I would never compile a “Most Entertaining Interview Subjects” list, but if I did, I suspect that Erik Johnson would land near the top of it. When I met the Erik’s DeliCafé founder, I expected a workmanlike story of how he established his wildly successful restaurant chain, which is celebrating its 45th year of business. While I did learn that, Johnson regaled me with offbeat insights into the restaurant industry, why Santa Cruz County is a perfect fit for him and his company, and hilarious tales behind the more memorable names for his sandwiches. (I was very sorry to have to keep a word count in mind.) You’ll find all that and more in “Four Decades on Rye,” found on page 46 of the Spring 2018 issue of Santa Cruz Style.
On page 54 of the same issue, you’ll meet Watsonville farmer Dick Peixoto, founder of Lakeside Organic Gardens, the largest family-owned organic grower-shipper in the U.S. He also co-owns Watsonville’s popular California Grill of the Pajaro Valley restaurant, where the “farm-to-table” concept is taken very literally. In the midst of such a grueling schedule, Peixoto has found the time and resources to become one of the county’s most generous philanthropists. In the “In His Fields Dreams Grow Among The Vegetables” feature, Peixoto explains his inspiration, while shedding light on some of his favorite beneficiaries. The online edition appears here.