What nots of a former coffee house guy

Welcome to random bon mots from a guy that used to own the best darn coffee house in Union City, CA

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Additional info on donations to the Tree of Hope

Donations are pouring in towards the Tree of Hope. We talked to people from Centro De Servicios and this is what they had to say about the donations.

New clothes, toys, food, cash is welcome. In addition, if you have any old usable items, such as clothes, furniture etc, and it is bulky enough that a pickup needs to be done, please write your name, address and phone #, slip it in an envelope on the Tree, and they will pick it up from your place. What they will not accept is non functional electronics. Tri-Ced is the place to dispose of broken electronics. If you need a tax deduction form for your donations, please ask us, and we will give it to you.

Thank you once again for your support, and oh by the way, if you have any old ornaments to adorn our Tree, we will accept them as well :) :)

Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Good News on the Tree of Hope

Our ardent supporter, Lulu Del Rosario is donating her services towards the Tree of Hope. She is a wonderful photographer, and her web site shows her remarkable skills.

On Saturday December 10th, from 2 to 4 pm, she will be here to take family holiday photographs. She will email you one photograph in high resolution and you can get it printed. All she asks in return, a brand new unwrapped toy, or $30.00 made out to Centro De Servicios.

With her permission, here is a sample of her work.

Paddy's Tree of Hope

We have never had a Holiday Tree at Paddy's before. This year, with the state of economic affairs being what it is, we felt it appropriate to have a Tree of Hope at Paddy's.

Tri-Ced was very gracious in donating the tree to us. We are using this tree to give hope to our less fortunate brethren. We are accepting donations of food, clothes, toys, cash. All donations will go to Union City's very own Centro De Servicios . So please help us in making this a wonderful and bountiful Tree of Hope.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Job Assistance Workshop

Need some help writing your resume ? Want some guidance on polishing your existing resume ? Want to brush up on your interviewing skills and techniques ?

Paddy's is hosting a Job Assistance Workshop on Thursday December 8th from 6.00 to 8.00 pm. We will be having people mentoring and coaching you on resume writing and reviewing. We will also be having mock interview sessions, so you can brush up on your techniques.

This is a great opportunity for you to be prepared for the job market in the first quarter of 2012.

If you wish to volunteer your time and help out with the mock interviews, reviewing resumes etc, please let us know.

If your company is hiring, this is a good forum to showcase your company as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Food, food, more food

We do put our ears to good use, yes, we listen to you, our patrons. Over the course of the next few weeks, you will notice changes to the food menu. Sushi is already on the menu, our Ham and Cheese Croissants are a big hit amongst you and amongst the crew.

On the anvil, simplified food menu to include both sandwiches and wraps. Apart from our own Pesto on the sandwiches, we also now offer you an option of our own Habanero Fruit sauce. We have been selectively enthralling our patrons with the Habanero Fruit sauce, and they have enjoyed it immensely.

In these tough economic times, we are broadening our offerings and also pricing it to adjust to your economic situation.

And last but not the least, if you feel a mite peckish and want to feed your inner child, we now offer Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. Quick grab and go :)

Enjoy the Noms.

Music resumes at Paddy's

Oh yeah. Mark your calendars. Sat Nov 26th, Cosmic Machine and friends return to Paddy's. Been a while since we had music playing at Paddy's. This is part of a series of shows being held at Paddy's, titled Help Paddy's Pay the Music Industry Fundraiser.

We were taken aback with the outpouring of support and that gave us the confidence to resume shows here. We will be placing a donation jar out. Whatever you can donate, that will be great. It will help us in continuing with supporting local musicians.

Please see the link for more information

Come out, support local musicians.

Monday, October 31, 2011

How is Paddy's coping in this economy ?

We have all seen, read, heard and felt the pains of living on a daily basis the past few years. Folks are bewildered and look askance at the sorry state of affairs that we are in. The common man got hit the hardest by the collapse of the housing and finance markets. Yet it was the common man that bailed out the industries when they went begging to the federal government. And with due apologies for using a street expression, the common man has now got the shaft.

From our perspective, Paddy's is both the consumer and provider. We are a true main street retail organisation. We are seeing first hand the devastation that the economy has caused. Our business has indeed suffered, no sugar coating that. But even with that struggle of keeping our doors open and business afloat, we hired new staff. In a small minute way, we are doing our best to stimulate and keep the economy going. We never lose our smile and cheer.

The last couple years have indeed been very hard on us. We have seen and felt the loss of jobs in the area. Customers have moved, businesses closed, shrinking income in the households, but through it all,we have persevered and stayed true. We have kept our doors open for you to seek refuge from the stresses of the outside world. And we strive to make that fleeting moment that you spend at Paddy's, a pleasurable one. And that we promise, is something that is never going to change.

Indeed, while the political landscape is fraught with negativity and rigidity, you can escape to Paddy's for some good ol' fashioned civility and cheer.

What does the Occupy Movement mean to you ?

News filters in from various sources and various cities. Seems like almost every city in America nay the world is awash with the protest movement. The populace is getting restless and seeking a change to the status quo.

Now you might drink coffee or you might drink tea, does not matter your affinity. It matters that you are drinking a beverage of your choice and choosing to belong to a section of the populace that likes that particular beverage, and in your own way, propogating the virtues of that beverage.

The movement that is taking place is a movement that revels in its lack of leadership. Everyone is a leader and a follower. It is a true grass roots movement. Their main platform is controlling or reversing the economic disparity that is so blatantly and shamelessly visible. The common man has been sacrified at the altar of corporate lobbying by the elected representatives, and this is is the change that needs to be done. The question that begs to be answered : are the elected representatives accountable to the people who voted them in, or are they accountable to the lobbyists who fund their elections.And there in lies the future of this great nation.

It is a virtual gridlock in the DC political system. Compromise and mediation are words that are considered anathema. To a certain extent, we the citizens of this country have brought it upon ourselves by becoming too soft and apathetic to the erosion of the civic boundaries and morality.

How do we citizens bring about the change or participate in the change ? Paddy's Coffee House is having a community wide debate on this topic "What does the Occupy Movement mean to you ?" on Wednesday November 9th from 6 pm to 9 pm. We invite all community members to come and share their stories of frustration and despair, we invite the elected officials to listen to what the community has to say, and yes, we certainly invite the lobbyists to peer into the cauldron of anger that is simmering in the nation.

2011 Holiday Schedule

Our Holiday schedule for 2011

Thanksgiving Day November 24 : Close at noon
Open regular hours Black Friday Nov 25
Christmas Eve December 24 : Close at 5pm
Christmas Day December 25 : Closed
New Years Eve December 31 : Close at 5 pm
New Years Day January 1: Open at 10.00 am

Happy Holidays from all of us at Paddy's

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Music flowing at Paddy's

We are both happy and sad to state that we will be resuming music at Paddy's again. Happy because the local youth finally have a place to come back to play their music. We mentioned a few months ago that we would discontinue any further shows at Paddy's, because of the asinine financial and threatening demands from the music industry.

And yes, we were true to our beliefs and we stuck to it. What we failed to grasp was the gravity of our decision. Venues for the youth simply dried up or shut their doors because of the fear of lawsuits and what have you from the music industry. Almost all the cafes and coffee houses in the local area simply stopped hosting musicians and open mics.

The straw that broke the camel's back,so to speak, was our decision to host an open mic last month. We strictly informed all the performers that their performances would have to be originals, no hint of cover etc. In essence, we asked them to be as creative as possible. Lo and behold, the morning of the show, we got calls and emails asking us to cease and desist unless we pay up. Our arguments and pleadings against it fell on deaf ears. Their stand was simple, we cannot be guaranteed that there will be no cover copyright songs performed, so you are in the dock for money.

It really, really hurt us but we were left with no recourse but to cancel the show. The disappointment that was felt by the hosts was minute compared to the anguish we suffered. Our philosophy is, was and will always be to support the neighbourhood. And here we were, cancelling an event.

Emails, letters, phone calls continued from the music industry. It became unbearable. Finally, we capitulated and said enough is enough. The industry is asking us to fork out an arm and leg to continue performances. With that as a backdrop, we contacted all the performers to have a fundraiser for us to pay the industry. The response was phenomenal and truthfully, we were extremely emotional at the outpouring of support.

So, with that said, we are now having a Paddy's Pay the Music Industry Fundraiser Open Mic night, with your own neighbourhood kids rallying around and performing and raising funds for us. Please, please help us in our fundraiser drive, so we can pay the industry and not stifle the talent of the youth.

We never made any money hosting the youth for their shows, we never charged the youth for hosting their shows, au contraire, we donated to their cause or bought their wares etc, but the industry does not see the benevolent side of humanity. In their words, one of the performers played a Paul McCartney song, and thus we are liable to pay him.

We are glad to put this issue behind us. We do not condone the industry seeking their just dues, but we do condone their apathy in understanding the culture of an establishment and not paint everything in a broad brush.

Paddy's Startup Tech Hub October 2011

We did not have a Startup Tech Hub in September. For October, the Tech Hub is scheduled for Saturday October 22nd, from 2 to 4 pm. Quite a bit on the agenda.

a) Paddy's Coffee House recognised as small business of the year by Senator Ellen Corbett
b) Senator Ellen Corbett will be talking about her Social Network legislation (SB 242)
c) There will be a presentation by Ragapa.com, a startup based in the East Bay
d) Networking and what have you.

Please help us spread the word, and hope to see you on the 22nd.

Contest time

It's that time of the year. Yes, design contest time for our 2012 cups and T-shirts. For those not in the know, every year, we come out with a new slogan and design for our cups and T-shirts. Past entries have included
a) Port-A-Paddy's (an all time favourite)
b) Friend's let friends drink Paddy's
c) I am a Paddymeister
d) Sippin' it at Paddy's.
e) Who's your Paddy?
f) Got Paddy's ?

You get the idea. Put your creative juices to work, submit us your entries. The winners get a cup, a T-shirt and our heartfelt thanks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Book Drive for Starlight Children's Foundation

It has been a wonderful book drive so far. And boy oh boy, did people respond. What was particularly pleasing to the eye was seeing people stop, browse for books, pick up the one they like, sit down, peruse it over a cup of coffee. Talk about diversity of literature. Cook books (oh a great veggie cook book), text books, novels, fiction, faction, biographies. We spotted some really really good ones, alas, we missed out on the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

The main drive is over, but we are not folding up the table. We are keeping it open for you to drop books off, browse for other books, donate to the Starlight Children's Foundation jar and enjoy yourself.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Coffee for the month of October 2011

Fall weather is tunneling its way through enveloping presence of the Bay Area Summer. So naturally, while reaching out for your allergy pills, you also start making plans to head out somewhere warm. And suddenly all flights to the Hawaiian Islands are booked full. Well, while you are starting your planning, we cannot think of a better way to get into the spirit than by having our Island Blend Coffee.

Yup, our coffee of the month is our Island Blend Coffee, a very strong, full bodied coffee, that is a blend of Pacific Island Coffees. It has a very nice rich finish. Come by, sample it, and for this month, we retail our Island Blend Coffee for $13.00 a pound.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Well, it's that time of the season. Paddy's is looking to hire two people, for the morning and mid morning shifts. If you know someone, would you mind having them get in touch with us.

What are we looking for:

a) Must have graduated from high school
b) Local to 94587
c) Pleasing and friendly personality
d) Ability to handle and diffuse situations
e) Must have their own mode of transportation
f) Not looking for short term or seasonal jobs
g) Flexible hours
h) And of course, must like coffee and tea
i) Prior retail experience an added bonus
j) Must be willing to challenge and improve themselves personally and professionally

Candidates must submit a resume with a cover letter mentioning the reasons why they want to work here and what they can offer.

We offer a wonderful environment to work with. Within a short span of time, each person manages their own shift and becomes independent. There is no hierarchy or structure, every one is the same. Our average employee stay is about 3 years. And that's the reason why we are not looking for short term people.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Drive to benefit Starlight Children's Foundation

You know we have done fundraisers in the past. And you also know we have done a book drive in the past. Then we thought,why not combine both of them. And thus this idea was born.

Paddy's Coffee House will hold a book drive/fundraiser for the Starlight Children's Foundation. Upto Saturday September 24th, there will be Starlight boxes and tables at the coffee house for people to donate books. We would be collecting used and new books. Used books will be taken to Half Price Books, Fremont, to raise funds for the Starlight Children's Foundation. New books will be donated to Starlight Hospital Contacts throughout the greater bay area. The entire fundraiser would last 3 weeks, with a closing reception on Saturday, September 24th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

To close out the fundraiser, we will have a reception on Saturday, September 24th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. There will be a book reading by Jan Pitcher, author and artist of Where do the Stars Go?. She will bring her paintings to display at Paddy's during the event and do a reading for the children. After the reading, Turtle Wayne will teach the children how to draw turtles... which we will collaborate and make a book of all the drawings.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paddy's Coffee Grilling Sauce

Saw this interesting recipe in the newspaper and decided to play around with it. Caveat here is that, Paddy is a vegetarian. The missus had no choice but to play a willing guinea pig.

Credit for the original recipe is to Andrew Schloss and David Joachim from their Fire it Up cookbook. We modified it and the modified recipe is as follows.

1 cup brewed Paddy's Twiga Blend
1 1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown mustard
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons hot Original Tabasco Sauce
3 tsps Ground Black pepper
2 tsps sea salt

We mixed everything together in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until slightly thickened. Store in a tightly closed container for upto 1 month.

The simmering process can be at least 1/2 an hour.

Update : The missus tried it and she declared it a good creation by a vegetarian. YMMV.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Who or what is AndThem ?

If you leave it upto Paddy himself, art shows would never happen at the coffee house. Paddy would not know a pencil from a pen :) Art shows have traditionally been handled by Union City Leisure Services. With the burgeoning youth art movement, they felt it opportune to hand over the curating duties to an extremely talented group of youngsters who called themselves AndThem.

In their own words, AndThem are Creative Conspirators for a Creative Mind. You can find out more information about them on their facebook page. 5 extremely talented youngsters who have hosted successful shows in San Fransisco, and wanted to return their experience to the roots where they grew up from.

While we are familiar and friendly with all of them, Francis Ramos and Kevin Correa have a deep association with Paddy's. We knew Francis since he was a high school kid, constantly hanging out at Paddy's, and every second day, asking us for a job. Told him, finish high school, and we will give you a job. Guess what, he finished high school and promptly we signed him on board. We have never regretted that move ever since.

We encouraged his talent of photography, had him take part in a couple of shows, introduced him to other like minded individuals and watched his talent and confidence burgeon beyond belief. Even though Francis has moved on professionally from Paddy's, whenever we are in a bind, he still helps us out, and for that, young Francis, from all of us a big thank you.

Kevin Correa, what can we say about him ? His boisterous laugh and jokes bring about a glory every day. We first met Kevin when he swaggered in to an open mic night organised by Bindlestiff way back in 2003. The beret perched at an angle, the poetry book flourished with a panache, and the poetry spoken with all the poise in the world. And in those days he had more hair and less tattoos. Apart from being the theatre director for Bindlestiff, Kevin also helps out scores of students hanging out at Paddy's with their math homework. Yup, theatre and mathematics are his forte.

We only recently met the other 3/5 of AndThem, and it is our misfortune that we did not have the pleasure of meeting and knowing them earlier. And so Chevon, Neal and Remy, welcome to the house known as Paddy's Coffee House.

From all of us at Paddy's, here is wishing AndThem the greatest success.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Start Up Tech Hub - August 2011

The word is getting around about Paddy's Startup Tech Hub. Our third month now. Diverse range of professionals and business people in the mix for our earlier meetups. This time, we have an interesting line up. First, there will be a Q&A session with our loyal supporter, who also happens to be a serial entrepreneur and investor, with quite a few successful companies under his belt. He will be talking about life from the VC world.

Following his talk will be a talk by another loyal supporter, on protecting intellectual property rights. This is a wonderful venue and occasion for networking, finding out new trends and technologies, and have a good cup of coffee to boot. Make this StartUp Tech Hub, an entry in your calendar. Remember, Tech Hub meets at Paddy's every 3rd Saturday of the month from 2 to 4 pm. All in all,a true silicon valley experience.

Please help us spread the word and encourage participation. If you know anyone who would like to speak or showcase their product, please let us know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Job openings at a customers workplace

Customer's company is looking to hire

If you fit the profile, please post your contact info, so we can make the connection.

a) Environmental, Health and safety admin.The successful candidate will provide assistance to the EHS department in maintaining effective EHS programs and policies, and communications which ensure that the EHS compliance and best practices are carried forward. Functions :Assist with EHS related programs, Perform monthly inspections of various EHS equipment, Assist with chemical inventory/MSDS management ,General administrative support for EHS documentation,Assist with ISO14001 documentation/audits. If interested, post your contact info here, and we will connect you. It's a temp posish.

b) HRIS Coordinator : This person is responsible for Data Management of HR Transactions and audits

Summary of Responsibilities

SAP Data Administration for Human Resources

Responsible for SAP HR data maintenance of non-employee records globally; includes new hire entry& org management. Ensure accuracy and integrity of information in SAP. Conduct routine audits of HR data. Interact closely with other departments (e.g. payroll, stock) to provide SAP HR support. Provide administrative support to HRIS team and general customer service for HR. Provide International Support for Data Administration Assist the HR community in troubleshooting and solving HR system problems

Task Overview Data Administration Overview:

Hire Activity (Temps, Contractors)
Organizational Changes & Transfers
New Hire & Termination folders
Contractor Extensions Audits & Notifications
ECD Filing
BizFlow processing
ECD Printing & Mail Merges

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Health and Wellness meet - August 11th 2011, 7 pm

Antoinette Reyes Terrel, a SF Bay Area native grew up as a sick child having on countless illnesses such as pneumonia, ear infections, sinusitis, tonsillitis, upper respiratory lung infections, and bronchitis. Her medicine cabinet was full of OTC/Rx medications. Then one day, she started getting sick and tired of always being ‘sick and tired’. When her son was born, he followed in her footsteps. Today, she believes most of their sicknesses were due to toxicity which also caused her son’s food and environmental allergies. Antoinette will share her life’s journey from being a sick child to her son’s similar condition, and what she has learned thus far. She has a strong desire to establish a support group within the community by sharing the cause, creating awareness, and learning from others.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

August artists

Paddy's has always prided itself on promoting local artistic talent. And when the opportunity presented itself to us recently, we jumped at it gleefully. &Them is a collective of local artists, and our most ardent supporters. They are bringing together some really talented artists to be featured at Paddy's.

The artists being featured are for the most part local talent. Some of them have been featured at Paddy's before. Click on the artist names for more information.

Wayne Chan : (aka Turtle Wayne)
Laura Ho
Bryant Sina


Starting August, we have new curators for our art walls. And you will definitely ask, who are what is &Them. They are a collective of 5 people from artistic backgrounds, who have banded together to bring the talents of some really remarkable artists to the fore.

If you notice the walls of Paddy's bare for the nonce, it is because we are getting ready for their grand opening show in the beginning of August. For more information on &Them, visit their web site at or check their facebook page

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 4th Holiday hours

Oh yes, the long week end is upon us. And with it, some gorgeous sunshine. Paddy's hours for this week end is as follows

Friday July 1st : closing at 5.00 pm (unforeseen circumstances necessitate an early closing)
Saturday July 2nd : 5 am to 11 pm
Sunday July 3rd : 8 am to 11 pm
Monday July 4th : 8 am to 4 pm

Regular hours from July 5th onwards

Thanks for your support and we wish you all a safe and wonderful July 4th week end.

Start Up Tech Hub - July 2011

Oh what a glorious turnout for the previous Tech Hub meet. It far exceeded our expectations, being our first try and attempt. Union City Patch wrote a wonderful article about the Tech Hub meet. Our Tech Hub meets every 3rd Saturday of the month from 2 to 4 pm.

This month promises to be even more interesting. Presentations, presentations, presentations, networking galore, what more can one ask for.

Jack Herrington will be talking about software development for the mobile platform, and we are also going to feature two startups. They are eager to share and discuss their product with you.

Please help us spread the word, and make this a true Silicon Valley success story.

Health and Wellness meet - July 2011

It was a successful community gathering in June, when Maria Inciong and her family talked about her battle with breast cancer. That has now given us an impetus to continue the Health and Wellness series.

For July 2011, community member Chris Cara will be talking on his ongoing struggles with Diabetes. Chris Cara, apart from being one of our ardent supporters, is also associated with Filipino Advocates for Justice. He will be talking not only about his struggles with Diabetes, but also how it affects the Asian American and the Filipino Community in particular. Very truly, an evening not to be missed but an evening to be shared.

For more information, please visit

Coffee for the month of July 2011

Like a Zombie during the months of winter to saying Namaste to spring, we now ease into summer. And what better way to greet summer than to have our very own Reti Blend as our coffee for the month of July 2011.

So what is Reti ? Depending on whom you talk to, Reti means Sand in Sanskrit, Reti means Grassy Plain, meadow land in Hungarian, and either way, it conveys the smoothness of the blend. It tastes great as an Espresso drink or a good ol' coffee drink.

Head on over to Paddy's and enjoy a cup of our Reti Blend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Smoothies and freezes

Paddy's has a new lineup of smoothies now, to quench and satiate your taste buds. Here is the line up of smoothies with our description on the funky nomenclature.

- Starry Brew : Strawberry Smoothie (Starry Brew is also an anagram for Strawberry)
A star in its own right. Our delicious Strawberry Smoothie

- StrawMan : Strawberry Mango Smoothie
Need that tickling tingling taste. StrawMan to your rescue. A delicious blend of Strawberry and Mango
- Starry Munky : Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Feeling mischievous ? Starry Munky, a wonderful blend of Strawberry and Banana for a fun life.
- OhManGo : Mango Smoothie
Walk Tall with our perfect Mango smoothie.
- Aloha Paddy : Tropical Passion Smoothie
Can’t go to the islands ? Let the fruits of the Island come to you. Guava, Tropical Passion, Mango, all in one cup. Umbrellas not included.
- StrawLime : Strawberry Lemonade (errr, we lost our way on this nomenclature)
Answer to a parched throat. Drench yourself with our StrawLime Smoothie.
- BerryPaddy : The Berry Smoothie
Get a healthy energy boost at Paddy’s with our BerryPaddy Smoothie, a blend of delicious berries rich with anti-oxidants.

Apart from smoothies, we have also have Vanilla Freeze, Mocha Freeze, Green Tea Match Freeze, Peppermint Chiller and yes, The Bomb Diggity Yo Freeze

Come by for a sip

Securing the network

Far too long, our network was an open access. You could power up your laptop/smartphone etc, and you were instantly connected to our network.

With changing times and technologies and to avoid any illegal activity on our open network, we have now enforced a password on our network.

If you attempt to log onto our network, you will be prompted for a password. Please ask us. Cautionary note, passwords will change on a weekly basis for now.

Happy surfing.

New T-shirts are here

And your long wait is now over. Paddy's Tshirts for this year are now available in sizes Medium, Large and Xtra Large. And all yours for only $15.00. Young Jon is a good model for our new

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Start Up Tech Hub - A success

Our first StartUp Tech Hub held on June 18th from 2 to 4 pm was a great success. We were taken aback on the enthusiasm and the fervour of the participants. Few budding entrepreneurs got some sound advice from couple of seasoned startup veterans, who are now on their 4th and 5th ventures.

Networking was the name of the game. Web designers were showcasing their portfolios to prospective employers, business cards and twitter handles were being exchanged.

This has given us the confidence to continue hosting more meetups. The next meetup will be on Saturday July 16th from 2 to 4 pm. Jack Herrington, a loyal supporter of Paddy's, right from the initial days, and a seasoned tech industry veteran in his own right, will be talking on Mobile Software Development. We are also going to showcase two startups, who need the critique from the audience to further develop and hone their products.

If you know any startups that want to show case their product line, feel free to invite them.

Stay tuned for a detailed event list. Till then, mark your calendars for July 16th, 2 to 4 pm for the next StartUp Tech Hub at Paddy's.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tales from the Vault - Emotional goodbyes

School year ended June 16th 2011. Summer vacation starts. And what a day it was yesterday at Paddy's. Early in the morning, we had a few regular AMS school girls come in. Very shyly and with all the grace in the world, they proffered us a plate full of treats.

"Mr Paddy, we baked these for you. Thank you very much for treating us so nicely and making us our drinks. We are going to miss you for the summer. Will you be here when our school starts again ? ". Needless to say, we were touched.

And shortly thereafter, some teachers came by with cookies for us, for helping them get through the year. Sadly it was tinged with the knowledge that we will not be seeing some of them. With the budget crisis, some of them have received pink slips.

Joy and sadness, co existing at Paddy's

Menu changes and drink size changes

Say what you will, it is summer time now. What better time than to introduce our new line of smoothies, and a new line of sandwiches. We are currently testing out the products and so far the reception has been favourable. Starting July 5th 2011, our new line of smoothies will be on the menu. Some of the existing smoothies will be dropped to make way.

We are also taking this opportunity to streamline our drink sizes. Soon as the inventory is over, we will not be carrying 20oz hot drinks anymore. Our hot drink sizes will be 12oz and 16oz. Of late, we have found that our patrons have been watching their expenses and opting for the lower sized drinks. And we much appreciate their patronage even in these hard times. Similarly, for the cold drinks, our sizes will now be 16oz and 20oz.

This means you will see a price reduction on some items, and a price correction on some items.

Please, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why the Tech Hub ?

Silicon Valley. The very name conjures up engineers, technologists, start ups, constant innovations, geek paradise. With a location in the East Bay part of Silicon Valley, Paddy’s is host to numerous members of the fraternity. And what better way to encourage a spirit of networking and camaraderie over a cup of coffee. Have a mixer at Paddy’s.

Have an wonderful idea and looking for developers / marketing people ? Looking to change careers, want to get into the consulting arena for start ups ? Want to provide ancilliary services such as accounting / human resources etc to the start ups ? Want to find out new trends in the market ? Well, this networking mixer is just for you .

Every 3rd Saturday from 2 to 4pm,

Paddy’s is pleased to host the Start Tech Hub (STH). We are providing you with a venue to showcase your product and talent, hobnob with like minded individuals, listen to guest speakers, and of course enjoy a good cup of coffee.

Help us spread the word and we hope to see you there.

Monday, June 6, 2011

CA Small Business of the year award

At the Sacramento Convention Centre, and Paddy's Coffee House is being presented with an award as small business of the year from district 10 represented by Senator Ellen Corbett. This show is put up by the California Small Business Association.

And what a gathering it is. Lots of small business from various districts of California, and they each have a tale to tell. Succeeding against all odds, helping out the community, being at the forefront of innovation. Compared to them, we are small potatoes or to use a sorry expression, we are tiny beans :)

Truly, the state of CA is a wonderful place, though sometimes the regulatory processes can drive one up the wall. And that's what a lot of folks are talking about, and telling their legislators. Hope something good comes out of it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

And who are we ?

People constantly ask us about our colleagues and how did they come to work here ? We tend to hire students, with the main criteria being that they have to finish high school.

We do not look for experience, on the contrary we found that it was a hurdle in assimilating into our culture. And we have been extremely fortunate with all our colleagues. The average stay is about 2.5 years which is a remarkable feat in the industry. And that really helps, because as a customer when you come in, you are greeted by a familiar friendly face.

Their field of studies is pretty diverse. Hospitality Management, Engineering, Psychology, Speech Therapy, Sports Therapy, Law, Accounting, Computer Engineering and then you have Paddy who is a study unto himself.

Yeah,we are a different breed out here. We actively encourage our colleagues to talk and network with you, our patrons, to help them grow professionally. We have found that this has helped the young ones tremendously in becoming more aware of the profession of their chosen academic career.

Often times, we ask our patrons to coach and guide our colleagues in interview techniques, resume writing, industry outreach etc. It helps everyone out.

Who are you ?

And yes, that is a vexing question. The "you" here refers to our customer base. It is very diverse, ethnically, culturally, professionally and financially.

The neighbourhood we are in is a classic middle working area. In the days of the past, it used to be the home of both the rich landowners and the labourers that worked on their lands. And in contemporary times, we do have that economic disparity.

Quite a few of our patrons are extremely well off, while the others tend to be a bit more cautious. Many of our patrons are from the hi tech industry, and apart from that, we have a huge medical fraternity customer base, and automotive and service industry folk as well.

And then we have the student community. Who can all be lumped in one basket "Stressed out Students". And their field of studies is pretty diverse.

So what is coffee of the month ?

We used to brew different coffees every day. We noticed what our patrons liked and did not. Based on all that and to keep things even more interesting, we decided to switch to a dual coffee concept.

So we have a coffee of the month, which is one particular coffee varietal repeated every day, and we have a coffee of the day, where we rotate the varietals every day.

So for June 2011, we have our coffee of the month as our own
As mentioned in one of the earlier posts, we have a few of our own blends, and ought to admit, we are quite proud of them. Namaste Blend was designed by one of our colleagues, and it was an accidental design. We then brushed and polished the accident to give you Namaste Blend.

And it conveys the simplicity and complexity of the coffee bean. Namaste is Hindi for "Greetings", and given the context and personalities involved, it can be a simple form of greeting or a highly respected and revered form of greeting.

Enjoy the coffee.

Awards and recognitions

Paddy's Coffee House has received quite awards and recognitions. And quite honestly, each and every one of them has been a complete surprise. We have never ever gone out of our way to solicit awards or recognitions. We just open our doors, smile like the dickens, be the friend and family on your travels and help out where ever we can. And unbeknownst to us, people talk about our involvements and participation, and lo and behold, we get calls congratulating us for yet another award.

So, shockingly we have to mention that on June 6th 2011, we are receiving yet another award. This time, the California Small Business Association is recognising us as an outstanding Small Business of the year from District 10, represented by Senator Ellen Corbett.

On behalf of everyone in the community and all our well wishers and patrons, we will be accepting the award. Our heartfelt thanks to each and every one, and to Senator Ellen Corbett for nominating us.

Where do we go for coffee and tea ?

When we are out and about, we prefer to visit similar establishments in the neighbourhood. Suju's Coffee in Fremont is the grand daddy of them all. Mahesh Patel is our friend and mentor. When we started, we would constantly run to him for guidance. Thank you Mahesh for everything that you have done. We are in your debt.

Apart from Suju's, we go to Mission Coffee in the Mission Area of Fremont. We also have Eon Coffee, across from Chabot College in Hayward. In San Leandro, we have Zocalo Coffee House. What can we say about Tim Holmes? We started off around the same time, both ex geek heads venturing in the world of retail. At least a month does not pass when we share and exchange stories and our foibles. We are the sounding board for each other.

And let us not forget the newest kid on the block, Snappy's Cafe in Hayward. April Yamaguchi used to work for us with the understanding that she will be opening her own coffee house in the future. And boy, did she do it ? It is with great pleasure that we inform the world that the first week end in June is Snappy's first anniversary. Congratulations April and Snappy's. Very truly, welcome to neighbourhood. Our loss is A Street's gain.

With all of them, we have a lot of common traffic and frequently, we send patrons to each others establishments.

May the power of indie coffee houses rise.

Tales from the Vault - A new beginning

Earlier on, we had mentioned this young lad. Imagine our surprise, when he shows up at Paddy's one day, with a nice young lady in tow. It was a shock on seeing him. He looked real good, had an air of confidence in him. The Army had taken care of a wayward soul.

We knew the young lady from her previous visits to the shop and we had reckoned the two were friends. To our utter pleasant shock, they inform us that they had recently got married in a civil ceremony while he was on leave. It was an emotional moment for all of us, because we were seeing the growth and maturity.

Turns out, apart from the marriage, the lad was in the process of reconciling with his parents. Pointed out to both of them, that they are not the brash young teenagers any more, who think they know the world. A simple word of Sorry will help in breaking the ice with his parents.

And lo and behold, a couple days later, his dad shows up, thanking us profusely for our assistance. All we did was talk patiently to the young boy, that's all. It was more his doing than anything else.

It is instances like these that make it worthwhile keeping the doors open.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Health and Wellness meet

As mentioned in one of the earlier posts, we are organising a Health and Wellness meeting for the community, every 2nd Thursday of the month. Our first speaker is Marian Inciong. She and her family will be talking about her battles with breast cancer and how the family is coping now.

This is a great opportunity for the community members to interact and learn from within the community.

Start Up Tech Hub meet

There are quite a few tech start ups that use Paddy's as a location for coding, meetings and general what have you. And being the inquisitive soul that we are, we query them on their product etc. And to help some of them out, we have implemented their products at Paddy's.

It is with an intent to bring together all these like minded people, we are organising a StartUp Tech Hub meet every 3rd Saturday of the month from 2 to 4 pm. June 18th will be our first meet. Our goal is to introduce the startups to other techies, marketing folks, city and financial folks, all in all making it a perfect networking opportunity. We are planning on guest speakers from next month, so stay tuned.

Tales from the Vault

This was post the Bin Laden killing in Pakistan. Early in the morning, customer walks in, orders his drink. This being early in the morning, no other customers around. The conversation initiated by him as follows

Customer : Your country must be in mourning now
Me : Why
Customer : They killed Osama in your country
Me : No sir, that was in Pakistan, I am from India
Customer : Well, it is all the same
Me : (injecting levity and finding the conversation surreal), No sir, it is like we say, all Asians look alike
Customer : hey, those countries do not cause problems, your countries do
Me : That's not true sir. I think you are being misinformed and are being judgmental.
Customer : Well, whatever dude, just be glad we did not nuke your region out.
Me : Here is your drink Sir, have a nice day.

Needless to say, it was very disturbing and unnerving that such perceptions exist and countenance to that is met with stoic indifference. The irony of course, customer was young white male, driving a pickup truck. Now am I being stereotyping ?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Health and Wellness discussions

We are an integral part of the community and as such, we like to involve the community in various issues. One of the topics that we have contemplated for a while is having a talk by the community members of the various health issues within the community.

We will be doing this every 2nd Thursday of the month from 7 to 8 pm. We start of the series with a discussion on Breast Cancer. One of our customers who underwent breast cancer treatment will be talking and sharing her stories on Thursday June 9th, from 7 to 8 pm.

Please help us spread the word.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Donations and Recycling

What do you do with all the old clothes, shoes, books etc you have or want to get rid off ? Drop it off at Paddy's, and we will donate it to Centro De Servicios, Union City's shelter. They are a great organisation staffed by wonderful people who love helping the down trodden in society.

Periodically, we designate one day, where you can drop off your used electronics or your spring/fall cleaning stuff, and we co ordinate with both Centro De Servicios and Tri-Ced Recycling, as a convenient option for the community.

We are also a drop off spot for your old batteries, cell phones etc. If you have old medicines, you can drop them off at Nakamura Clinic on Alvarado Niles Road, or at your local hospital. If you have old printer cartridges, you can drop them off at any Cartridge World or any major electronic appliance store like Best Buy or Office Depot etc.

The Princess Club

We are doing this for the 2nd year now. We are inviting all our customers to donate their used formal wear to the Princess Club of James Logan High School. This is a club that helps out the underprivileged students attend the prom with nary a worry.

So if you have old formal clothes that you cannot fit into now, either because you have now become a pale shadow of what you were, or have attained a very well defined figure, you can drop off those clothes at Paddy's, and we will hand it over to the Princess Club.

Coffee -- good or bad ?

Studies and legends abound about coffee being good for your health or bad for health. Here's one article

Anyone have any more to contribute ?

Disputing a fallacy

Paddy's Coffee House sells coffee by the pound, whole beans or ground. And contrary to the legend, you never store them in a refrigerator or a freezer. You store it in an airtight container in your larder.

We find out your consumption rate and we sell you an appropriate quantity. That way we ensure you taste our good coffee.

Tales from the Vault

We are a coffee house choc-ablock full of teenagers and young adults. And in our usual uninhibited fashion, we talk to them. There was this really nice young kid, going through a very stressful home situation.

Broken relationship with the family, lived on the streets, had a job but was wandering meaninglessly through life. We talked and counseled the young kid, pointing out the maze that can be the pathway of life. There are forks to be taken, dead ends reached, but through it all, never to get lost in the ultimate goal and that is to be a good human being.

Had not seen the young kid for a long time, then word reached us that the plunge was taken and the US Army had a new recruit. Every time when a call was made to friends, they were constantly reminded to come and thank us for showing a troubled youth the way of life. And every time the friends come and tell us, we cannot but get emotional.

Are we just a coffee house or are we more than that ?

Ills of the community

While we watch with pride the growth of the "coffee house" babies, what we also notice very sadly, is the rise in the ills of the teenage society.

We have seen a lot of teenage pregnancies, drug abuse and a monosyllabic withdrawal. To combat these and to spread awareness of the ills, we partner with the Filipino Youth Coaltion, have open mics, have the youth talk to the youth about the ills.

Have we been successful, we don't know ? But we have definitely learnt and are now aware that are organisations that deal with issues like this and we guide the youth towards them.

And we started, all we wanted was to brew coffee and tea. We have become a fabric of the community and we truly hope that this fabric is helping the community.

Joy to behold

Not only have we seen relationships made, broken, brokered, but we have also been privileged in welcoming, what we call "coffee house babies". Parents would proudly walk in, announce that they are expecting. Next thing we know, they walk in with their little one.

And nothing gives us greatest pleasure in watching the growth of the little ones. From being carried around in a portable crib to a stroller to their first steps, and pretty soon, we see them going to Alvarado Elementary or Eastin and then they are in Alvarado Middle School.

Likewise, we have seen students graduate from the Middle School to Logan High to college and now entering the professional world. At each stage, we have been honoured to talk to them, marvel at their growth and guide them in their moments of bewilderment.

Does this make us a fossilized institution ?

Tales from the Vault

Elderly couple come in toting one laptop. Really nice elderly couple. Not sure if they were coming to Paddy's, pre or post doctor visit. Nevertheless, husband powers up the laptop, starts doing his work, wife busies herself reading the newspaper or what have you. Blissful peace reigns for a couple hours.

Then it is the wife's turn to use the laptop. Husband sits on the other recently vacated chair. Wife starts using the laptop and we start hearing sounds from her laptop use. Turns out she is busy playing games. After a bit, husband interjects her for something, gets yelled at, "Can't you see I am busy playing games ? " :) :) Brought a smile to our features, reminds us so much of our household. Wife yelling at us when we interject and interrupt her during her gaming activities. Deja vu. Relationship is the same everywhere.

Tales from the Vault

We have seen quite a bit in our 8 years serving the community. There are some instances that stand out and without annoying or disturbing anyone, we will present the human face of the neighbourhood.

One memory that stands out vividly. Young man walks in, bleary eyed but happy, from welcoming their baby to this world. Some time later, our regular mid afternoon elderly customer walks in, alone and a bit down in the dumps. When I mentioned, the usual drinks Sir, he tears up, and says, Paddy, just one drink from now on. The missus passed away. Ah, circle of life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Coffee Blends

We get our coffees roasted from McLaughlin Coffee. They are a great company to work with and oh have we bothered them a bit.

We carry quite a few of their coffees, and also our own proprietary blends. A short history on some of the blends.

Java Dawgz blend is named after the Java Dawgz group, that meet at Paddy's on Fridays. They are a great bunch of people, almost all in the vet industry, working with animals, either on their own or with zoos etc.

Twiga Blend was derived talking to some members of the Java Dawgz Group. Twiga is a giraffe in the Oakland Zoo, and aptly, this blend is a blend of coffees from the Giraffe migration path in Africa.

Tres Felinos is a blend of Latin American Coffees, and this was inspired actually by a radio commercial. Yes, we do listen to the radio.

Reti blend is in a round about way, one of the by products during the testing stages of Twiga. It tastes great as an Espresso drink or an afternoon coffee drink. So what is Reti ? Depending on whom you talk to, Reti means Sand in Sanskrit, Reti means Grassy Plain, meadow land in Hungarian, and either way, it conveys the smoothness of the blend.

Namaste blend was designed by one of our colleagues. And it conveys the simplicity and complexity of the coffee bean. Namaste is Hindi for "Greetings", and given the context and personalities involved, it can be a simple form of greeting or a highly respected and revered form of greeting.

Zombie blend is another blend designed by one our colleagues, and boy can it make the Zombies walk straight ??? :)

What is our purpose and mission ?

And it all started rather innocuously. Constructions costs and over runs left us with no alternative but to bite the bullet and thrown open the doors without a soft opening or a grand opening. Marketing budget was nothing but a wonderful joke.

And despite all that, here we are, still living up to our purpose and mission. It is always about providing the best service, in a most pleasing and humble manner. It is about providing you with a good beverage of your choice. Encourage and nurture the talent that exists in the neighbourhood. Promote civic and social responsibility. Be a friend, philosopher and guide to the youth and to everyone else. Listen and grow with the feedback. And most important of all, banning the word NO from the lexicon.

We have been fortunate to have really good colleagues to work with who have expounded and adhered to our purpose and mission. And we trust, that you have had no recourse for complaints.

Yes, we have erred and strayed in our purpose. Circumstances dictated that we do so. It is a reflection on the frailty of the human in us all.

8 years and counting

Paddy's Coffee House has been around for 8 years and more. Having just starting writing about our experiences, it's difficult to encapsulate 8 years of stories in such a short span, so bear with us while we unravel the threads of our memory.

During this 8 years, we have become a part and parcel of the community, and we fervently hope that it is for the better. We have involved ourselves in promoting and encouraging local arts and talent. We were quite taken aback at the abundance of talent in the neighbourhood. And it warms the cockles of our heart that the community counts on us to keep this talent flowing, and we promise you, we will not render it asunder.

In these past 8 years, we have seen relationships made, relationships broken, marriages, divorces, childbirth, grand parent hood, graduations, promotions et all, in short the complete complement of the community. And through it all, we have made innumerable friends, and we continue to remain friends.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So why Paddy's

We are always asked about the history and reason behind Paddy's. Why quit the software industry and venture into this ? And why in the world, do we have to be so ruddy cheerful at 5 in the morning ?

Having bumbled around in the software industry for nigh on 20 years, figured the time was ripe for change. Always liked coffee and hanging out at coffee houses, so that was a logical decision. Once that was made, apprenticed nay volunteered at local coffee houses and restaurants, got some ins and outs, and then decided to start our own.

Every thing about coffee houses is location, location, location. Drove around looking for an ideal location, and finally found our ideal location

Started the build out in 2002, and with time and money running out with construction costs and and other delays, we decided to plunge in and open our doors and thus on February 1st 2003, Paddy's arrived in Old Alvarado, Union City.

Our first customer was Ruben Uriarte. And yes, he has been a loyal supporter and friend ever since.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Facebook, Twitter and such

You can get daily updates about your favourite coffee house, Paddy's, on Facebook, Twitter. We are also listed on Foursquare, Yelp, Google Places and other social media sites.

Follow us there. And don't forget, we have specials listed if you check in via Facebook, Yelp or Foursquare.

Corporate Book Stores closing in Union City and Fremont

First there were independent book stores, then came the corporate book stores which caused the demise of the independent book stores. Now in a moment of bitter irony, the corporate book stores have shuttered their doors as well. That leaves Union City, Fremont, Milpitas, essentially the 880 corridor with fewer book stores.

We know students have been using those cafes as a study venue. We welcome those students at Paddy's. If you were having book reading nights or poetry nights, come by Paddy's.

One of the favourite activities was going to those book stores and browsing through books. That is now a thing of the past. The thing of the future is book exchanges at Paddy's. We got a lot of feedback and that led us to having a book exchange. April 9th and 10th will be Paddy's Book Exchange

Book drop offs start April 8th. All remaining books will be donated to the Union City Library. We hope to see you there and hope to continue this every month.

No more music at Paddy's

Ever since we opened 8 years ago, we prided ourselves in keeping our doors open for the community to perform music in our venue. We have seen our fair share of musical talent pass through our doors. Unfortunately, now this is all going to be a distant memory. We have been asked in not so many words by ASCAP (one of the licensing authorities) to stop performances or pay them licensing fees. Their main fear is that copyrighted songs may be performed and they are not being suitably reimbursed.

We cannot police and dictate what songs should be performed, else we would be at severe legal risk. Given the fact that we are already paying BMI, we cannot afford to pay ASCAP as well and any other entity that might arise. Hence we have taken the painful decision to stop all musical performances at Paddy's. It is a big loss to the community, but we hope everyone understands our plight.

To know further about it, there was a very article about the predicament in The Argus Sunday 20th March,

Hello world

In a classic geek world, the first program you learn to write in any programming language is the "Hello World" program. It is a simple program, consisting pretty much being able to print out Hello World. Thank you Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie for introducing this program to legions of C programmers.

Not that we are currently programming in C, but keeping to our geekiness :) :) Enjoy the blog for what it is worth.