To Those Who Brought TLF to Life

TLF is the association of local, independently owned businesses for Santa Cruz County.  Its roots go back deep into the County’s rich history as a very special place with a business community as distinctive and beloved as its redwood trees and beaches.

The story of TLF’s origins is recounted on the About Us page.  At the heart of that story are the founders.  A handful of Santa Cruz business owners united in response to a common concern: the threat to local businesses posed by proliferating chain stores and easy online shopping. Rather than watch the County become a cookie cutter beach town dominated by homogenous chains and franchises, they decided to invoke another Santa Cruz tradition: collective action for the common good.

Since its founding, TLF has grown in size and impact. “Thinking Local” has become a mantra that TLF continuously reinforces.  TLF’s members–and the community where those members own businesses, live, play, and love—understand the link between a unique, thriving local economy and a unique, thriving community.


  • Helped to preserve the distinctive character of Santa Cruz’ business community
  • Established the TLF brand to promote purchasing from local businesses
  • Increased consumer awareness of Thinking Local from nearly zero
  • Championed the adoption of Local Business Preference Ordinances in the City and County
  • Built a community of local business owners
  • Promoted Santa Cruz County as a shopping destination
  • Created a business directory that has become a staple for local and visiting shoppers
  • Changed consumers’ shopping habits



Peter Beckmann, Beckmann’s Bakery
Karl Heiman, Caffe Pergolesi
Eric & Ellen Gil, Sockshop & Shoe Company
Michael Olson, KSCO
Casey Coonerty-Protti, Bookshop Santa Cruz
Rex Stewart, New Leaf Community Markets
Gary Bascou, Staff of Life
John Benedetti, Illuminada Design
Debra Whizin, Metro Santa Cruz
Chuck Tremper, Attorney


Remaining Charter Members

41st Avenue Liquor
Beckmann’s Bakery
Bookshop Santa Cruz
Caffe Pergolesi
Charlie Hong Kong
Geo. H. Wilson, Inc
Jabico Enterprises
KSCO AM 1080
Linda’s Seabreeze Cafe
Palace Art & Office Supply
Parrish Creative
Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz
Plaza Lane Optometry
Santa Cruz County Bank
Santa Cruz Seaside Company
Scarborough Lumber
Shoppers Corner
Sockshop & Shoe Company
Staff of Life
User-Friendly Computing
Well Within Spa


A great thanks to all.
What goes around, comes around!