Just a stone’s throw away from the Santa Barbara coast, two young entrepreneurs, Roger and Carol Duncan, scraped enough money together to open “Rusty’s Roast Beef” in Isla Vista – the year was 1969. Before their restaurant journey began, Roger was a produce manager in a local grocery store & Carol was busy teaching at Foothill Elementary & caring for their two young girls.
Exploring their new hometown of Santa Barbara, they found that there was no pizza place to take their kids – A dream was born! They set their sights on creating a restaurant that served the highest quality pizza with great service and tons of family fun for the community.
This lofty goal came with a lot of trial and error in the kitchen – Hobart mixer manual in hand, Roger labored over creating the perfect crust (yes!)… while Carol experimented endlessly with spices and herbs for the now famous mouthwatering pizza sauce. Together they explored the best combinations of toppings to create the PERFECT PIZZA!
Finally…they were ready to introduce their pizza to Santa Barbara- but what would they call it? The sign outside boldly read, “Rusty’s Roast Beef,” and changing the entire sign was financially out of the question. There was only one creative solution – pull out the hand saw, cut the sign in half, leave the “Rusty’s” and add “Pizza Parlor”… The rest, as they say, is pizza history.
A Sense of Community… Since its beginning, Rusty’s has been involved in the community with a strong emphasis on children through school programs and youth organizations.