Captain's Grounds Coffee: Oceanside, CA

Succulent Garden at Captain's Grounds Coffee in Oceanside, CA

My sister, Sweetpea (yes, that's her name!), has been raving about Captain's Grounds Coffee on Coast Highway in Oceanside for years.  I finally got a chance to meet up with her to check it out today, and the family owned coffee cart did not disappoint! I ordered an iced coffee, sweetened with cream, and sat down in the shade next to a planter overflowing with all sorts of gorgeous succulents. Seriously, you can't go wrong with coffee + succulents in my book!

Succulent Garden at Captain's Grounds Coffee in Oceanside, CA

Captain's Grounds is open 7 days a week 7am-3pm and proudly serves coffee made with beans from local roaster San Diego Coffee Co.. You can find owner, Jen Stoddard, serving up hand-crafted beverages, Monday thru Friday, while her daughters, Chloe and Cassidy, hold down the fort on the weekends.  It's obvious from the constant smile on her face that Jen really loves what she does and is passionate about serving her very loyal local patrons.  The Stoddard family took over the coffee cart in front of Captain's Helm (a vintage retail shop) in 2012, and have since developed a strong knit community of regulars who seem more like friends than customers.  

About a year ago, Sweetpea noticed that Jen had removed some boring overgrown plants from the planters around the coffee cart and offered to plant some of her own succulent cuttings in their place. Since then, the succulents have taken over and are really flourishing! I don't know what it is about downtown Oceanside, but succulents seem to love it!  Below are a few photos I took of the pretty succulents around Captain's Grounds. If you are in North County San Diego and enjoy a good cup of coffee accompanied by some succulent eye candy, please pay them a visit! 

You can also follow them on Instagram @captainsgroundscoffee!

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Succulent Sighting: Old Town

Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves

At least once a year, we like to take the kids exploring through San Diego using public transportation. We travel by train, trolley and bus. It can get a little crazy sometimes, but it's so much fun and we always make the best memories! Last week, we had one of these little adventures. I took a million pictures of the kids as usual, but I also captured some beautiful plants along the way as well. Rather than keeping them all for myself, I thought it would be fun to start a series here where I can share the succulent photos I take while I'm out and about. I've decided to call the series "Succulent Sighting" because I dig alliteration and, well, it just makes sense. 

We live in North County San Diego, so we take the Coaster south to get downtown.  We get off at the Sante Fe Depot and take the trolley or bus from there depending on where we are going.  For our first stop, we wanted to take the kids to the Hotel Del Coronado.

I was pleasantly surprised to find so many succulents at the hotel. Unfortunately, almost every succulent planter was placed in direct sunlight and a lot of the plants were badly scorched so there wasn't much to photograph. The following are a couple of my favorite shots from the hotel.

Succulents at the Hotel Del Coronado via Needles + Leaves
Succulents at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego via Needles + Leaves

We spent some time at the beach before hopping back on the bus and heading to Old Town.

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I'm so glad I was able to capture this sweet moment. I love my boys and their long flowing locks! 

I'm so glad I was able to capture this sweet moment. I love my boys and their long flowing locks! 

Next stop Old Town!

Once arriving in Old Town we didn't have a lot of time to explore, which was okay since we've been there many times before. Our main goal was to eat some delicious Mexican food and head back to the train station.  After succeeding in enjoying some ridiculously good food accompanied by a free dessert, the kids HAD to check out Geppetto's before hopping on the train home. This gave me a couple minutes to run around frantically snapping photos of all the lovely succulents! I literally had two minutes, but these plants are so pretty it doesn't really matter that I didn't have time to calculate my shots.  Keep scrolling to see my favorite plant pics from Old Town.

Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves
Cacti and Succulents in Old Town, CA via Needles + Leaves

I hope you enjoy these plants as much as I do! I'd love to hear from you, so make sure to leave a comment or find me on Instagram! @tawwni or @needlesandleaves

Succulent Cafe Oceanside: A Living Masterpiece

Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves

Coffee and succulents are two of my favorite things, so when Krista told me about the new Succulent Cafe in Oceanside, I almost exploded with excitement!  The cafe is located at 322 North Cleveland Street in a courtyard adjacent to Apotheque Lifestyle Spa. You know you've arrived when you see this magical wall of succulents.

Succulent Cafe Oceanside located adjacent to the Apotheque Lifestyle Spa.

As you enter the outdoor garden style cafe, you immediately realize this isn't just a coffee shop that also sells plants. The entire cafe is a living work of art as you are surrounded by a wall to wall succulent masterpiece.  I recently had the privilege of sitting down with owner and creative mastermind Peter Loyola. 

Peter's passion for succulents began in his own backyard. Unsure if he wanted a cactus or succulent garden, he decided to go with succulents because he thought they would be safer for his kids.  As his garden grew, he began making little arrangements to sell at his sister's bakery on Valentine's Day and Mother's day.  He would make 50 to 60 arrangements which would sell out every time.  After being asked to share some succulent pieces at the Oceanside Days of Art, Peter quickly realized that succulents actually have a fan base and that his arrangements were in fact viewed as works of art.  People would constantly ask him if he had a website, business card or store and the answer was always "no".  Naturally, he decided to open a succulent garden where he could sell his arrangements year round. 

One day while walking downtown, Peter spied the unused courtyard outside the Apotheque Spa. He approached the owner, inquired about the space, showed them his work and they agreed.  From the positioning of the sun and pleasant ocean breeze, to the historic building as a backdrop, the space was absolutely perfect for his succulent garden.  

Although the initial thought was to make it a garden, Peter decided to combine his love of serving coffee with his passion for succulents and I'm so glad he did. The Succulent Cafe is total perfection.  From the quiet music to the gorgeous succulents, the entire ambiance makes you want to come back again and again.  Peter hopes that his cafe can be part of changing the face of downtown Oceanside.  He says, "I've created this space primarily to offer a peaceful relaxing place not only for locals, but for tourists and visitors.  I chose Oceanside because I live here and I'd love to be a small part of making it a better place." 

Peter is all about supporting local businesses and artists. He buys all of his plants from local nurseries and his coffee beans come from Revolution Roaster in Leucadia.  On the weekends, he welcomes local musicians to perform and local artists to display their work.  Peter is so humble and friendly, I wish nothing but the best for him and his amazing cafe.  

I had the pleasure of photographing the cafe, but honestly, these photos do not do it justice! If you are in the area, please stop by for a visit. You will be so happy you did!

 

Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Vertical Succulent Wall Art at Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
This vertical frame succulent wall was voted best plant art by San Diego Magazine, August 2013 issue. 

This vertical frame succulent wall was voted best plant art by San Diego Magazine, August 2013 issue. 

Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside Vertical Pallet Succulent Garden via Needles + Leaves
Air Plants at the Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Vertical Succulent Frame Wall at Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulents in Jeans at the Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves   
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
 Hanging Succulent Arrangements at Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves
Succulent Cafe Oceanside via Needles + Leaves

Like the Succulent Cafe on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @succulentcafeoceanside for more info.