Author Archive | Martha Burton

Staff of Life Celebrates 50th Anniversary

May 16, 2019 – How do you sum up 50 years of resounding success in a local food business? With a really great party, of course. And you’re invited to help celebrate Staff of Life’s 50thanniversary at the pioneering natural food store in Santa Cruz on Saturday, May 18 from 12:30pm to 4:30pm.

A lot has changed in the natural and organic foods movement since Staff of Life first opened its doors in 1969, but it all started with the humble act of baking bread—and it grew slowly but surely.

Founding partners Gary Bascou and Richard Josephson have been in the forefront of the trend towards natural and organic food for half a century. Over those years, as their business partnered with and grew alongside local community farms … Read More

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Vim Dining & Desserts on the Verge of Opening

May 7, 2019 – The much-anticipated opening of Vim Dining & Desserts on the westside of Santa Cruz may happen as soon as this weekend, and it has all the signs of being a culinary game changer for the neighborhood.

Since acquiring the location in July, local rising-star chef Jesikah Stolaroff’s story is also one of exemplary perseverance. Many others might have given up by now.

But when it finally takes place, for those on tenterhooks awaiting the impending good news, the opening of Vim will not disappoint.

Vim is the culmination of a lifelong passion for Stolaroff, a Santa Cruz native and local chef whose talents supported her swift rise on the food scene in the Bay Area. Stolaroff may have honed her skills over the hill, but when … Read More

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Santa Cruz Cheese Man Aims for World’s Top Honors

April 9, 2019 – César Olivares—gourmet foods manager at Staff of Life market in Santa Cruz—is in France this week to prepare for an upcoming competition. 

Not just any competition, but the Mondial du Fromage, a biennial test that on June 2-4 will determine the best cheesemonger in the world. 

Twelve people are competing this year, by invitation only. César is the first Latin American ever to compete.

Like the Oscars, just being invited is an honor—a recognition of one’s gifts. 

Olivares says he became a cheesemonger by accident, “It was really a result of wanting to learn more, and more, and more.”

Born in Mexico, Olivares grew up in Los Angeles and arrived in Santa Cruz as a student, graduating from UCSC with a BA in political science. He … Read More

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Kick Off the Season with Soif’s New Spring Cocktails

March 19, 2019 – Spring begins this week. And now that we have an extra hour of daylight “saved” for the end of the day, how best to spend it? 

Few things fortify better than a 5pm cocktail and the creative team at Soif are debuting a few new libations this week that are truly dedicated to the season. The beloved downtown Santa Cruz restaurant is known for its local and seasonal fare and these new cocktails are similarly inspired. 

“We’re fortunate to have really great ingredients here, so we absolutely use everything in the kitchen,” says Soif bar manager Matt Barron. 

Like chef Tom McNary in the kitchen, Barron sees himself as an environmental steward. He carefully uses “leftover” trimmings from ingredients in the kitchen’s dishes—this week, everything from … Read More

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Organic Coffee Roastery Coming to Watsonville

14034798_574196806038802_8123146101245948647_nSeptember 20, 2016 – Amelia Loftus has worn many hats: baker, farmer, personal shopper, brewer, jam-maker. Now, having run Seven Bridges Brewing Supply for 15 years, written a book, and started a farm, Loftus has turned to coffee roasting as her next adventure.

“I think it’s somehow in my blood and I don’t really know what else to do,” says Loftus. “After I left Seven Bridges, I spent a few months looking for a regular job and it was just a nightmare. I have a lot of bookkeeping skills so I was applying for a bookkeeping job and having to dress up, sit in a stodgy job and I just can’t see myself doing that.”

She bought a small two-pound roaster in 2012 and has since been selling her beans … Read More

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