Tag Archives: Ashby Confections

The 6th Annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival benefits UCSC scholarships

Cupcakes from Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting, a participant in the 6th annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

This weekend is a sweet time of year: the 6th annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival is on Sunday January 20 and it benefits student scholarships. The event is from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Cocoanut Grove by the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

The Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival brings approximately 30 vendors to the Cocoanut Grove, and this year there will be wine tasting available for the first time. Participants range from local confectioners and bakers like Ashby Confections, Iveta, Snake and Butterfly Chocolate, Original Sin Desserts, and Buttercup Cakes and Farmhouse Frosting, to vendors from other parts of Northern California (Foxy’s Toffee, for one) and even other states (like Theo Chocolate from Washington). Other local companies who will be present include fabulous ice cream businesses Mission Hill Creamery and Penny Ice Creamery.

Each vendor will have treats – including gourmet truffles and cupcakes — available in exchange for a tasting ticket. In addition to the tastes you can get in exchange for your tickets, selected vendors will be selling chocolate products including some suitable for Valentine’s Day like gift assortments. There will also be a cupcake decorating booth which costs $2.

For the first time, wine will be available for attendees aged 21 and over; Alfaro Family Vineyards and Sones Cellars are among the participants. Buy tickets online or at the event. For $15 you get six tastings of food and/or wine. In order to drink wine, you need to buy a commemorative wine glass for $5 (includes one tasting).

Bid on items at a silent auction with both chocolate-themed and non-chocolate-themed items donated by businesses and individuals from the local community. Prizes include Giants tickets, wine tasting and restaurant gift certificates, and passes to Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can visit the festival for free (you don’t need a tasting ticket) if you want to participate in the auction or buy gifts from vendors.

The festival benefits re-entry student scholarships at UC Santa Cruz (for students returning to higher education after an extended absence, often students who are also parents or military veterans). The chocolate festival is presented by the UCSC Women’s Club, a nonprofit organization open to women of both the campus and local communities. The club has meetings throughout the year (except for the summer) with engaging speakers, and also hosts interest groups including book clubs. In the last 30 years the club has awarded over 300 scholarships totaling more than $200,000 to deserving women and men for research activities, tuition and childcare.

The Details

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival http://santacruzchocolatefestival.com/

Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060

Sunday, January 20 from 1-4pm


Annieglass hosts summer food and wine series in Watsonville

Beautiful pieces from Annieglass

The Annieglass Watsonville studio has been hosting a Saturday summer food and wine series, which has occurred on most – but not all – Saturdays this season. You have just a few more opportunities to enjoy it (the series began in May and ends August 25).

The events take place from 12-4 p.m. at 310 Harvest Drive. Each one focuses on a different artisan food vendor and/or a different winery. The August highlights are below. Also note that every weekend, from Friday through Sunday, Annieglass in Watsonville now offers “Pours & Tours.” The free 20-minute studio tours are at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Wine tasting of Santa Cruz and Monterey County wines is available from 12:00-4:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $5 for 3 wine tastings or $8 for 6; if you buy a bottle the tasting fee is waived.

Call (831) 761-2041 for more information.


August 4
Enjoy tastings of Pacific Crest Apiaries honey and wildflower bee pollen. Pacific Crest will be featuring some of their raw, hand-processed honey around and a selection of hand-crafted pure beeswax candles.

August 11
If you’re unfamiliar with Garden Variety Cheese, you’re in for a new and wonderful treat. Rebecca King runs a sheep ranch and only feeds the animals organically raised, irrigated pasture and organic brewer’s grain from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. The result is great-tasting milk and then, delectable cheese.

August 18
Scotts Valley-based Bruzzone Family Vineyards specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

August 25
Jen Ashby is an amazing Aptos-based chocolatier; you’ll love the goodies she creates with seasonal ingredients for Ashby Confections.

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