Smallgoods: A Bite of Quality

Smallgoods owners Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood have a cheese story to tell!


Lisa Pan

Both Mrs. Eastwood and Mr. Eastwood, the owners of Smallgoods, take great time and care into making their charcuterie boards, which is what they’re known for.

As students flood down La Jolla Boulevard, they may pass by a flapping white flag with the word “Cheese” on it, or mouthwatering sandwiches, iced lattes, and charcuterie brought out to friends gathered at a white bench and table. This place is Smallgoods.

This small and cozy cheese and provisions shop is owned by Mrs. Jenny Eastwood and Mr. Mike Eastwood — a husband and wife team. In 2016, they moved to San Diego and started Smallgoods in the La Jolla farmer’s markets. Soon, they expanded to other farmer’s markets in the county. 

Prior to opening Smallgoods in 2020, both Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood worked in advertising and TV production in New York City. Their jobs gave them the opportunity to take clients out to fancy restaurants with exquisite food. This helped them find their love for food. Mrs. Eastwood had also worked at a famous cheese shop, Murray’s, in their limestone-walled cheese-making caves in the underground stories of the city.

 “A lot of people don’t know this, but New York City has around three to four stories underneath the city streets,” Mr. Eastwood said. He explained that Murray’s would have brilliant cheese-makers send their cheeses to their caves to age them to perfection. “The aging can bring out complex and rich flavors that a younger, more immature version of itself wouldn’t have realized,” he said. “And Jenny was involved in making sure those cheeses were ripe and ready,” he added.

In 2016, Mr. Eastwood and Mrs. Eastwood moved to San Diego and started Smallgoods in the La Jolla farmers markets to test out their business. Soon, they expanded into other farmer’s markets in different regions of the county. 

“But we never really only wanted to do farmer’s markets,” Mr. Eastwood recalled. “The opportunity came along around three years ago, now, to get this place. So we decided we wanted to open up a shop here in La Jolla.”

However, three weeks after opening in February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything shut down. “COVID-19 was very tricky for us because the store was really new,” Mrs. Eastwood sighed. It was difficult for many restaurants to get back on their feet — especially a new business.

While Smallgoods wasn’t a farmer’s market anymore, Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood still had close bonds to the farmers and artisans who sold products at their store. This sparked one of Mrs. Eastwood’s most brilliant ideas. “She came up with the idea of bringing the farmers here. We would set the market vendors up in front of the shop,” Mr. Eastwood smiled proudly. “The farmers’ products didn’t stop growing during COVID, they needed a way to sell them, and they needed a way to continue to have revenue. This set up out front of our shop afforded that for quite a number of farmers.”

In addition to the struggle of COVID-19, many people who were walking through the streets during the pandemic didn’t understand what Smallgoods was selling. Mr. Eastwood asked Ayanna Hickey (‘26) about what people thought of their shop. “She goes, ‘A lot of people don’t understand what it is. They think it’s a small furniture shop,’” he recalled. 

Mr. Eastwood then added the words “American cheese and provisions” under their sign. “We have to be consistent with marketing, with social media, with the presence that gets people’s attention, and we never stop thinking about ways to do that.”

After the pandemic, Smallgoods started to gain more and more customers, many of whom were Bishop’s students.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood admire the motivated and hard-working students who come out of Bishop’s and love rewarding them with discounts and samples. “Bishop’s is a very privileged school. I see [the students] engaging, appreciating, and utilizing it for what it is. You guys know you have something right there, and you don’t take it for granted,” Mr. Eastwood explained. “It’s great to have the energy of America’s youth in your front yard.”

Ayanna worked at Smallgoods over the summer and continues to do so throughout the school year. She started off in fifth grade at the farmer’s markets after hearing about the opportunity, and when she was old enough, she began to work in their shop. “It was actually so much fun. When you work, they give you samples of all the cheeses and meats.” She continued, “They’re actually the best things I’ve ever had in my life,” Ayanna said.

Next to the delicious samples, she also recalled having a blast with Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood. “They’re so nice, the sweetest people. They give me rides whenever I need it, and they allow me to go into Smallgoods and sit there and talk to them,” Ayanna said, grinning. “They treat me like their daughter.”

Other students, such as Lily Gover (‘24) shared their experience at Smallgoods. “Mike came out of the kitchen and gave us a free sample of something he had just tried. It was like a sandwich with apple, cheese. It was something fun, and I’d never tried it before,” she said earnestly. “My first impression was that they really care about what they serve. There were only two of them, but it felt like a little community.”

“Mike and I are very passionate about what we do,” Mrs. Eastwood said. “When you get our platters, we always include a little piece of paper that tells you all about the cheeses and charcuterie that are on that platter. You know exactly what you’re eating. And that’s important to us.”

Mr. Eastwood named many of the different artisans and small businesses that Smallgoods supports, explaining that what he loves about them are all unique. Erika Lynch, the owner of Babette’s Table, is one of his favorite artisans. “She’s still doing such an old-school, handmade process. There’s nothing mass produced about it,” he explained. Mr. Eastwood also mentioned Bill Miner, who owns Il Porcelino, and then there’s Golden Gate Meats from San Francisco, is another. There are so many great  artisans all across the US.”

Smallgoods is growing and evolving every day, and both Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood have future goals for their new and thriving business. “I think it would be really great to be able to expand the company in ways where the name Smallgoods becomes synonymous with great quality, American-made products,” Mr. Eastwood said, his eyes shimmering. “So, when you see the name Smallgoods, you know something good, and local, and domestic is right there for you.”

Everyone needs a break, someday. So why not have it with friendly shop owners and delicious food?