, clean, and accommodating as if their mission was aligned with Rosa’s.

Word spread quickly and now one has to wait in a line on weekends when patrons come from out of town to join the locals for authentic meals. A favorite is the Kalua Pork Taco Breakfast—a mouthwatering shredded pork on a fresh, home-made tortilla, sprinkled with sprouts, but the breakfast tacos with perfectly crisp bacon, eggs, avocado with house aioli and chili on cassava tortillas are also so yummy!

What put Rosemary’s on the high end of health-conscious locals was her prepared meals bent to special diets such as Paleo and gluten-free. Both the meal prep as well as the front restaurant parts of the business grew—so did Rosa’s tummy.

A precious baby has entered her little family and after a few months getting to know their new baby boy—and a huge amount of support from her family helping with the restaurant, she’s ready to hop back into business.

Rosa’s husband is a commercial contractor and has been home more, so will be making a lot of the changes in the former tearoom.

There will be a juice bar and coffee car when you first walk in. There will also be three very long barn tables for larger parties and the rest of the restaurant will be with smaller tables for smaller parties. They will be installing a new walk-in refrigerator, painting, and putting in all new flooring and building a few walls so they can create a space for the baby to be part of their lives while they work.

“I’m so grateful to be able to take him with me and put him in the carrier,” she said about their 4-month-old. “I didn’t want to miss anything.”

She also hired a new General Manager who has been in the industry 20 years and has done events in Napa Valley and Southern California.

“We will be looking to do more events and maybe some farm dinners,” she said, but meal prep is still an important part of the business and how they can afford such a leap. “We will be meeting our time schedule, and all of our staff is coming with us for sure. They are very excited,” she added. The new location will be 140 North Jackson.

“She’s been a good tenant and we’ve enjoyed working with her,” said Robben. “You hate to lose people like that, but a new tenant has already signed on who has a lot of experience in the brewery business with specialized beer that not a lot of people do. They will offer a unique type of American food, different from Rosemary’s but also 110-percent farm to fork.”

Rosemary North First Street Linde Lane Tea Room

Rosemary's staff when they first opened on North First Street in the fall of 2019. They are excited to expand the business into the new location, the former Linde Lane Tea Room.