Downtown Alameda Businesses Receive Outstanding Service Awards (2016 DABA Awards)

Edward Jones Investments Alameda Office Jane Watson

Edward Jones (Office of Jane Watson)

At the end of each year, the Downtown Alameda Business Association presents special awards to member businesses in recognition of their outstanding service. The awards are given in four categories: Retail Business of the Year, Professional Business of the Year, Culinary Business of the Year, and New Business of the Year.

The selected businesses are recognized for their contributions to the success of our downtown district — owners and staff actively participate in downtown activities and they find ways to give back to the community in a number of ways. These businesses are excellent examples of the quality of service you can expect to find in Downtown Alameda year-round.

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2016 Downtown Alameda Business Awards!

Retail Business of the Year

Alameda See Spot Run pet supplies and cat adoption

Alameda See Spot Run

Alameda See Spot Run, 2510 Santa Clara Ave
Alameda See Spot Run is a local, family-owned store committed to providing products, services, and educational programs that help customers care for their pets without breaking the bank. When you shop with them, you receive personal service by staff who have a sincere desire to share their time and knowledge. Owner (and Alameda resident) Cynthia Schorle is also committed to serving the community at large. She serves on two of our committees — the Membership Committee and the Maintenance & Improvement Committee.

Professional Business of the Year (tie)

The Sewing Room Alameda sewing workshops and instructor classes

The Sewing Room

The Sewing Room, 2434 Webb Ave
The Sewing Room is not only a retail store, but it’s also a sewing workshop. Jennifer Serr and her instructors have a passion for the needle arts and enjoy sharing their expertise with students of all skill levels. Jennifer is known to have a remarkably relaxed and respectful way with kids that allows them to take risks and gain confidence. Jennifer also inspires community members to participate in sewing projects that benefit various charities. Jennifer first joined our Membership Committee in October 2016. Shortly after, she was appointed to our 2017 Board of Directors.

Edward Jones (Jane Watson), 1430 Everett Street, Suite A
There’s an advantage in working with an advisor who knows you and provides top-notch service. Edward Jones advisor Jane Watson exemplifies this by taking the time to help her clients identify personal financial goals, develop strategies to achieve those goals, and then monitor the progress for potential adjustments. Jane is also dedicated to supporting the greater Alameda community. She regularly hosts free retirement planning events and has served on our Membership Committee since 2013.

Culinary Business of the Year

Speisekammer German Restaurant Oktoberfest in Alameda


Speisekammer, 2424 Lincoln Ave
Owners Peter Kahl and Cindy Kahl know how to provide an experience that entices people to return again and again. Patrons routinely go to Speisekammer for the authentic German food, one of the best beer lists in the area, and the weekly live music. Their hugely popular Oktoberfest is a signature event in the district every year. In addition, the staff at Speisekammer graciously play host for the Downtown Association’s annual meeting/mixer. Cindy has also been involved with our Maintenance & Improvement Committee for the last two years.

New Business of the Year   Read the rest of this entry »

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Downtown Businesses Receive Honors

There’s no denying that you’ll find some of the best businesses in Downtown Alameda. Our businesses are recognized on both a local and a national level.

Congratulations to these two businesses for recently receiving award recognition from the community and their peers!

Kate Pryor and Tucker's Ice Cream receives service awardCommunity Service Award

On October 27, the City of Alameda 2016 Community Service Award – Business Person was presented to Kate Pryor and Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream. The community awards honor extraordinary people who make a difference in our community. Kate was recognized for her support of the library’s summer reading program along with the many, many other contributions she and Tucker’s have made in support of youth education and community activities. This was the first year that awards were given to businesses. “It was an extremely positive, professional, and heartfelt event,” said Kate.  

Sustainability and Peer Awards

Alameda Natural Grocery and Donna Layburn receives awardAlameda Natural Grocery was recently honored as “Retailer of the Year” in the sustainability category by New Hope Network. The award was presented in Baltimore last month. Alameda Natural Grocery was the only west coast natural grocery store to win one of four award categories. Bees on the roof, adaptive reuse, recycling, composting, California Green Business Certification, and the Alameda Green program were a few of the business practices recognized. “We are grateful to Alameda Municipal Power for their retrofitting assistance programs and the Alameda Green program,” said Donnna. “They help us all be better to our environment.”

It’s also worth noting that, back in June, business owner Donna Layburn received an Innovation Award from the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association for her creative business savvy in an ever-evolving marketplace.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Find Award-Winning Businesses in Downtown Alameda (2015 DABA Awards)

We’re proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Downtown Alameda Business Awards!

At the end of each year, the Downtown Alameda Business Association presents special awards to business members for outstanding performance. The selected businesses (owners, managers, and staff) are recognized for contributing to the success of our shopping and entertainment district by actively participating in downtown activities and attracting a strong customer base. These businesses also demonstrate support for the community by giving back in various ways.

Congratulations to our 2015 award winners! These businesses and individuals are excellent examples of the quality of goods and services, along with fantastic customer service, that you can expect to receive year-round in Downtown Alameda.

Retail Business of the Year 

Alameda Bicycle family rides

Alameda Bicycle

Alameda Bicycle, 1522 Park Street
It’s not enough just to sell bikes. Alameda Bicycle also works to ensure that customers enjoy their new purchases by inviting them to be part of a community through organized bike rides and offering free lifetime maintenance services. In addition, Alameda Bicycle supports our downtown events by providing space for secure bike parking at each of the street festivals.

Professional Business of the Year

Alameda Eyes Optometry, 1432 Park Street
Whether you need a routine eye examination, an eyeglasses fitting, contact lenses, or treatment for an eye infection, the staff at Alameda Eyes Optometery will provide you with the best care, advice, and options. They take the time to get to know you, your eye care history, and your vision needs. As the newest owner of the downtown business, Dr. Anders Hansson doesn’t hesitate to volunteer at our district events.

Culinary Business of the Year

East End pizza in Alameda

East End

East End, 1650 Park Street
East End is in it for the love of good food, good drink, and good company. The seasonally-driven menu features award-winning wood-fired pizzas (plus a whole lot more) while the bartenders excel at craft cocktails with a healthy dose of imagination. In addition to providing a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, East End puts great effort in supporting the community by hosting fundraiser events throughout the year.

New Business of the Year

Alameda Island Brewing Company, 1716 Park Street
Since opening earlier this year, AIBC has been about more than just making great beers. Brewmaster Matthew Fox and his wife strive to be innovative while embracing the island’s history with names such as Neptune’s Pale Ale, Cavanaugh Kolsch, and Park St. Morning Porter. The beautiful tasting room and the relaxing patio are welcoming gathering places for all in the downtown district.

Member of the Year  Read the rest of this entry »

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Downtown Businesses Are Best of Alameda 2015

Congratulations to all the Downtown Alameda businesses that have been selected “Best of Alameda 2015” by the readers and editors of Alameda Magazine. As usual, there are a lot of them — a total of 46 this time around!

Taking top honors are a number of Downtown Alameda businesses that received multiple “Best of Alameda 2015” awards:

  • Best of Alameda 2015American Oak (2319 Park St) Best Steaks; Best Rib Eye; Best Spirits Selection
  • Asena (2508 Santa Clara Ave) Best Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant; Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
  • Burma Superstar (1345 Park St) Best Thai/Burmese Food; Best Vegetarian Restaurant; Best Salads
  • Cinema Grill (2301 Central Ave) Best New Restaurant; Best New Business
  • East End (1650 Park St) Best Pizza; Best Raw Oysters
  • Farmstead Cheeses & Wines (1650 Park St) Best Cheeses; Best Wine Store
  • Jim’s Homestyle Diner (2333 Lincoln Ave) Best Breakfast; Best Diner
  • Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden (1223 Park St) Best Coffeehouse; Best Bulk Loose Tea 
  • La Penca Azul (1440 Park St) Best Mexican Restaurant; Best Late Night Munchies Spot; Biggest Portions
  • Pappo (2320 Central Ave) Best California CuisineBest Wine List
  • La Penca Azul (1440 Park St) Best Mexican Restaurant; Best Late Night Munchies Spot; Biggest Portions
  • Pappo (2320 Central Ave) Best California CuisineBest Wine List
  • Scolari’s Good Eats (1303 Park St) Best BurgerBest Sandwiches, Best Comfort Food
  • Speisekammer (2424 Lincoln Ave) Best Sausages
  • Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream (1349 Park St) Best Ice Cream; Best Desserts
  • Lauren’s Closet (1420 Park St) Best Children’s Store [tie]; Best Consignment Clothing
  • Toy Safari (1410 Park St) Best Children’s Store [tie]; Best Games and Toys

This year we saw a number of service-oriented businesses receive “Best of Alameda” honors for the first time since we’ve been compiling our annual version of the list. These professional service people are definitely worth checking out:

Of course, there are many more “Best of Alameda” winners located in Downtown Alameda. We’ve posted all the winners (with links to their websites) on our blog page:

For those who prefer to flip through the original “Best of Alameda 2015” magazine article to view all the great photos and business spotlights, look for Alameda Magazine’s July 2015 “Best of Alameda” issue at Books Inc. (1344 Park Street) or De Lauer’s Newsstand (1412 Park Street).

There is one other new service on the list that is definitely a “Best of Alameda” winner… 
Read the rest of this entry »

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Congratulations To These Downtown Alameda Businesses (2014 PSBA Awards)

Every year the Park Street Business Association (PSBA) presents awards at the end of the year to members for outstanding performance in their specific category. The selected businesses (owners, managers, and staff) elevate the success of our shopping district by actively participating in our local business association and its activities. They also go out of their way to support the local community. These businesses and individuals are excellent examples of the quality of goods and services, along with fantastic customer service, you will receive from PSBA members.

We’re proud to announce the 2014 award winners. Be sure to stop by and check out these businesses the next time you are in Downtown Alameda’s historic shopping district…

Dandelion Flower Shop, Alameda

Dandelion Flower Shop

Retailer of the Year:
Dandelion Flower Shop, 1419 Park Street
Dandelion is a flower boutique located in the heart of Alameda’s historic Park Street District. Founded in 2010 under the leadership of Karim Preuss, Dandelion has grown from a humble flower stand to a full-service flower resource offering elegant arrangements and a wide array of memorable locally-made gifts.

Professional Business of the Year:
Island Print Express, 2534 Santa Clara Avenue
Owner Joe Dalipe is “Keeping Alameda in Business, One Document at a Time.” But he doesn’t stop there. Joe cares about the people around him and was instrumental in starting a campaign and organizing fundraisers to aid individuals who lost their personal belongings in last year’s arson fires. Joe is a member of numerous community groups and continually finds ways to support those in need — if you have any surplus kids’ books, he is currently collecting donations for a children’s reading project.

Lola's Chicken Shack, Alameda

Lola’s Chicken Shack

Culinary Business of the Year: (tie)
Lola’s Chicken Shack, 1417 Park Street
“Incredible Food with Exceptional Hospitality.” That’s the mission of Lola’s Chicken Shack. The menu provides a terrific selection of healthy chicken dishes and the food is made fresh on the premises. The restaurant is operated by a longtime Alameda family. The Rogers are helping Park Street to thrive by opening the restaurant in a space that was vacant for too many years.

American Oak, 2319 Santa Clara Avenue
Located just off Park Street, American Oak is the purveyor of fine foods and even finer spirits. The popular restaurant features a variety of classic comfort food favorites and over 120 different whiskeys. But what is incredible is that the owners were able to bounce back following a mysterious fire that closed the restaurant for nearly a year. As a result of that experience, co-owners Melanie and Chuck were instrumental in organizing an event to help a downtown restaurant that was destroyed by an arson fire this past year.

Urgent Care Center of Alameda

Urgent Care Center of Alameda

New Business of the Year:
Urgent Care Center of Alameda, 2421 Encinal Avenue #A
Opening its doors last January, Alameda Urgent Care brings a new kind of service to Downtown Alameda. Their professional, courteous staff provide personalized, compassionate, thorough, and timely medical care to the community — from preventative care to urgent care issues. In addition, Sonia Shefayee (executive director and physician’s assistant) is now on hand at our street fairs to provide first aid assistance if needed.

PSBA Member of the Year:
Kate Pryor (Tucker’s Ice Cream, 1528 Park Street)
Tucker’s Ice Cream has been a part of Alameda’s historic Park Street shopping district for over 70 years. As part of a much loved establishment, Kate does her best to give back to our local community in whatever way she can. This past year, she revived our Maintenance & Improvement Committee and is making good strides in bringing recycling and other improvements to the downtown district.

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The Park Street Business District offers great food & drink establishments, charming shops, professional services, and fun things to do! To learn more about the businesses and events in Downtown Alameda, visit our website: You can also find the “Park Street Business Association” on FacebookTwitter, and other social sites.

Sign up for our Customer Club to receive event announcements and special offers from businesses in the Park Street Business District! Click Here 

Park Street Business Association PSBA logo

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PSBA Businesses Give Back to the Community

This week’s happenings in the Park Street Business District: View Calendar

Please join us in congratulating the first recipients of our newly created “President’s Award.” The Park Street Business Association’s Board of Directors is presenting this award on a monthly basis to businesses and/or individuals who have done something extraordinary for the Alameda community and/or the PSBA community. Our first awards were presented to a couple of restaurant owners in the district for their humanitarian service during the holidays:

The Great Turkey Give-Away…The Dudum family, owner of Linguini’s Restaurant and Habanas, and their management staff provided 1,500 free turkeys to the public at Thanksgiving time. They have been doing this in Alameda for three years and say this past year was probably their biggest giveaway yet. When asked about how the annual program started, restaurant manager Shadi responded, “The owners of Linguini’s & Habanas have been fortunate enough to be successful here on Park Street for many years and wanted to give back to the community.”

Linguini's Turkey GiveAway

Warm Soup for Everyone… Every year on Christmas Eve, John Thiel, owner of Pappo, provides hot soup to anybody in need of a warm meal. John and his staff have been doing this since 2006. Even his family pitches in to spread the cheer. In addition to providing a sustainable meal, they distribute toiletries and warm winter coats that are donated for the event. John told the PSBA Board of Directors that he continues to do this because he just feels he needs to give something back to the community.

The Park Street Business Association commends these restaurant owners and managers for their exemplary community service and going that extra yard for the Alameda community.

If you would like to recommend a PSBA member for a President’s Award, please contact our office at (510) 523-1392 or parkstreet1 @

More about the restaurants…  Read the rest of this entry »

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2013 PSBA Business Awards

This week’s happenings in the Park Street Business District: View Calendar

The 15th Annual Park Street Business Association Awards were presented at the PSBA holiday party held last month. The awards are given to businesses in five different categories. Finalists are selected based on their involvement in PSBA, participation in district-wide activities, and making a positive contribution to the Park Street Business District.

Congratulations to the following businesses!

New Business of the Year
Island Print Express
, 2434 Santa Clara Ave
Island Print Express, Alameda, Joe DalipeWhen owner Joe Dalipe first opened Island Print Express at the beginning of 2013 his mission was to “keep Alameda in business, one document at a time.” Joe has truly gone beyond that simple statement by providing excellent print services for everybody – whether it’s banners, envelopes, or larger print jobs. Additionally, he jumped right into PSBA activities by participating in roundtable discussions, offering special services for PSBA members, and designing the promotional materials used for last year’s Customer Appreciation Day.

Retail Business of the Year
Artistic Home Studio & Boutique
, 1419 Park Street
Artisitc Home Studio & Boutique, AlamedaArtistic Home Studio & Boutique opened its doors inside Park Street Plaza in May 2013. Created by two local artists, the combination art store and studio has brought a fresh sense of creativity to the Park Street district. In the boutique, you’ll find beautiful artisan-made items, hand-painted furniture, glass supplies, as well as the full line of Chalk Paint® decorative paint. In the studio, people can participate in classes on mosaics, stained glass, and decorative paint for refinishing furniture and other household items. For a fun experience, sign up for one of Rachel and JaYing’s group sessions such as ladies’ night out for adults or after-school art classes for youth.

Professional Business of the Year
Park Centre Animal Hospital
, 2501 Central Ave
Park Centre Animal Hospital, AlamedaOne of Alameda’s oldest veterinarian clinics, the Park Centre Animal Hospital has been serving pets since 1964. Their exceptional care of animals reflects their motto: “We care for your pet as we do our own; with gentleness and understanding.” Services range from routine physical exams and preventive care to senior care and laser therapy. In addition, Park Centre Animal Hospital provides veterinary-supervised boarding facilities for both cats and dogs — all boarders enjoy clean, bright, comfortable surroundings in the well-maintained building. And you won’t find a better maintained building and grounds anywhere in the district.

Culinary Business of the Year (tie)
With so many food and drink establishments in our district, the membership committee always has a tough decision in this category. Our two award winners are longtime favorite establishments in the district; both restaurants have been in business for over 10 years and have hosted some of the best PSBA mixers:

C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park Street
Cera Una Volta, AlamedaNestled in the back of Redwood Square, C’era Una Volta has something for everybody. They serve a great Panini (those wonderfully tasty Italian sandwiches), exceptional crepes and frittatas, and world-class coffee and cappuccino. But what truly sets C’era Una Volta apart is Chef Rudy’s presentation of food and wine. His dinner menu provides diners an avenue toward understanding Italian traditions while offering a classic selection of slow-cooked pasta dishes and traditional Italian entrees, along with an extensive wine menu.

Speisekammer, 2424 Lincoln Ave
Speisekammer, AlamedaSpeisekammer is one of those treasured spots located on one of our side streets — there’s an outdoor beer garden; cozy, low-lit dining areas; and regular, live entertainment. But it’s the food that keeps people coming back. You won’t find a better Sauerbraten, Wiener Schnitzel, or potato pancake elsewhere. Their annual Oktoberfest celebration is not to be missed and attracts families of all ages to the district.

Member of the Year
Terry Mitchell
– Allstate Insurance, 2504 Santa Clara Ave
Terry Mitchell, Allstate insurance, Alameda“You’re in Good Hands with Allstate” definitely describes insurance agent Terry Mitchell. He has been with Allstate for over 12 years and is said to have worn many hats. But namely, Terry has been leading PSBA’s Membership Committee for nearly five years. With his oversight, our members receive regular district news updates and enjoy monthly business mixers. (He’s also been known to entertain us with a song or two.)

Special Awards

In recognition of our 15 years of business awards, the Membership Committee and the PSBA Board of Directors thought it fitting to extend special awards to two of our longtime merchants:  Read the rest of this entry »

Best of Alameda 2013: Park Street is Alameda’s Best Shopping District (and more)

Best of Alameda 2013, Alameda Magazine

John Thiel, Pappo

“Alameda is the kind of place movie location scouts probably dream about as the setting for a film about the quintessential American town. Neither too big nor too small, Alameda manages to hold on to its charm while still offering everything that the most discerning resident could possibly want — from shopping to restaurants to recreation…” writes Paul Kilduff in the July/August issue of Alameda Magazine.

What do discriminating Alameda Magazine readers love most about Alameda? The results of this year’s Best of Alameda poll were announced last month. Categories include Restaurants, Drinks, Goods & Services, Kids, Pets, and Lifestyles.

Congratulations to all the Park Street District businesses that have been selected “Best of Alameda 2013.”  As usual, there are a lot of them (a total of 36) so it’s no surprise that Park Street was chosen as the Best Shopping District.

Taking top honors are a number of businesses that received multiple Best of Alameda awards this year:

  • Scolari's burger, Alameda

    Scolari’s Good Eats

    Pappo – Best Overall Restaurant, Best California Cuisine, Restaurant With the Best Service, Best Restaurant With Staying Power (5-plus years in business), Best Date Night Restaurant, Best Wine List, and Best Chef

  • Scolari’s Good Eats – Best Burger, Best Nonburger, Best French Fries, Best Late-Night Munchies, and Best Food Truck
  • La Penca Azul – Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Happy Hour, and Best Margaritas
  • Lucky 13 – Best Beer Selection, Best Neighborhood Bar, and Best Place to Drink Cheap
Speisekammer patio, Alameda

Speisekammer German Restaurant

  • Speisekammer – Best Outdoor Restaurant, Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant, and Best Live Music Venue

The Park Street Business District as a whole also won a couple of Best of Alameda 2013 awards: Best Shopping District and Best Local Fest or Annual Event (Park Street Art & Wine Faire).

To view an alphabetic list of ALL the winners in the Park Street Business District, visit:

But here’s a tip… To enjoy the great photos and business spotlights that accompany the original Best of Alameda 2013 article, look for a copy of Alameda Magazine’s July/August issue at  Read the rest of this entry »