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Fresh Local Foods A Mouse Click Away

Order your organic groceries online from Santa Cruz Local Foods, and then pick them up at a location in Los Gatos.

The original intent of Noah Pinck and Eleanor Taylor, owners of Santa Cruz Local Foods (SCLF), was to be farmers.

“Our true passion is growing the food,” Pinck said. “And then getting it to the people is an awesome feeling.”

And the way they “get it to the people” is through a unique concept: an online food market that features sustainable, organic foods provided by local producers.

Their idea gave them “the opportunity to inventory the bounty that’s here, and to show people they can eat most of their food from local sources,” Pinck said.

How It Works

After you sign up, check out the site for the week’s available items. You can place your order starting Tuesday at 7 p.m. until the “closing bell” the following Monday at 3 p.m. During that time, suppliers might add items, so check the site regularly throughout the week. On the Tuesday morning after closing, suppliers deliver everything to SCLF. That afternoon, you pick up your order.

SCLF has five pick-up locations in Santa Cruz County, and one in Los Gatos at the Levy Family Campus of the

“My brother worked for the APJCC and got us hooked up with their office,” Pinck said. “We love bringing the local goodies [to Los Gatos] because the only outlet for organic food is .”

Lots to Choose From

Producers from all around the Central Coast of California provide SCLF with an impressive array of goods.

“We are always scouting farmers markets and also meeting new farmers,” Pinck explained. “We just ask if they want to work with us. And usually they say yes!”

Pinck and Taylor have a small farm as well, Sprout's Garden, contributing to the produce available from their online market.

For your shopping and eating pleasure, you’ll find honey, nuts, meats, chicken, dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, butter and milk, and—let’s not forget—produce.

The produce can change weekly, depending on what is fresh from the farm. And there are often many unique items you won’t find in traditional markets. For instance, this week, some of the featured fruits and vegetables include pickling cucumbers, baby fennel, squash blossoms, bacon avocados and gold raspberries. All organic, of course.

SCLF also sells prepared foods such as soups, salads and wraps. It also offers raw foods such as crackers, frozen foods, many choices of preserved foods, cultured foods (sauerkraut) and baked goods.

Recipes, Too!

And if that’s not enough, the site also has a nice collection of recipes, many contributed by satisfied and creative customers.

A happy marriage of technology and old-fashioned farm-to-table dining, Santa Cruz Local Foods offers a unique grocery shopping experience. Check it out and order up your own custom box of goodies!

Following is Pinck’s recipe for a deliciously simple summertime salad.

Buon appetito, amici!

Strawberry Fennel Salad with Arugula

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce

2 cups arugula

2 small fennels

1 pint strawberries

For the Dressing:

1 small shallot

3 tablespoons plum cider vinegar

1 medium lime juice and zest

2 medium oranges juice and zest

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp sea salt

black pepper

Directions:

Mince shallot and combine w/ the dressing ingredients. Allow to sit for about 10 mins, then whisk to combine. Thinly slice fennel, reserving fronds for garnish. In a large salad bowl toss fennel w/ dressing and allow to sit for 30 mins to soften fennel. Toss washed romaine w/ arugula and dressed fennel. Slice strawberries and toss just to combine. Thinly garnish salad w/ fennel fronds. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Borelli July 27, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Love the concept of fabulous food and sustainable distribution combined into a user-friendly service. Great article!
Linda Covella July 27, 2011 at 08:07 PM
I loved this idea the first time I heard of it when they started out in Santa Cruz. I'm glad to see they're expanding--and now in Los Gatos! Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth.

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