Santa Cruz county is not known as a magnet for toy shops – and now with the closing of Toys ‘R’ Us, there are fewer places than ever to pick up toys in town. However, tucked away in the Aptos Center is Outside In Kids, a small but lovely toy shop with a good selection of quality toys for children of all ages. They eschew a lot of the super plasticky junk toys such as you’d have found at Toys R Us, and instead focus on higher quality, higher margin toys and books. If you’re looking for inexpensive gifts, this isn’t necessarily the shop for you – you’ll need to head to Target for that. But if you want to browse a good selection of carefully chosen merchandise for children, head on over and check out Outside In Kids. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what they have to offer! Check out the photos in our photo gallery to get a feel for the place and the kind of items you’ll find there.
Smack dab in the heart of the Aptos Center you’ll find Ace’s Flowers, who serves you with over 30 years of award winning floral design. They have a perfect Five Stars on Yelp after dozens of ratings, and were a Santa Cruz Sentinel’s Reader’s Choice in 2014 as well as being named Runner Up in the Good Times Best of Santa Cruz in both 2015 and 2016.
If you’re looking for flowers for any special occasion, this is the place to go. They do have a number of arrangements ready to go in their display case if you need to run in and grab something, but their forte is custom bouquets, vases, and arrangements. Their work is stunning, and the service impeccable! Go in and tell them what you need flowers for, and they’ll make great suggestions and create something perfect for the occasion right on the spot. You’d expect to pay a huge premium over what they charge at Safeway down the street, but their prices are really reasonable considering the quality and value they provide.
You can order flowers via their web site, and they even deliver locally (zip codes 95003, 95010, 95073, 95062, and some of 95076)! They’re open 10-5 Monday through Saturday, but they’re closed on Sunday.
If you’re looking for a truly exceptional florist right in your own back yard, look no further than Ace’s Flowers.
Klub Nico was founded by Kelley A. Lehner in 2005, and has had a retail location in Aptos at the Deer Park Shopping Center since 2013. Klub Nico styles provide the modern woman with footwear that combines femininity, sophistication, style, and value. Klub Nico styles offer superior quality that brings together a blend of mixed materials, fresh silhouettes, and bold unexpected colors. The collection evolves every season to encapsulate new trends and classic styles. Beautifully crafted in Brazil, the Klub Nico line is comprised of heels, flats, sandals, booties, boots and sneakers that fit well and look great. The collection retails at major department stores, specialty boutiques, online fashion retailers, and at the Klub Nico boutique in Aptos.
Related Posts On AptosCommunityNews
- Klub Nico to Benefit Valencia Elementary School (April 17, 2017)
Bella Vista Italian Kitchen and Bar has CLOSED!
Bella Vista Italian Kitchen and Bar is the newest eatery in Aptos. It’s located in the famous Bayview Hotel, in Aptos Village. The Bayview Hotel has hosted a number of restaurants in recent years, but Bella Vista is under distinct ownership and management. It first opened its doors in late February 2017, and it quickly won accolades from many Aptosians looking for traditional and authentic Italian cuisine.
Bella Vista is the work of Jan Johnson, whose family built an Aptos beach home in the 1940’s. She’s owned and managed a number of restaurants over the years, and never thought she’d want to do it again…until she realized what an opportunity she had with the Bayview Hotel location. She had looked at a lot of locations in and around Aptos, but the allure of the Bayview won her over. According to her, “You just can’t replace the ambience of this location.”
The interior of the restaurant was completely refreshed for Bella Vista – it’s a transformation. The design is clean and classic 19th century; the feeling is warm and inviting, which is exactly how Johnson describes her reception by the local community. She attests that even competing restauranteurs in the area have been supportive.
The chef is a native of Italy, hailing from Napoli. He’s worked in restaurants throughout the world and all over California. He is dedicated to his craft; he hand-rolls the gnocchi and and rolls and stuffs the ravioli by hand too.
The wine list – featuring wines from Italy and California (mostly on the central coast) – was prepared by the head waiter Sandro, the former owner of Star Bene and Ristorante Da Mario in Saratoga. Bob Marsh, who runs the the local Birichino winery whose wines are featured, also helped with the wine list.
The restaurant has a Mugnaini wood-fired clay oven in the back yard, which they use for braising their own meats…and for making pizza as well. The pizza uses caputo flour from Italy, which gives their hand-tossed crust a very distinctive flavor.
They have live music every Friday night, and other musicians may drop by on other nights of the week to strike up a tune.
Bella Vista Italian Kitchen and Bar is a huge and very refreshing departure from recent restaurants located within the Bayview. It’s got all the makings of a great spot for date night. If you’re looking for something new and exciting to try in Aptos, take a step back in time and check out the new Bella Vista.
Bella Vista Italian Kitchen and Bar Photo Gallery
Garrett Jewelers in the Seascape Village Shopping Center has been run by Yvonne and Jeff Garrett for over 18 years. Between the two of them, they have decades of experience in the jewelry business. They know quality jewelry when they see it, and that’s what you’ll find when you step inside Garrett Jewelers in Aptos.
The shop is unlike your typical mall jewelers – you won’t find carbon copy, cookie cutter jewelry here. Instead, you’ll find unique and distinctive pieces from renown jewelry designers both here locally in Santa Cruz county, and from around the world. Most of the items they sell simply can’t be found in any other jewelry store anywhere, because they are truly one of a kind.
They don’t just sell jewelry, either – consider them your local Aptos jewelry experts. Have a question about a piece’s value or authenticity? Need to have a gem stone set into a ring or necklace? Have a special piece of jewelry that needs repair? Need advice on what kind of jewelry you should get for that special someone? Then stop on by Garrett Jewelers in the Seascape Village Shopping Center and talk to Yvonne or Jeff. Make sure you tell them that you’re a local, and they’ll take extra good care of you.
See also: Garrett Jewelers Facebook Page
Garrett Jewelers Video
Curves Aptos is more than just a fitness center – it’s a community of women united in the goal to live a happy, healthy and active lifestyle. A Curves membership is much different than just joining a gym. At Curves Aptos, members receive the help and support they need to reach their health and weight loss goals – and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Curves Aptos is run by Janna Malizia, who is completely dedicated to the business of helping women in the Aptos community achieve levels of fitness they might not have thought possible. This is true no matter your age; the Curves of today serves women of all ages, from young women in their late teens to mature adult ladies and seniors.
The Curves program focuses on building lean muscle during their high intensity 30 minute workouts. Members are free to come to as many Curves sessions as they like. It’s circuit training, with a special Curves twist. Every member has a coach, who will teach proper form and challenge members to take it up a notch – when they’re ready.
The weight machines are all double-resistance hydraulic machines, and your workout on each machine is recorded with the proprietary Curves Smart system. The results are constantly analyzed and your machine makes adjustments automatically to help you meet your goals.
And don’t think that Curves is just about resistance training with machines. Members are encouraged to participate in as many classes as they want. They offer cardio boxing, boxing combo, cardio jam, body blast, body basic, arms +, balance, yoga chisel and PowerFlex. These classes are what creates options for all levels of fitness, all ages and cross-trainings. With all that Curves has to offer, you’ll never plateau in your training.
And while you can come as much as you want, if your resolve weakens and your participation drops, you’ll get the support you need. You see, at Curves Aptos, they care about their members, and members who don’t show up can expect an encouraging phone call to get them back into the center, and back on track for their lifestyle goals.
Curves Aptos is all about getting lean, healthy, and staying that way. But it’s also about having fun with women just like you who share the same goals as you.
Related Posts On AptosCommunityNews
- Start the New Year Right with Curves Aptos! (January 2, 2017)
See also: Curves Facebook Page
Curves Aptos Video – Meet Janna and Shila
Curves Aptos Photo Gallery
The Valencia Hall and Post Office are all that remain of the once thriving community of Valencia. Built circa 1884 by Frederick A. Hihn for his Valencia logging mill workers and their families. Valencia Hall originally served as a community meeting place for dances, Sunday school, the Lyceum and Literary Society. In the 1920s ownership transferred to the Valencia Farm Bureau when it served as a gathering place for many community events. In 1976, after decades of neglect, the buildings became the property of the County of Santa Cruz. Today, it is on the National Register of Historic Places (#84001201) maintained and operated by the Santa Cruz County Parks Department as a party and wedding venue.
The buildings on the property were originally located a few dozen feet from their current location, but were moved across Bear Creek Road and Valencia Road to their current location in the late 1980s. Santa Cruz county purchased the parcel of land where the structures are currently situated in 1986.
Both structures are built to last, constructed out of old-growth redwood. Many of the double-hung windows are original; the glass has become wavy with age. The post office building has some original 1880s wallpaper along the ceiling, which is deteriorated and protected by plexiglass. The pot-belly stove in the building is said to be original as well. The kitchen and bathroom area in the Hall building are said to have been added in the 1920s.
If you wish to reserve Valencia Hall, you can do so by contacting the Santa Cruz County Parks Department. Your reservation will include:
- The hall
- Kitchen facilities
- 60 chairs
- 14 six-foot rectangular banquet tables
- Up to 80 guests
On weekends, there is an eight hour minimum time to book the facility, including preparation and take-down. During the week and in winter, hourly rentals may be available. There is an additional fee for a sound permit ($250-$300 for 5 hours of music) and another fee for an alcohol permit if you wish (another $250-$300, for four hours of alcohol service). The property is fully wheelchair accessible, and there is parking for approximately 45 vehicles. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance, and set-up and clean-up are the responsibility of the party.
Valencia Hall Video
Valencia Hall Photographs
The Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center is located on the campus of Cabrillo College. Nationwide, nearly every county in the United States has a Small Business Development Center, as they are a program of the Federal government’s Small Business Administration (SBA). Their goal is to provide high quality management and technical assistance for Santa Cruz small businesses – new or existing.
They offer confidential, no-cost counseling, seminars, and classes. On-going seminars include topics such as “Writing your Best Business Plan”, “Solving the Social Media Puzzle”, and “Record Keeping for Small Business”. Periodically, they also hold special events, such as a Federal and State basic payroll tax seminars.
Their counselors will assist prospective business owners with developing a business plan, preparing financial projections, a marketing plan, and help getting financing for your start up – including taking you through the SBA loan process. In addition, they provide book keeping assistance, Internet training, operations review, procurement assistance, strategic planning, business “tune-ups”, and much more.
Many local small businesses have received a leg up thanks to the Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center: Hydra-Point Nursery in Watsonville, Mission Hill Creamery in Santa Cruz, Zizzo’s Coffeehouse and Wine Bar in Capitola, New Bohemian Brewing Company in Live Oak, the Hindquarter Bar and Grille in Santa Cruz, and many more.
If you’re thinking of starting a small business, or need help sustaining or growing the business you already have, check out the Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center! They are generally open during normal business hours, 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. They can be a little hard to find, so please read the directions on their web site.
Persephone Restaurant in Aptos is located on Soquel Drive, across the street from the Rancho del Mar Shopping Center and next-door to Burger. It occupies the former location of Aptos Pizza, which shut its doors in 2014.
Persephone Restaurant in Aptos is the result of over 15 years of work by Cori Goudge-Ayer and her family. Chef Cori is a Santa Cruz native, and is a graduate the culinary program at nearby Cabrillo College and also studied at the renown California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Locally, she is known for having been the opening chef at Laili in downtown Santa Cruz and Suda near Pleasure Point. It’s definitely a family operation, with Chef Cori’s brother Alex Potter serving as beverage manager, stepfather Miles Porter as Business Manager, and mom Karen Porter as pastry consultant.
The 40-seat restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on seasonal recipes using locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. Their full menu is available on-line and includes their list of fine wines and craft beers as well. The restaurant is open five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday, from 4:30 PM until 9:00 PM. As seating is limited reservations are required and may be obtained by calling the restaurant at (831) 612-6511 or by texting a reservation request to (831) 818-2331.
A lot of people – especially people in Aptos and the wider Santa Cruz area – are coming to realize that the current American medical system with its heavy emphasis on pharmaceutical solutions to common ailments is often not the best way to lead a genuinely healthy life. There’s a lot more to being healthy than just not being sick, and that’s what Thrive Natural Medicine is all about: working with their patients to actually thrive in life, instead of simply dealing with an ailment via prescription. For people like that, we’re lucking in Aptos to have Thrive Natural Medicine.
Thrive Natural Medicine is a medical center that provides the best in naturopathic and holistic health care to all kinds of people. They have a wide gamut of professionals working there, including four medical doctors. The staff specialize in naturopathic medicine, nutrition, B12 shots, nutritional IV therapy, rolfing (R), acupuncture, holistic skin care, light therapy, cold laser and physical therapy, many mind/body therapies, and a variety of options for bodywork.
They’re a popular spot for discounted B12 injections – come check out their walk-in clinic on B12 Fridays, with $15 B12 shots between 3 and 6 PM.
All of the practitioners at Thrive offer a complimentary 15 minute consultation prior to the new patient intake and treatment – so drop on by during regular office hours, Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM to check them out, get a free consultation, and be on your way to optimum health.