Tabitha Stroup
(Via Tabitha Stroup)
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Morning Lookout: Toward a small-business downtown; taking a bigger bite out of food waste

Hello, hello, hello! It’s Wednesday, Sept. 7, and Santa Cruz County should be slightly cooler, with temperatures in the low 100s in mountain spots and in the 70s and 80s closer to the bay. We’re not out of the woods on this heat wave yet, though, so stay hydrated and take proper precautions.

Want to explore Lookout on your own this hump day? Be my guest!
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Small business is in the spotlight on this Wednesday, and Max Chun is first up, talking to UCSC economics professor Rob Fairlie about his research on economic inequality and how that might translate into Santa Cruz turning downtown in a haven for small, women- and minority-owned business.

Meanwhile, Thomas Sawano checked in with food entrepreneur Tabitha Stroup, whose Terroir in a Jar has put a dent in food waste by helping local farmers and other businesses turn produce that might otherwise go to waste into shelf-stable goods you can find at Santa Cruz County farmers markets and elsewhere.

We’ve also got a look at the latest local COVID data and readers’ reaction to a Santa Cruz 10-year-old’s argument for why she needs a phone, so come along as we hit that and more in Wednesday’s headlines.

UCSC prof Rob Fairlie talks Santa Cruz turning its dream of a small-business downtown into reality

UCSC professor Rob Fairlie
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After his research showed huge gaps in the pandemic’s effect on white-owned versus minority-owned businesses, UC Santa Cruz economics professor Rob Fairlie caught the attention of Congress, which used his findings to guide policies on the road to economic recovery. Now, as Santa Cruz pushes to get more small, women- and minority-owned businesses into downtown storefronts, Fairlie sat down with Lookout to discuss options to achieve this goal. Read his Q&A with Max Chun.

RELATED: As retail itself morphs, downtown Santa Cruz fine-tunes approach to filling empty spaces (Lookout)

Plus de terroir? Tabitha Stroup aims to scale up her homegrown, waste-reducing business

Food entrepreneur Tabitha Stroup holds a jar of strawberry jam bound for Common Roots Farms.
(Thomas Sawano / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Entrepreneur Tabitha Stroup works with 10 farms but has the space and ambition to triple the reach of Terroir in a Jar — a one-stop shop for small farmers to turn their excess produce into shelf-stable, highly merchandisable jams, vinegars, shrubs, preserves and just about every other kitchen cupboard ingredient imaginable. Terroir is the quiet force behind products you’ve seen at farmers market stands around Santa Cruz County, including Prevedelli Farms’ jams, Common Roots Farm’s shrubs and Terra Amico Farms’ sauces. Thomas Sawano has the dish.

STROUP STAKING OUT HER SPACE: Her ‘leap of faith’ in downtown Watsonville looks to become a hub of sustainable ‘food love’ (Lookout)

That’s what I know this here Wednesday. And while I can’t spill the beans, I can say that it would be a good idea to bookmark Lookout and and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — you just never know what we might have in the pipeline.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member — and help spread the word about what we’re doing.

Stay cool, friends — meet you back here Thursday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz