By Jane McInnis
It all started with a bag of garlic from China.
Mexxi’s Restaurant owner and chef Enrique Gomez was unloading shipments on a normal workday when he noticed the delivered bag of garlic looked different than usual. It wasn’t the typical bunch of bulbs he gets from Gilroy over in Santa Clara County; it was bulkier. This sack of garlic had traveled from over 6,000 miles away in China.
Gomez wasn’t interested in getting his produce from so far away, so he sent the garlic back.
“If I buy locally, the guy next to me has a job and can buy a taco from me,” Gomez said.
Later, he made small-talk with regular customer Eric Vejby about the ethos of supporting everything on a local level. The conversation evolved when Vejby brought up the subject of some local schools having to rely on public contributions to fund basic services.
These services include costs for the library, science classes and teachers, physical education and music, said Vejby, whose son attends Neil Armstrong Elementary.
The two decided to organize a fundraiser that would benefit local schools in San Ramon, mindful that not all parents have the means to donate extra money to schools.
“It’s a pretty affluent community, but some of us have to work hard to make ends meet,” Gomez said.Local businesses jumped at the opportunity to help the event, 'Rock, Tacos & Rides,' similar to Danville's 'Hot Summer Nights' series. Jams Music in Dublin was eager to help, and Mike’s Bikes along with Electra Bicycles donated a bike for a raffle outright.
Vejby admits that he didn’t expect such community support for the event, but has been delighted with the response.
“When I told people about the event, they’d stop me mid-sentence to ask how they could help,” Vejby said.And so, tacos, rock music, cars, raffles and cold beer will help to join a community together in raising money for what’s important to most. Expect local ingredients in your tacos.
For more event information, see the listing here.