Tag Archives: Mission Hill Creamery

Family-friendly Santa Cruz events: Mission Hill birthday, Mole & Mariachi festival

Mariachi Gilroy, a performer at the 2014 Mole & Mariachi Festival

Mariachi Gilroy, a performer at the 2014 Mole & Mariachi Festival

Here are a couple upcoming family-friendly events in Santa Cruz.

Mission Hill Creamery’s 2nd birthday celebration: Monday, Sept. 15, 2014
Owner Dave Kumec invites the community to visit Mission Hill Creamery’s Scoop Shop and Dessert Café on Monday, Sept. 15 – all day and until they close – for a $1 birthday scoop of ice cream. This special discount is his way of saying thanks for all your support.

A bit of history, as told by Dave:
Mission Hill Creamery started 4 1/2 years ago in the Culinary Center of Santa Cruz on Front Street. From those humble beginnings, we have grown to our current location and now offer a variety of ice creams, desserts, novelties, milkshakes, floats, as well as a full coffee and tea menu, and packed pints. Our products are distributed in nine counties and growing. Come help us celebrate as we happily grow into our third year in our Pacific Avenue Creamery store.”

Location: 1101B Pacific Avenue near Cathcart, next to Taqueria Vallarta and across the street from Kianti’s
Hours for 9/15 celebration: Noon to 11 pm

Mole & Mariachi Festival: Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014
The 2nd annual event is from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park, and it offers lots of fabulous food—and not just mole! In addition to local food, wine, beer, and other beverages, guests can enjoy music and dance performances, kids’ crafts and a piñata, and a raffle. I attended last year, and it was great fun for the whole family. There is free admission.

This year, nine local restaurants and chefs will prepare moles. Festival attendees and a panel of local celebrity judges will select their favorites. Santa Cruz restaurant El Jardin won “People’s Choice” last year. If you want to sample moles, there is a $10 tasting kit for sale. A list of mole competitors and other vendors is below.

All event proceeds benefit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. Want to avoid the trouble of parking your car? There will be bike valet service at the park, as well a free trolley to the festival from downtown Santa Cruz.

For more info, visit www.thatsmypark.org. Watch a 30-second Mole & Mariachi PSA video here.

Location: Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park, 144 School Street near downtown Santa Cruz

Mole competitors:

  • El Chipotle Restaurant in Soquel (preparing “rojo Oaxaqueño mole”)
  • El Jardin Restaurant in Santa Cruz (preparing “Jorge’s Traditional Mole”)
  • My Mom’s Mole from Watsonville (with a 25-ingredient Guanajuato-style sauce that is spicy, not sweet, prepared by chef Cesario Ruiz)
  • Lidia’s Taqueria in Watsonville (traditional Oaxacan dark mole with nopales [cactus paddles])
  • El Chino Restaurant in Santa Cruz (mole with poblano chiles)
  • The Kitchen at Discretion Brewing (Soquel brewery)
  • Vivas Restaurant in Santa Cruz (serves organic food)
  • Maya Mexican Restaurant in Scotts Valley (Michoacán mole)
  • Plaza Lane Optometry (a newcomer to the event, will prepare a staff member’s personal recipe featuring chocolate, peanuts and pumpkin seeds)

Vendors selling a variety of food/drinks:

  • El Jardin Restaurant
  • Garcia’s Fish Tacos
  • Mission Hill Creamery
  • Chocolate Restaurant
  • Sazon Mexicano
  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
  • Discretion Brewing
  • Lagunitas Brewery

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

National Ice Cream Month — win ice cream for a year in Santa Cruz

mission hill july 2014

Ice cream and espresso at Mission Hill Creamery

To celebrate National Ice Cream Month, there is a delicious Downtown Santa Cruz-sponsored contest with a grand prize of free ice cream for a year!

One winner receives 50 gift certificates for free ice cream – so the idea is to use one per week. To be exact, the prize is “approximately” one year of free dessert.

How you play: visit one of the five participating venues and pick up an Ice Cream Month punch card. The venues are the Penny Ice Creamery, Pacific Cookie Company, Mission Hill Creamery, Marini’s Candies and Cold Stone Creamery. Through July 27, have your card punched every time you order a treat from one of these sweet places.

Then, on July 27, visit Mission Hill Creamery at 3 p.m. for a special event. Vice Mayor Don Lane (the “Vice Cream Mayor,” he even has an ice cream tattoo!) will present a special Vice Mayoral Proclamation. Anyone who has a completed Ice Cream Month punch card (ten punches) will be entered in a raffle for free ice cream. You must be present to win. If you have eaten enough ice cream by July 27 that you have more than one punch card filled out, each one of these counts as a separate raffle entry.

Follow the Downtown Santa Cruz Facebook page to learn about featured ice cream flavors every day. You don’t have to eat that particular flavor to get a punch; it’s just another highlight of ice cream month in Santa Cruz. Not to whet your appetite or anything, but Sunday’s featured flavor was Macapuno (baby coconut) at Pacific Cookie, Saturday’s was Oreo Overload at Coldstone, Friday’s was Ricotta Fig at Mission Hill, and the 4th of July highlighted the flavor The Great Morgani at Marini’s.

Today’s featured flavor? Blackberry Sweet Corn at The Penny Ice Creamery. Mmmm, I can taste it already…

Remember — since National Ice Cream Month is July, we are halfway through already. You better get eating!
Mission Hill Creamery, 1101B Pacific Ave.
The Penny Ice Creamery, several locations including original downtown branch, 913 Cedar St.
Pacific Cookie Company, two locations including downtown, 1203 Pacific Ave.
Marini’s Candies, two locations including downtown, 1308 Pacific Ave.
Cold Stone Creamery, 1129 Pacific Ave.
On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Organic ice cream at Mission Hill Creamery benefits Santa Cruz schools

Eat ice cream to benefit Santa Cruz City Schools

Eat ice cream to benefit Santa Cruz City Schools

Mission Hill Creamery’s Scoop Shop and Dessert Café invites the community to eat ice cream on Tuesdays to benefit Santa Cruz schools. There are eight Tuesday benefits over the next couple months; the first one was this week (on Feb. 25, 2014 to be exact).

This is the 2nd annual “Scoops for Schools” event, and it’s a fundraising partnership between Mission Hill Creamery (MHC) and the Santa Cruz Education Foundation. On select Tuesdays through April 29, MHC owner Dave Kumec will donate 10% of all sales towards supporting an individual Santa Cruz City School. Feb. 25 sales benefited Gault Elementary School.

The yummy ice cream that Kumec creates includes flavors such as Salted Caramel, Maple Candied Bacon, Mint Chocolate Confetti, Dulce de Leche, Turkish Coffee, Orange Creamsicle, and Mango. Rotating flavors are often posted on the MHC Facebook page.

MHC ice cream can also be found around town at many grocery stores, and the restaurant Chocolate on Pacific recently added a Salted Caramel Sundae with MHC ice cream to its menu.

Beneficiary schools & dates:

  • March 4 Branciforte Middle School
  • March 11 Santa Cruz High School
  • March 18 Branciforte Small Schools
  • April 8 Harbor High School
  • April 15 Bayview Elementary School
  • April 22 Westlake Elementary School
  • April 29 Mission Hill Middle School

Location: 1101B Pacific Avenue near Cathcart, next to Taqueria Vallarta and across the street from Kianti’s.
Hours: 12-10pm Sun-Thurs, 12-11 pm Fri-Sat

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

2014 Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival: final news on specific tastes for Sunday

Valentine’s Day tortoises from Ashby Confections

Valentine’s Day tortoises from Ashby Confections

Come to the Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival on Sunday, January 19 (1-4pm, Cocoanut Grove) and taste samples from more than 25 vendors.

The UCSC Women’s Club sponsors this tasty benefit for re-entry student scholarships. Missed the last couple days of my column? Here are links to two Chocolate Festival articles:

2014 Chocolate Festival overview
Specific treat information for selected vendors including Lifestyle Culinary Arts, Original Sin, Snake & Butterfly Chocolate

Mission Hill Creamery is participating in the festival for its third consecutive year. The Santa Cruz company creates small batch ice cream from scratch, including organic ingredients from the Downtown Farmer’s Market. In exchange for your tasting ticket, you can try MHC’s:

• Original Vanilla Bean ice cream in a hand-dipped Dark Chocolate Mini Cone

Ashby Confections has been a long-time festival presence. Jennifer Ashby, a UCSC and Culinary Institute of America graduate, just opened her own store in Scotts Valley after years of being at Heather’s Patisserie in Aptos. Her handmade confections are made with single origin Swiss Grand Cru chocolate, real butter, fresh cream, and many locally sourced organic fruits and herbs. Festival samples will include:

• marshmallow treats
• truffles
• tortoises

Theo Chocolate, a Seattle company, prides itself on being the only true “bean to bar maker” of organic, Fair Trade Certified chocolate in the US and an independently owned, socially and environmentally responsible chocolate maker. The company controls and executes the entire manufacturing process, from bean sourcing through to the final molding process. At the festival, Theo will be sampling and selling 6 different bars:

• NEW! 70% Dark Chocolate Raspberry – Classic Bar
• NEW! 70% Dark Chocolate Ginger – Classic Bar
• 65% Dark Vanilla Nib – Eastern Congo Initiative Partner bar
• 70% Dark Sea Salt – World Bicycle Relief Partner bar
• 70% Dark Fig Fennel & Almond – Fantasy Bar
• 45% Milk Chai Tea – Fantasy Bar

Saratoga Chocolates benefits from chocolatier Mary Loomas, who has been trained internationally including Valrohna’s Ecole Grand Chocolat in France. At the festival, Saratoga will be sampling and selling the following truffles and bonbons:

• Midnight Dark Chocolate Truffle
• Valencia Orange Truffle
• Caramelized Coconut Truffle (Vegan)
• Milk Chocolate Truffle
• Mocha Truffle
• Hazelnut Praline Truffle
• Salted Vanilla Caramel
• Dark Chocolate Caramel
• Vanilla Caramel
• Ginger Cognac Truffle

Silver Mountain Vineyards, who also participated last year, will pour:
• 2012 Rosé of Pinot Noir
• 2006 Alloy, Bordeaux blend
• 2009 Spencer’s Choice Pinot Noir

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival with wine, food, and more benefits UCSC scholarships

Treats from previous Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

Treats from previous Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival

The 7th annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 benefits UCSC scholarships, and I have lots of delicious food and wine highlights to share. The event is from 1 – 4 p.m. at the Cocoanut Grove by the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

The Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival brings together more than two dozen vendors. Last year’s festival welcomed wineries for the first time, and that tradition continues in 2014.

Participants range from local confectioners and bakers like Snake and Butterfly, Original Sin Desserts & Catering, and Saratoga Chocolates, to local restaurants like Chocolate and India Joze, to vendors from other states (like Theo Chocolate from Washington). Other local companies who will be present include Zizzo’s Coffee, Mission Hill Creamery, and wineries Sones Cellars, Alfaro Family Vineyards, and Silver Mountain.

I’ll publish information about specific items vendors will have for you to taste, and more details on some of these companies,  later tonight and tomorrow so watch for Part 2 and Part 3!

Each vendor will have treats such as truffles, cake, or ice cream available in exchange for a tasting ticket. Buy tasting tickets at the event (admission is free) or online. Each $15 purchase gets you six tickets. Another note: there will be a silent auction, cupcake decorating ($3) and some vendors are also selling chocolate products—remember that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching!

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 37 years the club has awarded over 330 scholarships totaling nearly $230,000 to deserving women and men for research activities, tuition and childcare.

The Details
Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival
Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz 95060
Sunday, January 19, 2014 from 1-4pm

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Celebrate Mission Hill Creamery Santa Cruz shop’s 1st birthday with $1 scoops

Mission Hill Creamery's salted caramel ice cream

Mission Hill Creamery’s salted caramel ice cream

If you visit Mission Hill Creamery’s Scoop Shop and Dessert Café on Sunday, Sept. 15 you can get a $1 scoop of delicious, organic salted caramel ice cream! Owner Dave Kumec wants to show his gratitude to all the MHC fans who have frequented his shop since he opened it one year ago, so he’s offering bargain ice cream from 1-5 p.m—in the most popular flavor, salted caramel—plus live music from bands D’ohbros and Bad With People.

“It’s been a tremendous year for us, and we’re looking forward to celebrating it with our friends and fans,” said chef and owner Kumec. “In our first year on Pacific Avenue we’ve seen business grow each month as word spreads about the amazing small batch ice cream we’re making from scratch, here on site. And I love shopping for our organic ingredients at the Farmer’s Market right outside our back door.”

Kumec is a generous supporter of the local community. During the last year, MHC has donated over $15,000 to a wide variety of groups and schools.
If you haven’t yet visited the shop/cafe, Sunday would be a perfect time to visit. The venue serves a menu of ice cream desserts including cups and cones, sundaes, floats featuring artisan sodas, and a full espresso bar. You can buy pre-packed pints of the award-winning ice cream to take home; pints are also sold at local shops including New Leaf, Shopper’s Corner, and Whole Foods Market plus other stores in town and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Scoops are also sold at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

More Details
Location: 1101B Pacific Avenue near Cathcart, next to Taqueria Vallarta and across the street from Kianti’s, 831-239-4812
Hours: Noon-10 p.m. Sun-Thurs, Noon-11 p.m. Fri-Sat
Stay up to date with MHC and read about its 16 daily rotating flavors on the MHC Facebook page

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz First Friday Art Tour Food/Restaurant Highlights include food trucks

Attendees at First Friday Santa Cruz enjoying dinner from a food truck

Attendees at First Friday Santa Cruz enjoying dinner from a food truck

Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 in Santa Cruz is the next “First Friday Art Tour,” and there are events, exhibits and food choices to satisfy people with a variety of tastes. Here are a couple highlights.

Mission Hill Creamery is hosting artist Jamie Taylor on Fri Aug. 2. He will be at the delicious ice cream shop from 6-9 p.m. to show and discuss his work. Taylor comments about his art: “It is exciting to me to be utilizing a broader range of my aesthetic sensibilities to make my paintings, so that they continue to present different possibilities of comprehension, resulting in the creation of something both mysterious and concrete.” Check out the art and taste some wonderful sweet treats at the same time. Mission Hill Creamery owner Dave Kumec utilizes organic ingredients in his artisan ice cream like Straus milk and cream, Windmill Farm strawberries, and Lone Oak Farms apricots.
Location: 1101B Pacific (next to Taqueria Vallarta)

The True Olive Connection hosts painter Hannah Dalbey, who will be at the shop from 6-8:30 p.m. Her work will be on display until September 4. Dalbey says: “Painting has been my creative expression for over 35 years…My objective has been to bring out the spirit of the subject. I learned that color, shape, value, line and texture are the underlying essence of painting.  It is always the same whether I am painting a face, a body, an animal, a landscape or a still life.  Abstract and non-objective art has become an exciting way to work with just the essential components of painting.   Having the freedom to experiment with creativity in its myriad forms has been a great joy!” The True Olive Connection is known for its great First Friday spreads which include free bread and olive oil, olives, wine, and other goodies. The shop sells many oils, nearly 20 balsamic vinegars, plus mustards, hot sauces, and more.
Location: 106 Lincoln St (just off Pacific), Santa Cruz

It’s been announced that food trucks will be at the August 2 First Friday Santa Cruz, at the Wrigley Building. Past First Fridays have featured The Truck Stop and Low N Slow Mobile Cuisine.
Location: 2809 Mission St (in Westside SC)

The free First Friday tour happens every month, rain or shine, at different venues including restaurants, cafes, wineries and galleries. It was founded by the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

2013 California Beer Festival with food, beer, and music at Aptos Village Park

The 2012 California Beer Festival at Aptos Village Park

The 2012 California Beer Festival at Aptos Village Park

The 2013 California Beer Festival on August 10 features food from restaurants and other vendors, plus live music and of course lots of beer. Event organizers have announced that tickets usually sell out so it’s recommended you buy online. General admission tickets are $45 and include beer samples and a souvenir cup; there are also “designated driver” tickets for $25 (includes free meal from any food vendor plus bottled water) and VIP tickets for $70 (includes early admission and more).

More details: the event is at Aptos Village Park, the beer samples are 3-ounce pours, and the festival gates open at 12:30 p.m. for general admission ticket-holders. Tasting begins at 1 p.m. and the festival ends at 5 p.m. There will be approximately 70 craft beers on tap. Breweries participating include Lagunitas Brewing Co., Anderson Valley Brewing Col, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Sierra Nevada, Anchor Brewing, and Seabright Brewery. Food vendors include Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Cruz-N-Gourmet, Lucy’s Hot Dogs, and Mission Hill Creamery.

There are three live bands performing including Foreverland, a 14-piece tribute band to Michael Jackson. All parking will be at Cabrillo College and a courtesy shuttle will bring you to the Park (Please refer to map under “Map & Directions” section at the web site).

Proceeds benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support to student athletes to assist in their pursuit of both scholastic and athletic success in Santa Cruz County.

Aptos Village Park is located at 100 Aptos Creek Rd, Aptos 95003

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz outdoor movie series: Mission Hill Creamery ice cream & more

One scoop of mango & one of pistachio ice cream at Mission Hill Creamery

One scoop of mango & one of pistachio ice cream at Mission Hill Creamery

A free movie with good snacks, including delicious Mission Hill Creamery ice cream? Sounds like a winning summer combination! Those of us that live in Santa Cruz are lucky to have unique and fun activities to partake in, including lots for families, and this is the latest one to catch my eye.

Saturday, June 22 is the second event in the “2013 Mission Adobe Summer Series” and it’s the debut of “Movies @ the Mission Adobe,” a family-friendly series. On Saturday, an outdoor screening of East of Eden will be held at the Santa Cruz Mission (also known as the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park). This classic 1955 film, starring James Dean, was filmed in part at Mendocino Headlands State Park.

Movies @ The Mission features movies that were filmed in part at California State Parks. You’re invited to bring blankets and low back chairs, and enjoy concessions including locally produced Mission Hill Creamery ice cream, popcorn, cookies and hot and cold beverages (all non-alcoholic). Admission is FREE but donations are welcome; all proceeds benefit California State Parks.

Location: 144 School Street, Santa Cruz

Time/Date: 8pm movie (come early to reserve a space) Sat June 22, 2013


2013 Vintners’ Festival in Santa Cruz plus Street Faire with food and wine


Silver Mountain Winery at the 2012 Vintners' Festival

Silver Mountain Winery at the 2012 Vintners’ Festival

The 24th annual Santa Cruz Mountains Vintners’ Festival, “Roots that Rock,” finishes up this weekend in Santa Cruz County with barrel tastings, new wine releases, and a downtown Santa Cruz Street Faire June 9 with local artisan foods from vendors including restaurants plus live entertainment. Read more about the Street Faire at the bottom of this article.


The Vintners’ Festival, hosted by SCMWA (the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association) began last weekend (June 1-2) with events in Santa Clara & San Mateo counties. The festival continues in Santa Cruz County from June 8-9, 2013. Participants may take part in barrel tastings, meet winemakers, and enjoy live music, art and good food. Attendees are also invited to stroll through many of the winery gardens, and to have a picnic in the beautiful surroundings.


Wineries participating in the Vintners’ Festival pour from noon-5:00 p.m. each of the weekend days. Tickets are $43 online or $50 at the door; each ticket includes a souvenir wine glass that is good for tasting at winery locations during both weekends of the 2013 Vintners’ Festival, plus admission & 10 tasting tickets for the Santa Cruz Street Faire. For more about the festival, call (831) 685-VINE (8463) or visit the SCMWA web site at scmwa.com. If you’re interested in visiting one or some of the wineries but don’t want to buy the “all-access pass,” you can choose to just pay tasting fees at individual wineries.




Location: Pacific Ave. between Locust & Walnut

Time/Date: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sun. June 9

Price: $8 plus handling fee online or $8 at event for commemorative wine glass (tasting requires glass plus tickets at $1 each; tastings cost between 2 and 5 tickets)


More details:

At this event you’ll be able to taste wines that are not always available outside of the tasting room. The vintners of the Santa Cruz Mountains will be pouring their favorite wines including new releases, favorites and hard-to-find varietals. There will be a special Vintners’ Marketplace booth where you can buy bottles to take home.

Here’s the line-up:

Music & Entertainment

7th Wave

Amee Chapman

Cooper Street Band

Mitch’s Mob

Trippy Chicks Hoop Troupe



Bargetto Winery

Beauregard Vineyards

Big Basin Vineyards

Burrell School Vineyards

Cinnabar Winery

Dancing Creek Winery

Downhill Cellars

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

MJA Vineyards & Winery

Myka Cellars

Naumann Vineyards

Sante Arcangeli Family Wines

Silver Mountain Winery

Storrs Winery and Vineyards

Villa del Monte Winery


Artisan Food

Buttercup Cupcakes and Farm House Frosting

Cardamom Tuesday

Center Street Grill

Chocolate Restaurant

Chocolate Visions

Low n Slow Food Truck

Mission Hill Creamery

Monterey Chocolate Company

The Oyster Man

Pacific Thai

Sweet Pea’s Cafe



Anne Labrie Studios


August Moon Creations

Bonny Doon Fused Glass

Cardamom Tuesday

Damselfly Jewelry

Copper Moon Apothecary

Friends of SC State Parks (Michael Schwab Prints)

Hook and Loop Jewelry Design

Jade Shaper

Linda Cordy Photography

Lori Canton Photography

reWINEd Designs

Roots Artkives

Ruby Roxanne Designs

Ruth Easterbrook Ceramics

Sandcastle Magic