Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the 2012 World Series! The fourth game was a nail biter, but in the end, a clean sweep. Bay Area fans are proud. San Francisco sure knows how to throw a party.
Hot news. Effective November 6th, the Chamber of Commerce will operate the Farmers Market at El Cerrito Plaza. This a big deal and something I enthusiastically support. It will give the Chamber more purpose, provide revenue, and help maintain a popular community asset.
Here’s some background. Early in August Jean Thompson, manager of the market, approached me with a proposal to have the Chamber take over operation. The market must be run by a nonprofit organization to maintain its certified status. Until now, a merchants association at El Cerrito Plaza served that purpose. Over the years that merchants association has dwindled in membership as large chain stores replaced locally-owned businesses at the Plaza. It reached the point where there really is no nonprofit entity at the Plaza to operate a farmers market.
This was an opportunity for our Chamber of Commerce to come to the rescue and keep the farmers selling in El Cerrito. I checked with some of our business members (legal and financial) and they saw no problem with the idea. It is done in other cities. At the September Board of Directors meeting I placed the item on the agenda and Ms. Thompson was on hand to field questions from all present. One month later the board approved the plan on the condition the Chamber is sufficiently covered for any liability issues.
Jean Thompson will continue as manager of the market, collecting stall rent and dealing the health and agriculture agencies as she has always done. The Chamber will file tax returns and be the nonprofit operator of record. The market is self supporting and our organization should actually gain significant revenue annually from the deal. The public wins with continuation of the farmers market which is open on Tuesday and Saturday each week and has been in business for over 18 years.
Business updates. Hi-Tech Car Audio, 10538 San Pablo Avenue: remodeling is almost done. Their beautiful new showroom is scheduled to open on November 14th. It will be a significant enhancement to the Avenue.
Meanwhile, at the other end of town, there is actually work underway at Carlson and San Pablo creating El Cerrito’s new Chipotle restaurant. No word on when that popular Mexican fast food shop will open. As for the new Annex at El Cerrito Natural Grocery, contractors are very busy as anyone can see when driving past Stockton and San Pablo. The word I received regarding an opening date is April.
An about face by Chamber officers means we are again supporting the Contra Costa Marketplace Round-Up advertising section for December. That’s a good thing. Notices have already gone out to local businesses with rate sheets and the deadline will be upon you just days after this newsletter arrives in the mail. To advertise in this special El Cerrito section contact John Strohmeier at (510) 223-1800 immediately.
Thank you to The Mechanics Bank for another great mixer last month. Those mechanics know how to have a party and a good crowd was on hand even while the World Series was on.
OMG, it’s November already. Where did the year go? Now is the time to get those 2013 calendars for your customers and I have them. All sizes, themes, shapes; wall, desk, and appointment. Low minimums and reasonable prices. Contact me for quick service: email@example.com and let me help you keep your name in front of customers for an entire year. Shop locally by shopping with me!