Monterey Mushrooms challenges restaurants

WATSONVILLE — Monterey Mushrooms is inviting all Santa Cruz County restaurants to participate in the third annual Blended Burger Project.

The project, created in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation, encourages restaurants to create burgers with one added ingredient — mushrooms. Chefs can chop mushrooms to match the consistency of any type of ground meat such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal or lamb, and blend together.

Eligible burgers should contain at least 25 percent finely chopped Monterey Mushrooms (whites, baby bellas or portabellas) as part of a featured burger patty. 

All restaurants in Santa Cruz County with blended burgers on menus from Memorial Day to July 31 are invited to participate.

“The Blended Burger Project is an easy way for restaurants to provide a sustainable, healthier burger option,” said Lindsey Roberts, Monterey Mushrooms marketing specialist. “Chefs can use finely chopped mushroom pieces to create bigger plate portions, while offering their customers a lower calorie, lower sodium and lower cholesterol menu item.”

Participating restaurants are encouraged to promote their Blended Burger Project menu item online via social media and to encourage their customers to vote for their favorite. The five chefs with the most online votes will win a trip to the James Beard House in New York City where they will showcase their blended burger recipes at an event in 2018. 

Consumers who vote for their favorite Santa Cruz County blended burger online will also be entered to win a trip for two to New York City.

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Goodwill celebrates rebranded store

WATSONVILLE — Goodwill Central Coast is celebrating the completion of its rebranding efforts at the Watsonville retail store, a store that has been a part of the community for 35 years.

Located on 470 Main St., the store has added shelf space and clothing racks.

“This rebrand is a small gesture of gratitude to a community that has made us feel welcomed since 1982,” said Goodwill Central Coast CEO Ed Durkee. “It will provide Watsonville with an improved and organized sales floor and we’ll be replenishing the store every day with all kinds of merchandise, from clothing for adults and children to furniture and electronics. We are very thankful to our customers and donors who help us support job seekers with their personal and professional goals.”

For information, visit


SC County Bank appoints chairman and vice-chairman

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Santa Cruz County Bank announced at its annual meeting of shareholders on May 22 the appointment of director and vice-chairman, William J. Hansen, as board chairman.

Hansen will succeed founding board chairman, George Gallucci, who will continue serving on the board.

Hansen, president and CEO of Hansen Insurance Agency and owner of Pacific Coast Development, has served as vice-chairman of the board of directors since the bank’s inception. Hansen, a founding director of the bank, has served as chairman of the Loan Committee since the bank’s inception and currently serves on the Audit, Compensation and Executive committees. 

Succeeding Hansen as vice-chairman of the board is David V. Heald, president and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank, who is also a founding director of the bank. The bank’s board composition remains the same with a total of seven directors, six of whom are founding directors.  

“I am honored and look forward to serving as chairman of the board of Santa Cruz County Bank,” Hansen said. “On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank George Gallucci for his leadership as chairman for all these years. The bank has become one of the finest financial institutions in the country over the past 13 years and shareholders can rest assured we will work to continue exceptional growth and financial performance in the years ahead.” 

“It has been an honor to serve as chairman for the past 13 years, but the time to step aside is while you are able to be the one to say, ‘it is time for me to step aside,’” Gallucci said. “It has been tremendously gratifying to help steer the bank to become one of the most successful and well-respected financial institutions in the industry. I look forward to continued service on the board in the years ahead.”

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