• Staff of Life

  • (17)
  • Health-food-store Health Store

Natural foods market with deli, bakery, and juice bar inside. Wide selection of natural products and food, including nutritional supplements, vitamins, vegetarian and vegan foods, bulk staples, and more. Specializes in vegan baked goods. Open Mon-Fri 7:30am-9:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-9:00pm.

Venue map for Staff of Life
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17 Reviews

First Review by Ayoma


Points +221

15 Sep 2023

plenty Vegan options at Staff of Life 1266 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, California, USA, 95062

plenty Vegan options at Staff of Life 1266 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, California, USA, 95062. i had used to go in there for a couple decades back from year 2012. if you read ingredients you may select vegan products. provides access to Vegan options. nice trees on Poplar.

Updated from previous review on 2023-09-15

Pros: vegan food, nice trees on Poplar, provides access to Vegan options.

Cons: meats section is unfortunate of course, mistaken identity issues: don't "ass-u-me" so u..., irrational presumptuous bias bigoted power-abuse..



Points +69

03 Jul 2023

Best Market in Santa Cruz

I love this place, it's my preferred grocery store in town. The produce is super high quality and fairly inexpensive. The packaged food can be a little pricey but they have a ton of vegan options that I've not seen anywhere else. Pro tip: the vegan, GF pies are fantastic. I generally steer clear of GF baked goods bc they usually aren't as good as their gluten-y counterparts but these pies are magnificent 👌🏻

Pros: Great vegan options, Fantastic pies, Locally owned

Cons: Can be expensive


Points +303

22 Apr 2023

Amazing market

I’ve been enjoying the incredible vegan options this store offers for years. From baked goods to soups/salads, sandwiches, hot food bar, & so much more, I visit weekly. But today, I found something I’d never had there: a delicious vegan brownie! Unreal!


Points +1544

13 Feb 2022

quintessential natural food store

hot sauce committee part two---Beastie Boys

Staff of Life is an A+. I went here with a friend today. I have been to Staff of Life way back on a road trip when I was living out in LA. This was way back in 2004. Staff of Life has long been in my memory as John Robbins mentions it in the wonderful book May All Be Fed.

Staff of Life is a natural food store that has been around since 1969 for 51 years. I love the fresh organic produce here. So many amazing varieties of apples aka my go to breakfast as of late with Peanut Butter.

They have a deli here with four vegan sandwiches. I went with the honest herbivore sandwich that comes with marinated tempeh, vegenaise, mustard, SOL sauce, and heaps of veggies.

The sandwich was quite alright. I got a small spicy bag of Beanfields chips and a macrobiotic protein bar.

A solid lunch on the road. I also picked up some hot sauce here. Even cardboard will taste good with hot sauce. Each week I do lots of beans and rice or quinoa with veggies, hot sauce, salsa, vegenaise, and nooch aka nutritional yeast flakes with some salad. I am a connoisseur of hot sauces and especially like a good hot sauce.

One of my favorite things about Staff of Life besides the awesome produce, products, deli and friendly staff. Is that at check out if you bring your own bag you get a 5 cent token to donate to one of a dozen local charities. Think that is awesome and all the charities are great.

Staff of Life is the quintessential natural food store in these Modern Times we live in. Essential visiting in Santa Cruz and recommend visiting if in the Bay Area.

Pros: friendly staff, amazing organic produce, donate tokens to a dozen local charities


Points +250

20 May 2021

Bakery is outstanding

Bakery is amazing for vegan options. If you go here for just one thing, let it be something from the baked goods case or a loaf of bread. However, everything else is expensive. Don't get me wrong, I love Staff of Life but they make Whole Foods look cheap. I go here for the items I can't find elsewhere. Place is small but this is SC so it's as good as it can be but it's worth considering getting rid of selling plants and such instead to make room for more foodstuffs. Parking is huge.

Pros: Vegan options, Baked goods in case to go, Items that can't be found at other stores

Cons: Expensive


Points +85

13 Dec 2020

More like “staff of death”

This place is a good go-to for certain things. They used to have the best hot bar in town pre covid. My last visit i got 2 grilled vegetable Vegan burritos from the hot bar area. The 2nd one that my pregnant wife got was filled with ground up meat and rice. She’s been vegan for 25 years and barfed her pregnant face off when she asked me half way through it “does my burrito look right to you?” No it didn’t look right. It looked filled with DEATH. I already didn’t like this place cuz it smells like decomposing bodies inside from all the dead animals they sell. “Staff of life” is a severe advertising falsehood for this place. Their isles are tiny as f too and there’s hardly a way to social distance while shopping. Silk soy milk is almost 7 bucks too. (4 anywhere else) they do have the best chocolate selection in town which will keep me popping in though. Pretty salty bout the burrito experience and won’t be buying anything made in the deli again.

Pros: Best hot bar in town when covid isn’t a thing

Cons: Too expensive. Almost 7 bucks for silk?


Points +347

21 Sep 2020

That thin line

Staff of life walks a thin line between the small local health food store and the chain. The customer service sucks but they have so many good local vegan options.

Pros: Tons of vegan options , Best salad bar in town, Great vegan baked goods

Cons: Expensive , Bad customer service


Points +275

28 Oct 2019

Great natural food store.

Huge selection. Lots of organic. Lots of vegan. Really great place.


Points +1444

12 Jan 2019

Great store

This store is on my weekly rotation. It has a great selection and the best prices in the area.

If I'm not going to the farmer's market, I get most of my produce here. They also have a great selection of bulk items and vegan foods.

There are always plenty of friendly cashiers, unlike some stores, and the wait is never long.

Pros: great prices, good selection, friendly staff


Points +61

26 Oct 2018

Best Supermarket

a lot of vegan options, we meet the nicest people there


Points +47

08 Feb 2018

Great local store!

This is a go-to for me. Not too highly priced, usually sales going on especially with produce. They have a variety of hot and cold bar options, sushi, juice/smoothies and coffee. There's a great selection of produce, packaged goods and bulk. Along with things such as lotions, hair care products, vitamins, toothpaste and anything else you can think of. I go here very often and would recommend going if you're visiting or live in the area. Overall a well rounded store.

Pros: Great selection, Organic options, Local

Cons: Parking lot is usually full and/or busy, Brown rice in hot bar is normally a bit crunchy


Points +81

28 Feb 2016

The Only Grocery Store I Find Myself Missing

Never have I been in a grocery store with so many vegan options as Staff of Life in Santa Cruz. The amazing people that work there are incredibly helpful, kind, and attentive. They have been instrumental in my transition from omnivore to vegan. While some items may be cost prohibitive, I find that there are many good deals to be found, not to mention the fact that their produce is of excellent quality and much more affordable than the other local chain grocery stores. The hot food section of their store always has delicious foods for both vegans and omnivores. I was so pleased with the fact that every section of the store had items that were plant-based alternatives to common products, like Worcestershire sauce or dairy free cheese for example.

Staff of Life has found a place in my home, I intend to keep coming back for as long as they're in business.

Pros: Largest variety of vegan foods in S.C., Delicious assortment of hot vegan dishes, Exceptionally good service

Cons: So popular that it can get crowded, Can be on the pricey end for some items


Points +29

06 Jun 2015

I love the Staff of Life market!

This is my very favorite grocery store. They have a great variety of organic, healthy products and prices are more affordable than New Leaf or Whole Foods. Best produce section in Santa Cruz, as far as proportion of organics and reasonable prices, in my opinion.

Pros: affordable, great variety, lots of organics


Points +36

Mostly Veg
25 Apr 2013

All things Veg!

I am a 1000% Health Food store stalker and try to visit any near where I have business meetings. Santa Cruz is a planet of it's self and 'Staff of Life' definitely has to be one of the board members of that planet. Anything and everything you need or never thought about is within this store. Top knotch produce, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, spelt, raw food, nutritional products, soaps, a hot food counter, salad bar, sandwich deli .... oh lawd don't let me go on

I shopped and shopped. On the way out decided to order a wheatgrass shot as not sure where can get those around San Jose..... awe the memories:) And saw a rather popular singer ... After a meeting near the beach, lunch at a hip vegan place and shopping at SOL, I was a damn happy camper:)


Points +33

28 Feb 2013

great vegan desserts!!

There are tons of freshly-made vegan (and gluten-free) options from the bakery. From mini vegan doughnuts and muffins to fruit turnovers and whole pies/cakes.. They've really got it all! Be sure to check the baked foods case as well as the display case with cakes and chocolates. Everything is labeled with "suitable for vegans" and "gluten-free".

Pros: vegan desserts, tofu options, local tofu

Cons: smells like meat sometimes


Points +50

24 Jul 2010

Great place

This is my favorite grocery store here in Santa Cruz. They have everything a vegan cook needs with delicious produce and a great bakery/deli with plenty of vegan options.

Right now the store's a bit cramped, but they should be moving across the street soon to a much larger building.

Pros: Healthy, Organic

Cons: Small


Points +14

Mostly Veg
04 Nov 2009

Great Local Market

Lots of good fresh organic produce, wonderful service, many wonderful products beautifully displayed, convenient location, good management and staff. It is always fun to shop at Staff of Life.

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