.New Restaurants, Bakeries and More Businesses Flock to Watsonville

Several new businesses are in the works around Watsonville, all forging ahead despite the looming cloud of the pandemic.

A new drive-thru Starbucks in Watsonville Square, a Mexican food restaurant in the historic Mansion House, a panaderia (bakery) on East Fifth Street and a taqueria called El Navegante in the former Burger and Brews at 1116 Main St. are all in the construction phase.

Meanwhile, La Condesa Market opened recently in Pajaro Plaza, as did Craft Bakery in the former Second Street Cafe location. And Ferarri Florist, in the East Lake Village Shopping Center, is expanding into an adjoining space to make room for a gift shop.

All of this comes on the coattails of the late-March opening of the Staff of Life Natural Food Market in the East Lake Village Shopping Center.

“This is very exciting for the business world in the Pajaro Valley,” said Shaz Roth, CEO of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. “Things are moving forward.”

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Maged Abdulgani, manager of La Condesa Market at 1079 S. Green Valley Road, said the grocery store opened at the beginning of the year and features a meat counter, a walk-up taqueria, a small pharmacy and a wide selection of Mexican food goods.

“We’ve been very busy so far,” Abdulgani said. “It’s a great location.”

The business is situated in the same center that includes Big 5 and Corralitos Pizza. They also feature check cashing, money orders and money transfers.

At 11 East Fifth St. a sign recently went up to announce Ricarmi Panaderia y Pasteleria, a bakery and pastry business on the same block as Baker Brothers Appliance, Pizzamia and Watsonville Cyclery.

Angelo Tufo, owner of the Mansion House at 420 Main St., said a Mexican food restaurant is being constructed on the ground floor of the historic building constructed in 1871. That location previously housed the New China Buffet. 

Tufo said he believes the name might be Tapia’s, and that there is no certain opening date. The business will feature indoor and patio seating, and a large banquet room for special occasions.


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Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. 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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