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Saturn Cafe

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Santa Cruz, CA

Food & Hospitality

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Work Culture at Saturn Cafe

Our Story

Saturn Cafe first opened in 1979, in a tiny house on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, California. The founders aimed to create a community gathering place with a commitment to social and environmental justice. Although the Saturn has grown and changed in many ways since its inception, these core values still guide us in all that we do. The cafe quickly outgrew the house on Mission Street, and moved across the street to a new location. There, it became a college hangout featuring vegetarian soups, salads and decadent desserts. On New Years Eve of 1999, a fire broke out at the new location, burning a hole through the roof. Saturn Cafe then moved to the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, where we continued to expand our menu, as well as our hours to include late night dining.

Over the years, our menu at Saturn Cafe has evolved, keeping up with the ever growing demand for healthy twists on American comfort food. The first new additions included mouth watering vegetarian burgers, such as the Space Cowboy, and award winning French fries, which we cook in trans-fat free oil that gets recycled into bio-diesel fuel. After a while, we began serving a Late Riser’s Brunch, and are proud to say that our vegan breakfast burrito and fluffy omelets are gaining fans all over the world. Each year, we bring home the gold in the Santa Cruz Metro Goldie Awards in categories such as “Best Milkshakes,” “Best Comfort Food,” “Most Innovative Menu,” and “Best Burger.” In 2005, we set a goal to deepen our understanding of what it means to own a sustainable restaurant, which is dedicated to the triple bottom line of planet, people and profit. Putting our values into action, we set out to improve our business both internally and externally. As we focus on growth and the future, we remain rooted in our values as a local progressive business by marking a percentage of our budget for investment in our local community.

In 2009 we introduced the Saturn Satellite Project, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about helping our satellites launch in exhilarating new locations.

Throughout our thirty years in business, one key element remains the same. We know that the well-being of our customers, staff, and the farmers who produce our food, the health of the planet, and the sustainability of our business are completely interdependent. As we continue to reach for the stars, we are dedicated to finding socially and ecologically responsible ways to move our business forward. 

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