Santa Cruz County small businesses are suffering an economic impact as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, some popular local businesses have reportedly shut down permanently. Equally sad is that some are on the verge of bankruptcy. While small businesses may gain some benefit from the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, they still need community support. Here are just 10 of the many local businesses that need your help right now.
Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery
420 Hames Road
Corralitos, CA 95076
Regularly named one of the best wineries in Santa Cruz County, Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery had to close its doors to wine tasting customers. However, the award-winning business is still maintaining its online business, in addition to offering a curbside pick up service. Hours for curbside pick ups are Monday through Friday by appointment and Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. Owner/winemaker Richard Alfaro and his wife Mary Kay are currently offering specials like 20 percent off orders of $250 using the code AFV250 and 30 percent off orders of $450 using the code AFV450.
2505 Cabrillo College Drive
Aptos, CA 95003
The oldest Thai restaurant in Santa Cruz County, Bangkok West is taking orders to go and food delivery orders through third party providers. Established in 1987 by spouses Chai and Paula Wotanedtum, Bangkok West offers authentic Thai dishes like pad thai (noodles), panang (dried curry w/protein) and tom ka gai (coconut soup). Home deliveries can be placed through DoorDash or UberEats only during restaurant. Current posted hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:3-0 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Orders to go can be placed on the phone.
Charlie Hong Kong
1141 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Established in 1998 by Carolyn and Rudy Rudolph, Charlie Hong Kong has long been a Santa Cruz favorite fresh, organic street food. The small family business is open daily from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. for food deliveries and orders to do. To go orders can be placed online as well as delivery orders through its third-party vendors like GrubHub and Santa Cruz Deliveries. Among the many popular meat and vegetarian/vegan dishes are Green Curry Chicken Rice Bowl, Hoisin Pork Rice Bowl and vegan Signature Bowls like Charlie’s Pad Thai and Charlie’s Chow Mein. Gift cards starting at $10 are also available online.
Family Cycling Center
914 41st Ave.
Capitola, CA 95010
Another long established, family run business is open but prefers its customers enter through the back door. Additionally, adhering to the county’s social distancing guidelines, Family Cycling Center is only allowing three customers at a time and having them keep six feet away from store employees. The full service bike shop has been able to maintain its regular posted hours as it provides a necessary service for people who only have a bicycle for transportation. Founded by owner and CEO John Brown back in the 80s, Family Cycling Center first operated on 41st Avenue in what is now the Chill Out Café.
910 Cedar St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Long known as one of the most romantic restaurants in Santa Cruz, Gabriella Café is taking orders for takeout and delivery. Tucked away in a cozy section of Cedar Street, orders are taken daily, with slightly adjusted hours on weekends. Among suggested dishes to order are the Famous Caesar, House Made Pappardelle and Porcini Gnocchi. Founded by owner Paul Cocking in 1992, Gabriella Café’s founding chef was Jim Denevan, founder of Outstanding in the Field.
Imura Japanese Restaurant
1994 Main St.
Watsonville, CA 95076
Known for serving some of the best sushi in the county, Imura is taking orders for curbside pickup. Orders can be called, emailed or using the restaurant’s online messaging system. Imura Sushi Bar offers a wide variety of Japanese and Korean dishes, including bento boxes, udon and ramen, vegetable stir fry and an extensive selection of gourmet sushi. After placing the order, customers can drive up to the restaurant and call to have someone walk out to deliver. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Led by Mr. Song and his growing family, Imura Japanese Restaurant has been in business for nearly 30 years.
622 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Family owned and operated for more than 80 years, Shopper’s Corner is a Santa Cruz landmark. Consistently named the best locally owned grocery store in Santa Cruz County, Shopper’s Corner remains open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Currently, older adults and vulnerable shoppers also have the option to email an order and have a staff member shop for then call when ready for a pick up. Shopper’s Corner continues to be owned and operated by Santa Cruz native Jim Beauregard and his his son Andre.
WVN Organic Clothing
2151 Delaware Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Located owned and operated by Kate Fisher and her husband Henry Schwab, Synergy sadly had to temporarily close its retail store. However, the acclaimed organic clothing provider continues to take online orders. WVN features online sales and ongoing promotions. The Westside Santa Cruz company is also donating 10 percent of its proceeds to the local community by using the code -COMMUNITYLOVE. Customers can also purchase Synergy products through Amazon or QVC, as well as at Whole Foods stores. Another current promo is a bonus gift card of $20 or $50 added to the purchase of $100 or $200 gift cards.
1053 Water St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
A family-run business since 1982, Tacos Moreno can take phone orders to go or have food delivered through third party vendors. Food delivery requests from its extensive menu can be placed daily from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through GrubHub or Postmates. Founded by spouses Esteban and Maria Moreno, the taqueria is very well known for serving some of the finest Mexican cuisine in Santa Cruz County.
Two Tacos Morenos Locations
Many family members work at either the Water Street location or the second location on 41st Avenue in the King’s Plaza Shopping Center next to See’s Candies. One of Esteban and Maria’s daughters is Carina Moreno, a five-time world champion boxer who was inducted into the International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame last year.
Wild Roots Market
6240 Highway 9
Felton, CA 95018
Housed within the old Roy’s Market and later New Leaf Market, Wild Roots Market is a strong supporter of locally grown foods from farmers and purveyors. Founded in 2018 by Bob and Kristi Locatelli, the community market recently adjusted its hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. while encouraging all customers to adhere to the social distancing protocol. It’s also offering shopping only for older adults and immune-compromised customers from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Older Adults Discounts
Wild Roots is also extending its 10 percent older adults discount to daily during current working hours. At this time, Wild Roots is temporarily suspending the use of reusable bags in its stores, but not charging for paper bags. Although it isn’t taking online orders, customers who need special accommodation may contact the store directly. Wild Roots also has another market in Boulder Creek, in the old Valley Market.
About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the syndicated National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear on 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles,Chicago and San Francisco. His stories have also appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC, NJ.com and Radio.com, among others. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University and a lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County.