interview

Hobee’s Ownership Transition Featured on KQED’s “The California Report”

Reporter Ryan Levi was inspired when he read that the original Hobee’s owners had sold the business to two longtime employees rather than a large corporation. His interview with former Hobee’s president Edward Fike and newly-minted CEO Camille Chijate reveals what makes Hobee’s unique in the Silicon Valley’s cash-out culture.

Read the article – or listen to the broadcast – by clicking here.

best of palo alto weekly 2017

Hobee’s Named Palo Alto’s Best Breakfast in a Lyrical Tribute

We’re honored to be named Best Breakfast once again by the readers of The Palo Alto Weekly! Even more thrilling was the write up set to a smash from the 60’s. (Someone of a certain age clearly loves us!) Here’s the catchy tune:

“That’s breakfast at Hobee’s!”
(To the tune of “So Happy Together”)
Imagine farm-fresh eggs — there’s two
And golden country-style hashbrowns, and orange juice.
That tall blueberry coffeecake? It’s really great.
That’s breakfast at Hobee’s!

Scrambles, smoothies, ommies and bites that delight
served all day long.
Pancakes and that orange-and-cinnamon tea
that’s pretty strong.

Is there more? There’s always more.
No matter how you eat your grub, there’s lots in store:
From gluten-free French toast to food for herbivores.
That’s breakfast at Hobee’s!
Let’s breakfast at Hobee’s!
We’re happy at Hobee’s!

Edward and Camile

A New Era Begins: Hobee’s Sold to Longtime Employees

The following is the letter to the community written by the Taber family which announced the sale of Hobee’s in mid-June:

“After enjoying a momentous 43 year run as the owners of Hobee’s California Restaurants, the Taber family have sold the business. Though it’s a bittersweet decision, we are heartened to leave the company in familiar, very capable hands: We proudly announce that Hobee’s new owners will be our veteran employees, the husband and wife team of Camille and Daniel Chijate (pronounced Chee-HA-tay).

Camille and Daniel have each been employed by Hobee’s for 28 years. Camille presently serves as vice president and area manager, while Daniel fills the kitchen manager post at Hobee’s Palo Alto. The Chijates have earned this opportunity with their hard work and dedication throughout the years. They care deeply for our employees and customers, and have a passion for service. There is no better choice to carry on the Hobee’s legacy.

As we pass the torch to the Chijates, we are overwhelmed by the vivid memories we have shared with all of you. When our late father, Paul Taber, founded Hobee’s at a tiny site in Mountain View in 1974, he had one primary objective: to make friends. With his sly sense of humor, Paul indeed made many friends. In the process, he also created one of Silicon Valley’s earliest and most enduring success stories.

Throughout the years, we served up the Best Darn Breakfast in Town (and much more) to over a million customers. We racked up over a hundred awards, including: Best Breakfast, Best Brunch, Best Burger, Best Restaurant for Kids, Best Clam Chowder, Community Hero Award and Business of the Year in six cities and our congressional district. We welcomed luminaries from high tech, Hollywood and DC, and made our signature blueberry coffeecake world-famous. Our devoted employees have continually made us proud; scores have stayed with the company for more than two decades!

Hobee’s has always been a family affair. With Paul’s vision in place, the rest of us – matriarch Mary Taber, son Peter, daughter Connie and Peter’s husband, Ed – found unique ways to contribute to the business. Mary cheerfully processed the company payroll until age 82, then enjoyed over a decade of retirement in Honolulu before her passing in 2014. Connie focused on customer service and developed a fun, interactive training program that has been used by thousands of appreciative employees. Peter served as Hobee’s chief architect for expansion and used his superb cooking skills to develop many of Hobee’s most iconic recipes (yes, coffeecake included!). Ed, an attorney, assumed the CEO mantel from Peter and skillfully navigated the company through the economic ups and downs of the new millennium.

Now, the next era will begin, and while the Taber name will no longer be attached to the business, we nevertheless feel that we have kept Hobee’s in the family.

What a joy and privilege these 43 years have been! We will be forever grateful for your kindness, support and friendship.

With love and aloha,

PETER, ED & CONNIE”

man wins gift basket

Montague Kitchen Manager Wins High Honor

With sales records shattered at his store during the past year, and co-workers Felipe Zarate and Lety Martinez receiving big awards, we could not resist going back to Montague Expressway for our company’s biggest honor: We proudly present this year’s Paul Taber Commitment to Excellence Award to Francisco “Pancho” Ramirez, Montague’s outstanding Kitchen Manager.

The Paul Taber Award is given each year to an employee who demonstrates the founder’s legendary dedication to service and quality. Pancho models Paul in so many ways: He is focused on preparing the highest quality food and takes pride in presentation and accuracy.

For the past 27 years, Pancho has been a prime asset to Hobee’s kitchens in the South Bay, including Montague, San Jose / Town and Country and Pruneyard. He did not immediately become a Kitchen Manager; that took a decade more of being one of the company’s best cooks. When he finally did take the promotion to KM, Pancho shined. He used his experience to show others how to excel in their jobs.

The past year has been a great year for Montague, and Pancho has been a big reason for the store’s big hike in sales. The food scores on the secret shopper reports are consistently high, and we receive comments all the time from happy Montague regulars. Pancho also maintains an enviable food cost and helps Felipe control the overall labor cost.

Pancho already has a terrific Achievement Awards record: He won the Outstanding Kitchen Manager Award three times (2003, 2004 and 2010).  Nevertheless, it’s time to recognize his lasting contributions to Hobee’s with this major accolade. Congratulations and thank you, Pancho!

Leticia portrait

Announcing Our 2016 Hobee’s Achievement Award Honorees

For the 24th straight year, we poured over nominations for awards in scores of categories to determine the winners of our Annual Hobee’s Achievement Awards. This program allows us to say “thank you” to our incredible employees, loyal customers and supportive businesses. Over the winter months, we caught up with the winners and runners up to deliver prizes, certificates and personal congratulations. Here is the complete list of 2016 winners:

Outstanding General Manager – Felipe Zarate (Montague Expressway)
Outstanding Kitchen Manager – Javier Bracamontes (Mountain View)
Outstanding Manager – Leticia Martinez (Montague Expressway)
Outstanding Server (tie)– Leticia Martinez (Montague Expressway) and Juan Virrueta (Palo Alto)
Outstanding Host – Esmeralda Mendoza (Palo Alto)
Rookie of the Year – Wesley Russell (Palo Alto)
Outstanding Kitchen Crewmember (tie) – Azucena Bautista (Palo Alto) and Gonzalo Ortega (Sunnyvale)
Customers’ Choice Award – Richard Santos (Redwood Shores)
Supportive Organization Award – America’s Best Coffee
Hobee’s Hero – Lindsey Swanson (Mountain View)
Highest Annual Sales Awards – Montague (2 Periods) and Sunnyvale (3 Periods)
Secret Shopper Award – Sunnyvale
Paul Taber Commitment to Excellence Award – Francisco Ramirez (Montague Expressway)
Customer Hall of Fame – Patricia Crowley (Cupertino); Darlene and Mark Fosket (Montague Expressway); and Byron King (Mountain View)

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and finalists! For a full list of winners since 1993, visit our Hobee’s Achievement Award archives.

 

Hobee's store front at Mountain View

“I Love Mountain View” Blog Features Hobee’s

So nice to top the list of “I Love Mountain View’s” top breakfast choices. ILMV blogger Heidi Chun writes: “You can’t possibly walk out the door without eating a piece of their famous coffeecake. I love that Hobee’s is so involved in the community and they treat their employees like family. I always order the “BDBIT” (best darn breakfast in town) and 4 or 5 cups of coffee.” You can read the full post here.

Hobee's coffee blend label

New in Retail: Hobee’s Startup Blend and New Tea Size

We’re excited to announce that our locally-roasted Startup Blend Coffee is now available as a retail item. For years, our customers have requested that we provide a packaged version of our rich, robust java. It’s now here just in time for the Holiday Season! Enjoy a 10 oz. bag for $ 10.95.

Fans of Hobee’s Cinnamon-Orange Tea will be thrilled to know that we have improved our home version of the wildly popular blend. The spiced tea is now bagged by our supplier, improving freshness and taste. The larger bag eliminates the need for frequent ordering. 8 oz. bags of regular or decaf are offered for $ 9.95.

Pick up these items at your favorite Hobee’s or on-line at hobees.com/retail-orders

Hobee's redwood

Hobee’s Makes List of Best South Bay Breakfasts

Influential web site BayArea.com  included Hobee’s on its exclusive list of the South Bay’s Best Breakfasts. (We were listed first, so we like to think we topped the list!)  According to the post’s author Joanna Metheny, Hobee’s earns kudos for “cheesy hash browns, frothy smoothies, delicious omelets … and the mile-high blueberry coffee cake, which, served warmed with a generous pat of butter, has no equal”.

Click here to read the full article.

Mario batali

Hobee’s Coffeecake Featured in New Batali Book

We’re delighted to be included in the new book by rockstar chef Mario Batali. “The Big American Cookbook” compiles 250 iconic recipes from around the USA. Batali includes a version of our world-famous coffeecake. (We keep the original recipe close to the vest.)

Here’s how the publishers describe Batali’s latest: ” With over 250 simple recipes celebrating the treasures of the state fairs and the dishes of the local rotary clubs and ethnic groups. Batali has interpreted these regional gems with the same excitement and passion that he has approached traditional Italian food. Covering the Northeast/New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, the Heartland, the Southwest, and the Pacific Coast, this book will share everything from the BBQ styles of Texas, the Smokeys and the Carolinas, to the seafood soups from yankee Boston to the spicy gumbos of the Gulf Coast and the berry pies of the Pacific Northwest.”

The section on Hobee’s asserts that Hobee’s coffeecake “[is] the thing people who leave the southern Bay Area say they miss and they try to replicate.”

This is definitely on our Christmas list!