Ziggy’s, a completely vegan and plant-based takeout food joint, opened on California Boulevard. But this is not the first time the owners have had their hand in restaurants in the Central Coast.
Ziggy’s is serving up a variety of comfort food options like burgers, tacos and dessert burgers. They make most of their products in house, including their black bean burger patty and avocado egg rolls.
Co-owners Matt Martinez and Brian England said they have been friends for almost 30 years. They saw there was an opportunity on the Central Coast for them to conceive a concept that they have been trying to incorporate into their own lives — a totally vegan diet. Ziggy’s moved into Tiki Hut’s old location in the center on the corner of California Boulevard and Taft Street.
England owns several other restaurants including all three Sylvester’s Burgers locations in Atascadero, Los Osos and Oceano. On July 5, 2018, England told Martinez to quit his job and move back to his roots here on the Central Coast.
Martinez risked everything to make their vision come to life. Just two years after the initial stages of the idea, Martinez said he is “stoked” by the responses from the people who have come by to try Ziggy’s out.
Martinez grew up in Fresno then moved to Morro Bay for high school. He made the move down south to Orange County in 2001 where he kicked off his career in the bar and restaurant business.
“This [Central Coast] has always been home for me,” Martinez said. “I knew I eventually wanted to move back up here anyway.”
The takeout joint owners said they had a soft opening, but are trying to work out some kinks for a grand opening soon.
“My mom keeps asking me when we are doing a grand opening, so we gotta do it for her,” Martinez said.
There are still some things that Martinez said he wants to get up and running, like the soft serve ice cream machine and hiring a full staff.
Martinez said he is thankful for his team working behind the counter. Ziggy’s hired Julio Rodriguez as its kitchen manager. Rodriguez was one of Sylvester’s Burgers best employees for the last 10 years, according to Martinez.
Business administration junior Benjamin Savoy started working as a cashier a week ago. He said he enjoys the job and the concept of the restaurant so far.
Several locals have already gone to check it out and positive responses are flooding in. Business administration sophomore Sidney Humble said she enjoyed the avocado taco she ordered at Ziggy’s last week.
“I really hope Ziggy’s does well,” Humble said. “I love a good small business, you can see the cooks and everything they’re doing.”
Ziggy’s owners said they hope to attract all audiences and ages, even those without vegan diet plans.
“If this goes well, hopefully location number two and three, where can we go next?” Martinez asked.