Mr. Espresso Receives Oakland Legacy Business Award

Carlo Di Ruocco Mr Espresso We were greatly honored to receive the Oakland Legacy Business Award from Mayor Libby Schaaf on May 1st in the Oakland City Hall Rotunda. Along with the five other Oakland family-owned businesses that were recognized, we were also given a special commendation from Representative Barbara Lee. The presentations were a kickoff for Oakland’s celebration of National Small Business Week.

For our father, it’s a story of coming full circle:

As a young man in Italy, our father fell in love with the books of Jack London as well as the Italian national beverage, caffè. When he came to America with his young family, Carlo initially settled them in Oakland where his brother Franco lived. Franco had started the Villanova Restaurant on Telegraph. On a trip to Italy, Franco asked Carlo to bring back an espresso machine for his newly opened Caffè Lido in Jack London Square.

This gave our father the idea to bring more machines from Italy. Mr. Espresso was, then, launched in our home garage in Alameda. We moved the business to Oakland in 1983 and to our Jack London District location in 1990.

For our father, receiving this award for building a business that reflects his passions — caffè/coffee, family, Italy, Jack London, the East Bay, home. It’s his American Dream come true. But it’s far beyond the dreams of the young man in Italy, relaxing by the sea — with a good book by Jack London — after a long day’s work roasting coffee.

A side note: if you drive by our Oakland warehouse, you will not only smell our oak wood coffee roasting, but will also see an awesome mural on the exterior of our building, MLK at 3rd St. It is an homage to Oakland, its people and appropriately — Jack London. Roots Run Deep is the work of House of Meggs.

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