.Berry Patch

Familias y fresas en la mesa

Getting picked in an immigration lottery system in Fiji, where he was born, paved the way for Imran Mohammed to come to the U.S. and earn his citizenship in 2006. Having grown up in the kitchen cooking with his mom, he had a passion for food.

Mohammed also aspired to one day own a business, and was able to bring all that together when he and his wife, Anahi, purchased the Strawberry Patch Cafe two months ago. Imran describes the ambiance as an homage to Watsonville culture, bright colors paired with lively music amidst a mix of modern and country vibes. The menu is rife with American classics influenced by Mexican and Indian cuisines.

The breakfast burritos with housemade salsa and Indian-spiced potatoes are a hit, and the pastries include banana bread, carrot and coffee cakes. Lunches start with the paninis, like the Pavo Mia with roasted turkey, caramelized onion, baby pickles and Swiss cheese, and the Jamonella with ham, Gruyère cheese and arugula. Salad choices abound with local organic produce and house made dressings.

Describe your culinary roots?

IMRAN MOHAMMED: Part of it comes from my Indian culture and my mother. I grew up spending a lot of time in the kitchen with my mom and watching Food Network. We would take recipes we saw and test them out for ourselves, and this really ignited in me a passion for cooking. It’s really about making people happy, and my wife feels the same way about food. I’ve found my culture and her Hispanic culture have inspired me to bring more diverse flavors into the food we serve. And we have an amazing staff that supports us, coaches us and helps us grow the business.

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What’s next for the business?

We want to bring back artisan pizzas, which were served here years ago, cooked in an outdoor oven on our patio that will produce a delicious pizza. And we also plan to offer boba tea, add more color and seating, and put on live events.

Open 6:30am-4pm (7am Sat.-Sun). 734 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville, 831-722-0480; strawberrypatchcafe.com.

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