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Anthony Carroccio in The Kitchen at Santa Barbara Public Market. (March 24, 2016)

Paul Wellman

Anthony Carroccio in The Kitchen at Santa Barbara Public Market. (March 24, 2016)


The S.B. Questionnaire: Anthony Carroccio

Talking Compassion and Corn with the Director of the Organic Soup Kitchen


When Andrea and Anthony Carroccio, the executive director of Santa Barbara’s Organic Soup Kitchen, welcome me into their office, I’m happy to find that it’s the living room of their home. There’s something to be said about one of the most beneficial nonprofits in town having no office overhead, but this is really just a reflection of Anthony. He’s a no-nonsense type of man, and one of the most selfless people I’ve known. 

OSK serves meals once a week to veterans and, in tandem with Cottage Hospital and the Santa Barbara Cancer Center, delivers soup to medical outpatients and senior citizens. Anthony also partners with Santa Barbara Hospice, The Housing Authority, and Doctors Without Walls, among many other nonprofits, and feeds the homeless every year on Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it’s not just any type of meal — it’s incredibly nutritious and healthy food with top-grade ingredients. 

On this particular day, Anthony seems a bit tired after working hard the day before to deliver food to cancer patients.  When I ask him why he does this, he beams with the warmest smile, “I’m the richest I’ve ever been.”

On Saturday, April 30, the Organic Soup Kitchen and celebrity chef Cat Cora will be putting on the 2nd Annual Santa Barbara Beach Ball. There will be organic foods, such as tacos, veggie kabobs, fruit kabobs, and more, all for $20 per person of $50 per family.

Anthony answers the Proust Questionnaire.

What is your current state of mind?

99% of the time I wake up happy and stay that way all day. I have noticed that the closer I live to my life’s purpose the happier I am.

What do you like most about your job?

It feeds my soul to serve people impacted by medical or economic conditions.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Ya wanna eat?

What is your greatest extravagance?

I consciously live a frugal life so my family and I can travel a few times a year to places that stimulate our curiosity.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happy wife = Happy life. If you’re married you know what I mean.

What is your greatest fear?

To get life’s lessons this time around — don’t want to do this again.

Who do you most admire?

Single parents. I’ve had a taste of that one.

What is the quality you most like in people?

Compassion. I love compassionate people.

What is the quality you most dislike in people?

Sense of entitlement. We need a vaccine for that one.

What do you most value in friends?

I tend to gravitate to mavericks. It makes for dicey conversations.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I must say there is a silver thread that has run throughout my life and that is I never give up.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Maybe play the guitar. Girls love a guy that can play a guitar.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would love to be addicted to exercise, especially sit-ups.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I got to blow out 65 candles on my birthday this year.

Where would you most like to live?

Exactly where I am. Across the street from the ocean, with no mosquitos and no humidity.

What is your most treasured possession?

My family. I eat, sleep, and breathe for their wellbeing.

Who makes you laugh the most?

Serious people.

What is your motto?

Plant corn…get corn. Very simple.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I’d say Santa Claus with a splash of Robin Hood.

On what occasion do you lie?

Usually when I get asked, “Does this dress make me look fat?” I default to self-preservation



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