Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Briefs: To Market, to Market; Sack Attack

Specialty food conference in Watsonville, plastic bag ban roundup

To Market, to Market

County residents are spoiled for choices when it comes to shopping for specialty food products.

Numbers show the love we have for artisan breads and handcrafted cheeses is increasingly shared by consumers across the country. Americans spent $86 billion on specialty food items in 2012, a 22 percent increase over 2010—making the specialty food sector one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S., according to a 2013 report by the Specialty Food Association and Mintel.

And with such a storied history of agriculture in Santa Cruz’s South County, there might be something exciting brewing around Watsonville, amidst signs that growers and foodies are ready to take business into their own hands—and have an increasingly bigger toolbox with which to do so. Policy shifts, such as California’s 2013 cottage food law, should make life easier for people who want to go into business from their own kitchens. The cottage food law allows small-scale specialty food producers to craft certain products in their homes, enabling folks to make extra income, or build a hobby into a viable business.

These trends spell opportunity for locals who want to realize their dream of starting their own businesses, says Carmen Herrera-Mansir, who’s helping to organize a conference on May 28 in downtown Watsonville. Herrera-Mansir is the executive director of El Pajaro Community Development Corporation (CDC), a Watsonville agency that supports micro-entrepreneurs and is putting on the event, which will focus on business and marketing, and could provide platforms for entrepreneurs trying to move past the “cottage food” level. “Our role is to open up horizons for people, and to connect them to bigger markets,” she says.

El Pajaro CDC and agency partners are holding the conference and networking event for people interested in starting their own specialty-food-based business, or those who have a product and want to know how to go to market. People are invited to showcase their food products at the networking reception after the conference.

Specialty Food Conference: Micro Goes to Market will be held Wednesday, May 28, at Watsonville Civic Plaza, 275 Main Street, 4th Floor, Watsonville. 722.1224. Roseann Hernandez

Sack Attack

There are now ordinances banning plastic bags and regulating paper ones in all local jurisdictions except Scotts Valley. There, despite 76 percent support from Scotts Valley residents (according to Civinomics), city councilmembers voted down a proposed ban, 4-1, last month. Councilmembers cited concerns about the impact a possible 10 cent fee would have on people with fixed incomes, and said they would like to see what regulations, if any, state lawmakers come up with.

The state version, Senate Bill 270, passed the Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee this month, and would charge 10 cents per paper bag, while also banning plastic ones.

New Leaf customers who bring in their own bags can donate to an environmental nonprofit— thanks to the grocery store’s Envirotoken program. Voting for the token recipients runs through the month on New Leaf’s website. Jacob Pierce

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

His Dinner With David

Author + reporter = brainy talk in ‘End of the Tour’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual