The wildly popular Independent Marketplace reconvenes Thursday August 2 in Sand City, celebrating all things Summer and Santa Cruz. Indy manger Todd Champagne has once again planned a feast for the eyes, ears and of course, taste buds.
Champagne once worked in Watsonville with certified organic Happy Boy Farms and is, as usual, brimming over with enthusiasm for the monthly event.
Along with regulars like decadent Ashby Chocolates and Penny Ice Creamery (Haagen who?), Champagne is bringing in some special guests to represent neighboring Santa Cruz’ vibe. Uncle Ro’s Wood Fired Pizza Truck will be in the food court, with a real wood-fired pizza oven, hauled in on a trailer. “They’ll be spinning pies with ingredients from the Indy,” says Champagne. “You can’t pretend to make wood-fired pizza!”
Nothing says “summer” like ripe berries and they’re well-represented here. Live Earth Farm is bringing what Champagne called “the berry avalanche” —strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and golden raspberries. Windmill Farms will have strawberries Champagne calls “legendary.”
Musical performers Birdhouse and North Pacific String Band will be on hand to liven up the evening. Birdhouse’s website says that the band “filters an articulated jazz vocabulary through country, rock n’ roll, and California.” North Pacific String Band, which shares some members with Birdhouse, will be representing what they call “a conglomeration of the Santa Cruz music scene.”
California Star Seafood’s new contribution to the Indy is an oyster and shrimp cocktail bar, conveniently located right next to the beer bar. Speaking of beer, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery will be there—we hope they’ll be pouring their Devout Stout and Amber Ale, which are both organic and delicious.
And let’s not forget that the Indy does well by doing good: The featured non-profit partner, Monterey County’s Community Partnership for Youth, will be raising money and awareness throughout the evening to help fulfill its mission of providing, “safe, positive alternatives to gangs, drugs, and violence.”
Champagne wants to remind his guests of the best ways to have fun: First, bring cash to shop. Next, use the “veggie valet”—it’s not just for vegetables, it’s a grocery bag drop that will take whatever you’ve purchased. Even if you stock up on seafood, don’t fear—they’ll keep it chilled while you chill to the music and fun atmosphere. Also, bring a little patience. Indy organizers are still working out parking issues. Most of all, bring yourself and get down to 600 Ortiz Avenue in Sand City from 4-9 p.m. this Thursday night!