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The "Momma J" Story

Born and raised in Carpinteria, Janet “Momma J” Augerot is a serial entrepreneur whose relentless ingenuity and contagious zest for life continue to carve an enduring mark on the community.

 

Leading with a big heart and deep passion for relationships, she founded multiple successful ventures centered on some of her greatest loves: great food and good people. Today, she remains a living, breathing definition of “hustle,” and Carpinteria is a better place for it. 

 

Growing up in an era where a family of six could legally squeeze into a Volkswagen Beetle for summer road trips to Yosemite (seatbelts optional), Janet’s place as the youngest of four kids earned her a cozy spot in the “trunk.”

 

Her small, thin frame required that she work twice as hard to keep up on miles-long hikes, huffing and puffing to stay in step with her father’s long-limbed strides. Experiences like these only toughened her up, strengthening her resolve to prove herself and claim a place within a giant, fast-moving world. 


A sharp and industrious young woman, Janet made the most of every chance she was given - starting with her first “real” job as a teen slinging sandwiches at what was once Ralph’s Market.

There, she discovered a knack for customer service, always eager to help patrons and fellow coworkers with an attitude of cheerful service. Soaking up the energy of a thriving small business, she made lasting friendships and old-school Carp memories as she observed first-hand what it took to run an independent establishment - knowledge that would serve her well in the coming decades.

By the age of 24, Janet was a married mother of two. Still bursting with vitality and ambition, she persisted in seeking out opportunities to make the most of her time and talents. After training as a nail technician, she opened Nails by Janet in a tiny studio off Linden Avenue.

 

The small space offered just enough room for two or three manicure tables, so Janet invited two of her closest mom friends to join in the venture. Together, three area locals began building their client lists and establishing their careers, often flanked by giggling pre-schoolers. 

 

Soon, business was booming. At the close of 1993, the seasoned small business owner - now sporting a trendy feathered perm - quadrupled her space by moving her operation to the Linden strip. With a fresh location and a brand new name, Head to Toe Salon flourished, adding a few hair stylists and an esthetician to the team.

 

For more than two decades, the shop brought together Carpinterians from all backgrounds and walks of life. As Janet ran the operational day-to-day of the business, she continued to see clients, even taking on private appointments for celebrity guests of Santa Barbara’s resort hotels. 

Becoming a grandma in 2013, Janet began to feel the pull to spend more time at home with family. The business took up a great deal of her focus and energy, leaving very little wiggle room for vacations or other pursuits. In 2019, she sold the salon with the intention of downsizing to a private nail studio at her residence.

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Free of her daily commute, she threw herself into early morning runs on the Franklin Trail, posting gorgeous sunrise photos at the start of each day. This infectious energy sparked a social media movement among other outdoorsy locals who soon joined her on the mountain.

 

When the 2020 pandemic hit, social distancing concerns brought the nail business to a standstill. Eager to find new income streams, Janet leaned into another of her lifelong passions: baking.

 

Her table had earned a reputation as a place for family and friends to gather for lively conversation around delicious cuisine. Her kids, both grown with kids of their own, still remember the irresistible smell of Saturday morning cinnamon rolls made from scratch. Now, their children look forward to fresh batches of warm chocolate chip cookies or funfetti scones always cooling on grandma’s countertop. 

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Over the years, Janet had steadily perfected her own twist on a scone recipe from an old issue of Sunset Magazine. Having already enjoyed a degree of success with corporate event catering, she began posting her confections to social media. Within a matter of weeks, the orders began to pour in.

 

Finding herself in the middle of a full-fledged baking business, she just had to think of a name. She had always been “Momma J” to her stepdaughter, so the nickname became the natural title of her venture. 

 

Today, an enterprise that began in her home oven has expanded to an onsite industrial kitchen officially licensed by the city, with favorites restocked daily at Lucky Llama Coffee House and every weekend at the Red Kettle in Summerland. Rising long before the sun, Janet fires up the stove at 3:45am almost every morning to fill bakery orders before 5am yoga and a well-earned coffee. 

 

Momma J’s is a testament to the resilient community spirit of Carpinteria and a shining contribution from a local whose legacy extends far beyond delicious pastries. The five-foot firecracker who set out to conquer the world is still challenging us to go after our dreams, making the most of every moment with boundless generosity, overflowing gratitude, and an unbreakable will to succeed.

Discover the pastry that started it all - browse the scone menu

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