Green Sharlene

Digging Deep Within

The past four months have indeed been incredibly difficult in our industry as restaurateurs. We are living in a time of much uncertainty and our sole source of income is certainly at risk. We've been through some tough times in our many years in the restaurant business, but these forced closures take the cake. 

Will we make it? We aren't sure. Have we stopped trying? Absolutely not, but I am having a harder time pulling tricks out of my hat. I could give into the fear that creeps up, but that's not how we roll. We look for solutions. We have an amazing community rooting for us and we are determined to figure out how to get through this horrible situation, and we have for the first time asked for help. That seemed hard to fathom, as we prided ourselves on helping others in our community. We love to nurture and feed a good cause. We feel blessed to have been able to do so. Times are different now, and we are in survival mode. 

So I've been digging deeper within' praying a lot and good things happen. Our local fairgrounds offered up picnic tables and bigtop tents so we and other local eateries could pop up outdoor dining space. Folks in the community came together to help us put together a space that just might work. We're having a hard time and so are my fellow restaurant colleagues so we are reaching out to one another. Just to check in and uplift each other. We want all boats to stay afloat. I've even made contact with a restaurant family out of town who has bravely defied the governors order to keep their business going. I'm digging deep, asking for the solution for our business, and reopening is truly the only way. Our industry is being destroyed unfairly, while big box stores remain open and large gatherings for protest are allowed, small businesses are forced to shutdown. 

In this time of uncertainty, I am certain I feel best when I look within' and grow. I pray to grow in patience and in strength to do what is right for our family, our business, employees, guests, community & country. May we always lead with our hearts. May we take the opportunity to keep the American dream of entrepreneurship alive. I'm digging deep for answers to my questions, things aren't making sense, so I am digging deep within for some clarity and solutions to get out of this hole we're in. I believe, even in the hardest of times, that there is a sprout of hope and I'm going to nurture it.

Making a Sweet Green Comeback

Green Sharlene was born years ago but has just recently blossomed in to a new business and opportunity. Let me introduce to you my new branch of business

I am so excited to share with you the amazing benefits of CBD. I have aligned with the very best in product and integrity. It all begins from seed at a sixth generation family farm in North Carolina that has been farming organically since the 70’s. The family started  growing hemp when the Farm Bill passed in 2018 continuing organic practices Certified USDA Organic and better. They call it farm to family as it all grew from an idea to help family and friends. The company oversees everything from seed to seal. Every step is vertically integrated, meaning the company oversees every bit of growing, harvesting, drying, extracting, formulating and bottling right here in the USA. It is so important to know the source of your CBD, because CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA, we’ve got to read labels and get to the source. So much product on the market is grown overseas and can be tainted with chemicals & toxins that can be so harmful to your health.

So here I am, making a comeback opening up my Green Sharlene business, and I am thrilled to begin this new journey.  Everything about it falls inline with my Green Sharlene mantra of health, happiness, & enjoying life. We’ve got this one sweet life and I look forward to growing and learning to help you find your sweet spot.


Green Sharlene


Sweet Basil

Basil is my favorite GREEN, Here’s why…

BASIL…It’s beauty, fragrance and simplicity is a big part of why I love basil so much. My life goal is to simplify and savor real beauty in life. With basil the truth is; the less it cooks, the better it is in flavor and in it’s nutrient value. Basil can help boost antioxidants in your meals, as it contains one of the highest levels of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. All of these antioxidants, called carotenoids, help to fight off oxidative stress in our bodies and may protect against chronic disease. This all sounds great to me, but the biggest perk is that basil is simply delicious, and here at the DTC we have all sorts of dishes we incorporate fresh basil into for your dining enjoyment.

I can’t wait to grow basil every summer, which is why it is one of the first and most abundant herbs we are planting in the DTCulinary Garden. It is easy to maintain and we go through a lot of basil here at the Dancing Tomato Caffé. Here are a few of our favorites:

Pesto is great on just about everything in my opinion. We also love our basil limonata cocktail or the virgin version. Soon our caprese/tomato mozzarella will be bursting with summer flavors, and our Pasta Pomodoro takes on a whole California Summer FRESH spin. Fresh basil on top of pizza is amazing too.

At home we chop basil into our salads, soups, on top of fresh watermelon, peaches, strawberries. It is so refreshing and easy to add a whole new level to your recipes.

So plant a bit of basil in your garden, window sill, or planter. Enjoy one of the simplest pleasures of summer on your plate and feel the refreshing flavors of doing good for your health.

Eat well, be well.


Green Sharlene 

Give Yourself the Gift of Slowing Down

This holiday season we are working on creating more gifts that are less material and more experiential. Family-time together is priceless, so we are working to carve out the time and do more things together. It sometimes takes a life scare or a diagnosis to put this into perspective. It is so easy to otherwise get “too busy”.

Simple things like making “cuddle time” on the couch together while enjoying a family movie or a favorite show. Gathering at the table for meals at home or at your favorite family restaurant, the Dancing Tomato Caffé, is always a favorite and the connections through table conversation is wonderful. Slowing down is a gift you can give yourself and your family. But it does take practice, and like anything else, breaking busy habits and making changes takes time. Amidst holiday gift-giving, don’t forget to give the gift of patience to yourself and those around you.

One way I have really enjoyed slowing down is simply by taking time to connect and visit with friends. Whether it’s a phone call, a one-on-one visit, or a girlfriend-gathering for dinner. Carving out time with friends and family is a wonderful use of time. The messy house and laundry can wait!

Taking time for myself has been a tough gift to learn to give myself. I am a server at heart, I love to care for and serve others. But, after surviving a stroke six months ago, I am easily reminded of how fleeting and precious our time here on earth is. I may not be so lucky next time, so I am making time to take care of me, with every hope to continue being here for my family. I am “green” at this practice of slowing down and I am learning to be more patient with myself in order to accomplish some necessary changes. This chronic medical diagnosis has made it mandatory. But, I think that slowing down and practicing this simpler way of life can benefit so many. I am a perfect example of what appears to be healthy on the outside, but the reality is I am more fragile than I care to admit. I used to pride myself in being high energy and physically strong; a rock, not an egg.

Now, I am looking for strength in other ways. Still learning, still “green”. Accepting the things I cannot change is not how I was built, but it is where this green girl is growing. There is strength in discipline.

Be well.


Green Sharlene

Balancing "Back to School Busy" with Family Time

Back to school is upon us and that means getting back into routines. Juggling work, school, and fall sports can take some time getting into a groove. Busy schedules can cut out free time to prepare meals and that’s where we can help. Our restaurant, the Dancing Tomato Caffé in Yuba City, California now offers Family Pack Meals on our Large Party To Go Menu and most of our in-house dining menu is available to go, as well. If you aren’t in our area, there are many good food choices prepared and ready to eat that are better choices than fast food.

Mealtime is a great time to catch up with our kids. With the start of the new school year, connecting and communicating with our kids sets the family up for success as we all settle into new routines. Setting the table and enjoying a good meal together is very valuable family-time where you can get to know what is going on with each other. We talk about our day and plan the next days ahead.  

Clearing the table and doing the dishes together is something we, as a family, have fun with. We turn on Three Dog Night’s Jeremiah was a Bullfrog and turn up the volume. We all put on mopping slippers, drip water on the floor, dance in our kitchen as we clean up the dishes, and laugh a lot!

Take time to sit down, eat well, and talk to each other. Get up to dance and laugh together. Be silly and find joy. It’s good for everyone in the room.


Green Sharlene