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Published June 22nd, 2011
business briefs
Customers are fed and entertained courtesy of Diablo Foods Photo Sophie Braccini

Diablo Foods Fights Back Also supports Afghanistan fundraiser
3615 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
(925) 283-0737
On Friday June 17, Diablo Foods of Lafayette started a series of "Street-Eats-On-Us" events celebrating the stores 43rd anniversary. The party will be repeated on June 21st and 28th, from 11am-3pm, when the family-owned business will offer free entertainment, drinks and food. "This is our way to say thank you to the community for their support," says Connie Collier, daughter of Diablo Foods founder Ed Stokes, "since the opening of Whole Foods on the other side of town our business has declined a bit but has stayed sound. Customers come to me all the time and tell me 'we want you to stay open, we will continue to support you." At last Friday's event a band was playing Sinatra songs, while smoothies and sandwiches were graciously offered to customers. Some seemed bewildered; others stopped, had something to eat or drink and engaged in conversation with Stokes, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jay Lifson, or Chamber Board member Larry Duson, who all came by to support the local independent grocery.
One day earlier, Diablo Foods opened its doors to Shakira Niazi, founder of Salvare La Vita Water LLC, a non-profit that aims at building wells in Afghanistan by selling local spring water, in what she claims to be 100% biodegradable bottles, and directing the profit to well-building. Niazi, a San Ramon resident, says she has been a supporter of Budd Mackenzie's Trust in Education for over four years and that in many ways her social business was inspired by him. "I've come up with a simple and yet measurable plan," says Niazi, "no donations are required; for every 31 bottles purchased, one person will have access to clean drinking water for 20 years, by building water wells for those in need." The first project was located in Sheberghan with 10 water wells, which should supply 7,500 villagers. Diablo Foods will carry VITA water in its bottled water section. For more information go to: slvwater.com.

Tarbinian Returns to Lafayette
Ace Auto Electric and Air
3430 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Unit B (inside the old Butler-Conti Dodge dealership)
284-5550, aceautoelectricandair.com
Don't tell Sedrak Tarbinian that he is a car mechanic. The American gentleman of Persian-Armenian origin would show you his repair shop where, if cars are idle with their hoods opened, not a spot of grease or the faintest smell of gasoline can be detected. Tarbinian is an electrical and air conditioning expert, a trade he started in Lafayette 30 years ago. He moved to Los Angeles to be with his family, but returned to Contra Costa, until he could find a place in his beloved Lafayette. "People in Lafayette have class," he says, "they are well traveled and it is a pleasure to do business with them." He welcomes back his old customers and looks forward to meeting new ones.

New from the three Chambers of Commerce
- Green Committee Open Meeting, June 28, noon-1pm in the
Lafayette Chamber Conference Room.
- Shop Lafayette Committee Meeting, July 12, noon-1pm in
the Lafayette Chamber Conference Room.
- Joint "Cinco" Mixer with Moraga, Orinda, Walnut Creek
& Hispanic Chambers at Veterans Memorial Building, 3780
Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette on July 13, 5:30-7pm.
- June 25 at 6pm: First Anniversary Party for the New Rheem
Theater. Tickets for the evening performance are $25 each
and tax deductible, and include light refreshments -food
from Pennini's Restaurant, and wine. (See article page A4).
The event is a fundraiser for improving the elevator and the
sound system.
- 5A Rent A Space and Neighborhood Computers are
co-sponsoring a Chamber Mixer on Tuesday, June 28, 6:00-
8pm, 455 Moraga Road Ste. F. Music, hors d'oeuvres,
beverages offered by the co-sponsors.
- Business Neighborhood Watch Meeting, Tuesday, June 28,
8am at Table 24 Restaurant, 2 Theatre Square. This meeting
will continue the discussion about the creation of a business
neighborhood watch program. The Orinda Police
Department will work collaboratively with the business
community to create a downtown program to promote
awareness and discourage crime targeted at Orinda businesses.
- The Orinda Chamber invites business owners to enter their
stores in a new local business decorating contest for the 4th
of July. Judging by the Mayor will take place on Friday, July
1st and awards will be announced on July 4th in the park.
"Let's make the town look festive, even if it is just an
American flag in front of your business or on your service
truck," says Chamber President Sue Breedlove.
- Save the date: Celebrate Everyday Heroes Orinda Community
Association Golf Tournament on Monday, July 25, 10:30am-
6pm at the Orinda Country Club, 315 Camino Sobrante.

Sedrak Tarbinian in his new Lafayette store Photo Sophie Braccini

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