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About Zachary E. Davis


Zachary DavisZachary’s first foray into the world of edible exploration took place at a very young age on an outing with his grandparents to Santa Cruz sushi hotspot Pink Godzilla. While his grandparents may have been surprised at his enthusiasm for exotic cuisine, this event marked the beginning of a love affair with culinary exploration.

Despite an early college job at a bagel shop in Seattle, the food service industry was not the initial path for Zachary. While attending the University of Washington, he worked in a number of technology roles on campus, including support for a group pioneering the use of digital video and other rich media to enhance online teaching and learning. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion from the Jackson School of International Studies at UW and moving to Santa Cruz, California, this media background put him on a path to a role at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Digital Media Specialist. In addition to supporting the Film and Digital Media Department, he also worked with faculty and staff on a number of interdisciplinary initiatives leveraging specific areas of expertise in the benefit of the whole campus.

In the fall of 2006 Zachary began the Green MBA program at Dominican University of California in San Rafael as part of a desire to move into the world of business as a force for positive change. In the summer of 2007, he was recruited from his position at UC Santa Cruz to join one of the Dominican faculty in the creation of an Internet advertising venture based in San Francisco. As Senior Manager of Product Development and Operations at Adgregate Markets, he again found himself in charge of a myriad of initiatives including planning, implementing, and optimizing numerous processes in the product development and operations arenas. He also led the operational integration of two companies purchased by Adgregate, facilitating the smooth transition of their technology and support infrastructures.

In the Spring of 2009 Zachary received his MBA in Sustainable Enterprise, a degree which came with a deep understanding of the interactions of financial, environmental, and human capital. Upon graduation Zachary left Adgregate and committed full time to the development of The Penny Ice Creamery, an ice cream manufacturing and retail business dedicated to the use of organic, locally sourced, and seasonal ingredients to produce ice cream in a sustainable manner.

The Penny opened in August of 2010 and was immediately embraced by the Santa Cruz community. Ten months later Zachary and business partner Kendra Baker opened the Picnic Basket, an eatery based on the principles of the Penny. The restaurant group now includes a presence at four area farmers markets, a catering division, an ice cream kiosk in Downtown Santa Cruz and a fourth location scheduled to open Winter of 2013 in the neighboring city of Capitola.

In addition to the numerous duties of a small business owner, Zachary serves on the Santa Cruz Downtown Commission, the Board of Directors for the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council, participates in numerous community events, and speaks regularly with future entrepreneurs at area schools including Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz. He cherishes his free time with his wife and two young sons at their home in Soquel, California.