The Glass Jar Inc is a farm to table restaurant group founded in 2009 by Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis and dedicated to the nexus between sustainable food and community. This concept was first introduced to Santa Cruz, California in 2010 through The Penny Ice Creamery. Making ice cream completely from scratch and using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients, the Penny was immediately embraced by the people of Santa Cruz. Codified in the business plan was the mission to have a “net regenerative impact on the community”, and this began at the time of construction through the use of a local bank, the hiring of all local labor, and the following of LEED remodel standards. Once open, the sourcing from local farms and food artisans, the support of local philanthropic initiatives, and an active role in civic life furthered this mission.
In the summer of 2011 the Glass Jar added The Picnic Basket, an eatery located in the beach boardwalk area of Santa Cruz. The Picnic Basket dramatically expands on the local and seasonal sourcing philosophy of the Penny Ice Creamery, offering breakfast, lunch, light dinner, full coffee service, local beer and wine, as well as ice cream.
In late fall of 2011 the Glass Jar added a Penny ice cream kiosk on Pacific Avenue, the main shopping thoroughfare of Downtown Santa Cruz, and in winter of 2013 added a full service Penny ice cream shop in the Pleasure Point neighborhood near Capitola, California. Additionally the Penny Ice Creamery participates in three area famers’ markets a week, and the Penny and the Picnic Basket cater both for-profit and not-for-profit events multiple times a week.
In March of 2014 the Glass Jar opened a new full service restaurant titled Assembly. Dedicated to the celebration of food and community, Assembly is a gathering place with a menu of rustic California cuisine. Assembly was listed at number 13 on the SFGate Inside Scoop list of 50 biggest restaurant openings in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area for the first half of 2014.
In the spring of 2014 the Glass Jar also opened POPUP, a spare, cozy, easily reconfigurable retail space hosting curated food concepts and events.