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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Stand Down set next month at fairgrounds

Uploaded: Aug 23, 2018
The bi-annual East Bay Stand Down returns to the Alameda County Fairgrounds Sept. 16-19 to provide services to homeless and at-risk veterans.
The vets will stay onsite at the fairgrounds for the four days to receive a variety of services. Volunteers will cook meals for the vets who will receive a variety of services. These range from VA HealthCare, dental care, mental health care, clothing, ID/driver’s licenses, court services and legal assistance, showers haircuts plus housing opportunities.
Organizers expect to serve about 350 vets with 1,000 volunteers. They are actively recruiting volunteers to put on the major event. People can sign-up to serve in a specific role at a specific time. Cash donations to cover expenses also are welcome.
For more information or to volunteer, please see

We enjoyed a dinner at Salt Craft, the alfresco restaurant launched by former Wente executive chef Matt Greco this spring. I asked Matt if he was still hiring because the hiring sign was prominently posted. He responded that he’s always willing to talk because he never knows when he is going to need another team member. So that sign will be a permanent fixture.

Salt Craft is open for breakfast (brunch on weekends), lunch and dinner and features freshly baked bread and a seasonal menu of locally sourced ingredients. Matt’s goal is to elevate everyday dining. The menu also featured flat prices ($18 for any of four pastas, $27 for any of four meat entrees and $10 for salads and starters). It’s the same for the limited wine list featuring Livermore Valley selections and the four local beers.

He also hit the mark with his casual approach—many men on his team, himself included, wear shorts and t-shirts to work. They all top it with a full-length Salt Craft apron.

For Matt, the start-up means early mornings and long days. When we chatted, he’d started that day at 5:30 a.m. (the baker comes in a bit earlier) and the dinner rush had not started. Those hours are probably not unusual for restaurant entrepreneurs who have the entire business hub around them to start—doing whatever is necessary from plating entrees to managing the books.


Posted by Sandee Wiedemann, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm

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