Bay Area chefs invest stimulus checks to open new Petaluma restaurant using Tesla stock boom

PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- It's a $2,400 investment that has now blossomed to give two local chefs a chance to live their dream.

Stephane Saint Louis and Steven Vargas believed they could double their money provided from the first round of federal coronavirus relief checks back in March. Thanks to a summer boom of Tesla stock on Wall Street, the two used their $17,000 return and are now the proud co-owners of Table Culture Provisions in Petaluma.

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"We're very hungry. You know, we really wanted it," said Saint Louis, who immigrated to the Bay Area from Haiti when he was just 17. "We really, you know, believe in our vision and where we could take things."

Both chefs Saint Louis and Vargas, who is a Petaluma native, have been working in the culinary business together for three years. Their newest endeavor is only the latest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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When they first withdrew their Tesla stock, Saint Louis and Vargas started doing pop-up mobile bistros, last August. They served a there-course meal at an affordable price, hoping to appeal to cash-strapped customers. Table Culture Provisions opened just months later in November, with some additional help from outside investors, taking over the space previously held by Three Cooks Cafe, on Petaluma Blvd. N.



Table Culture Provisions' menu is 100% locally sourced, with food and produce from farmers in Petaluma and around the Bay Area. The interesting wrinkle, chefs Saint Louis and Vargas create their menu from scratch every day, based on the local ingredients that arrive to them.

"We're very confident about the food that we're cooking, the quality of the food that we're cooking." said Saint Louis.

The restaurant also doubles to include a small market, with provisions like bread, lemon cakes and other desserts. Locals have the chance to shop for items during the day, then place their order for takeout. Saint Louis and Vargas said they plan to expand to sell other products from Bay Area business owners, including florists and craftsmen.

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Table Culture Provisions is open Thursday through Sunday for takeout during the breakfast and lunch hours, with an additional Sunday supper every week.

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