Public Interest

The Story of Our Sustainable Salmon

by Carolyn on September 22, 2013

Most people are aware that salmon is good for you, with it’s low fat, heart and brain supportive, high omega 3′s.  Salmon also contains important vitamins such as vitamins A, B and D.  I’ve heard tales about salmon, once so abundant, you could walk to the other side of a river, on the backs of spawning salmon. The decline in wild salmon, due to damming, development and other environmental factors, wild salmon has become a scarce commodity.  Anyone who has shopped for wild salmon at the grocery store has witnessed the high cost, which can be from $17-$19 and more.  There are lots of hungry people, and growing, to feed and everyone deserves the option to eat healthy food. Salmon is one of the most popular toppings at Charlie Hong Kong.  Our mission is to offer HEALTHY, AFFORDABLE, SUSTAINABLE food and of course FAST.

Stagnoro Brother’s Seafood, on our Santa Cruz wharf, have been our longtime partners and suppliers of our salmon.  Stagnoro’s,  are aware of our mission to serve affordable food.  With the fluctuating, rising price of salmon, they came to us with a sustainably farmed, salmon that impressed them.  It is a Chinook, also known as King, salmon from Canada.  Like many of you, I had a knee jerk reaction, Farmed!!!???  Immediately, negative images rushed through my mind but because of my respect for Stagnoro’s, I listened.  They assured us, my husband and I, with all their years of experience, cutting fish, this was a beautiful salmon, plus informing us, not all farmed fish is the same.  The quality and price remains consistent something which is important for all restaurants, but especially for Charlie Hong Kong.  Stagnaro got my attention and I began to dig deeper into who this Canadian supplier was.  When I called Creative Salmon, I was very impressed with the integrity and commitment, as they spoke about their salmon.  This person had the same passion about his salmon, as the organic farmers I talk with in Santa Cruz.  He IS a farmer. Aquaculture, means growing animals or plants in the water, while agriculture means growing them on land.  These are committed farmers. Along with their next shipment of salmon, arrives brochures and literature so I could gather more information. The first batch of fliers, somehow came salmon soaked and our office smelled like a fish market until I discovered the source of the slightly fishy aroma.

I’m delighted to report what I discovered.  Creative Salmon is North America’s only major producer of naturally raised indigenous Pacific Chinook (King) salmon.  Since the fish are indigenous, they are naturally tolerant to sea lice and require no sea lice treatments.  They’re fed an organic, GMO-free diet, as close to their natural diet as possible.  This is a small company, their focus is on quality, not quantity.  They carefully follow sustainable farming practices and are in the process of becoming the first certified organic salmon farm.  We decide the next step to reassure us was, to visit Tofino, BC, and check out first hand Creative Salmon.  800 miles of driving, from Seattle and back, including 4 hours on ferries, I can report, we are more then impressed with the high quality of this salmon.  Tofino, the home of Creative Salmon, is a magnificent  surfing town, located on the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island.  Tofino is in a UNESCO, declared biosphere, demanding that the waters are protected and all businesses are carefully monitored to reassure this happens. The folks at Creative Salmon were welcoming, down-to-earth and well informed.  Creative Salmon is actually run by a marine biologist.  They are totally committed to the health and quality of their fish.  The fish are carefully monitored by underwater cameras and farmers live in floating houses at the farms to constantly care for the fish.  My husband and I visited every aspect of their farms and processing; asked the same questions you might have about their farming practices.  Everything came up with a big yes!  If you would like more information, there are brochures at the restaurant and you can check out their excellent web-site,


Food Day-It’s Time to Eat Real!

by Carolyn on November 5, 2012

Food Day, was on October 24.

Mission: to promote a nationwide celebration of a movement towards more healthy, affordable and sustainable food.  In 2011, Food Day, brought together hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states, at more then 2,300 events.  October 24, 2012, Food Day was even bigger, creating a web that criss-cross the entire United states.

(Mayor Don Lane & Carolyn Rudolph, Food Day Proclamation)


*Promote safer, healthier diets

*Support sustainable and organic farms

*Reduce hunger

*Reform factory farms to protect the environment and animals

*Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers

Food should be tasty, healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, animals and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it. Food Day’s goal, to bring us closer to this ideal.  Food Day brings together some of the most prominent voices for change in the food movement.

Charlie Hong Kong, registered, since we are committed and share the mission and priorities of Food Day.  We asked our Mayor, Don Lane, to declare October 24, Food Day in Santa Cruz, to which he whole heartedly agreed.  I assisted by writing the Proclamation, which Mayor Lane read at the downtown Wednesday, Community Farmer’s Market, also registered as an event. The Community Farmer’s Market the very epicenter for the model of the sustainable farm to table movement.

Charlie Hong Kong seeks to inspire community action to improve our food system and American diet.  We use organic locally grown produce.  On Food Day, Charlie Hong Kong customers were asked, if they would sign a Pledge, declaring “I Eat Real”.  There was a generous response, customers signing until all the forms were used.  These pledges will accompany petitions to our US Congress men and woman, demanding change in our current food system.  This is how a movement generates momentum.  Politicians don’t create movements. “We step in front of a movement and call it our own.”

To acknowledge our customers for eating healthy, we handed out our delicious coconut rice pudding.

To learn more about Food Day and become part of building the movement, go to  Become a part of next year’s Food Day, October 24, 2013,

“It’s Time to Eat Real!”

Family signs pledges, “I Eat Real!”



New York City Girls Awed By Organic Bounty

August 15, 2012

My niece, from New York City, and her best friend, visited  Santa Cruz, this summer.  They had been dreaming about this trip since junior high.  Having just graduated high school and before heading off to college, their trip became a reality early July.  My niece has visited many times with her family, my brother is […]

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Story Of Our Wheat Noodles

March 28, 2012

Five or six years ago, we received the news, the company that made our noodles was going out of business.  This noodle is called a Hong Kong style noodle or chow mein (which means noodle) noodle.  It’s eggless and made from wheat.  So here was the opportunity: find a new noodle for the favorite Spicy […]

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Take a Stand: No Plastic To-Go Bags

January 12, 2012

I know it’s not easy to change.  I know to change a habit can be inconvenient but sometime the effects the habit causes can be enough to propel a change.  When it came to protecting our precious environment, saying no to plastic bags became a habit I chose to break and in the process took […]

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Eating Healthy- Easier Than Cooking At Home

October 4, 2011

Don’t feel like cooking?  Worried about getting your vitamins, minerals and proteins?  No worries-come into Charlie Hong Kong and you can be reassured you’re nourishing you body with healthy, tasty food that is served up quick! In Santa Cruz there is an organic farmers market almost everyday of the week.  It feels natural, to me, […]

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What’s “Organic Asian Street Food”

June 15, 2011

Why do we refer to our food as “Organic Asian Street Food”?  When traveling through Asia, we (both my husband and I) loved to eat at food stalls that dotted the alleys, markets and roads.  This food represented the region. It was inexpensive, prepared quickly, and very tasty.  Workers, businessmen and women shoppers would stand […]

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Trip to the Desert Reveals Food Desert

April 2, 2011

Recently my husband and I took a get away to Furnace Creek Ranch in Death Valley.  For years I wanted to see the desert wildflowers in March.  With all the late rain this year, I was sure the desert would be a blaze with yellow, blue, pink flowers.  We packed up the car, I loaded […]

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Food As Medicine

February 26, 2011

Charlie Hong Kong takes the point of view, “Food is Medicine”.  We believe you are what you eat.  What you choose to put in your body matters.; matters for your health and well being as well as for the planet.  Many of the ingredients in our recipes are known for their health producing properties.  Beginning […]

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