Mark Paxton, Community Engagement Director at Community FoodBank (L) with Monica Lopez Ramirez and her husband, Anthony (R).

Good things happen on the 18th of the month for Monica Lopez Ramirez and her husband, Anthony. She was 18 when the two were married on — you guessed it — the 18th of the month. Her birthday is on the 18th. So it’s only natural that the couple opened their business on June 18.

San Juan Bautista’s 18th Barrel (what else?) is a friendly space dedicated to carefully curated selections of craft beer and fine wine. You may have guessed it: there are 18 beers on tap and the wine bar always has 18 vintages on hand.

Hundreds of people packed the 18th Barrel’s open house on Friday, Aug. 18, where the Ramirez’ offered specialties from local restaurants, music from a local band and a place for friends to meet.

But they did significantly more than that. To show gratitude for the enthusiastic reception the county has shown them, Monica and Anthony put together a drawing, with all proceeds going to Community FoodBank. And the fundraiser amounted to significantly more than $18.

On Thursday, Aug. 24, Monica and Anthony presented Community FoodBank with a check for $1,085.

The idea for a benefit drawing was entirely theirs, and it’s only by luck that the staff at Community FoodBank learned of the effort before the event occurred.

It’s always great to make new friends!


Mark Paxton is director of community engagement and fund development at Community Food Bank. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors with his wife, Mary. They are the parents of two daughters and live in Hollister.

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