Living Here Guide

Big city natives find a new home and purpose in San Miguel

Mike Sanders and wife Miki Landseadel-Sanders are owners of San Miguel Mercantile.
Mike Sanders and wife Miki Landseadel-Sanders are owners of San Miguel Mercantile. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Miki Landseadel-Sanders spends most of her early mornings standing on her deck surveying her acre of land in San Miguel. With a cup of coffee in hand, she gazes out over her olive and apricot trees and remembers when she lived in Chicago.

“It’s so nice to live in a community where people get involved and take an interest in the town where they live,” Landseadel-Sanders said. “Mike and I are both big-town kids, but living here is wonderful. Every morning I can’t believe my luck that I can look out and enjoy the peace and hear the doves.”

Landseadel-Sanders and her husband, Mike Sanders, may have come from cities, but they have taken to San Miguel as if they were natives.

In 2010, the couple opened the San Miguel Mercantile, a “merging of the modern with the historic, American traditional with a European flair.”

“We’re not a big-box town, so I thought we would create a place that has something for everyone,” Landseadel-Sanders said. “We have books and ice cream and antiques, and it’s a great place for people to meet up.”

Sanders created the antique and collectibles section of the mercantile, and both helped establish the San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, with Landseadel-Sanders serving as president.

“Before I moved to San Miguel I lived large and never got involved in my community,” Sanders said. “But when I came here, I fell in love with everything this town has to offer.”

The couple also is active with Mission San Miguel and sing in the church choir.

“We don’t have a lot of museums or fancy buildings, but we have our own concerts, acclaimed artists and writers,” Landseadel-Sanders said. “We pack a lot of wallop in art and literature.”

Before moving to San Miguel, Landseadel-Sanders was an English teacher in Roseville and Soledad. When she arrived in San Miguel, she was recruited to teach at Lillian Larsen School.

“They needed a teacher, so I said yes,” she said. “I also edit books and help others in the area to get published. We all help each other here.”

Sanders grew up in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Fresno before moving to San Luis Obispo County, where he worked at Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

“When I first came to San Miguel and saw the mission and the environment, I immediately fell in love,” he said. “I still love this place.”

SAN MIGUEL

Population: 2,400

Key employers:

• San Miguel Joint Unified School District

• Wineries and agriculture

Community events:

• Electric Light Parade with Santa Claus visit, Dec. 17, 2016

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