Category Archives: Events

Lots of popups this weekend in Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley

Mole nachos from My Mom’s Mole.
Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

There are many pop-up dining opportunities this weekend, May 26-27, 2017, in the Santa Cruz area–here are details for a few including two at local breweries.

 

Friday night: My Mom’s Mole at POPUP

My Mom’s Mole is hosting dinner at POPUP from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday (or earlier if the food sells out). There will be mole nachos (chicken and veggie options) made with My Mom’s Mole homemade tortilla chips plus their signature cactus and kale salad.

POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave. (next to Assembly), Santa Cruz

 

Friday night: La Sofrita at Steel Bonnet Brewing Co.

La Sofrita is doing dinner at Steel Bonnet Brewing Co. from 4-9 p.m. Friday. Dishes available will include empanadas; Puerto Rican achiote rice and pink beans, stewed with ham and sweet potatoes; mango-cucumber salad; and yuca fries served with garlic-mojo dipping sauce. Buck N The Odds will play live music.

Steel Bonnet Brewing Co., 20 Victor Square, Scotts Valley

 

Saturday night: Homeless Garden Project at POPUP

Homeless Garden Project is holding its first “farm to table pop-up” at Assembly’s POPUP, from 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday. Angie Smith is preparing the food. Menu selections will be beet sliders with pickled radishes and creamy green goddess dressing; Southern style barbecue chicken sliders; grilled potato salad with arugula and lemon mustard vinaigrette; summer chopped salad; and strawberries, angel food cake waffles and honeyed whipped cream.

POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave. (next to Assembly), Santa Cruz

 

Saturday night: Hanloh at East Cliff Brewing Co.

Hanloh Thai Food will be at East Cliff Brewing Co. from 5-9 p.m. Saturday. Their menu will include vegan and gluten-free options. There will be live music by Take One from 7-9 p.m.

East Cliff Brewing Co., 21517 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up tickets selling fast

Farm-fresh grilled zucchini, sweet corn, beans and aioli from chef Kendra Baker at a summer 2016 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast. Photo credit: Tara Fatemi Walker

Tickets are on sale for the 2017 season of pop-up breakfasts with guest chefs at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers’ markets. The first event (the morning of Saturday, June 3 at the Westside market with chef Erin Lampel of Companion Bakeshop) is sold out, and limited tickets remain for the other three events. Cost is $38 and tickets are available for purchase online and at the markets. See below for more details. I attended a pop-up breakfast with chef Kendra Baker last summer, and it was a very unique, enjoyable experience with delicious food and drinks!

 

In other market news, there is a May promotion that greatly helps low-income Santa Cruz County residents. Traditionally, the Live Oak and Felton markets offer customers with CalFresh (EBT/SNAP) cards a dollar-for-dollar match up to ten dollars. For example, if a CalFresh customer swipes their EBT card for $10 of EBT tokens, they receive an additional $10 in Market Match tokens at no charge. A $7 swipe equals a $7 match. These matching dollars can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits only. During the month of May, in recognition of CalFresh Awareness Month, the Felton and Live Oak markets are offering a DOUBLE MATCH program. Customers receive two Market Match tokens for every EBT token up to $10. So $10 dollars of EBT becomes $30 at the Felton and Live Oak markets. However, funds are going fast and might not last through the end of the month (chances are you can still utilize the promotion May 21 at Live Oak market, and possibly May 23 at Felton market, but not the following week).

2017 Pop-Up Breakfast Dates and Chefs with tickets still available as of May 19

(for full menus, visit the web site):

 

Scotts Valley market

  • July 8 – chef Brad Briske of Home

 

Westside market

  • August 5 – chef Katherine Stern of La Posta
  • Aug 26 – chefs Kendra Baker and Jessica Yarr of Assembly, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The Picnic Basket

Different local chefs are featured at each event. For each dish at these multi-course meals, nearly 100% of the ingredients are sourced from farms at the markets. Event proceeds benefit the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project. This year for the first time there will be a raffle at each event to raise additional funds for the educational and outreach programs. The prize is a $50 farmers market gift certificate.

 

Attendees choose their seats by placing their own plates and silverware at spaces along u-shaped, family-style tables beginning at 9:30 a.m. Selections made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out around 10 a.m. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspectives regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system. There is also live local music.

 

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and the farm-to-table breakfasts continue to draw sell-out crowds. For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

 

 

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NEXTies honor Santa Cruz businesses and individuals

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24

The 2017 NEXTies will be awarded March 24. Photo credit: Event Santa Cruz

The 2017 NEXTies event will include people from Santa Cruz’s food, coffee, art and music communities. The NEXTies, which celebrate “the area’s brightest doers,” are in their eighth year. For the annual awards ceremony, held this Friday, March 24, event organizer Matthew Swinnerton invites the public to “pull out the pearls and cufflinks and join us for an evening in honor of those in Santa Cruz County who inspire us to reach further and higher and inspire the community.” Danielle Crook and DNA are hosting the program.

 

New award categories this year include “Best Writer.” The inaugural recipient is Good Times food writer Lily Stoicheff, who is honored to receive this accolade.

 

“As a journalist who writes about food culture in Santa Cruz County, I’m drawn to the stories of people who are fearlessly passionate about enriching our community through what we eat, be it a chef, farmer, small business owner or brewer,” says Stoicheff. “I gravitate towards writing about food because it’s something we all share, and as such it holds the possibility of creating a path to understanding and connection with each other and our environment. Plus, eating is an opportunity to bring joy into our lives daily.” Being acknowledged by the NEXTies, she says, shows that the Santa Cruz community values this type of storytelling.

 

Cat & Cloud Coffee is receiving the 2017 NEXTie for “New Business of the Year.” Owners Chris Baca, Jared Truby, and Charles Jack were thrilled to hear the news.

 

“We opened this business because we love community, and we wanted Cat & Cloud to be a hub for the community. We live in the neighborhood, and its awesome to see the community recognize us and really participate in the vision we have for Cat & Cloud.”

 

Vendors from the Santa Cruz Food Lounge’s monthly “Night Market” (held the second Friday of each month) will be selling food at the NEXTies. Vendors include My Mom’s Mole (mole nachos in chicken, veggie, and combination options), TanglewoodArtisan Hand Food (with hand pies including meat and veggie options), Hanloh, and La Sofrita (empanadas and mango-cucumber salad). I personally recommend every single one of these fabulous food businesses! Andrea Mollenauer, Cat Hernandez and Sally Kane operate the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, located at 1001 Center St. in downtown Santa Cruz. Mollenauer actually won a NEXTie in 2015.

 

At the event, there will be music from 2017 NEXTie award winners The Coffis Brothers and Taylor Rae. McCoy Tyler will also perform. Beer from New Bohemia Brewing Co will be available for purchase.

 

The full 2017 NEXTies winners list:

Entrepreneur of the year: Sindy Hernandez de Cornejo
Musician of the year: Taylor Rae
Band of the year: The Coffis Brothers
Artist of the year: Irene O’Connell
Writer of the year: Lily Stoicheff
Give Back person of the year: Mariah Tanner & Natalie Anne Oliver
Foodie of the year: Elizabeth Birnbaum
New Business of the year: Cat & Cloud Coffee
Athlete of the year: Ryan Navaroli
Under 18 person of the year: Ashley Solis-Pavon: Community Agroecology Network
Non-Profit of the year: Warming Project
Mentor of the year: Keisha Frost
Innovative Business of the Year: Inboard
Innovator of the year: Nick Halmos from Cityblooms
TECHie of the year: Gabriel Jesse Medina (From Digital NEST)
Green Business of the year: Khordz Handmade Mugs
Wildcard: Happily Ever Laughter

 

Buy tickets for $30 online.

 

The NEXTies were first awarded in 2010. Four years later, Santa Cruz Next asked Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz to take over the NEXTies. Swinnerton launched the organization Event Santa Cruz in 2013 to help tell the stories of local businesses and the people that make these businesses run. The organization presents monthly happenings around town.

 

In an effort to reduce waste, Event Santa Cruz has partnered with ReCRUZ for the NEXTies. Guests are encouraged to bring their own mug or “rent” one from ReCRUZ for free during the event.

 

Details:

Friday March 24, 2017, 6:30-9 p.m.

Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

eventsantacruz.com/2017nexties

 

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St. Patrick’s Day food and drink highlights for Santa Cruz County & nearby

My Mom’s Mole, Elkhorn Slough Brewing & The Green Waffle are collaborating for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

My Mom’s Mole, Elkhorn Slough Brewing & The Green Waffle are collaborating for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

There are many enticing foods and events for St. Patrick’s Day 2017 in Santa Cruz and nearby areas. Here are a few highlights.

My Mom’s Mole is hosting an event at Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co. in Watsonville on Friday, March 17, from 4-8 p.m. There will be taco and green waffle options with shredded chicken and/or roasted root vegetables and mole sauce (My Mom’s Mole signature sauce and/or mole verde). A side of My Mom’s Mole signature cactus & kale salad accompanies each dish. The waffles are courtesy of The Green Waffle LLC and El Nopalito Produce is providing the nopales (cactus).

My Mom’s Mole, The Green Waffle, and El Nopalito Produce are three of the 30-plus locally owned businesses that operate out of Watsonville’s El Pájaro CDC Commercial Kitchen Incubator. Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co. opened in 2016 and focuses on wild ales made with locally harvested yeast and other locally sourced ingredients.

Elkhorn Slough co-founder Julie Rienhardt said,“When locals come together to make great food and drink from the ingredients all around us, it takes delicious to a whole new level. We are proud to be serving our beer with My Mom’s Mole to the wonderful Watsonville community for a festive St. Patrick’s Day celebration.”

Location: 65 Hangar Way, Watsonville

La Sofrita is doing a “We’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” popup from 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, at POPUP next to Assembly. Chef Anna says “while staying true to Puerto Rican classics and flavors, we will pay homage to the Irish.” The menu will include rellenos de papa, a classic Puerto Rican dish of mashed potatoes stuffed with savory beef picadillo, then gently fried; corned beef empanadas (plus a few of La Sofrita’s other empanada varieties) served with curtido, a lightly pickled cabbage slaw; and Puerto Rican chicken stew flavored with sofrito and adobo, served with Puerto Rican rice. Beer will also be available.

 

Location: 1108 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz

 

Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria is offering corned beef and cabbage dinner for $15.95. This includes potatoes, carrots, onions, horseradish cream and a slice of Irish soda bread. Dinners will be available Thursday and Friday, March 16-17, starting at 9 a.m. (cold) and noon (hot) for take-out service. Cost is $15.95. The restaurant has also created Guinness stout chocolate cake, Bailey’s Irish cream cheesecake and iced shamrock cookies. Gayle’s is at Learn more:

Location: 504 Bay Ave., Capitola

 

Ella’s at the Airport  is serving corned beef and cabbage for lunch and dinner. There will also be Irish-inspired drinks.

Location: 100 Aviation Way, Watsonville

 

Malone’s is offering what it calls “traditional St. Patrick’s Day food specials” plus Irish style beers and special cocktails, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday. There will be live music in the evening.

Location: 4402 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley

 

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Trio of events at Santa Cruz’s Assembly and POPUP this weekend

Puerto Rican food by La Sofrita, Photo credit: La Sofrita Facebook page

Puerto Rican food by La Sofrita. Photo credit: La Sofrita Facebook page

There are many events, including some food-related ones, occurring this weekend in the Santa Cruz area. Here are details for three events in Santa Cruz at POPUP and Assembly (all at 1108 Pacific Ave.).

 

Friday night: My Mom’s Mole at POPUP

To celebrate National Tortilla Chip Day, My Mom’s Mole is hosting dinner at POPUP from 5:30-9:30 p.m. (or earlier if the food sells out). There will be mole nachos (chicken and veggie options) made with My Mom’s Mole homemade tortilla chips and a new mole queso sauce.

 

Saturday: La Sofrita at POPUP

La Sofrita will be at POPUP beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Puerto Rican Pop Up menu will feature dishes including empanadas with vegetarian options, Puerto Rican achiote rice and stewed pink beans, and garlic mojo chicken (made with organic thighs). “And, back by popular demand, shrimp a la criolla,” said chef Anna. The shrimp is simmered in a tomato-white wine broth, with sofrito and manzanilla-stuffed olives, and served atop Puerto Rican rice. “We’ll also have yuca fries served with garlic-olive oil dip,” she added. “You think you like French fries? Wait til you try these!” This pop-up doubles as the pre-party for the Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Windy City Bulls game at Kaiser Permanente Arena, but everyone is welcome, whether or not they are attending that game. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the development of the Scotts Valley Sports Complex.

 

Sunday: Oscars Viewing Party at Assembly

Event Santa Cruz is hosting its second annual gala event—complete with red carpet—to celebrate the Oscars beginning at 5 p.m. at Assembly. People are encouraged to dress in black tie. Tickets are $35 and include several savory and sweet bites throughout the evening and a glass of champagne upon arrival (additional drinks can be purchased at the new Assembly cocktail bar). There will be a large screen to watch the Oscars, and a separate, “no-talking room” for serious fans. All attendees will be entered in a drawing for Santa Cruz Warriors tickets. Purchase tickets or get more information online at eventsantacruz.com.

All events are at POPUP and/or Assembly, 1108 Pacific Ave.

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February at New Leaf includes Valentine themes & classes for kids and families

Decorate Valentine cookies with the family at New Leaf Community Markets

Decorate Valentine cookies with the family at New Leaf Community Markets. Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has several events in February including Valentine’s classes and workshops for kids and families. Here are some highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Thursday, Feb. 9

Chocolate Creations

Ayurvedic practitioner and chef Talya Lutzker will introduce attendees to a spectrum of delectable chocolate desserts. You will learn “how the taste of sweet is of great benefit to the body, mind and spirit” and discover a “world of good-for-you sweet foods you may not have thought of before.” Plus, learn how to make your own delicious chocolate confections from scratch.

Time & Cost: 6:30–9pm, $40/Two for $70

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-creations-tickets-30307158527

 

Friday, Feb. 10

Kids’ Class: Valentine Cookie Decorating Workshop

For ages 8 and up: drop your kids off for a fun workshop led by Kristen Valenza of Living Roots Food and Floral. Valenza will provide homemade sugar cookies made from organic ingredients, and kids get to decorate with an assortment of toppings.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $35

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/valentine-cookie-decorating-workshop-for-kids-tickets-30314128374

 

Sunday, Feb. 12
Family Class: Mommy/Daddy & Me Valentine Cookie Decorating Workshop

This class with Kristen Valenza is for Moms or Dads and their little ones ages 3-6. Families will decorate an assortment of Valentine’s Day cookies made from organic ingredients, then take home a box of creations to give away as gifts–or eat themselves!

Time & Cost: 1–3pm, $45 for one adult & one child, $30 each additional child

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mommydaddy-me-valentine-cookie-decorating-workshop-tickets-30314804396

 

Tuesday, Feb. 21

For Seniors: Tuesday Talk & Tea on Heart-Healthy Foods

While you enjoy tea and snacks, you can learn which heart-healthy foods are high in antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The session is led by Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian.

Time & Cost: 12–1pm, Free (but registration required)

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tuesday-tea-for-seniors-heart-healthy-foods-tickets-30236352745

 

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Annual crab feed Saturday at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery

crab feed photo

Cold and hot crab, plus sauces, at the 2015 Mountain Winery crab feed. Credit: Mountain Winery

The Mountain Winery in Saratoga is offering its popular annual all-you-can-eat crab feed on Saturay, January 28. The cost is $105 for adults, $55 for kids 3-11, and free for kids under 3. Advance online ticket purchase is required. Parking is free.

The event takes place at the winery’s Historic Winery Building. Tickets include fresh local crab (choice of cold and/or hot) plus pasta, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. Beverages will be sold separately, and gratuity is not included. When buying tickets, attendees can choose a 4, 4:30 5, 5:30 or 6 p.m. seating. But that doesn’t mean you only have a half-hour or hour to eat. You can choose to have a quick meal or linger for a couple hours. The separate seatings and staggered arrival times are for the purpose of eliminating long lines.

I tremendously enjoyed this event in 2015 and 2016; in 2016, the winery brought in crab from Oregon due to the seafood being unavailable in the Monterey Bay area. How wonderful that local crab is back!

The Details

Crab Feed

Saturday Jan. 28, 4-8 p.m.

Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga

$105 for adults; $55 for kids 3-11

 

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Inauguration day Planned Parenthood benefits in Santa Cruz

Equinox Winery is one of many California businesses donating a portion of proceeds on Inauguration Day to Planned Parenthood

Equinox Winery is one of many California businesses donating a portion of proceeds on Inauguration Day to Planned Parenthood. Photo credit: Equinox Facebook page

To coincide with Inauguration Day, today and tomorrow Friday and Saturday Jan. 20 and 21, companies across California including ones in Santa Cruz are showing their support for Planned Parenthood by donating sales proceeds and making other contributions to the reproductive health care organization. There are also a variety of businesses donating to other worthy causes like immigrants’ rights. See highlights below.

  • Downtown Santa Cruz’s Soif Wine Bar and Restaurant has announced it will donate company sales from Jan. 20 to Planned Parenthood. Hours today are 5-10 p.m.
  • Equinox and Bartolo Winery and Tasting Room in Westside Santa Cruz will donate 20% of profits from today to Planned Parenthood’s Santa Cruz chapter. Hours are 2-7 p.m.; they are staying open an extra hour for this fundraiser.
  • Fish Princess Farm is donating 20% of all purchases through Sunday, Jan. 22, to Planned Parenthood. They are open today from noon-6 p.m. Customers can select which chapter when they make their purchase. Fish Princess produces goat milk soap, chicken eggs, cut flowers and fresh produce; its downtown retail shop stocks soaps, lotions, edible treats (like Ashby Confections) and other goodies.
  • Chocolate the Restaurant will donate 20% of sales today to Planned Parenthood. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Pacific Cookie Company is donating 20% of sales from noon-5 p.m. tomorrow, Sat. Jan. 21, to PP.
  • Discretion Brewing is donating 20% of pint sales today to the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project (SSCIP), a program of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

 

Details:

Soif Restaurant & Wine Bar, 105 Walnut Ave., 831-423-2020

Equinox & Bartolo Winery & Tasting Room, 334 Ingalls St., 831-471-8608

Fish Princess Farm, 109 Locust St., 831-402-0635

Chocolate the Restaurant, 1522 Pacific Ave., 831-427-9900

Pacific Cookie Company, 1203 Pacific Ave., 831-429-6905

Discretion Brewing, 2703 41st Ave., Ste. A, 831-316-0662

 

 

 

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Two Santa Cruz food popups on Friday, Jan 6

A curry dish by HANLOH Thai Food (served at an event in December)

A curry dish by HANLOH Thai Food (photo is from an event in December)

Santa Cruz’s popup food scene is deliciously thriving; here are two events occurring this Friday, Jan. 6.

HANLOH will be at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing from 6:45-10 p.m. The menu for “Ultimate Thai Beer Snack” will include Moo bing (charcoal grilled pork), Pla mug yang (charcoal grilled Monterey squid), and Khao rad geng (rice and spicy red curry bowl with two options–vegan or with chicken). The curry will be made from homemade curry paste; some of the ingredients are lemongrass, galangal, bird eye chili, dried shrimp, shallot, and garlic.  Owner/chef Lalita Kaewsawang, a Santa Cruz resident, recently started her Thai popup/catering business. As she proclaims on her web site (hanloh.com), her mission is to “bring justice back to Thai food by staying away from canned curry paste and super sweet stir-fry. We focus on the comfort and vibrancy of Thai street food.”

Location: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, 402 Ingalls St.

 

La Sofrita is doing a “Dia de los Reyes Puerto Rican Popup” from 5:30-9 p.m., at POPUP next to Assembly. Chef Anna says she will be serving traditional Puerto Rican holiday fare like “mouth-watering pernil, or Puerto Rican succulent, skin-on, bone-in, roasted pork shoulder stuffed with garlic mojo. The pernil, made with pasture-raised pork from local Fogline Farm, will be accompanied by avocado-tomato salad over mixed greens plus arroz con gandules (Anna says the latter is “the quintessential rice dish that is served on every Puerto Rican table on Christmas Day and on Dia de los Reyes”). A selection of La Sofrita empanadas will also be available; I tasted one of these for the first time a few weeks back and it was absolutely delectable! The variety I had was veggie (kabocha squash, spinach, and leeks with goat cheese) but I’ve heard that the beef picadillo, chicken and shrimp ones are fantastic too.

Here’s a bit of background on Dia de los Reyes from La Sofrita’s Facebook event page: “in Puerto Rico, January 6th is Dia de los Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day. It marks the culmination of the Christmas season. In Puerto Rico, this is a bigger celebration than Christmas Day itself; gifts are traditionally exchanged on this day rather than Christmas. The night before, children put shoeboxes of hay under their beds for the camels to eat after their long journey, and are rewarded with a gift left under their bed. The day is filled with festivities that include traditional foods and drinks.

Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

 

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Last minute foodie holiday gifts in Santa Cruz

Cookies from Pacific Cookie Co. Photo credit: PCC web site

Cookies from Pacific Cookie Co.
Photo credit: PCC web site

Haven’t finished your holiday shopping and have some foodies on your list? Want to shop local? There are lots of choices in the Santa Cruz area including some discounts; here are some highlights including a gift fair tomorrow that has plenty of options–whether you want to buy something food/drink-related or something else that’s made locally.

First, the gift fair:

2nd Annual Holiday Artisan Food & Gift Market — Saturday 12/17 at Food Lounge

I went to this fabulous event last year and bought gift items for several friends/family members, not to mention a few things for myself! The market will feature locally made packaged foods including jams, olive oil and hot sauce that are currently available in the Food Lounge Pantry, which opened in September. The holiday market will also offer beautiful jewelry, textiles, glass art, print art and kitchen antiques. Additionally, a few small-batch food producers will offer tamales, empanadas, meat pies and other items that would work well for holiday entertaining or for a delicious dinner with your family. Plus they will sell ready to eat food that customers can enjoy while shopping like empanadas (from La Sofrita Puerto Rican pop-up), tamales (Yoli’s Adobo) and savory pies (Artisan Hand Pies).

“We offer this market as close to the holidays as possible so that all of our vendors’ food-based products are fresh for gift-giving and entertaining,” said Andrea Conklin Mollenauer, one of the three partners in the Food Lounge, an incubator kitchen and event venue that will celebrate its second birthday in January. “We are excited to offer market space to 25 local vendors who don’t have their own brick-and- mortar places to sell products.”

Vendors with food gifts will include Friend in Cheeses Jam Co., Notso Hot Sauce, My Mom’s Mole, Ashby Confections, and Farmer Freed Salts. Non-food vendors will include True Blue Indigo (textiles), Love Light Vintage Candles, Verdant California (body products) and  Fereshteh Fatemi (artisan jewelry and greeting cards – disclaimer, this is the author’s mother).

In addition to the holiday market, the Food Lounge Pantry is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to

7 p.m. as a hub for local artisan food products – a perfect stop for holiday shopping, including next week when you realize which folks you forgot to buy for!

Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St. Santa Cruz

Date/Time: Sat Dec. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Next, some gift card discount highlights:

Until Christmas, Hula’s Santa Cruz (221 Cathcart St.) is offering a special: Purchase a $50 gift certificate for someone else and get a free $10 certificate for yourself; purchase $100 and get a free $20 gift card to treat yourself.

Mission Hill Creamery (1101 Pacific Ave.) has these discounts until Christmas: Buy a $25 gift card for $20 OR buy four $10 gift cards and receive the fifth free OR re-Charge your existing gift card with at least $20 and get 20% off your gift card purchase.

Through Dec. 24, Johnny’s Harborside (493 Lake) is offering a bonus: Purchase a $50 gift certificate for someone else and get $10 free; spend $100 and get $20 free, etc.

Other gift ideas

Last but not least, other foodie gift options include certificates from local restaurants. The Glass Jar announced they’re offering a card that’s good at any of their three restaurants—that’s Assembly, The Picnic Basket AND The Penny Ice Creamery. If you know people who are fans of Soif and/or La Posta, you can also purchase gift cards that are good at both. And Crow’s Nest gift cards are redeemable at the restaurant or its neighboring Crow’s Nest Beach Market.

Want to send a sweet Santa Cruz-themed food gift to someone? Pacific Cookie Company has lots of options. These include Top Tier Cookies & Chocolate Box ($49.95), with 36 two-ounce cookies and 32 white and milk chocolate flower medallions made by local chocolatier Mackenzies Chocolate; Sweet Elegance Cookie Gift Box ($37.95) with 24 two-oz. cookies, Season’s Eatings Christmas Tin ($26.95) with 36 one-oz. cookies, and Classic Cookies and Milk ($24.95) with a dozen two-ounce cookies and two 8-oz cartons of organic milk (it’s shelf-stable low-fat Horizon milk which doesn’t require refrigeration). Also, Los Gatos-based Manresa Bread now ships its scrumptious artisan bread anywhere in the continental U.S.; see my November article and/or the Manresa site for details.

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