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Uppers, Downers & All Points in Between





Swinging with the Swing Time café
Author: Serafin Villanueva





Watsonville has limited cultural cuisine beyond 
Mexican restaurants. But now a small café on Union 
Street is bringing world cuisine to Watsonville at an 
affordable price. 

On May 27 the trio of Antonette Wood, Liz Silva, and 
Peggy Triplitt opened up the SwingTime Café, 
presenting foods like a Vietnamese sandwich called 
Banh Mi and a grilled Vegetable Torta Rustica.  

Each day the café offers different selections 
including exotic sandwiches and salads with organic 
ingredients. For breakfast SwingTime Café offers 
freshly made scones like coconut ginger, banana 
poppyseed and apricot pecan. The coffee is freshly 
brewed to order and the signature drink of the café is 
an Avocado iced freeze. The average price for an 
entrée is 5 dollars. 

Because of their unique culinary delights, they have 
been getting some attention by the local newspapers 
and customers.

“A lot of our regular customers say we are the talk of 
the town, but it takes people a while to find the 
location,” Wood said. 

Chef Wood gets culinary ideas from her dreams and from 
faithful customers. One customer requested some Lentil 
soup, so, the next week, Wood created an Indonesian 
influenced lentil soup. 

“Well, I get my ideas when I go to sleep,” she 
said. “One day I will be dreaming of an idea of a new 
menu dish and there you go.”

Wood’s passion is cooking, so much that she says, “I 
get cranky when I don’t cook.” The other passion of 
the Swingtime group is giving back to the community. 
Every month they give a portion of their proceeds from 
SwingTime Café and their booth at the Watsonville 
farmers market to a rotating nonprofit organization.

SwingTime Café began as Swing Time Golf, a catering 
company for Clint Eastwood’s golf tournaments and 
Super Bowl parties. Then they moved to Watsonville 
where they are now focused on the café. In the fall 
SwingTime Café will sponsor a golf tournament to 
benefit local non-profits organizations. 

The trio said they want the SwingTime Café to feature, 
once a month, such things as live music, poetry, 
flamenco dancing and even a talent show. 

Besides being somewhat difficult to find, located 
behind the buildings on Main Street bordering a 
parking lot where the old Net Café was located, 
SwingTime Café has already established a following, 
Wood said. Although the café would fit right into 
Santa Cruz, Wood said that being in Watsonville is an 
advantage. 

“I think that in Santa Cruz we wouldn’t be as 
successful,” Wood said. “I think here in Watsonville 
people are starving for something different.”