About Us

Community First
Saturn’s been around for almost 40 years now. From that time to this, we’ve focused on three things: community, social justice, and the environment. We’re committed to a menu that supports all of these. Saturn Cafe has grown and changed over those passing decades, but we’ve never lost our focus on these three important goals.

In 1979, our founders built a space in Santa Cruz, just down from the university on Mission Street. The UC community and locals alike frequented the new cafe, bringing together a sometimes contentious group for great vegetarian food like the now legendary cream of tomato soup. These folks didn’t bring peace to the world, but they did inspire evolved versions of comfort food favorites–vegetarian burgers, nachos and don’t forget desserts like our unparalleled mud pie.

A woman holding a milkshake

“As we focus on growth and the future, we remain rooted in our values as a local progressive business.”

Values Forward
In 2005, Saturn committed to becoming a sustainable restaurant dedicated to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Every day we are putting our values into action, whether it’s sourcing locally grown organic ingredients, using paper straws, helping move our used oil into bio-diesel or using a percentage of our budget to reinvest in our community. Each step of our process reflects our identity as a progressive, local business.

Mission Statement

The health and happiness of our customers, staff and the business itself are inextricably linked. In the quest to make the best comfort food on the planet, we are deeply committed to socially responsible and green business practices.

Our Values

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Everything we do is based on what we call the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. At Saturn, we deeply believe that when we take care of the first two, the third will naturally follow. To learn more about how we use this model to design our business practices — read on!

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We Value People

We don’t just serve customers, we serve a purpose. Saturn is proud to be anti-war, pro-immigrant rights and an advocate for environmental justice. We support and are a part of LGBTQ communities and communities of color. We stand with farmers and farm workers, for organic and non-GMO food options, and against oppression in all its forms.

We also sit. We sit with friends. We sit with family, chosen or otherwise. For a nice meal and a little conversation.

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We Value the Planet

By creating accessible, delectable vegetarian and vegan options for everyone, we’re helping more people experience meat-free comfort food. Less meat means less carbon, fewer greenhouse gases and more compassion. From our ingredients to our buildings to how we deal with the trash that goes out, Saturn works hard to leave the planet a little better than we found it.

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We Value Profit

Profit doesn’t always come to mind as a progressive value. But our profits let us reinvest in the communities and neighborhoods we share. Profit means we can pay our staff a living wage, even in areas where that’s well above minimum wage. Profit is how we continue to improve the sustainability of our physical space and of the processes that bring good food to your table.