.Familial Feeling

The upstart Cruise Coffee Company of Scotts Valley has a new sibling who extends the welcoming vibe

There’s probably a word for it in German: that pleasant atmospheric density only found in a vibrant coffee house—part caffeinated humidity, part invested conversation, part collaboration, part you-do-you, part we-do-great-joe. With superb snacks.

The word for it in Scotts Valley is actually three, namely, “Cruise Coffee Company.”

And now the homespun and family-run operation has a third branch in Cruise Club (100 Enterprise Way, Scotts Valley).

The latest chapter complements the first two SV spots—the original Cruise Drive-Through (75 Mt. Hermon Road) and Cruise Cafe (246A Kings Village Road)—because its grab-and-go setup enjoys a shiny commissary kitchen that allows for more loaded (and organic) breakfast burritos, build-your-own bowls, bagel sandwiches and hearty salads for all three (and added catering bandwidth).

Cruise Club also meets a need for healthy fare in a well-trafficked spot, namely the Enterprise Technology Center, given the UC Santa Cruz offices and Enterprise Sports Club gym, among others, who call it home.

Like its sister spots, the Club deploys a half dozen different fair-trade coffees with thoughtful local art on the label and beans custom-roasted in collaboration with Midnight Coffee Roasting, to go with artisan baked goods by The Hot Pink Box Dessert Co.

Owner-operator Erin Buchla came to the CCC adventure after more than a quarter century as a nanny, toting as much care to her expanded family now as she did then (with lots of kid-centric activities too, like regular arts-and-crafts events for parents and littles).

The family-affirmative events include adult-friendly stuff too. Among them: Scotts Valley Cars & Coffee every third Sunday with a parking lot full of interesting cars (like her 1960 Apache Chevrolet truck) and free coffee, and Coffee Shopping each first Saturday of the month, with area makers doing art, jewelry, clothing, macramé, ephemera and more.

The whole idea, for her, boils down to community.

“I was a nanny because I love seeing kids become the people they are,” she says. “Everybody has a talent, whether creating art, building stairs or getting dogs to listen to you. That’s why I love doing events and creating a gathering space, a micro-community—because it brings all those talented people together…I just love people, and working with one another we create a fabulous unit.” cruisecoffee.square.site


Le Creuset has debuted a new “shop-in-shop” at Toque Blanche (1527 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz), which translates to an atypical stash of professional-grade cookware and kitchen tools, and a 10% restaurant/chef discount, plus a ribbon cutting July 12 equipped with more promotional savings and gifts with purchase, mytoque.com…The new and self-described “informal” coffee bar service noon-4:30pm Friday-Sunday at Chocolate (1522 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz) is making great use of its vast chocolate catalog for next-level drinks, chocolatesantacruz.com…Never too early to plan around pie: Downtown Felton’s Annual Dessert Pie Contest slices things up Aug. 10: tasty pies, lively music, pie-eating contests and a chance of spotting Bigfoot, check Downtown Felton Association on Facebook…Trivia Night buzzes starting at 6pm every Wednesday in Humble Sea Westside’s “Seacret Garden” (820 Swift St. Santa Cruz). “Things get pretty heated back there!” insiders testify, humblesea.com…Life hack alert: Stuck with a bad cup of coffee? Drop a pinch of salt in…Which inspires a revisited reminder from Isak Dinesen: “The cure for anything is salt water—tears, sweat, or the sea.”


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