Isla Vista’s Coffee Collaborative will host a pumpkin-carving contest tomorrow from 1 to 5 p.m. to judge sculpted squashes in several categories and award various prizes to those which have been chiseled to perfection.
Contestants are encouraged to bring pre-carved or un-carved pumpkins to the store’s 6560 Pardall Road location to enter their gourds in competition for titles including “Most ‘D’Aww’ Provoking (Cutest),” “Most Gruesome/Ugly/Terrifying,” “Most ‘Only in I.V.’ Representing” and the much sought-after “Best in Show.” The winner of each category will receive a $20 Coffee Collaborative gift card and entrants are also invited to create their own categories, so long as they remain inventive.
According to IVCC owner Stephen McDonough, the carving contest is part of the shop’s commitment to hosting community-oriented events.
“We have been trying to use local businesses so that we’re more integrated in the community,” McDonough said. “We try to feature local artists; we are organic, environmentally friendly and community-based. All of our coffee grinds we give to A.S. Department of Public Worms.”
In addition to distributing their by-products to the campus composting program, McDonough said the store tries to uphold green brewing practices and foster a welcoming environment.
“We try to promote recycling and a generally good atmosphere,” McDonough said. “Some coffee shops have that kind of ‘stuck up’ vibe, but we try to be really down-to-earth and friendly.”
The Coffee Collaborative also organizes several community events such as their weekly open mic nights on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and “art walks” — collaborative exhibits with the Isla Vista Food Co-op to display local artists’ works — on Thursdays. Upcoming events include a musical performance by a Los Angeles folk band and a charity fundraiser on Nov. 4 featuring campus a capella groups.
The coffee shop serves locally roasted java and teas from an Ojai importer. The Coffee Collaborative also serves cupcakes from Whodelicious in the downtown Paseo Nuveo Marketplace as well as bagels and pastries from Debbie’s Delights in Santa Barbara to help promote the local businesses.