After nearly three years of collaboration, Single Thread owners Kyle and Katina Connaughton’s Vertice Hospitality is ending its management of Healdsburg’s Little Saint. Vertice Hospitality and Little Saint, owned by Jeff and Laurie Ubben, seem to be parting amicably, though no specific reason for the change was given.
The Ubbens began working with Vertice Hospitality in 2020, soon after they purchased the 10,000-square-foot multi-use space, which formerly housed Healdsburg SHED. Under the Connaughton’s guidance, Vertice built out a plant-focused food program with a sit-down restaurant, wine shop and grab-and-go retail cafe, as well as management of day-to-day culinary operations by Little Saint Director Jenny Hess.
Little Saint officially opened in April 2022, and shortly thereafter, the restaurant was included in The New York Times’ “Best 50 Restaurants in the U.S.” and Vegetarian Times’ “Best New Restaurants.”
“Our initial concept for Little Saint was to return a treasured destination to our town of Healdsburg in the form of a plant-based all-day gathering place. The intent was to celebrate our farmers and our rich local talent while standing up for what we believe in — kindness to our community, to our planet, and to all beings,” said the Ubbens in a press release. Jeff Ubben is a Bay Area philanthropist and Laurie Ubben is an animal activist. Neither was immediately available for comment.
The couple will assume management of Little Saint in early January 2023, taking over all food and beverage operations. A focus on plant-based offerings will continue.
“Thanks to the efforts of this team and our dedicated farmers and vendors, we have laid a foundation for culinary innovation. It’s with much gratitude and excitement that Little Saint is ready to pick up where Vertice leaves off,” the Ubbens said.
The Connaughton’s Vertice Hospitality will refocus its efforts on creating agricultural experiences at the Single Thread farm in Dry Creek Valley, reimagine the experience at Healdsburg’s River Belle Inn (purchased in 2022), and “reveal some other new projects currently in development.”
“We are proud to have been a part of this very special collaboration within our community and to have the opportunity to participate in Little Saint’s ideation to operating all the way through its first year. We are excited to see what’s next for Little Saint and to watch it grow and thrive under new management,” the Connaughtons stated in a press release. They were also not available for immediate comment.