A new branch of the Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting has opened at Cabrillo College's Watsonville Center. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting has opened a new branch in the Cabrillo College Watsonville Center at 318 Union St. 

They started roasting coffee in 2012 and have one location in Watsonville and another in Seaside. Their first store opened three years ago at 125 Hangar Way, #270, in the Strawberry Business Park. It offers a wide range of organic coffee drinks, cold drinks, pastries and sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. 

“We opened [the Cabrillo location] at the start of the fall semester,” said Patrick Loftus, who owns the business with his wife, Amelia. “We’re still just getting used to this space and shaking out a few wrinkles. Little by little people are learning about us. Though we have limited hours right now—8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday—we’re working on adding evening hours as we adjust.”

The new location is situated in the main entrance lobby and offers indoor and outdoor seating. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday several passing students stopped to check out the extensive menu. Several of them found the time to grab a drink and settle in with their laptops to wrestle with their homework. Huge floor to ceiling windows in the lobby offer a view of Watsonville Plaza and the foot and motor traffic unspooling along Union Street.

“It seems more and more people have less and less time,” Amelia Loftus said. “We’ve noticed more Starbucks and building drive-thrus because time is an issue for so many people. So things seem to be changing a bit. We’ll see how we do at Cabrillo. We’re offering all students discounts on a regular basis as part of our contract.”

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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