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Two New Wine Bars Open in Carmel Valley

March 5, 2019 – All of a sudden, there are two new wine bars in Carmel Valley Village. Just like that. Neither one has a kitchen, (neither does Wine House), so the emphasis is big on wine and small on food. 

Village Wine & Tap Room, formerly “The Tasting Experience,” is owned by Jessica and Michael Trask, who aim to showcase local winemakers who don’t have tasting rooms. They carry an array of limited production wines that are exclusive and hard to find. The place is at 19 E Carmel Valley Road suite G, next door to Windy Oaks at the east end of the Carmel Valley Village. It’s in the same block as Parsonage, Chesebro, Rexford and Ian Brand. 

Their soft opening is scheduled for this Friday, March … Read More

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Bad Animal Sneaks Up on Santa Cruz

May 14, 2019 – I would imagine that choosing a name for a hybrid independent used bookstore, natural wine bar and California-French restaurant would be challenging. With so many literary and culinary references, the options are potentially endless. But for lifelong friends Jess LoPrete and Andrew Sivak, who have joined forces to open such a place on Cedar Street in Santa Cruz, the title of their dream project is a perfect fit.

“The name Bad Animal is an homage to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, ecstasy, and partying,” explains LoPrete. In Euripides’ The Bacchae, King Pentheus tries to suppress the worshipers of Dionysus. He calls them animals and issues a ban on their sacred Dionysian rites, which typically involve loud music, heavy drinking, and getting it on. Sure … Read More

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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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Nation’s First Vegan Graduation in Monterey

May 14, 2019 – Graduates of Monterey’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies are out to change the world—and that includes what’s on their plates.

This Saturday, MIIS will host what’s believed to be the first-ever completely plant-based college graduation reception, with a variety of vegan delights ranging from sushi rolls to brownies, to be served to about 1,600 guests. 

“We’re very excited to be the first school in the nation to host a 100% plant-based graduation reception and showcase our commitment to walking the walk when it comes to sustainability,” says Jason Scorse, MIIS associate professor and director of the institute’s Center for the Blue Economy and the International Environmental Policy Program.

But it isn’t without precedent at MIIS, where all campus events serving food have been required to offer at … 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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KORi Wines Grand Opening on Saturday, May 11

May 7, 2019 – KORi Wines is truly a family affair with very local roots. Kori Violini, for whom the brand is named, has spent her whole life in the Santa Lucia Highlands, attending school in Gonzales. Growing up, she was involved in 4H, and started a breeding project to breed and show her own hogs. She still continues to breed for the local 4H and FFA kids. After 4H, she ran the Jr. Livestock committee, Jr. Livestock Auction and was Livestock Superintendent for the Monterey County Fair. 

Violini spent her college years at Cal Poly in SLO, where she majored in business and took viticulture classes. In 2007, she teamed up with her stepfather, Kirk Williams, a winegrower on River Road in the Santa Lucia Highlands and winemaker Sabrine … Read More

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