Amidst the memories of hippie communes and labels like “the murder capital of the world,” Santa Cruz in 1973 was a start-up hub fornumber of businesses that mysteriously took off that year. At our event, 1973, we were lucky enough to hear what was going on from those who experienced it first hand – here is a wrap up from last Thursday evening:
We had speakers from five businesses that have been thriving for 42 years for the ultimate Throwback Thursday event. Berdels, a new skate
and apparel shop downtown proved to be the perfect location. The space was filled with people excited to uncover the mystery behind the year. These speakers had some great stories and words of wisdom to share.
Guests enjoyed a Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing pale ale and amazing cocktails from Venus Spirits, who were sampling their newest spirit,
Aquavit. LionFish Supper Club provided delicious Greek Steak Bites and Mini Caesar salad appetizers as guests mingled before the main event.
Musician, Bobcat Rob Armenti kicked off the evening with some awesome tunes. His retro guitar, great style, and husky vocals brought the room to life. Bubb Rader, owner of Berdels welcomed us to the shop and shared his excitement about hosting the event.
Erik Johnson, owner of Erik’s DeliCafé gave the crowd his top tips on how to grow a business, much of which were inspired by his father and his experiences over the years. He stressed uniqueness, innovation, and staying close to your roots.
Monica Martinez from Encompass Community Services, shared the inspiration behind the early days when the organization decided to take a creative approach to drug counseling, focusing on safety rather than intimidation. Today, the non-profit social justice corporation works with those in need throughout the community, offering a number of different support programs.
NHS Inc. owner, Richard Novak, is a legend in the Santa Cruz surf, skate, and art communities. He gave us insight into what mattered most to them in 1973. Sometimes there were $5 weeks – which is shocking considering the company’s renowned international presence today. In those days he said, with a humble demeanor, him and his partner put everything before themselves… “We always ate last.”
Cathy Calfo of California Certified Organic Farmers shared how much the organization has grown and what an impact they’ve have on the community since ‘73. As a result of their work, 30% of Santa Cruz farmers grow organic produce, with the next best county coming in at only 12%. Clearly, Cathy is very passionate about both her work and the Santa Cruz community.
Neal Coonerty wrapped up the evening with some funny stories about Book Shop Santa Cruz back in the day. When he bought it in 1973, the community was very invested in what direction he went in with the shop. He always found this to be a very inspirational. Oh, and there used to be waterbed for sale in the shop… no one ever bought it, but it made for a great reading spot! #bringbackthewaterbed
Thanks to everyone who attended – it was a great night!
Be sure to get your tickets for the 2015 NEXTies coming up Friday, May 15th! Tickets available here
A special thanks to our sponsors that make our events possible:
MainstreamReal Estate Group, Nextspace, Santa Cruz Economic Development, Launch brigade, Eric Michael, JBQAV Quality Pro Audio, Odden Creative Media, Santa Cruz County Bank, and Sandbar Solar & Electric