Five Mile House in Corralitos comes alive

The Five Mile House in Corralitos is undergoing a major rebuild to make way for a local herb and produce market on top of a cafe. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

CORRALITOS — New life is in the works for the historical Five Mile House in Corralitos. Long abandoned, the former café just got a fresh coat of paint and is undergoing major interior and exterior work.

On deck is a business that will feature locally grown organic herbs and produce in conjunction with a new café.

Owner Carin Fortin, who co-founded and currently runs Blossom’s Farm on nearby Merk Road with her partner Delmar McComb, said she is excited about the venture.

“I think Corralitos needs more than one café,” she said. “This will be a great place for people to purchase fresh, locally grown herbs and produce. It’s a fantastic location. There’s a lot of work to do, but we are hoping to open in July. I hope this becomes a community space”

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Carin Fortin is the driving force behind opening a new business in the Five Mile House on Freedom Boulevard at Corralitos Road. She is shown here inside the historic building. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

In its early days the building of unusual architectural design was a Texaco Service Station. One man who strolled past the spot recently said he recalled as a boy the tall gas pumps outside the front of the business. At least one café was run in the same spot, following a long-standing health food store. 

“We are a biodynamic farm in Corralitos,” Fortin wrote on her website. “We grow medicinal herbs and produce digestif bitters, oils and tinctures.”

Fortin, herb farmer, herbalist and teacher, is active as a Biodynamic Association of Northern California member, and has served as the BDANC newsletter editor and core group member for years. She is a student of biodynamics and anthroposophy, and a member of the Circle of Representatives, the planning committee of the International Biodynamic Conference in Dornach, Switzerland.

Fortin said the business will have indoor seating and outdoor seating in two patio areas that will be flanked by planter beds.

The business shares space in the same center with Cadillac Café, a computer repair shop, a Mexican restaurant and a tattoo business. A new and upcoming hair salon, TZ, is currently being built there as well.

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