Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Local man opens Mexican restaurant with family, names it for his grandfather

Monday, June 20th, 2022

Patrons enjoy the food at the new El Burro Veloz Taco Bar in Antioch. Photos by Allen D. Payton.

El Burro Veloz Taco Bar opens near Walmart

By Allen D. Payton

El Burro Veloz Taco Bar, owned by Ivan Barron, is a new Mexican restaurant located in the Williamson Ranch Plaza near Walmart and Fellowship Church at 4815 Lone Tree Way.

It’s named after his grandfather’s nickname, Veloz. Ivan shared how his grandmother used to make and sell food from her front yard in Mexico but couldn’t get it delivered to the workers at a nearby manufacturing plant who only had a half-hour lunch break. So, his grandpa said, “The burro veloz will help”. Literally translated the “fast donkey”, grandpa was referring to himself on his bicycle, and he delivered the fresh food.

Ivan’s mother, sister and brother all work with him at the restaurant. They too started making tacos at home, but in their backyard. It’s their first restaurant venture.

Stop by today and try some authentic, fresh, Mexican tacos, gorditas, burritos, quesadillas, tortas and more. Plus, some horchata, jamaica or other refreshing, fruity drink. They’re open Mon-Wed 10:30 AM to 9 PM, Thurs-Sat 10:30 AM to 10 PM and closed Sundays.

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Grand Opening of La Michoacana Plus Ice Cream Parlor in Antioch Saturday

Friday, June 17th, 2022

The new La Michoacana Plus Ice Cream Parlor in Antioch was full of customers inside on Monday night, June 6, 2022. Photos by Allen D. Payton

Located in the Cielo Shopping Center at 18th and A Streets in Antioch, the new La Michoacana Plus Ice Cream Parlor will celebrate it’s grand opening on Saturday, June 18. Owner Kareem Muthana and crew will be there to welcome you!
The following invitation was posted on their Facebook page:
IT’S PARTY TIME🔥GRAND OPENING SPECIAL 20% STOREWIDE😱
🎉GRAND OPENING🎊 of our New location in📍ANTIOCH, CA. 🎉 The AUTHENTIC and unmatched FLAVOR OF MEXICO of #lamichoacanaplus came to stay!! 😋 !!️ ️ WE INVITE YOU to just celebrate our GRAND OPENING 🎉🥳 and take advantage of our GRAND SPECIAL 😍 next , Saturday June 18th from ⏰ ten in the morning, we will have MUSIC, GIFTS AND FUN for everyone. ✌🏼
🎉GRAND OPENING🎉
🗓 Saturday 18 January
⏰ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

The line of customers was out the door at the new La Michoacana Plus Ice Cream Parlor in Antioch on Monday night, June 6, 2022.

If you can’t read Spanish then be sure to bring someone with you who does or download a translation app on your phone because the menu is in Spanish!
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Harbor Freight Tools store in Antioch now open at Slatten Ranch

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

The new Harbor Freight Tools store is now open at the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center in Antioch. Photo by Allen D. Payton

Harbor Freight Tools, America’s go-to store for quality tools at the lowest prices, officially opened its new store in Antioch, CA on Saturday, April 16. The Antioch store, located at 5729 Lone Tree Way, will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Over 40 million customers, from professional contractors and technicians to homeowners and hobbyists, come to Harbor Freight to find the tools and equipment they need to get the job done. The company has assembled a world class team of engineers and experts in all tool categories to ensure that its tools meet or exceed industry standards and deliver unsurpassed value.

The store will stock a full selection of tools and equipment in categories including automotive, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools and much more. The stores are smaller and much easier to shop than the huge home centers.

This new store is the 127th Harbor Freight Tools store in California. The company, which hires locally, has brought between 25-30 new jobs to the surrounding community.

Harbor Freight recognizes that its people are key to its success and is committed to being the best place to work in any industry. In 2021, Forbes Magazine recognized Harbor Freight as one of the top 20 large employers in all of retail, one of the top employers in terms of diversity, one of the top employers for women and one of the country’s top employers for Veterans.

“Our team is ready to serve and deliver value to customers in Antioch and all of Contra Costa County,” said Don Martin, Store Manager. “At Harbor Freight, we recognize that now, more than ever, our customers depend on us for the tools they need to get the job done at an affordable price.”

About Harbor Freight Tools

Harbor Freight Tools has been America’s go-to source for affordable tools since its start in 1977 as a Southern California based mail-order company. Harbor Freight is still owned and led by founder Eric Smidt, who learned long ago that by working directly with factories he could pass the savings on to the customer without compromising on quality.

The company opened its first store in 1980. Today, Harbor Freight Tools has over 1,200 stores across the country, 24,000 associates and more than 40 million customers who depend on Harbor Freight’s quality and value to earn a living, repair their homes and cars and pursue their hobbies. With core values of excellence and continuous improvement, Harbor Freight Tools works to constantly improve the quality of its products and this year will introduce more than 800 new tools and accessories. Harbor Freight Tools is one of the nation’s fastest growing retailers, opening two new stores every week. For more information about Harbor Freight Tools, visit harborfreight.com.

Follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Antioch Chamber of Commerce announces hire of new president and CEO

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Daniel Sohn. Source: Antioch Chamber of Commerce

The Antioch Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the hiring of our new President and Chief Executive Officer. Daniel H. Sohn is the current CEO of the Sonoma County Alliance, a business advocacy organization located in the North Bay Area, where he’s served since earlier this year. He will succeed outgoing Chamber CEO Sean Wright and assume the overall direction of the chamber’s operations in June.

“I am excited to turn the reigns of the Chamber over to our new CEO, Daniel Sohn. He has the experience that the Chamber needs, fresh ideas, and an outsider’s unique perspective, that will help to drive the future of Antioch business,” said outgoing Antioch Chamber CEO and former Mayor, Sean Wright “For the last ten years, I have dedicated my time and talents to helping make Antioch a better place for all of us. I have served as an Antioch business owner, chamber member, former mayor, and now the outgoing CEO of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. I’ve had the privilege of working with a great board to save the Chamber from bankruptcy, encourage the development of the downtown area, and bring in employers like Amazon. Leaving is bittersweet as service to the Antioch community has been my passion.”

The Chamber is planning to celebrate Sean and his work and dedication to the Chamber and the City of Antioch over the next couple of months. The event will also include a meet and greet opportunity for Daniel and the Antioch business community. Details will be shared soon as plans are finalized.

Previously, Daniel served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce where he was hired to lead the organization’s regionalization efforts. Most recently, he was nominated by California Governor Gavin Newsom and then appointed by President Biden to serve as a Local Board Member representing the State of California to the Nation’s Selective Service System. Before his appointment, Daniel was elected to the Haverhill, Florida Town Council where he served as an at-large city council member from 2018 to 2020. Other past roles include his time as CEO of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce and President/CEO at the South Florida Non-Profit Chamber of Commerce. According to his Facbook page, Sohn is Founder & Executive Director of the Florida Center For Civic Engagement, which his LinkedIn page shows was part-time through Feb. 2022.

Daniel remains the Managing Partner and Senior Lobbyist for the Floridian Group, LLC – D.B.A. Pacific Partners, a Florida-based consulting firm with operations on the West Coast. The firm specializes in government relations, advocacy, community affairs, grants management, and government procurement.

Antioch Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Ana Cosovic also says this is a bittersweet time for the Chamber.

“We are sad to see our CEO, Sean Wright step down, but are excited for him, his family, and their future,” she said. “The Chamber including Sean has meant a lot to my business, Service Pros Plumbers here in Antioch. When we joined the Chamber, Sean was one of the first people we met as business owners, and he greeted us with a smile and warm welcome. The connections, relationships, and assistance we received from the Chamber under Sean’s Leadership have been incredible and allowed us to grow personally and professionally. We will be forever grateful for Sean.”

“We are also excited to bring in Daniel Sohn as our new CEO,” Cosovic stated. “The Antioch Chamber truly cares about our community and supports our businesses. Daniel brings expertise that will help bring Chamber members fresh programs and services. After ten years of having a part-time CEO, Daniel Sohn is being hired full time which will allow a greater opportunity for the Chamber to influence policy on a local and statewide level. The future of the Chamber is truly bright.”

According to a Nov. 2021 article by The Desert Review posted on his LinkedIn page, on which Sohn lists his pronouns as He/Him, “Born in Bucharest, Romania under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, Sohn was later adopted by an American family.” According to a March 2021 article by the South Florida Gay News also posted on his LinkedIn page, “Sohn identifies as bisexual. He married his partner Kaitik Chan last February (2020) at a historic wedding inside the Florida capitol.”

Cosovic said Sohn started in his new position with the Chamber on Tuesday, May 10.  For more information about the Chamber visit www.AntiochChamber.com.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Emerald HPC International honored as Antioch’s 2021 Small Business of the Year

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Owners Keith and Iris Archuleta

During the Antioch Chamber of Commerce’s annual Gala on March 11, Emerald HPC International, LLC was honored as the 2021 Antioch Small Business of the Year. HPC stands for High Performing Communities and that’s what owners Keith and Iris Archuleta have worked to create in Antioch, by “Improving the Lives of People, Creating Healthy Organizations, and Building Sustainable Communities” as the mission states on their company’s website.

The Archuletas have served the Antioch community for over 20 years.  Since 1992, their company Emerald HPC has provided consulting, coaching, education, and training to empower and equip leaders of businesses, non-profits, foundations, education institutions and governments. They trademarked HPC, which stands for helping to create High Performing Communities.

As the creators of the Youth Intervention Network, Keith and Iris brought in international experts to help create a program that still serves youth in the Antioch school district. They helped train over 300 community members to help redefine the relationships between schools, law enforcement and the community. They also helped many potential dropouts change family relationships and a graduation success rate of 95% with all of those youth going on to post-secondary education.

YIN only highlights one of the many contributions that Emerald HPC has made as they have helped the Antioch Community Foundation, East County Business Education Alliance and so much more.

When reached for comment about the honor Keith Archuleta shared, “At the end of this month, Emerald HPC International, LLC celebrates its 30th year in business. We have been proud to serve this community over the last 22 years and Iris and I are especially honored to be recognized as the 2021 Antioch Small Business of the Year!”

Asked how they decided upon their company name and if it was related to their work in Ireland he responded, “We chose the name Emerald in 1992 as a symbol of rebirth, prosperity, and healing, long before our partnership with the folks in Northern Ireland. A happy coincidence!”

For more information about Emerald HPC International and the Archuletas click here: Emerald HPC Background and Bios 0621

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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More for Mom event at The Streets of Brentwood Sat. May 7

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Vendors needed

The Streets of Brentwood shopping center brings you a special day to celebrate Mom! A day full of live music, dancers, and performers along with a sparkling array of select local artisans. This event is the day before Mother’s Day, and the shopping is on!

SATURDAY, MAY 7 10AM-3PM

THE STREETS OF BRENTWOOD

One Day Only in Center Court

2455 Sand Creek Road, Brentwood

11AM-2PM
FREE* $10 Gift Card

11AM-1PM
FREE Entertainment

10AM-3PM
Small “pop-up” Market

Vendors who would like to participate can contact Claudette or Johnny at 510-220-1609 or email jstatonprod@aol.com. More for Mom May 7th – local artisan vendor info

*With original receipt(s) totaling $75 or more from any The Streets of Brentwood retailer or restaurant, while supplies last. One gift card per customer, per receipt(s). To redeem, randomly draw your $10 The Streets of Brentwood Tenant Gift Card in Center Court from 11AM-2PM. No Exchanges Please. 

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Following outcry from retailers Antioch Council agrees to suspend certain tobacco sales ban until December 1

Monday, May 2nd, 2022

Examples of flavored tobacco. Source: YTAPP presentation

Will wait for November vote on referendum of statewide ban; approves six-year contract extension for city attorney on 5-0 vote

By Allen D. Payton

After much outcry from tobacco retailers in Antioch, the city council on Tuesday night April 26, 2022, agreed to suspend their previously approved ban on the sale of some tobacco and vaping products through December 1. No vote was taken, so the ban remains in place, but city staff was directed to suspend enforcement.

In addition, the council voted unanimously to approve an unusual six-year extension to the contract with Smith. Normal contracts with city attorneys and managers are three-to-five years in length. City Attorney contract extension ACC042622

Tobacco Retail Ban Grace Period

The ban was approved on a 3-2 vote on Feb. 22, with Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica and District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker opposing. Tobacco Retail Sales Ban ACC022222

It was in response to an effort by Antioch youth seeking to keep flavored tobacco products from being sold to and used by young people. The Council previously considered this topic at its May 25, 2021, meeting during a detailed presentation of a survey by the Youth Tobacco Advocacy Policy Project (YTAPP). The ban went into effect on April 7, this year. YTAPP Presentation ACC052521

According to the city staff report for the April 26 council meeting agenda item, “Since passing the ordinance, the City Council has heard public comment from tobacco retailers and businesses selling tobacco products expressing the desire for a grace period temporarily suspending the implementation of new restrictions on sales of tobacco or tobacco products with characterizing flavor, electronic cigarettes, cigars, and little cigars to enable businesses to sell their existing inventory and transition into compliance with the new ordinance.”

One of the complaints from the retailers was that the city ordinance didn’t create a level playing field with those in neighboring cities. The council was asked to wait until after a November vote on a referendum on the state law passed in 2020 banning flavored tobacco products. According to the L.A. Times the statewide ban was suspended in January 2021 after the referendum by the tobacco industry qualified for the ballot.

Another complaint was that the ordinance didn’t give the retailers time to sell the products they already had in stock. A third complaint was that the retailers weren’t notified by the City of the impending ban or suspension of enforcement prior to either council meeting.

According to a report by the FDA, “Flavors are added to tobacco products to improve flavor and taste by reducing the harshness, bitterness, and astringency. However, the use of flavors in tobacco products raises important public health questions. For example, FDA is aware of early reports that some flavors could help adult cigarette smokers switch to potentially less harmful tobacco products. On the flip side, research has shown that sweet-tasting flavors are particularly appealing to youth and young adults.

In 2020, non-Hispanic Black high school students reported past 30-day cigar smoking at levels twice as high as their White counterparts. Nearly 74% of youth aged 12-17 who use cigars say they smoke cigars because they come in flavors they enjoy. Among youth who have ever tried a cigar, 68% of cigarillo users and 56% of filtered cigar users report that their first cigar was a flavored product. Moreover, in 2020, more young people tried a cigar every day than tried a cigarette.”

During the April 26 meeting the council gave direction to City Attorney Thomas L. Smith to prepare an amendment to the tobacco ordinance implementing a grace period until December 1, to focus on community education and suspend enforcement until the passage of the amendment to the ordinance.

Council Comments

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock spoke in favor of the grace period to applause from the audience saying, “I’m looking for the businesses to make a real, concerted effort to make sure none of these flavored, menthol cigarettes get into the hands of kids. I hope there’s something you can do education-wise.”

“I was not in for this from the start,” Barbanica stated. “I didn’t support it. I think it harms our local businesses. Please continue to police yourself. But I’m in support of staying this until at least Dec. 1st until we see what the state does. I think this was an overreach on our part and we need to be consistent with state law and not harm our local businesses.”

While Mayor Lamar Thorpe said he could support the grace period he also stated, “But I will not be changing my mind irrespective of what the voters of California do. I’m sticking to what I originally did.”

District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson said she could also support the grace period but wanted to focus on a community education component. “Not sure about Dec. 1, but I can support the grace period.”

“I heard people say, ‘Big Tobacco, Big Tobacco’,” Torres-Walker said, speaking in support of the grace period. “This is not Big Tobacco sitting out here. They’re family-owned businesses.”

Advisory Notice Sent April 25

The following notice was sent by the City to businesses via email on Monday, April 25 providing details on the ban:

“ADVISORY NOTICE:

FOR BUSINESSES ENGAGED IN RETAIL SALES OF TOBACCO AND
VAPING PRODUCTS FOR USE WITH TOBACCO

This notice is to inform local businesses of recent changes to City ordinances impacting retail sales within the City of Antioch. The intent of the referenced policies is to provide a healthy, safe environment for all City residents by reducing the adverse effects of cigarettes and related tobacco products, especially as it relates to youth.

As of April 7, 2022, the following changes to the City of Antioch Municipal Code will become effective:
1. The number of new tobacco retailers shall be restricted.

  1. Tobacco retailers are prohibited from selling or possessing tobacco products with the characteristic of being “flavored”, including but not limited to mint, menthol or chocolate.
  2. New businesses with tobacco sales and vaping products for use with tobacco shall maintain a minimum distance of at least 1,000 feet from schools and similar uses.
  3. Electronic smoking devices and e-cigarettes for sale for use with tobacco or tobacco sales are banned in all retail establishments.
  4. A minimum package size for little cigars (cigarillos) is restricted to twenty and cigars is restricted to six.
  5. A minimum price of $10 per package, including applicable fees and taxes, is set for tobacco products, including cigarettes, little cigars (cigarillos) or cigars.

The City respectfully requests your cooperation. On a going forward basis, City of Antioch’s Code Enforcement Division will address compliance matters.

For additional background information, see items F and G at https://www.antiochca.gov/fc/government/agendas/CityCouncil/2022/agendas/030822/030822.pdf
Should you have questions regarding retail sales of tobacco and vaping products for use with tobacco, please contact the City of Antioch Community Development Department, Code Enforcement Division at 925.779.7042.”

Retailers who sell the products complained about the impact on their businesses and asked the council to wait until the vote on a November ballot measure was decided, that would create a statewide ban. The retailers wanted a level playing field. The council members agreed.”

The enforcement of the ordinance is currently suspended. The council is expected to vote on the grace period during their next meeting on Tuesday, May 10.

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Tickets still available for the Rivertown Art & Wine Walk Saturday, May 7

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Celebrate Antioch Foundation is proud to announce our annual Mother’s Day weekend Rivertown Art & Wine Walk. May 7, 2022, from 12pm – 4pm. This free, fun, family friendly event features art and handmade items from local artisans. Live music featuring JuSusan Austin and The Company Band performing amazing jazz and soul. Dine at one of our 11 downtown restaurants and explore our shops.

To participate in the Wine Walk the fee is $20 to sample up to 14 great local wines. You must be at least 21 years of age and present a valid photo ID.

This event makes a great Mother’s Day gift and you can shop for her gift while enjoying a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

Again, the event is Saturday May 7, from 12pm – 4pm on W. 2nd and G Streets in Antioch’s historic downtown Rivertown. We look forward to seeing you at the Rivertown Art & Wine Walk.

Tickets are available to purchase on the day of the event or at Eventbrite.com at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rivertown-art-and-wine-walk-tickets-251713671367

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