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January 30, 2023

Heritage Chocolates Corralitos a local, family affair

More than 50 years ago, clockmaker and shop owner Allison Rider discovered a new hobby: making chocolate candies for his friends, family and employees. Rider, a big chocolate lover, started creating treats loosely based on See's Candies flavors. He experimented with caramel and other soft-center...

New tattoo shop breaks through city’s strict restrictions on the art

watsonville tattoo
WATSONVILLE—After spending more than a decade as a tattoo artist in Silicon Valley, Pepe Nunez has returned home.  Classic Calavera Tattoo is set to open soon in a location near the intersection of Freedom Boulevard and Green Valley Road that previously housed a bike shop.  Even...

Local trainers offer fresh approach to health and fitness

It has been 13 years since Jaimi Jansen opened the first location of Santa Cruz Core, an integrated wellness center in downtown Santa Cruz.  At that time, Jansen was just 26 years old and planning to eventually go to medical school. But as the business...

Christmas tree sellers optimistic despite national shortage

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, tree farms across the nation are thrust into the spotlight and sellers start their busiest time of year. This year, the industry is holding steady, despite a nationwide shortage that is pushing up prices. Heatwaves and fires that...

Cafe Ella to be renamed ‘Strawberry Patch Cafe’

WATSONVILLE—Cafe Ella, 734 E Lake Ave., will soon be rebranding itself with a new name and design. Owners Jennifer DeVault and Erika Conrad will rename the business “Strawberry Patch Cafe” this month. The twin sister team bought the popular cafe in 2019 from founder and...

Vintage houseware store opens downtown

WATSONVILLE—The historic Derpich Building in downtown Watsonville is coming alive once again after being acquired by two sisters with a big vision.   Jennifer Santillana and Tabitha Stroup found the property for rent when strolling down Main Street. Stroup, owner of Friend in Cheeses Jam Co....

Little Trends Children’s Boutique opens Friday

WATSONVILLE—Sisters-in-law Araceli Gonzalez and Laura Espindola first had the idea to open their own business more than two years ago.  Both mothers with a passion for shopping, they wanted to open a shop full of products for young children and new (and expecting) mothers.  “We had...

Santa Cruz REI opens doors Friday

REI Santa Cruz
SANTA CRUZ—With a short welcoming greeting to a small crowd gathered outside Santa Cruz’s new REI store Wednesday evening, manager John Davis opened the doors for the first time, allowing employees’ friends and family a peek before the store opens Friday. An abbreviation of Recreational...

Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance readies to open Watsonville dispensary

Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance
APTOS—A long line of U.S. military veterans was outside an Aptos cannabis dispensary Monday, waiting their turn for a free monthly package of marijuana. Called the Veterans’ Compassion Program, the service is the overarching mission of the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance (SCVA). Through it, people...

Photo: Traffic blocks go up at Kmart property

kmart building
A crew from Vacant Property Security installs one of several traffic blocks in the parking lot of the former Kmart on Freedom Boulevard. On Oct. 12, the Watsonville City Council started the process of declaring the abandoned property a public nuisance due to illegal...
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Juvenile arrested in Boulder Creek shooting death

BOULDER CREEK—Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies on Sunday arrested a juvenile suspected in the shooting death of an 18-year-old male at a party on...