MENDOCINO Co., 8/17/23 — The food and drink news is plentiful this week in Mendocino County! If you have some delicious news to share, including a nonprofit food/drink-centric event, share it with me at [email protected].
The legendary Queenie lands at Rhody’s Garden Cafe in Fort Bragg
When Queenie’s Roadhouse Cafe closed in February, coast diners were heartbroken by the possibility that Lynn Derrick a.k.a. Queenie had left the hospitality industry forever. The beloved chef-owner operated Queenie’s for 22 years, serving up hearty meals to hungry locals and travelers on Highway 1, all while creating an inclusive, welcoming dining environment. Now we know where Derrick has landed: Rhody’s Garden Cafe at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in Fort Bragg. Derrick, who has worked in restaurants for 45 years, joins the cafe as its new cafe manager, overseeing operations and serving tasty, seasonal casual cuisine to visitors to the gardens. Rhody’s Garden Cafe is open to the public, no admission fee required, 18220 CA-1, Fort Bragg, (707) 964-4352, gardenbythesea.org.
Don’t throw that paper cup in the recycling bin! Consider this instead…
Did you know that the paper cups that you receive at your favorite coffee shop or restaurant are not recyclable? According to Redwood Waste Solutions, which oversees recycling for Fort Bragg and unincorporated areas of the county, paper cups are lined with wax or plastic to prevent leakage, making the cups non-recyclable. If you use one make sure to throw it in the garbage, not the recycling bin. Unfortunately, alternative options are limited for hot drinks and as a result, even the most eco-conscious companies are stuck with plastic or wax lined cups for to-go drinks.
To combat this ever-growing waste product, Starbucks is testing reusable cups at 12 locations in Sonoma and Napa counties, specifically in the Petaluma and Napa areas, now through October 22. Customers have three options to participate in the program: bring their own reusable cup; use the Starbucks “Borrow A Cup” that requires a $1 deposit to be refunded upon the cup’s return; or enjoy their coffee at their preferred Starbucks location using a ceramic mug or glass. Customers who bring their own clean cup to be filled will receive 10 cents off and 25 bonus points on their Starbucks Rewards cards.
Luckily, a few Mendocino County businesses allow customers to bring their own reusable cups, including the GoodLife Cafe in Mendocino and Schat’s Bakery & Cafe and Black Oak Coffee Roasters in Ukiah. The latter two offer discounts for customers who bring their own drink containers. Do you know of other businesses that allow customers to bring their own containers (food and beverage) to cut down on waste? Email [email protected] with the details.
Thanksgiving Coffee re-certified as B Corp business eight years in a row
Speaking of coffee, Fort Bragg’s Thanksgiving Coffee received its re-certification as a Benefit Corporation (B Corp) this week. B Corp certification “is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials,” according to B Lab, the nonprofit organization that created the B Corp program. The coffee company first applied for a B Corp certification in 2015 and has retained it annually ever since.
Thanksgiving Coffee was scored in the area of governance, workers, community, environment and customers. It received a score of 107.3, over twice the average score of an ordinary business that seeks to be certified a B Corp. Businesses average a score of 50.9. A score of 80 is required to be certified.
“The world of specialty coffee has changed so much since our humble beginnings, yet one constant has always been true for us, to use coffee as a medium for change,” shared Lavender Grace, sustainable ecology consultant at Thanksgiving Coffee, in a press release, “Our team loves what they do, and we hope you love the mix of good beans, and good people, all doing good for our communities.”
Drive-thru barbecue dinner to support Willits High School Boosters, August 19
Tickets are on sale now for the Willits High School Boosters’ drive-thru barbecue dinner. The dinner for four is provided by Smokin’ G’s & Big D’s BBQ. Each meal ($65) features a rack of ribs, mustard bread, mac and cheese, Caesar salad and cookies by Simple Desserts. Food pick-up will take place on Saturday, August 19 from 4-6 p.m. at the Napa Auto Parts parking lot in Willits. Tickets are on sale at Monkey Wrench, Browns Corner, Smokin’ G’s & Big D’s BBQ or from any Boosters board member.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency that oversees food recalls, issued a voluntary recall for Nestlé’s Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar (“break and bake”) because wood fragments may be found in the dough. “While no illnesses or injuries have been reported,” shares the FDA, “we are taking this action out of an abundance of caution after a small number of consumers contacted Nestlé USA about this issue.” Products with batch numbers 311457531K and 311557534K and corresponding best buy dates of 8/22/23 and 10/23/23 are eligible for the recall. If you have these packages, don’t prepare the product and return it to the store of purchase and you will receive a replacement or refund. Learn more here.
Eat ice cream for 4-H kids, August 19
Join Pear Tree Center in Ukiah for Scoop for a Cause to benefit Mendocino County 4-H. Pear Tree Center is serving one FREE scoop of ice cream per person. For every scoop served, Pear Tree will donate $1 to Mendocino County 4-H. Saturday, August 19, 12-10 p.m., 514 E. Perkins, Ukiah, (707) 234-8280.
Enjoy a donut and support and help a shelter dog walk again, August 18
Gooby, a shelter dog, was originally scheduled to be euthanized due to the inability to walk with his back legs caused by obesity. Mendocino Coast Humane Society saved Gooby from euthanasia and is raising funds to help the dog, who has since lost 25 pounds, get double knee surgery to regain mobility in his back legs. Drop In Donut is hosting a fundraiser in which the shop will donate a portion of every sale to the shelter to support Gooby’s surgery scheduled for later this month. The fundraiser takes place Friday, August 18, from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 132 E. Redwood Ave., Fort Bragg, (707) 962-3010, dropindonut.com. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, you can donate here.
Tickets on sale for farmer dinner to benefit Good Farm Fund, August 20
Mendocino Grove, a glamping property in Mendocino, is hosting a new monthly farm dinner series featuring local ranches, farms and flower growers. Each dinner showcases three specific ingredients and includes live music, a silent auction and a Q&A with farmers. The first event features Nye Ranch, EarthSpoke Farms and Inland Ranch Organics. Local beer and wine will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit the Good Farm Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial support to small farmers from Mendocino and Lake counties. The event takes place Sunday, August 20. $20 for children and $35 for adults in advance, $40 for adults at the door, 5-8 p.m., Mendocino Grove 9500 CA-1, Mendocino, (707) 880-7710. Buy tickets here.
Tickets on sale for gala fundraiser for the Ukiah Valley Trail Group, October 6
The Ukiah Valley Trail Group and the Greater Ukiah Business & Tourism Alliance will take over School Street with a long table and a paella dinner to raise funds for the Trail Group, a nonprofit that seeks to create and maintain trail systems to enhance the community’s quality of life and health. Tickets include dinner prepared by chef Ellery Clark, including paella, locally sourced sides and dessert. There will also be a live auction. The fundraiser is Friday, October 6. All ages, $125, 5:30 p.m. Tickets on sale here.
August register round-up in Ukiah to support local public broadcasting
Shoppers at Ukiah Natural Foods can round up their purchases to support KZYX & Z, Mendocino County’s public radio station. 721 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 462-4778, ukiahcoop.com.
Small but equally important updates
WhiteCap Coffee and Tea (35509 CA-1, Gualala, (707) 884-1800) is closed through August 20.
North Coast Brewing Company (444 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-3400, northcoastbrewing.com) celebrates its 35th anniversary this week.
Holey Bagels (2193 S. State St., Ukiah, (707) 463-6956) is now closed Tuesdays.
Headwaters on Main (10175 Main St., Potter Valley, (707) 485-4686) is now open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Meyer Family Cellars (19750 CA-128, Yorkville, (707) 895-2341, meyerfamilycellars.com) has introduced a cheese program to accompany its wine tastings. Guests can now nibble on local cheese while enjoying the winery’s wine and playing bocce and disc golf.
Café Poppy (13401 Hwy 101, Hopland, (707) 723-0838, thatcherhotel.com) in Hopland expanded its menu to include breakfast sandwiches (including vegetarian options) and house-made syrups to flavor coffees. Additionally, all fruits and vegetables used at the cafe are organic and locally sourced.