(Customers take advantage of free coffee beverages and free pounds of coffee Aug. 19 at Aptos Coffee Roasting Co. in the Rancho Del Mar Center during the final hours for the long-standing business. Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Pajaronian)
APTOS — After being served with a 30-day notice in July, Aptos Coffee Roasting Co. celebrated its long run in the Rancho Del Mar Center on Aug. 19 — its final day — with free coffee beverages and free pound-bags of coffee for all.
Hundreds of people came to pay respects and show their devotion to a spot that has served as a community watering hole for more than 30 years.
Owner Bronson Baker, who also owns Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Co. in downtown Santa Cruz, said he was delighted with the great outpouring of support he saw Aug. 19 and said he was searching for a new location.
“I have so many memories here,” he said. “The amount of people here today just shows what a valuable place a café is in our community. It makes my day to see all these people.”
According to Baker, Terramar Retail Center LLC, which owns the property, declined to renew the business’ lease.
The news came via a letter dated July 22 by Raffee Law Group, which represents Terramar Retail Center.
In the letter, attorney Jill Raffee said that the business’ long-term lease expired in March 2015 and that the business has since been running on a month-to-month agreement.
Baker’s daughter Sarah de Sousa, who ran Aptos Coffee Roasting Company for six years, and became the public face of the business after her mother died in 2006, said the announcement left owners and employees reeling.
The business, she said, has become a mainstay for coffee lovers across the county.
On Sunday a huge bulletin board, set up in the front of the business, was coated with heart-shaped notes people wrote for the business. Here are a few samples:
• “Thank you for all the fun times and great service and fab coffee. I hope to see you in Aptos soon.”
• “Meeting all my amazing coworkers who have given me so many memories and moments. Thank you to everyone for an amazing year of experiences. Karen.”
• “Aptos Coffee, aka, my home away from home, live on always in my heart. XOXO Mia.”