Fresh cauliflower salad from Avanti Restaurant in westside Santa Cruz

10 More Santa Cruz County Businesses To Support Right Now

As Santa Cruz County and the rest of America enter yet another week of sheltering in place, small businesses need community support more than ever. Not only are family-owned restaurants suffering, but some established local businesses have completely shut down or relying heavily on internet sales. While grocery stores are thriving,  these essential businesses have struggles too, as employees take painstaking precautions to protect its customers and themselves from the coronavirus. Whether you’re a Santa Cruz County resident or you live elsewhere, please consider supporting local business during the worst pandemic in modern history.

Appetizers from Avanti Restaurant Santa Cruz
Appetizers (photo courtesy of Avanti Restaurant)

Avanti Restaurant
1917 Mission St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 427-0135
www.avantisantacruz.squarespace.com

Under new ownership but still on Mission Street, Avanti Restaurant is offering a to go menu. Orders are taken daily from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and customers can order appetizers, entrees or Family Style Dinners that can feed for people. The restaurant is also offering 25 percent off any selection from the impressive wine list, which includes several premium European selections and local selections from Alfaro Family Vineyards. Customers can call or email the restaurant at avantisantacruz.gmail.com to place an order. In the Westside Santa Cruz area for more than 30 years, Avanti Restaurant was acquired by Jonathan and Tatiana Glass last year.

Seafood Kabob from the family-friendly restaurant Carpo's in Soquel
Seafood Kabob (photo courtesy of Carpo’s)

Carpo’s
2400 Porter St.
Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 476-6260
www.carposrestaurant.com

A local favorite since 1981, Carpo’s is currently handling orders to go and online orders. Updated hours are daily from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and orders to go may be purchased directly over the phone. A curbside service is also available. No daily specials are available but customers still have a wide selection of items to order. A complete menu is available online, as well as through DoorDash and Doorbell Dining. The Carpo Burger and  house specialities like Terikyaki Chicken Kabob are among the popular dishes. But the affordable restaurant is also known for its outstanding seafood dishes and homemade pies. Carpo’s Family Restaurant continues to be family owned and operated by Todd family.

Related: Support Santa Cruz County Businesses Now

Storefront of Deluxe Foods grocery store at the Deer Park Marketplace in Rio Del Mar or Aptos
Deluxe Foods (credit: Randy Yagi)

Deluxe Foods
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd.
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 688-7442
www.deluxefoodsofaptos.com

Located in Deer Park Marketplace, Deluxe Foods has been a popular local grocery store for nearly 40 years. Owned by the Monte family, the store has had to modify its hours, with reduced hours for Peet’s Coffee, the bakery and deli. On Wednesdays, the store opens earlier at 7:30 a.m. to accommodate only seniors ages 65 and over. Currently the store is unable to provide a home delivery service or curbside assistance.  Marc Monte, the highly respected community leader who established the non-profit Monte Foundation in 1996, serves as the President and CEO of Deluxe Foods.

Wood fired pizza from Ella's at the Aiport
Wood-Fired Pizza (photo courtesy of Ella’s at the Ariport, Facebook)

Ella’s At The Airport
100 Aviation Way
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 728-3282
www.ellasinwatsonville.com

Located at Watsonville Airport, Ella’s at the Airport is offering an abbreviated menu at this time. An increasingly popular restaurant from the “creators of Café Ella”, Ella’s is offering curbside pick daily from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. In addition to the abbreviated menu that features wood fried pizzas, pastas, entrees and more using fresh, sustainable ingredients, the restaurant is also offering its Family Style Menu for 6-8 people. Orders can be called in or emailed at airportellas@gmail.com. Many of the signature dishes are prepared by Ella herself -Tiffany Ella King. In 2007 Ella opened Café Ella on East Lake Avenue in Watsonville and in 2015, Ella’s at the Airport.

The locally famous newspaper ads for Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz
Lenz Arts Newspaper Ad (photo courtesy of Lenz Arts)

Lenz Arts
142 River St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 423-1935
www.lenzarts.com

Serving the community since 1968, Lenz Arts is currently offering a curbside service for art supplies. Founded by award-winning artists Andy and Cynthia Lenz, customers can order supplies by emailing staff@lenzarts.com and with the subject line of “CURBSIDE” and a contact number to reach between the hours of 11 am to 3 p.m. Hours and dates of curbside service will be regularly updated on the Lenz Arts website. At this time, no customers will be allowed inside the art supply store. Located at the same spot on River Street since 1972, Lenz Arts has an extensive collection of art supplies and is considered one of the last remaining art supply stores on the West Coast. The store has been managed by Andy and Cynthia’s son Andrew Jr. since 1989.

Seafood dish from Manuel's Mexican Restaurant in Aptos
Seafood Dish (photo courtesy of Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant)

Manuel’s Restaurant
261 Center Ave.
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 688-4848
www.manuelsrestaurant.com

One of the oldest Mexican restaurants still operating locally, Manuel’s is currently open for take out service. Hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Also well known for serving some of the finest authentic northern Mexican cuisine on the Central Coast, Manuel’s offers an extensive menu including regional specialties like Enchiladas Mexicanas, Mole Poblano and Tacos de Pescado. The popular Mexican restaurant near Seacliff State Beach is also offering margaritas to go, as well as premium beer and wine. Established in 1965 by the late Manuel Santana, a very talented artist and community leader, Manuel’s is now owned and operated by his son Leonardo and his wife Patricia.

Eggs Benedict at Red Apple Cafe in Aptos
Eggs Benedict (photo courtesy of the Red Apple Cafe Aptos)

Red Apple Café
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd.
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 685-1224
www.redappleaptos.com

Another long-standing Aptos business in Deer Park Market Place, the Red Apple Café is open only for to go orders. Led by Dan and Gracia Krakauer, the café is currently accepting take out orders daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. While the café is well known for its delicious breakfast and lunch dishes, some items may not be available due to supply. However the food is consistently delicious, so good that the café has been voted one of the Best Breakfast and Lunch restaurants in Santa Cruz County by the Good Times weekly paper for the past six years.

Fresh produce at Scotts Valley Market
Fresh Produce (photo courtesy of Scotts Valley Market)

Scotts Valley Market
14 Victor Square
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
(831) 438-4324
www.scottsvalleymarket.com

Scotts Valley’s most popular grocery store has temporarily modified its store hours due to the current health crisis. Current store hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Scotts Valley Market also has special hours only for seniors 65+ from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The grocery’s deli is also open, serving items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. According to current online information, the grocery store does have toilet paper in stock. Scotts Valley Market and sister Ben Lomond Market are owned by the Clements family, whose business history dates back to January, 1946.

Colorful mural of fresh produce on an exterior wall of the Staff of Life in Santa Cruz
Outside Mural (credi: Randy Yagi)

Staff of Life
1266 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 423-8632
www.staffoflifemarket.com

The only green certified, locally owned market in Santa Cruz, Staff of Life has had to make several adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., only seniors and higher risk shoppers are allowed to shop. Among other temporary store policies in place are no returns for any item taken outside of the store and shoppers who bring their own bags are asked to bag their own items. Some items are currently unavailable, like the seating area and self-service hot foods. Founded in 1969, Staff of Life remains one of the most popular natural foods supermarkets in Santa Cruz. Regular updates can be found on the official website and on social media like Facebook.

Related: Five Ways You Can Support Local Businesses During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Taylor Brothers Hot Dog Stand
336 Union St.
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 722-2402
www.facebook.com/pages/Taylor-Bros-Hot-Dogs

Serving generations of residents, Taylor Brothers Hot Dogs is a clear Watsonville landmark. In the community for 65 years, Taylor Brothers hasn’t adjusted its hours for the pandemic, which is good news for loyalists. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday and closed on Sundays. Hot dogs “with everything” still come with mustard, relish, onions and flavorful chili made from a Taylor family recipe. Perhaps the first fast food joint in Watsonville, Taylor Brothers also accepts phone orders but for large orders, customers must first come to the stand and make payment. Still owned by the Taylor family, the Watsonville location is preceded by the Visalia location by two years.

Related: 10 Travel Movies To Keep You Inspired While You’re Stuck At Home

 

 

About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago,CBS Houston, CBS San Francisco and CBS Washington D.C. During his peak years with CBS, he reportedly had a digital audience reach of 489 million. His stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com, among others. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.

 

 

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