Written by: Amber Bushman
Santa Cruz, California- A coastal city, centrally situated between the Monterey Bay and the city of San Jose. One of the best vacation spots in California where travelers flock to every year for the mild climate, picturesque ocean views and towering redwoods. For locals, Santa Cruz remains a prime location for surfing and offers a sense of community and familiarity within the surf culture. Now more than ever, entrepreneurs and business leaders have brought their ingenuity and passions to contribute their big ideas to the city, just south of the Silicon Valley.
In the most recent decades, Santa Cruz has become a hub surrounded by small businesses, entrepreneurs and start ups that are making the leap into the market. One of the pivotal years that brought some of the most established, well-loved businesses known today is none other than 1973. But what was happening in 1973? What was going on in Santa Cruz during this time and why did numerous businesses decide to open their doors during this particular year?
Chaos Breeds Structure
Santa Cruz in 1973 was a whirlwind of sheer intelligence, innovation and partly- chaos. Deemed “Murder City” and “Murder Capital of the World”, Santa Cruz was home to one of the biggest serial killers in history. Edmund Kemper, better known as the “Co-Ed Killer”, was a mass murderer who picked up young, female hitchhikers on their way to school before ghastly murdering them in the woods. He befriended local police and investigators with his charming character and sly wit, preventing any sort of suspicion on his part. After killing his mother and her best friend, he finally turned himself into the authorities. With his exit from society, he had left a striking fear in residents and a bleak cloud of despair over the city that year.
Despite the misfortunes and chaos that occurred in the surf city, 1973 was a year of resilience and vitality that brought life back to Santa Cruz. Through this chaos, Santa Cruz picked itself up by its bootstraps and worked to preserve the good and start anew. According to authors Ori Brafman and Judah Pollack, “there appears to be a whole area of the brain that flourishes when we let a bit of chaos into our lives. It’s what allows us to solve problems in a novel way.” And solve problems they did. New businesses started to boom in the community such as Erik’s DeliCafé, NHS Inc., California Certified Organic Farmers, BookShop Santa Cruz and Encompass Community Services.
1973: A New Era
Erik Johnson followed his dream of starting his own business by opening the first Erik’s DeliCafé in Scotts Valley in 1973. The fresh ingredients and friendly atmosphere, combined with incredible family recipes were a huge hit, causing Erik to expand and open up locations in Aptos and Santa Cruz. Now, Erik’s DeliCafé has expanded even further with locations in San Jose, San Mateo and Los Gatos County to name a few.
NHS Inc. first made a name for itself in the skateboard industry in 1973. Co-founder Richard Novak and his group of entrepreneurs built the company that is now a world leader in not only skateboards, but innovative surf and snow products.
CCOF, California Certified Organic Farmers, started their organic movement in 1973. Executive Director Cathy Calfo has worked to lead and grow CCOF into the Santa Cruz community by educating consumers about the organic market and its effects on education, certification and advocacy.
BookShop Santa Cruz was first established as a local and independent bookstore in 1966.However, Neal Coonerty took over the business with his family in 1973. Based on family values and community, BookShop Santa Cruz has been voted “Best Bookstore” for 15 years and puts the reader’s interests as a top priority.
Last but not least, Encompass Community Services has been serving Santa Cruz since, you guessed it, 1973. CEO Monica Martinez works to provide healthy change to the lives of Santa Cruz residents and the community. Offering Child and Family Development programs, Youth Services, Community Recovery and Support Services, Encompass Community has helped nurture and grow society.
Tomorrow, April 30th 2015 at Berdels on Pacific Ave, we are proud to showcase these successful and iconic businesses that have left their mark on Santa Cruz 42 years later.
Come listen to the stories of these leaders and entrepreneurs that are now moving their businesses forward into 2015 and beyond. Last minute tickets are available for $10 or $15 at the door. Welcome to Event Santa Cruz 1973.