After a fire flattened the historic Andreotti barn earlier this month, owner Terry Andreotti says the family plans to temporarily relocate its farmstand and will rebuild the old barn.
“We’re going to continue, and this history will go on,” Andreotti said. “We’re here for the tourists, the city and the people who live here.”
The cause of the fire on Kelly Avenue is still under investigation, although Andreotti said it may have been an electrical fire.
The family set up a crowdfunding effort to help raise money for a rebuild with the same floor plan and look. Andreotti said their barn’s insurance will cover some of the initial costs to get started, and that the city and their farming neighbors have been supportive.
“We’re gonna try to make it look identical,” Andreotti said. “We’ll still be the same people selling out there.”
In the meantime, Andreotti said the family will resume selling produce out of a tent just down the street near the Oceanview Driving Range. She hopes to be open by the weekend.
The barn has a rich history in Half Moon Bay, even before it was owned by the
Andreotti family. Andreotti said her father-in-law bought the barn and property during the Great Depression after immigrating from Italy. Much of the old equipment and photos remain, preserved nearby at the driving range.
“It was old when he got it,” Andreotti said. “That’s what’s sad about the barn. It was over 150 years old.”
After Andreotti’s mother-in-law, Julia, died in 2013, the family disagreed about the future of the barn. Some were interested in selling it for development, Andreotti said. But in 2017, Peninsula Open Space Trust bought the first slice of the property and then the rest in 2019 to preserve it as farmland in perpetuity. The Andreottis have since bought the land back, this time without the development rights.
“We could have taken the money and ran,” Andreotti said. “I'll never ever develop it.”
Andreotti said the farm’s history, which also tells the story of the Coastside, from her father-in-law’s immigrant story to the Ocean Shore Railroad that cruised through the property on runs between San Francisco to Santa Cruz, is too important to lose.
“That’s why it's so important to keep this farm going,” Andreotti said.