Author Archive | Amber Turpin


At Sones Cellars in Santa Cruz, Rachel Morphy refills her
bottle with the winery’s popular Hedgehog Red blend.
Photo by Deborah Luhrman.

When you hear the word “keg,” you most likely picture red plastic cups, beer bellies, rowdiness or memories of high school parties of yore. But in the last few years, the term has started to find a home with a quite different audience. Wine on tap is becoming more and more commonplace at cafes, wine bars and upscale restaurants throughout the country.

The idea is nothing new—wine served and sold in bulk actually has a longer history than today’s commonplace 750-milliliter bottle. A wide variety of containers from barrels to wineskins have been utilized to hold the prized juice since its creation.

But now, advancements in technology and … Read More

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general store
Homesteading: Jorah Roussopoulos and Andi Rubalcaba
with their children, Ember and Reese. Photo by Ted Holladay.

“We really just want to be a homesteader’s convenience store,” says Mountain Feed and Farm Supply owner Jorah Roussopoulos. But instead of a six-pack of Budweiser and some Lay’s potato chips, this colorful “convenience store” offers books and kits on how to brew your own beer and seed potatoes for growing your own crop.

In fact, if a do-it-yourselfer’s convenience store sounds a bit like an oxymoron, the truth is that Mountain Feed is so much more than that: a veritable sustainable-living country store, ready to outfit anyone from any walk of life who wants to live a little more in harmony with the planet—and find stellar customer service while they’re at it. Roussopoulos … Read More

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Bantam: A chef comes home to roost

bantam1Santa Cruz is an urban city with a small town mentality. That means neighborhood friendliness and loyal local sup- port—but also a generally casual dining scene. So it used to be the case that most chefs with big ambitions would just take the short trip up to San Francisco and explore more sophisticated opportunities. But now, the opposite is true; trained chefs from the city are choosing to move back down the coast and set up shop here in our little beach town. Lucky us! The newest delicious example is Ban- tam Restaurant.

Owners Sarah and Ben Sims have struck upon a perfect formula, creating a space on Santa Cruz’s Westside that with
its lofty exposed steel beams, glossy polished cement floors and Mugnaini wood- fired oven is sleek and … Read More

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Rewards do come to those who do good

Photography by Angela Aurelio

The word discretion means the power to choose. When owners Rob and Kathleen Genco opened Discretion Brewing in March of 2013, they took choosing the business’ name to heart, and they chose a slogan to match: “Choose Goodness. Have Discretion.”

“We’d like to encourage the notion that everyone has the freedom to choose, and that choosing what you consume is an important act,” says Kathleen, whose title is Discretion’s “goodness advocate.”

“It is not only Rob and I personally who are choosing goodness by spending more for organic ingredients, giving away money and beer to our local community and seeking greener ways of doing business— but everyone who chooses to drink Discretion beer is choosing true goodness in … Read More

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Soif Wine Bar Debuts Classy Cocktail Program

1017a656-8cc3-47b3-884c-299fb9be01fdJanuary 17, 2017 – “The Bitter Liberal” is not just an apt political descriptor for most of us right now, it’s also the name of drink you can order on the new bar menu at Soif Restaurant and Wine Bar in downtown Santa Cruz. After securing a liquor license last summer, Soif has been quietly introducing an eclectic cocktail menu for patrons who frequent the wine-centric restaurant. Owner Patrice Boyle, who just celebrated Soif’s milestone 10th anniversary, says, “We are rolling out the cocktail program and I feel as though we are finally solid on that front.”

“Solid” was certainly my impression when I first visited the bar and ordered something other than a unique grape varietal, admiring the careful stirring, muddling and general joy-for-concocting that our young bartender displayed. That first round of … Read More

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