Businesses and Residents Recognized for Giving Back to Community
At the December 12, 2022 City Council meeting, the Mayor and City Council recognized residents and businesses that are giving back to the community with the annual District Leadership Awards and Mayor’s Awards for Excellence.
This year Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter presented the Mayor’s Awards for Excellence to Main Street Bagel (small business), Drake’s Brewing Company and 21st-Amendment Brewery (medium businesses), and Costco (large business). The Mayor’s Awards for Excellence are presented to businesses that show exemplary commitment to the San Leandro Community.
The Mayor presented the Award for Excellence in the small business category to Main Street Bagel (1099 MacArthur Blvd), which has been a San Leandro business since 2003. Over the years, the bagel shop has become a community favorite – in fact, many insist that Main Street has the best bagels in town. Owners Huong Siem Lee and Lim Por Ly make the bagels the traditional way, with a high-gluten flour to get that chewy texture, and by boiling the bagels before baking them. The shop offers a wide variety of bagel flavors and “schmears.”
One medium business award was presented to John Martin of Drake’s Brewing Company (1933 Davis Street). Drake’s started in 1989 as a wholesale-only kegged beer seller, named Lind Brewing, after the founder, Roger Lind. In 1998 Lind sold the brewery to a local coffee company that continued to brew Drake’s beer. In 2000, Drake’s beer became available in bottled six-packs. In 2008, John Martin and Roy Kirkorian purchased the brewery and expanded capacity and distribution. In 2011, the Barrel House opened adjacent to the brewery here in San Leandro. In 2015, Drake’s opened Drake’s Dealership in Oakland, and in 2018 they opened a third taproom with a restaurant in West Sacramento, called the Barn.
Drake’s beers have won multiple awards, including taking Gold at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival in the Barrel-Aged Strong Beer Category for “Santa’s Brass.”
The other medium business award was given to 21st-Amendment Brewery (2010 Williams Street), which was founded in 2000 by Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan with the opening of its popular brewpub in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood. Initially, 21A beers were canned in Cold Spring, Minnesota, but in 2015, they opened their large brewery and taproom in San Leandro, and commenced all brewing and canning operations at their own state-of-the-art facility. In 2018, the company was named the 26th largest craft brewery in the U.S. by the Brewers Association.
21A’s beers have also won a multitude of awards at various beer festivals, including taking Silver at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival in the Sweet Stout/Cream Stout category for “Emperor Norton’s Sweet Stout.”
The Mayor extended the large business award to Costco (1900 Davis Street) – an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only big-box retail stores. As of 2020, Costco was the third largest retailer in the world, and the world’s largest retailer of choice and prime beef, organic foods, rotisserie chicken, and wine as of 2016. In 2021, Costco was ranked #10 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. The San Leandro Costco has been in operation since 1994 and is one of San Leandro’s top sales tax generators and a generous community donor.
The Mayor also awarded this year’s “City Where Kindness Matters” Award to San Leandro pastor Michael Kim-Eubanks and Erika Kim-Eubanks, for their extensive community work at Bethel Community Presbyterian Church. The “Making a Difference in Your Community” award was extended to Tobias Gonzales for his advocacy to renovate the Thrasher Park skate park.
The “Community Service” award was given to mayor emeritus Ellen Corbett for her many years of outstanding public service. Ellen served on the City Council and was elected the first woman Mayor of San Leandro in 1994, she then served on the California State Assembly, and then as a California State Senator, including as State Senate Majority Leader. Today, Ellen continues her public service in a variety of ways, including serving on the East Bay Regional Parks District Board. She has worked as an attorney, community college professor, and civic activist.
Councilmembers also awarded the District Leadership Awards to San Leandro people and organizations who distinguish themselves by providing commendable leadership in their communities. This year’s recipients were:
- Council District 1 (Deborah Cox): Cynthia Prieto-Diaz, MPH, Resident
- Council District 2 (Bryan Azevedo): Kara Au-Young, Resident & volunteer
- Council District 3 (Victor Aguilar): Erika Garcia, Resident & Arts Commissioner (District 3)
- Council District 4 (Fred Simon): Adrienne Miller, Resident
- Council District 5 (Corina Lopez): Breanna Hatcher, Resident & Life Coach (Sky Coaching)
- Council District 6 (Vice Mayor Pete Ballew): Mackenzie Zin, Resident
Congratulations to all of this year’s awardees! As always it is important to recognize the good that persists in the San Leandro community, even when times are most challenging.