Baker honors tea shop as Small Business of the Year

The English Rose chosen by assemblywoman for district honor

Downtown Pleasanton's The English Rose Tea Room & Gifts was recognized last week as Small Business of the Year in the 16th Assembly District.

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) presented the award to Lisa Binzoni, owner of the West Neal Street tea shop, during a ceremony in Sacramento on June 1.

"As a small, family-owned, and independently-operated restaurant, The English Rose serves our community as a local job creator, and, for over 11 years, has been a treasured addition to downtown Pleasanton's charming business community," Baker said in a news release announcing the award.

"The English Rose has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting local nonprofits in our community by giving back in time and contributions to charity," Baker added. "It is with great pleasure that I recognize The English Rose, not only for its success in business, but also for its devotion to community service."

Lisa Binzoni is the mother of a member of Baker's staff, communications director Nick Binzoni. Baker's chief of staff, Nanette Farag, said the selection of Lisa Binzoni's business had nothing to do with her son's connection to Baker.

Farag said Baker's staff nearly eliminated The English Rose from consideration to avoid perceptions of bias, but the tea shop's community impact rose it to the top of the list.

The English Rose opened in 2004 and hosts lessons on etiquette and group tea events.

"I am grateful to have been honored with this award from Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, and I so appreciate her commitment to small businesses in our community," Lisa Binzoni said in a release.

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Nominations due by Sept. 16 and Pleasanton Weekly are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form