what we're all about 
The Food Bin & Herb Room are known for a lot of good things and not just the basics that make a store worth visting, like quality products and a friendly and knowledgeable staff.  We definitely have those going.  We are also known for our funky vibe and a marquee with sayings that sometimes provoke and sometimes inspire, and sometimes just show what's on sale that week.  There are also the extra steps we take to make our store a unique place to shop and a part of our Westside Santa Cruz community.    We love our customers and want everyone to have a good experience when shopping, whether that means getting what's needed quickly and easily, or spending a little time trying a new product or having a friendly chat.   

Our business has been around for a long time - here's some history:

The Food Bin got its name in 1971 when a small farmers’ market was opened at the former University Oil gas station (now Hotline Surf Shop) on the corner of Bay and Mission Streets in Santa Cruz. CA.  The business started out by selling organic oranges and, soon after, started selling produce from the UCSC gardens in large cylindrical cardboard bins; hence, the name “The Food Bin”.  With the growth of UCSC, the Food Bin became a student/hippie hangout on the corner of one of the main arteries up to the University.

In 1975, the Food Bin was moved to the corner of Mission and Laurel Streets.  The marquee that advertised gas prices at University Oil was moved to the new location, a garden was planted and the new Food Bin was born.   Soon after, an herb department was set up in the current Food Bin produce room and was called “The Herb Room”.  The building currently housing the Herb Room was occupied by Sun Garden Produce, which eventually moved across the street to where Emily’s Bakery is today. 

A new era for the FB/HR began when Breton Carr and Mark Taylor bought it in 1983.  They had been managing Yerba Buena, a natural foods store in downtown Santa Cruz which was put out of business by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.  Over time, Breton became the sole owner of the FB/HR and brought his flair and love for the Beatles and Russian culture into the store.   In 2018, Doug Wallace and Peggy Eulensen took over the management and ownership of FB/HR.

Over 45 years later, the FB/HR is now one of only two locally owned natural food stores in the city of Santa Cruz.  It has survived, and continues to serve, thanks to a strong base of support from the Santa Cruz community.