When Erik Johnson thought about how his company might celebrate 40 years in business, as well as look ahead to the next 40 years, he naturally thought about his customers and sandwiches.
Johnson, who founded Erik's DeliCafé in 1973, was pleased last month to award 40 years of free "Sandwiches with Character" in a sweepstakes contest to one customer from each of the firm's 32 independently-operated stores.
"Awarding one of our fans with the food they love makes a strong statement about what's in store for the company," Johnson said.
In Pleasanton, the winner was Kerry Pickett, who said she was "completely shocked" when she received a phone call from Johnson saying she'd won. In fact, when Pickett answered the phone, she thought she was being tricked.
"I got the call the day before my birthday," she said, "and I assumed a friend of ours named Eric was playing a prank on me."
Pickett said her favorite sandwich is Pilgrim's Progress, which is turkey and avocado on wheat bread. The sweepstakes provides one sandwich per week for 40 years.
Turns out she can't save up the sandwiches to eat all at once, but if she could, that would be quite a party with over 2,000 sandwiches.
Erik's DeliCafé, which in Pleasanton is located in the Rose Pavilion on Santa Rita Road, offers a wide range of healthy sandwiches made with fresh baked bread. The menu also includes salads, wraps, gluten-free items, and soups based on family recipes.
schools fundraiser: Mark your calendars for Oct. 19, when the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation will host its 10th annual "Toasts & Tastes of Fall" to benefit Pleasanton schools.
News celebrity Juliette Goodrich, of KPIX-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies, and attendees will be treated to superb dining as fifteen culinary teams comprised of local chefs, school principals and corporate sponsors compete in one of three categories: "Savory," "Sweet" and, new this year, "Slow!"
PPIE Executive Director Susan Hayes invites anyone who loves food to come "taste their way through signature appetizers and desserts paired with fine wine."
Guests will also enjoy live jazz, a no-host bar staffed by school district administrators and hors d'oeuvres served by the Pleasanton City Council. A silent auction will feature such treats as vacation opportunities, dining, family activities, sports and other memorabilia, wine selections, and other unique goods and services.
Last year, PPIE raised more than $100,000 from the event, and the foundation hopes to exceed that amount this year. Tickets are $75 per person and can be bought online at www.ppie.org or by personal check payable to PPIE. Note "Toasts & Tastes" in the memo line. Mail checks to PPIE, 333 Division Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566. Names will be placed on a guest list at the event: no paper tickets will be mailed. Guests must be older than 21 years. The evening takes place at the California Center in Pleasanton at 4400 Rosewood Drive. For more information, contact the PPIE office at 925-846-5620 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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