A Taste of Downtown Glendale surpassed all expectations with more than 1,000 foodies packing 45 Glendale restaurants for, in many cases, a lot more than a taste on May 11. Brand Boulevard was buzzing with enough foot traffic to make every merchant happy. This not-to-be-missed annual fundraiser for Glendale Healthy Kids gets tastier and tastier.
A popular restaurant that seldom gives away its specialties was Katsuya in the Americana. Fans were already lined up three deep before the 5:30 p.m. opening. The aroma of chicken teriyaki and panko-crusted albacore had mouths watering. Front and center were two sets of hungry sisters. Amanda Yu, 11, and little sister Natalie Yu, 7, didn’t let the adults get in their way. The girls grabbed the chicken teriyaki skewers. Mom Cathy Yu preferred the albacore.
Alyssa Miyamoto, 7, and sister Talia Miyamoto, 5, also were at the head of the line. Their taste of choice was the chicken teriyaki. Mom Julie Miymaoto and Dad Mica Miyamoto were more patient. They were waiting for a group of friends to join them.
Katsuya managers Barbara Lee and Tiffany Kuo were told to expect 500 tasters. Hostess Sharito King helped manage the crowds.
Meanwhile at Massage Envy on North Brand Boulevard, wine tasting prevailed. The Glendale Assn. for the Retarded benefited from the pouring. The association’s share in the funds will help provide client medical and dental screenings.
Expected net profits of more than $15,000 will benefit Glendale Healthy Kids’ Annual Kids Health and Fitness Expo. The Expo provides kids with free health tests and screenings.
Every year Porto’s Bakery & Café also participates in a Taste of Downtown Glendale. But the owners of the popular Cuban bakery didn’t end there with their generosity. Vice President of Community Relations Betty Porto stopped by Glendale Community College to meet and greet and give the third annual Business Lecture, one in a series of presentations by leading members of the Glendale business community.
Porto’s was the unanimous choice for this year’s lecture, said Brett Miketta, coordinator of the college’s Business Department. A standing-room-only crowd on May 12 was eager to listen to any pearls of wisdom Porto wanted to share from her 40 years of helping to run the family-owned-and-operated bakery.
Porto, a student favorite, didn’t hesitate to give away her business secrets.
“Our culture is hard work and leading by example,” Porto said. She also encouraged the students, faculty and administrators present to “educate yourselves in your business.”
Porto said she also listens to the experts. The college’s Program Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management Michael Lao has provided business advice as a consultant and places student interns at the bakery.
“Some of them we keep,” Porto said.
Lao has also provided Porto’s with English as a Second Language teachers and safety classes.
At the end of her lecture, samples of Porto’s pastries were handed out to each audience member.
“We don’t skimp on ingredients or quality,” Porto said, That’s why the stuff tastes so good.”
Porto’s standing ovation offered the stamp of approval.
In connection with the Business Lecture, the “State of the College” address was given by Superintendent/President Dawn Lindsay who runs the college of 41,000 students. Lindsay announced that the college has just been dubbed the second most beautiful community college campus in the nation. She also reminded her audience of the college’s commitment to partnering with the community, such as placing students as interns in local businesses. Collaborative relationships have been forged with Glendale Unified School District, the Glendale Police Department and Glendale Arts — all for the benefit of students.