Del Mar Plaza fashion boutique Sea Biscuit offers a wide variety of items

Patty Brutten, left, co-owner of Sea Biscuit and the Del Mar Plaza, at Sea Biscuit with store manager Hailey Hofer.
Patty Brutten, left, co-owner of Sea Biscuit and the Del Mar Plaza, at Sea Biscuit with store manager Hailey Hofer.
( Brittany Woolsey)

Popular store a one-stop-shop

As customers walk into Sea Biscuit, they are met with colorful racks filled with the latest clothing styles and a welcoming staff eager to help them find their best looks.

The Del Mar Plaza fashion boutique -- which sells apparel, accessories, skincare and gifts -- opened in 2018 when store partial owner Patty Brutten wanted to create somewhere welcoming for locals and tourists alike.

Brutten, a Del Mar resident, believed such a store was needed in the shopping center, which she took over ownership with her husband, Marc, and Brixton Capital in February 2017. The purchase marked the first time the Plaza had seen local ownership in two decades.

“When we took over ownership of the whole Plaza, what I really felt as a community member was a lack of enough cute, gifty clothing stores,” she said. “Retail is difficult, and it was hard to convince anyone to go in and do it. We decided we would do it and get together with all of our friends and open this great store. It’s been fantastic. We’ve been well-received and very successful in our first year in business.”

She considers the store a one-stop-shop where customers can purchase items such as decorative blankets for their sofas, outfits for special occasions, casual wear or gifts for family and friends.

Store manager Hailey Hofer said one of the shop’s greatest pulls is appealing to residents and out-of-towners with a wide variety of items.

“If they’re in a pinch and they need something, we have great dresses,” she said. “Or they may be in a pinch and need jewelry to accent this awesome dress they already have, we have the jewelry. ... We have everything for every day.”

The shop, which also recently launched its online store, always tries to stay on top of the freshest new brands and hippest styles, like Flog pants, which are easy to pull on and are comfortable and stylish, Brutten said.

She said her employees elevate the customer experience by styling them, answering fashion-related questions, helping them push their envelopes with new styles and addressing their needs.

Hofer added it’s important that customers leave feeling like their best selves and are completely happy with their purchases.

“We don’t want to send anyone home with something they’re not absolutely in love with,” she said.

Since Brixton Capital took over the Del Mar Plaza, more shops and restaurants have opened. Brutten said visitors can look forward to eating at Monarch Ocean Pub, a sports bar, and Tamarindo Del Mar, a Latin Kitchen, by the summer. Around the same time, the Plaza will begin offering beverages on the deck.

“The Plaza is slowly but surely transforming to definitely change the culture here,” she said. “I think it takes a Del Mar resident to really get what needed to be done here and to really answer the community’s needs and hear what the community needs are. It really takes someone who’s committed to the long-term success of the plaza because we’ve had to update some 30-year-old documents. We’ve had to spend a great deal of time processing documents through the City of Del Mar, which will allow us to make a lot of improvements here. We’re about 85 percent through all that and the city’s been very cooperative and helpful. We’ve been getting all of our wants passed.”

Sea Biscuit is open at the Del Mar Plaza, 1555 Camino Del Mar, #318, in Del Mar, daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Its online shop can be found at seabiscuitdelmar.com. Phone: 858-925-7425.

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