Cooking for Solutions 2011

Cooking for Solutions 2011

It was time again for Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium which also meant celebrating our two year anniversary on the main deck, over looking the ocean.  Last weekend on the Monterey Bay could not have been more beautiful.  The weather predictions said to expect heavy cold drizzly fog and it seemed early on that the weather report was going to dead on however, mid morning the sun was shining and the temperature was perfect. Continue reading

Lightfoot Spring Update and Call for Pilot Sponsors!

As most of you know by now last year we began working with a group of at-risk high school students involved with a wonderful program called Lightfoot Industries. February is almost here which means the spring semester is about to start with a new group of students for product development class and supper clubs will be starting up again!

Below is an update I received this morning from Carmen about the upcoming spring semester, supper clubs, and sponsorship information.  We hope you’ll take a second to read Carmen’s update and hope to see you soon during a supper club dinner.

Until next time.


Kristen & Lynette

Lightfoot Industries at Work

Dear Lightfoot Supporters,

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying the warm winter days we have been having! After our stretch of sun this January, I start to imagine the fresh bounty that is just around the corner; spring greens, wild flowers, fresh honey. Mmm… and it only gets better as the seasons stretch on.

At Lightfoot we are taking this seed of inspiration and working hard to plan menus and curriculum for the spring portion of our Pilot Program, which starts back up February 14th! Students will resume Lightfoot Academy classes and will launch our Spring Supper Club Series Friday night, February 18th @ Backstage Lounge. Weʼre also excited to announce the addition of a second weekly Supper Club night; now you will be able to join us for a family-style dinner, served by our teen apprentices, every Friday and Saturday evening through May! If you havenʼt been to a dinner yet, check out the latest press we have been getting about the program in the links below – and then see if you can resist coming to a dinner! Also make sure to join our Lightfoot Industries FaceBook page, as it is the predominant media outlet for us and will announce events, menus, blogs, pictures and videos, as well as student, collaborator and purveyor profiles.

Good Times Santa Cruz, Teenage Dream
Good Times, Santa Cruz – Restaurant Review
Growing Up in Santa Cruz, Dining to Make a Difference

Supper Club

As you know, Lightfoot Industries is a start-up social enterprise that teaches sustainable vocational training to at-risk teens via apprenticeship-based learning in a real triple bottom-line company. Our Pilot is just a ʻsnap-shotʼ of the full Lightfoot program and is meant to serve as proof-of-concept, provide critical revenue streams, and get needed services to teens. Since starting the Pilot in October 2010 we have13 students enrolled in four (4) classes a week, including: Social Media, taught by Seagate Social Media Manager, Rich Harris; Bikram Yoga, sponsored by Village Yoga; Product Development, taught by Serendipity Saucy Spreads; and Sustainable Professional Development, taught by Lightfootʼs Founder, Carmen Kubas. We have successfully catered two (2) large events and held four (4) sold out Supper Club dinners, we have 30 Supper Club dinners slated for this spring.  Thus far the Pilotʼs operational costs have been covered by in-kind donations and profits from our Supper Club series; however, as a start-up social enterprise, we do not generate enough revenue to cover the costs of the Lightfoot Academy. Current costs include teacher salaries, program development, space rental, supplies, insurance, gas, uniforms, student stipend, technical/media support, etc. The budget for the entire eight (8) month Pilot Program is $27,000; currently we are in critical need of sponsors to underwriter the Pilot so that we may continue services and program development.

So please, join us! We are looking for your support in donations, grants or in-kind product or services for the non-profit Academy. Below is our list of graduated giving levels. Each level has immediate rewards for your support that we think you will really like; including your name or brand on all our promotional material, Lightfoot products, Supper Club dinner tickets, and your name or logo printed on our student-designed, signature Supper Club t-shirt.  Please contact Carmen directly to discuss the full schedule of benefits associated with each giving level:   Also, feel free to forward this email to friends or business contacts that may be in alignment with the Lightfoot mission, and could benefit by sponsoring our Pilot.

Student Sponsor: $500-$2000
Program Underwriter: $2000 – $5000
The Dream Team:  $5000 – above
** Products and Services donated will qualify for the same giving schedule rewards.

In closing, you support now is critical; please help ensure the success of this important program by donating to Lightfoot Industries today. Remember your donation is tax deductible and goes directly to cover the cost associated with running an eight (8) month Pilot Program for 13 teens. With the success of the Pilot we hope to expand the program to itʼs full potential, ultimately up scaling nationally to help provide sustainable vocational training to the nations over 4 million at-risk teens – not to mention some tasty meals along the way!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions on our Tax ID status, how the funds are to be allocated, who our current collaborators are, and pre-release dates of upcoming press and media coverage. Thank you for your consideration; I hope to talk with you soon about donating, and our Lightfoot Team hopes to see you at a Supper Club dinner this spring!

With sincere appreciation for your ongoing support,


Lightfoot Update

For the past few weeks we’ve been working in the kitchen with a group of amazing high school students that are apart of the Lightfoot Industries pilot program.  In the kitchen we’ve been making chutneys and syrups and then they’re used in the weekly Lightfoot Supper Club dinners.  Below is an update from Carmen, the founder of Lightfoot, of what the students have been up to in the last few weeks.

Carmen with a few of the Lightfoot students

Hello Lightfoot Family!

As you know our team of student apprentices have been working each Supper Club Dinner as well as various caterings. We started the season off with a lunch buffet for 150 guests at Freelance Camp Santa Cruz, held at the Museum of Art History.  Our next and largest catering thus far was for Santa Cruz Waldorf School this past November; where we served roughly 200 people family style, as well as harvested product for the event with Waldorf students in their biodynamic garden.  Rock Romano of The Go Big Project put together a great video of the harvest/reciprocal learning days (you can view it on Vimeo or on our FaceBook page).  Aside from learning how to work as a team and provide great customer service, our students have also been in classes four (4) days a week as guinea pigs for our Lightfoot Academy. The curriculum is pretty rich so far, as are the businesses and individuals who have been making it possible; have a look at our weekly Lightfoot Academy schedule and see for yourself.

Food What? at UC Santa Cruz

Monday: Students work with Rich Harris, Seagate Social Media Strategist, to research develop and implement our social media strategy.  Aside from learning about having a responsible on-line presence, students are learning about cross-marketing, twitter, tags, as well as writing our blogs and managing content.  This class is also launching  a student-led, On-Line Profile Project – make sure to join our FaceBook page to follow the upcoming stories about each of our pilot program participants.

Tuesday & Thursday:  Village Yoga of Santa Cruz has opened up their studio for our students making the Wellness component of our framework possible.  After we practice Bikram Yoga together students spend time either journaling, or talking about nutrition and mediation and how it can affect one’s behavior and performance.

Wednesday:  Students work with Lynette and Kristen of Serendipity Saucy Spreads to make our signature chutney’s, sauces and syrups.  Along with cooking, students are also learning about recipe development and regional sourcing.  We use the products made in this class on our menu and will be offering them for sale at our Supper Clubs and coming soon to our website.

Lots of Jam

Friday:  Students work with Carmen Kubas in two (2) classes – Food Service and Sustainable Professional Development.  In Food Service students learn about restaurant and food service, while in the Professional Development class students work on defining and planning for their ‘soulcraft’ through the lens of sustainability.  In the Spring after students have compiled work samples from all areas of the program, a resume, references etc they will present their work and plan to a panel of community stakeholders.

Food Service Class

Next I’d like to thank and acknowledge the organizations that have been helping Lightfoot along during it’s first year.  These groups have either provided funding, pro bono work, space for our students to meet or other professional services.  Without these organizations, we would not be in existence.  Village Yoga, Entreprelaw, Bread for the Journey, Chocolate & Backstage Lounge, Communication 4 Good, Food What?, Delta High School, NextSpace-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Waldorf School.

Lastly, peruse through the links below to see some of the recent press and media we’ve been generating.   Our teen apprentices are very proud of their work accomplishments and have enjoyed seeing Lightfoot in local papers and blogs highlighting their efforts.


In closing, thank you all for your continued support through our development and pilot phase.  Make sure to ‘like’ us on our Lightfoot Industries FaceBook page, as this is the main outlet for all our blog posts, photographs and event information.  If you get a chance, come join us for dinner at the last two Supper Clubs of 2010, December 11th and 17.  If you can’t make the December dinners don’t worry – we’ll be back at it come February 2011 and we will look forward to seeing you then!

Supper Club

Much love and appreciation to you all,

Carmen and the Lightfoot Team

Coming soon to the Serendipity Diary – Pumpkin Soup, Peppermint Mochas, and Grandma Smith’s Cookie Cutter cookies.

Until next time.


Kristen & Lynette

Lemons, Is there a more versatile fruit?

Lynette picking lemons

At Serendipity we love lemon season and picking the fragrant fruit,  especially if there is a gentle rain falling while we are in the grove. Being  among the trees and smelling the damp earth is one of the most tranquil tasks of all, and we appreciate our friend who shares her very prolific crop of organic Meyer lemons with us.

Once back in the kitchen, our imaginations ran wild with the endless possibilities that lemons offer. This week we squeezed and zested over 300 lemons, and in addition to luscious organic Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Marmalade Kristen created a new recipe for Meyer Lemon Syrup. It is packaged in the most adorable bottle yet!  Coming soon will be Salt Cured Lemons (delicious in North African cuisine), Meyer Lemon & Tangerine Marmalade, and Lemon Salt Blend. Speaking of salt rubs and  spice blends, Serendipity will soon be offering a wide variety of specialty seasonings  just as soon as we can decide on the packaging design – more about that in the weeks to come.

Washing Lemons

As our company grows, you can expect to see more shelf-stable pantry items being added regularly.  If you’ve not tried our fruit vinegars, be sure to do so soon, as they are delicious with your favorite salad greens.  It is our desire to share what we create for use in our own kitchen with all of you, and hope you will enjoy our efforts. As always, if you have suggestions for additional products (we are still working on a pepper jelly) or ideas to improve what we currently produce, we would love to hear from you.

Until next time, thank you all for adding a little Serendipity to your life!

Kristen & Lynette

The Holidays are Coming

During this time of year, when most people are out and about, mom and I are usually quite busy brainstorming, making lists, and setting a general plan of action for our holiday jam sessions.  Needless to say this year is a little bit different because we’ve been making jam all year and now you can share it with your friends and family too.

With the holidays right around the corner we’ve been very busy making lots of jam and updating the web site’s gift page.  Now with the click of your mouse you can give everyone you know the gift of Serendipity!  As always we have our four, six, and eight jar gift boxes that are always a huge hit.  One of our newest features is the Provisions-of-the-Month club in three, six, and twelve month options.  Each month you’ll receive a combination of our seasonal and limited supply jams, baking mixes, recipe ideas and cards, and/or a few of our best selling jams.  It’s a gift that is full of wonderful surprises and keeps giving month after month.  Not sure what to give someone on your list?  We now offer gift certificates to use at our online store.  You can’t go wrong whether you chose to give a single jar or subscription to the provisions club.  With lots of options how will you share Serendipity?

In other holiday news we’re teaming up our good friends at Stripe for another First Friday on December 4th.  Serendipity jams & appetizers, beautiful art, and a great store with wonderful people equals good times!  We’ll be there at 5:00 and hope to see you as well.

Last but certainly not least… We’re growing!!!  Whole Foods has given us the green light to add three more stores.  The plan is to add Monterey, Los Gatos, and Campbell by mid January.

Until next time,