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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Local Business Opening: Zio and Sweets


New in town there’s a sweets shop opening up in Paseo Nuevo called Zio & Sweet 

Italian Desserts. While walking around you might have already seen some progress of the store’s preparations. It is set to be opening mid-November with a variety of purchasable delights. The store will be open 11am-9pm Monday-Saturday, and 12pm-8pm on Sundays. 

Zio & Sweet building newly painted by Paul Spriggs

Zio & Sweet Italian Desserts offers twelve flavors of gelato, six flavors of sorbetto, 

and about a dozen different kinds of cakes, pastries and other goodies. They also have aqua Panna Momenti sparkling flavored water available in three flavors; lemon raspberry, clementine peach, and pomegranate black currant. 

The owner of Zio & Sweet, Paul Spriggs, has lived in Santa Barbara for about eight 

years. He, having worked forty two years in the music industry, decided that he needed a new career after Covid disrupted everything. The idea of the store was inspired by his time in high school working a job at a place called Runaway Bay. It was a burger, pizza, and sandwich shop that doubled as an ice cream store.

 “We had lines out the door every night from beginning till the end of summer. 

Working with people you liked [and] with something that people were really excited about getting was very satisfying,”  said Paul  as he described his experience at Runaway Bay. 

When Paul worked within the music business, he travelled around the world very 

often. One of the places he had visited countless times was Europe. Whenever he and his team were in Italy they would always find time to visit a local gelato shop. His experiences in Italy were a large part of his decision in creating his own business. The name of the store originated from a childhood friend of Paul’s, who would often call him “Spriggzio”, which eventually got shortened to Zio. The second part of the name, Sweet, is what Paul calls his wife.

 “My hopes as a future employee is to create a lasting relationship with the 

employees and have a fun experience working there,” said San Marcos senior, Sofia Garcia. “Applying was very simple and the business owner is very nice and understanding.” 

Paul is looking forward to getting involved within the local community rather than 

travel the world with various rock bands. He is also excited to share unique treats that he’s loved since he was a kid and while traveling in Europe. As a future employee of Zio & Sweet, I am also happy to be seeing familiar faces while on the job. I’ve been fortunate enough to sample some of the shop’s offerings, so I hope to see you come in and try a cannoli and some of the gelato too.

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Local Business Opening: Zio and Sweets