Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Illuminated Channel Letter Sign for Patra in San Ramon

We recently had the pleasure of working with Patra Indian Grill in San Ramon.  Patra is a new fast food chain that has received great reviews so far!  The food is delicious and they were a great company to work with.

Patra contacted Sequoia Signs & Graphics about creating and installing a set of channel letters in San Ramon.  As the chain is fairly new, we sat down with the owners to discuss the logo, logo colors and placement.  Once we had established the desired loo, we drew up drawings and renderings so that we could obtain city approval. While channel letters are very common, the cities still need to verify that they are being built correctly and properly mounted to the facade.  Of course, at Sequoia Signs we are more than happy to comply.  We pride ourselves on both quality manufacture and impeccable installation.

The sign that Patra settled on is a combination of custom channel lettering and a logo box.  Both have L.E.D. lights which illuminate the faces at night.  These days, we pretty much only use L.E.D. lights when installing new signage.  They are so much more efficient than the older light sources, like neon lights, – and less expensive.

After we complete the installation, the final step is to call the city inspector to make sure we installed everything correctly. Of course, the sign needs to be well mounted but there are a couple of other things the inspector will look for- they need to have an accessible ‘kill switch’, they need to be connected to an automatic timer or photocell and they lights need to be U.L. certified for quality.  If you look at the returns on most channel letters, you will see a silver or white sticker which is the U.L. certified label. (see below)

Do you have a channel letter project?  We would love to help!  Sequoia Signs & Graphics, Inc. is a licensed electrical sign contractor (Ca # 1019870)

Give us a call at 925.300.1066!  We are happy to visit your site and discuss your options.

Written by: Sequoia Signs & Graphics

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Rosemary & Caraway Shortbread

This is a great and simple recipe for the holidays.  Feel free to increase or decrease the spice to your taste! (I go heavy on the rosemary)  Shortbread dough can be made up to a month in advance and pulled out when needed.


1 tsp caraway seeds

2 sticks chilled butter cut into chunks

1/2 cup sugar (plus some for sprinkles)

1/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour (I mix all purpose and spelt flour)

2 tsp finely chopped rosemary plus whole leaves

1 large egg


Preheat oven to 350

Toast caraway seeds in dry skillet over med-high heat until fragrant (2 min)   Coarsley chop

Put butter, sugar, powdered sugar and salt in mixing bowl and beat on med-high speed for 7-10 minutes (longer is usually better)  reduce speed and add the flour, caraway and chopped rosemary.  mix to combine.  Dough will be shaggy and look dry.

Press dough into two 8″-diameter cake pans or similar.  Brush with the egg and sprinkle with sugar and the whole rosemary leaves (I will often half these but not fine chop)

Bake for 20-25 min until shortbread is golden brown.  Let pan cool on cooling rack before turning onto a cutting board and cutting wedges to serve.

Enjoy the Holidays!

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Check Out These Budget-Friendly Hotels for Your Trip to San Ramon

Hotels in San Ramon, California

You’re visiting San Ramon, and you’re seeking a place to stay that is both comfortable and easy on the wallet. Of course, you know this can be a challenge – especially in the Bay Area! However, you can put your worries to rest. We’ve done the legwork for you. We put together some of the best rated, most budget-conscious places to stay in the San Ramon.

Hyatt House San Ramon – from $139/night

One of the top-rated hotels in the beautiful San Ramon Valley, the Hyatt House San Ramon offers short-term studio style rooms and long-term stay multi-room suites. Warm, contemporary styled rooms include fully equipped kitchens, workspace, and free wifi.

Hot breakfast is also complimentary and boasts options like cage-free eggs, all-natural bacon and sausage, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and steel cut oats. A pool, hot tub, and 24-hour fitness center are ready for you when you’re ready to relax and recharge. Clean rooms, friendly staff, and easy access to the area’s business parks— all that for under $150 is tough to beat.

Residence Inn San Ramon – from $149/night

You’ll find comfortable, casual, and recently renovated apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens at the Residence Inn San Ramon. Functional, ergonomic workspaces in rooms also include free wifi access and are pet-friendly. Full, hot breakfast buffet is complimentary, and 3 nights a week the hotel hosts “mixers” – free social events with snacks and sips including local fare from food trucks (for a nominal charge).

Burn that breakfast off in the fitness center, pool, or on the basketball court. All of this along with a free business center, fire pit and BBQ grill access, quiet location and free parking help make the Residence Inn a top budget-friendly pick.

La Quinta Inn & Suites Dublin – Pleasanton – from $109/night

Just down the road from San Ramon in Dublin, the La Quinta Inn & Suites is another great option for both standard rooms and suites available. Each recently renovated room includes a microwave and refrigerator, comfy pillowtop beds, and workspace. The premium cable, wifi, and parking are all complimentary.

Wake up to “Bright Side” breakfast, complimentary DIY fresh Belgian style waffles, fresh fruit, muffins, bread, and unlimited coffee and fresh orange juice. Run some laundry in the guest laundry facilities while getting a workout in or swimming in the pool. Clean rooms and attentive, friendly staff are the “cherry on top” for this budget-friendly choice.

San Ramon Marriot – from $114/night

The San Ramon Marriot boasts redwood forest views while still providing easy access to the 580/680 freeways. Contemporary, California style greets you – and your pet – in comfortable, well-appointed rooms. Rooms start at $139/night, but tor roughly $20/night more, a concierge level room gives you access to the lounge, in addition to offering free continental breakfast, non-alcoholic beverages, hors-d’oeuvres, desserts, and late night snacks.

Room amenities include refrigerator, coffeemaker, and iron. Friendly staff, clean rooms, and great location make this hotel a great choice, but be aware you’ll need to budget extra for parking and internet access.

Best Western Danville Sycamore Inn – from $109

Just a few minutes North of San Ramon, the Best Western Danville Sycamore Inn provides scenic views of Mt Diablo. This hotel boasts large rooms with many options – from single king sized bedrooms to two queen beds and a patio with mountain views! Rooms feature microwaves, refrigerators, and coffeemakers. Larger suites also include ergonomic workspaces and patios.

The complimentary breakfast includes hot items like eggs, sausage, and bacon, as well as cold breakfast standards like muffins, cereal, fresh fruit and yogurt. Pets are welcome in specific rooms. Parking and wifi are also complimentary. While the Best Western doesn’t have its own fitness center on property, they do offer free passes to a nearby facility. Don’t feel like working out? Relax in the heated outdoor pool instead! Comfortable, quiet rooms, friendly staff, and convenient location give the Best Western extra points.

Whether you are planning a stay in San Ramon or its surrounding areas for business or pleasure, let Sequoia Signs help with your display and signage needs. Contact us today for a quote!

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Check Out What’s Happening in San Ramon Year Round

What's happening in San Ramon Year Round

San Ramon boasts plentiful sunshine, warm days, copious green space, and beautiful rolling hills. It’s a perfect spot for outdoor adventures and casual picnics in the warm California sun. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty to do year-round in the San Ramon area. Here are some of our top picks for events and activities in San Ramon:

Year Round Fun

San Ramon’s mild weather is perfect for outdoor pastimes. Spend an afternoon on a trail or pack a lunch to enjoy al fresco with friends. Here are just a few of the many things that natives and visitors can do year-round in San Ramon:

Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

Varied hiking trails wind through the hills, offering the breathtaking views and wildlife make that Las Trampas a popular destination for adventurous families and photographers alike. Spend the day exploring on your own or with friends and family, or steal away from the workday hustle and bustle for a quiet picnic lunch!

Forest Home Farms Historic Park

Explore Victorian life and get a taste of local history at the Forest Home Farms Historic Park. While the name is taken from the historic buildings dating back to the 1850s, there’s more than that in this beautiful space. Antique farming equipment, farm animals, free activities, and children’s programs make this park a hit for children and history buffs alike.

Canyon Lakes Golf & Brewery

This sprawling 18-hole golf course is a daily fee public course with competitive rates and a monthly membership available. Bonus— the club also features a full restaurant and microbrewery! Hit the green for a “work meeting” and then grab a brew and have a tasty lunch outdoors. That’s a great way to spend an afternoon in the San Ramon area!

Dougherty Station Library

The Dougherty Station library has everything you would expect from a great library – e-books, movies, and music available for checkout, as well as storytime and events for little ones, clubs and after-school activities for school-age kids, and even “adulting” classes on topics like resume building and interviewing.  Should San Ramon’s typically perfect weather be less-than-perfect, the Dougherty Station library is an ideal place to while away the afternoon.

Farmer’s Market

Foodies, rejoice! Every Thursday and Saturday, you’ll find more than fifty local growers and artisans who gather to share their wares at Bishop Ranch. Fresh fruits and veggies, honey, eggs, artisan cheeses, crepes, barbecue, and more await you.

Seasonal Activities

There’s no doubt that there is always something to do in the Diablo Valley, regardless of the season. Change up your routine with these season-specific special events:

Art and Wind Festival

This annual event blows into Central Park each Memorial Day weekend with amazing stunt kites, hang glider demonstrations, arts and crafts (including making your own working kite), delicious food from local vendors, and an impressive lineup of multicultural music and dance.

Summer Concert Series

Pack a picnic and enjoy some great live music with friends and family. You can even let the kids kick off their shoes and dance barefoot in the grass— after all, this is what summer nights are all about! Concerts begin on July 4th and run throughout the summer in Central Park. The Summer Concert Series features a variety of music styles from pop covers to oldies, country to Latin beats.

Tree Lighting at Bishop Ranch

Come get in the holiday spirit at the annual tree lighting at Bishop Ranch. The ceremonial lighting of the beautiful 70’ fir tree also includes a variety of activities and refreshments for both kids and adults – including play in the snow park with real snow!

Sequoia Signs is a proud part of the growing community of San Ramon. Let us help you get your Bay Area business the attention it deserves! Contact us today!

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Booking a Trip to Concord, CA? Check Out These Budget-Friendly Hotels

Hilton Hotel sign

Planning your next family trip? Need to come to Concord for business? No fear—we have your hotel recommendations right here.

We get it. Travel can be expensive. From buying a plane ticket or renting a car to planning meals and outings, things can get pricey fast. Here are a few stellar hotels we recommend that won’t bust your vacation budget.

Crowne Plaza Concord

Located just next door to the Buchanan Field Golf Course and Airport, you can squeeze in a round of golf between business meetings or even take a flying lesson while you enjoy your stay at the Crowne Plaza Concord. Also, located in the center of the hotel, a beautiful indoor lounge area with a pool and multiple koi ponds feels like a little oasis at the end of a long travel day.

Accessible to major highways, you won’t be too far from where you need to be. Check out deals and special packages for your stay on their website– we’re sure you will enjoy all that the Crowne Plaza has to offer without breaking the bank.

Hilton Concord

Looking for a hotel close to 680 that’s within 5 miles of Waterworld USA and also nearby to other major attractions like Six Flags Discovery Kingdom? The Hilton Concord is well-loved for its hospitality and friendly, welcoming staff. With a beautiful outdoor pool area for the kiddos and a fabulous restaurant which offers a wide array of wine selections, wood-fired pizza, and a full menu, plus a fully operational business center you will find exactly what you need at the Hilton Concord.

Whether you’re traveling alone on business or with your family, the Hilton Concord will be able to meet your needs. Here are some special deals, including WiFi, breakfast, complimentary drinks, and discounted rates at the Hilton, where affordability meets leisure.

Hyatt House Pleasant Hill

While technically in Pleasant Hill, Hyatt House is just a little south of Concord. We couldn’t leave it off of our list of hotels— this hotel offers visitors to our part of California such a great value! With a peaceful, contemporary aesthetic and kind, accommodating staff who spare no attention to detail, you will be sure to find the respite of Hyatt House worth it.

While most hotels these days feature a pool, business center, and fitness center, Hyatt House also offers a “sports court,” perfect for tennis or basketball, as well as a dog walk area and a complimentary hot breakfast.  You can blow off some steam, take your beloved pet for a walk, and get fuel for your busy day—all within the grounds of the hotel.

Looking for a longer stay? This is an extended-stay hotel complete with fully equipped kitchens, so Hyatt will soon feel like your home-away-from-home. More information can be found at their website.

Residence Inn Pleasant Hill Concord

Many hotels offer a host of complimentary amenities: free WiFi, free parking, or a free hot breakfast, but we were charmed by the offer for a beer or glass of wine on the house to help weary customers unwind after a day of travel.

Both family-friendly and pet-friendly, the Residence Inn Pleasant Hill Concord also offers an outdoor pool and barbecue area. We’re not the only ones who think this hotel is excellent: recent reviews give high ratings for both the staff and the cleanliness of the hotel. The Residence Inn also offers a full kitchen in-suite, so whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you can maintain all the comforts of home. Check out the offerings of this fabulous hotel with great deals at their website.

While you’re in Concord, come check us out! Our signs can have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your company, and that can leave a big impression on your customers. Let us help you make a positive impact on your business with sleek, professional-looking signage inside and out. Contact us today for more information, or just check out our website for more information!

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Tom’s Jambalaya

This is such a staple in our home that I thought I had posted it already, but I do not think I did.  There are probably a million ways to make Jambalaya and this one has no claim to authenticity or New Orleans.  In fact, my good friend Lisa from Yuma, AZ gave this to me years ago.  We love it and hope you do to!


3 boneless chicken breaks- cut up (1″ ) 1/4-1/2 tspn cayenne
1/4 lb cooked ham (I get 1/4″ slice at deli)- cubed 1 tspn file powder
6-8″ cooked sausage Andoulle or something smoked 1 1/2 tspn cumin
cut into half moon pieces 1 1/2 tspn fresh ground black pepper
4 Tbsn butter 1 tspn dried thyme
1+ large yellow onion -diced 3 cloves garlic -minced
1+ bell pepper – diced 2 cups brown rice
1 cup chopped celery 1 can chopped tomato
1 tspn white pepper 4 cups chicken broth
1 tspn dry mustard 4-5 bay leaves

This is really one of those recipes where you can add more of what you like or take away something you don’t.  I actually added corn to this batch which we liked.

ALL steps stirring frequently.  Cook chicken in the butter on med-high for 10 minutes, adding ham and sausage for last bit.  Add veggies and seasoning and cook for 10 more minutes.  Add garlic and rice and cook another 5 minutes.   Add broth, bay leaves and tomato. simmer (covered) 40-50 minutes additional or until rice is cooked. (add additional broth as necessary and stir occasionally- scrap bottom while stirring.)




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Friday, November 17, 2017

Channel Letter Sign for Just 40 Fitness in Pleasant Hill

We recently had the pleasure of working with the owners of Just 40 Fitness, a new line of great gyms in the East Bay.  They were opening their new Pleasant Hill location and called us to help with their signage.  We Met them on site and reviewed several aspects of the location where they wanted branding.  The project involved interior wall graphics, window graphics in addition to the wall signs, but this post will focus on the exterior.

Channel letters are a very common form of exterior wall sign and it is a common project for the team at Sequoia Signs & Graphics.  We always start by discussing the project with our customer to find out what they would like to see.  From there, we take a look at the local ordinance and any relevant sign plan to see if the owners goal can be achieved within the guidelines.  Most of the time this is not an issue, but occasionally we need to adjust our sizing or re-design our sign to make sure we have a good chance of approval.  Of course, the property manager is the first one to sign off and from there we go to the city for permits.

As the name suggests, channel letters are mostly letters formed from bent aluminum with acrylic faces, but there are often elements, like logos, that are not exactly letters.

The “channel” is formed by the aluminum and the LED lighting sits at the back.  In the above picture you with note a silver tag on the letters- this is a UL badge which ensures that the letters were made at a facility approved to make safe exterior lighting elements.

For this project, we made two signs.  One sits above the main entrance and faces the parking lot where most of their patrons will park and enter the gym.

The other set is on the back side of the gym, but this is the side that faces Pleasant Hill Road, so you might consider it the front in some ways.


Just 40 Fitness was a great company to work with.  We tried several variations to make sure we had the best design before we went for permitting.  In the end, we had two great signs and Just 40 Pleasant Hill is open and off to a great start.  If you are looking to get into shape or improve your health- you should definitely stop bu Just 40 Fitness.




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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Invest in San Ramon, CA – Here’s Why

Invest in San Ramon, CA

Are you looking for the perfect place to start a brand new business venture or expand your current one? San Ramon is a great place to make a new home for your company. San Ramon is family-friendly, with affordable real estate opportunities, growing businesses, great schools and parks, and lots to do.

With its fast-growing yet stable economy and its excellent location, along with the many diverse opportunities San Ramon already has to offer, you’ll quickly fall in love with all that San Ramon can provide.

Home to Strong Companies

San Ramon is already the headquarters to several large, very stable companies that will provide jobs and economic stability for years to come, which makes San Ramon an ideal place to expand or introduce your business.

San Ramon is the home to the headquarters for Chevron, which is one of the top six oil companies, and one of the 20 largest companies worldwide. San Ramon is also the location of the west coast headquarters for AT&T, which is also one of the 20 biggest companies in the world, and the seventh-largest company in the United States.

In fact, Chevron and AT&T employ about 20 percent of the workforce in the city. Additionally, San Ramon is home to the headquarters for 24-Hour Fitness, which has expanded internationally and has become an established brand in the booming fitness industry.

Two of the main reasons this is an important factor when looking to invest in a city are jobs and job security. These successful companies aren’t going anywhere, and they bring with them their many employees who live their lives in San Ramon, and they all work, play, and have families within the city.

With the presence of these companies and their employees come other businesses and employment opportunities in industries like food service, healthcare, media, consulting, and tourism. With such a stable, healthy economy, San Ramon is a perfect place to bring your business.


When the Bishop Ranch Office Park was built in the 1980s, it began a major shift for the city of San Ramon. Once a commuter town for larger cities in the Bay Area, specifically San Francisco, San Ramon was able to stand on its own.

Jobs began to grow and multiply, and today, over 21,000 people work in the Bishop Ranch Office Park each day with an estimated 16,000 jobs to be added in the next 15 years. Now is the perfect time for you to establish your company here in San Ramon.

Also, San Ramon is a young city, full of vibrancy and diversity! While the nation as a whole is expecting a 17 percent population growth through 2030, San Ramon is expected to grow by 34 percent, and most of the growth is projected to come from those under the age of 44. As the population grows and diversifies, there will be a great need for businesses like yours to take shape in the city of San Ramon.

Location, Location, Location

Not only is San Ramon itself a strong city with a thriving business climate, but its location makes it fairly easy to access many other areas in northern California, and specifically the Bay Area. Growing your company in San Ramon puts you close to San Francisco and Berkeley as well as Silicon Valley.

San Ramon offers you and your customers the comfort, ease, and affordability of a smaller city while still giving you and your company access to larger cities, and giving those cities access to your company as well.

A Place Families Want to Live

Simply put, San Ramon is a wonderful place for families. With one of the top school systems in the state, and so much to see and explore, all while being a safe place to live and a great place to work, more and more families are choosing to live in San Ramon.

Not only does this set the stage for long-term economic growth, but it also means that whether you are looking for a place for your tech start-up or you want to open your own restaurant, there will be plenty of people looking to work for you, employ the services of your company, and check out what you have to offer.

Ready to stake your claim on all that San Ramon has to offer for an enterprising entrepreneur like yourself? You’ll need to spread the word! Contact us when you’re ready, and we will provide you with visibility, recognition, and style to set you apart.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

4 Signs You Should Invest in Concord, California

BART Transit System

Recently, the city of Concord has been in the running to be the headquarters of a major corporation. While competition is steep, Concord, California offers many benefits to any business looking to move into the Bay Area and thrive. Here are some of the signs that your business should be investing in Concord, California.

Sign #1: Concord Reuse Project Plan

The city of Concord has created an extensive plan to repurpose 5000 square acres across town, also known as the  Naval Weapons station. Here are some of the details of the Concord Reuse Project Plan to transform the Naval Weapons Station:

  • 6 million square feet of office and commercial space
  • 120 acres for a research facility or an academic campus
  • 12,000 housing units

The city of Concord also has 3 million square feet of existing office space available downtown near the Concord BART station.

Sign #2: BART

BART, or the Bay Area Rapid Transit, connects the city of San Francisco with the surrounding counties of Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa- where Concord is located. BART makes transportation to and from the downtown area of Concord easy and efficient.

Companies looking to invest in the city of Concord should consider how a public transportation system increases the value of an area. Employees are attracted by easy solutions to get to and from work. With a growing global consciousness about the environment, many people look to greener solutions for transportation other than personal vehicles.

Sign #3: Class A Office Space

Concord offers Class A office space more competitively than any other city in the Bay Area. There are qualifying factors to be a Class A office space:

  • Well located
  • Best construction available
  • High-quality building infrastructure
  • Aesthetically pleasing inside and out
  • Professionally managed

Class A office space is 50% less expensive in Concord than in Walnut Creek and 4 times less than the same space in San Francisco. Concord even offers free parking. Combining the Class A office space with the reasonable home prices, multiple options for transportation and an educated workforce, Concord is steep competition for any city in the Bay Area looking to attract businesses to invest.

Sign #4: Helpful City Government

The city of Concord is highly motivated to help companies, small and large, save time and money when moving into Concord. The Concord Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development center are renowned for their one-stop permit services.

Concord’s leadership is eager to work with businesses to offer incentives and grants along with other developmental tools to make the growth of your business and the city of Concord the best possible arrangement. Some of these incentives and grants include:

  • Research and Development Tax Credit
  • California Energy Commission PIER Program
  • Industrial Development Bond Program for Equipment and Facilities
  • Contra Costa County Workforce Development Program

Sequoia Signs is ready to help your business move into the city of Concord. We provide the best quality custom signs for Concord and the entire Bay Area. Give us a call today to see how we can help you design and execute your company’s signs for your growing business.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Can’t Miss Festivities in Concord, CA.

Bay Area

Residents of Concord, California don’t need to go far for entertainment year round. This city offers a multitude of diverse festivals for people of all ages. Annual festivities can be a great tradition to start with your loved ones, here are the best festivals in Concord.

MomDay in the Park

All moms deserve celebrating and what better way than to celebrate them with live music? A combination of events, celebrating moms as well as the Bay Area Music Education. Live performances by student musicians happen in early May in Todos Santos Plaza. Treat your mom to lunch at one of the amazing restaurants in the plaza and then take a stroll listening to all the live music.

Bay Area KidFest

This amazing three-day event includes live entertainment for the kids, as well as activities, sports, as well as arts and crafts, all aimed to promote health and wellness for children and families.With a donation of a canned good to the Food Bank, the event is just $6 per person, $7 without a donation. In the past seven years, this event has generated over 30,000 pounds of canned donations for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano. All children two and under, and seniors 65 and older receive free admission.

For additional costs, there are also over 15 rides, including a zip line, ferris wheel, pony ride, petting zoo, and Xtreme Laser Tag! Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to the delicious food vendors for meals and snacks.

Concord Jazz Festival

Back in 1969, a resident of Concord by the name of Carl Jefferson decided he wanted to hold a jazz festival. He thought the citizens of Concord would like it as much as he and his friends, so he went to the city with funds for a festival and the city matched it. He was right about the thirst for jazz, as the first festival drew in more than 17,000 people. Six short years later he built Concord Pavilion, a place for casual and formal performances, and in May of 1975, it was complete, with a price tag of 4.5 million dollars.

Today, the Concord Jazz Festival is held annually in June and is free to the public. It is still held at the Concord Pavilion and features 4 twenty-piece big bands and more on two different stages. It is truly a festival for all ages and one that Carl Jefferson would still be proud of.

Independence Day Festival and 5K Race

An all-day event, the Concord Fourth of July celebration starts with a 5K race and a Kid run at 8 am. Followed shortly by a parade through the city at 10 am. The festival takes over from there, and a kid carnival with bounce houses and games, along with food and music entertainment starts.

The kids’ carnival has tickets available for $1 each, or all day wristbands can be purchased for $15 each. A military discount is available for $12 for all-day wristbands.

The night ends honoring our country with a fireworks celebration!

Bay Area Beer and Slider Fest

This is a newer celebration to our area, but one we cannot wait to see repeated this year! November 4th at the Clarion Hotel in Concord the second annual Bay Area Beer and Slider Fest will take place.

This 21 and over event will feature local restaurants and breweries like:

For $30 at the door, you get unlimited beer and food, and for the designated drivers, it is $20 for unlimited food. A portion of the proceeds from this event goes to The Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.

Concord Annual Turkey Trot

This year Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 23rd and to start off the holiday season, a 5K and a 10K are run in the morning. To keep it a fun run, only the first 1500 people will be registered. There is also a free Kid Dash around Todos Santos Park for children 10 and under. This event starts just before the Turkey Trot at 7:45 a.m.

The run is a benefit for Compassion Outreach, a program to meet practical needs for the underserved in our community.

All participants receive a t-shirt and custom medal for running in the race, start this fun tradition with your family this year!

Concord’s Official Tree Lighting Ceremony

The holiday season will be in full effect on December 2 of this year with the tree lighting and Santa’s grand arrival in Todos Santos Plaza!

Take your family and see Santa’s entrance at 4 p.m., followed by local school choirs and community entertainers taking stage at 5 p.m. The mayor will be hosting a holiday sing-a-long and free carriage rides will be sponsored by the Todos Santos Business Association.

At Sequoia Signs, we proudly serve Concord’s community and businesses, as well as the residents of the greater Bay Area region. Call us today and see how we can serve your company or next event!

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Old Bay Fried Chicken

Fried chicken…how can this go wrong?  (don’t answer that)

While this isn’t an original recipe, I’ve amalgamated a few recipes to arrive here so I am not going to credit any specifically.

First, let’s discuss the brine-    brine is nice for the texture but invariably I have found the results to be overly salty.  My theory is half the salt, half the time- so I’ve already cut both in the below.


1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bay leaves
1 cup Crystal hot sauce (or Frank’s)
8 skinless/boneless chicken thighs
8 skinless/boneless chicken breasts (cut in half)
4 cups spelt flour (or normal)
1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning
fresh ground pepper

(oil for frying)


3/4 cup bacon grease
1 Tbsp Old Bay
2 tsp paprika
Cayenne to taste (2 tsp recommended)


For the brine, heat the salt, sugar, bay leaves and 4 cups water, whisking until dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the hot sauce along with 8 cups ice water.  When mixed and cool, add the chicken and chill for 2 hours.

When ready to cook, start heating your oil while you prep the chicken.

Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels.  (Chicken should have time to reach room temp)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, Old Bay, and a healthy grind of fresh black pepper.  Set up two smaller bowls- one with buttermilk and pour some of this mixture in the other.  After you do a few pieces, you will keep adding to both bowls as necessary.

Set a wire rack over a baking sheet to make clean up easier.  Working in batches, dip chicken in the buttermilk then coat with the flour mixture.  Pack it on thickly for nice crust.

At some point before or after the above- make the glaze by combining the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until mixed.  Let rest and re-heat as necessary later.

When oil is between 325-350, you can start with your first batch of chicken.  Obviously, the amount per batch will depend on the size of your pot, but don’t over crowd. 6-8 minutes per batch. (I use an instant read thermometer to check that the meat is done) Remove to wire rack (again over a baking sheet works best).  While the next batch is cooking, lightly baste the chicken with the glaze. Repeat until done.




Serve with a nice brussel sprout salad.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Martinez- Monument Sign for Heather Hills HOA

Here’s a recent job we did monument sign for the Heather Hills Home Owners Association in Martinez. They have had a sign at their entrance but felt it was getting a bit dated (in fact, it was also falling down!) They had some good ideas about what they wanted and brought them to Sequoia Signs to see if we could help.

Readers of our blogs know the answer- of course we can! We always love a new job and even if we have never done a particular type of sign in the past…we are always willing to learn! In most cases, we have either made a similar sign or we know the basics. If we don’t know- we are never too old to learn!

In the case of the HHOA, it was not a terribly difficult design. They had a beautiful sign in mind made from 4” x 4” redwood posts tied together with all thread rod. The heights of the posts vary at the top which is a nice touch. Of course, the end posts are longer and sit in concrete which will hold that sign in place for its lifetime.



To that, we added a beautiful redwood face which is attached by lag bolts. When sandblasting redwood, we can either blast out the background, leaving raised letters, or we can sandblast the lettering and leave the face intact. The HHOA chose the latter, in part to avoid vandalism.

The result is a beautiful new monument sign at the entrance to the development. If you are ever driving to Martinez on Alhambra Avenue, keep your eyes out for this beautiful sign on the right.
Are you looking for a redwood sign? Either on its own or attached to a redwood monument, look no further- we would love to help! At Sequoia Signs & Graphics, we want all of our customers to STAND TALL and GET NOTICED!

Written by Sequoia Signs & Graphics

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

5 Things to Do in Downtown San Ramon, California

5 Things to do in San Ramon, CA

Whether you are local to San Ramon or just in town for a visit, there’s much to explore in the city. While we know and love signs, we also love sharing all that our community has to offer. Here are a few of our favorite things to do within San Ramon.

Explore the History

San Ramon is full of history, and luckily, much of it has been preserved to explore and learn about firsthand. You can check out Forest Homes Farms Historic Park, which details the founding of San Ramon in a completely immersive way that is fun for the whole family.

A 16-acre farm with the complete Forest estate and the Glass family Victorian home are both open for exploring Tuesdays through Saturdays, with free family activities on Saturdays from 11am-2pm. We love that the history of the park honors the founding men and women of the city. Bring your family and inspire them to be the trailblazers for the next generation in San Ramon.

The Golden Skate

On just about every list of things to do in San Ramon is a visit to the Golden Skate. With daily open skate times, this roller rink is a throwback to the heyday of roller rinks that kids of all ages can truly enjoy.

The Golden Skate also offers roller skating lessons, a hockey team, and is available for parties and events. Attend one of the daily open skate sessions with your whole family, or attend an adult open skate session for a rolling good time.

De-Stress and Pamper Yourself

Want to cut stress and treat yourself? Healing Hands Spa has a host of services, from a full menu of massages, including reflexology, hot stone massages, and even a full body polish, along with facials,  and new age offerings like reiki treatments, and aura readings and cleansings to take care of you both physically and spiritually.

Looking to pamper yourself in a whole new way? Check out Enlighten Float for an entirely new, tranquil experience, unlike any other. In a small, sensory deprivation tank filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved in water, your body floats atop the water to alleviate pressure to your joints and your entire body. Essentially, there is no gravity, no touch, no sound, and no sight, allowing you to completely relax during your 60-90 minute session. Those who have tried float sessions rave about the stress relief and physical benefits they receive from the experience. Don’t miss out on this totally new, refreshing experience.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

One of the things that make San Ramon so unique is the gorgeous landscape that just begs to be explored. Not too far from downtown is the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park. With over 5,000 acres to traverse, hikers and horseback riders love the trails and the remote feeling just outside downtown.

Bring a picnic and go for a hike, scale the 2,024-foot summit on Rocky Ridge check out the stables and take a horseback riding lesson, or even reserve a campsite to fully immerse yourself in the beauty Las Trampas has to offer. Don’t forget your hiking permit. Tip: Bring lots of water for you, your pets, and your horse— water isn’t always readily available at all locations within the park.

Check Out 18 (or 9) Holes and a Beverage

Can’t decide between a trip to a local brewery or a game of golf? No need to worry. Canyon Lakes Golf Course and Brewery has the best of both worlds available in one stop. With a brand new microbrewery now in full production offering a host of different kinds of brews, even those who don’t enjoy golf will enjoy a stop at Canyon Lakes.

The brewery also offers a full restaurant menu so you won’t go hungry after a long day of golf. Play 18 holes on the beautiful public course, and refresh yourself afterward with an ice cold brew and delicious meal. Canyon Lakes also has seasonal events throughout the year, so be sure to check out the offerings for fall, including their Halloween edition of their monthly Night Golf event.

At Sequoia Signs, we are proud to be part of the thriving community of San Ramon and to serve the businesses and people of the greater Bay Area region. Let us help you take your business to the next level and request a quote today.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Top 10 Recommended Restaurants in Concord, CA

Best restaurants in Concord, California

Coming to Concord for work or a visit? Just in a restaurant rut and looking for a new food adventure? Sure, we know and love signs, but we also know and love a good restaurant just as much. Here are our picks for the top ten restaurants to check out in Concord, California:

Pick #1: Eureka!

If we are talking about top recommended restaurants in Concord, you will be sure to find Eureka! on just about any list. With a fresh take on modern American fare and a happy hour that can’t be beat, there’s something to surprise and delight everyone. Your mouth will water just thinking about the truffle cheese fries, topped with green onion and a white truffle cheese sauce, and we can’t get enough of their awesome burger selection. (PS: You will have a very hard time picking from their brunch menu, too. You may need to make several trips!)

Pick #2: Fiore

Fiore is an intimate, authentic Italian restaurant with food offerings that extend well beyond the traditional choices of many other Italian restaurants. Their menu is packed with fun, delectable options that are surprising and traditional at the same time. Fiore not only brings the ambiance and old world charm of Italy to Concord, making it perfect for a date night or quiet dinner, but it also brings the flavor in full force. Fiore is known for their beet salad and the Pescatore complete with lobster tomato sauce. There is something to delight every lover of Italian cuisine, from the traditional to the more adventurous

Pick #3: Digger’s Diner

True Concordians know that the best local spot in town for any kind of comfort food is Digger’s Diner. You won’t want to miss out on the breakfast sandwich first thing in the morning, and there is a reason the menu lists the burgers as “famous.” The Coffin Burger is renown for satisfying even the most voracious of appetites. There’s nothing fancy about the place: Digger’s has the comfortable feeling of a greasy spoon or a hole-in-the-wall diner—a name they claim with pride—but the food here is top-notch.

Pick #4: La Sen Bistro

Looking for something a little fancier than a diner? La Sen Bistro is a delightful French restaurant that will transport you from Concord to France with your first sip of wine. La Sen truly does all of the French classics incredibly well and their kitchen isn’t one to shy away from using real butter or rich flavors to bring you the real tastes of France. The lamb chops and duck breast are out of this world and you can’t beat their incredibly flavorful French onion soup. With a small, lush dining area and authentic flavors, you will think you’re on vacation from the first sip to the last bite.

Pick #5: Plate & Vine

Not sure what you’re in the mood for? You can find a wide array of both new American dishes and pizzas at Plate & Vine, and as the name would imply, you won’t be wanting for lack of wines from which to choose. As many ingredients as possible are locally and sustainably sourced thanks to our long growing season, and the sleek atmosphere matches the complex yet delightful flavors that Plate & Vine has to offer. Also, if you give it a taste, you will surely be dreaming about the lobster mac and cheese for days.

Pick #6: Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

It’s worth checking out Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar multiple times a year thanks to their exciting seasonal menu, but there is also truly something to please everyone at Lazy Dog, home to traditional-yet-exciting American fare. Plus, you can enjoy the fire pit on the patio with your four-legged canine friends, which we love. You can even order off a special menu for your pups, but for you, we recommend the mahi-mahi tacos or the brussel sprouts. Check out the weekend brunch for a delicious start to your day as well.

Pick #7: Naan n Curry

There is frequently a short wait at this little restaurant for some of the best butter chicken and other Indian cuisines that Concord has to offer, and we can see why. Have patience and know that you will soon be rewarded with fresh baked, tasty naan bread and stellar chicken tikki masala. Naan n Curry is also very vegetarian-friendly, but there is surely something on the menu to amuse everyone’s palates too. Watch your meal being prepared right in front of your eyes with Naan n Curry’s open kitchen, and then enjoy delicious, authentic Indian food in the heart of Concord.

Pick #8: DJ’s Bistro

If you’re in the mood for German or Eastern European fare, look no farther than DJ’s Bistro. With excellent goulash, sauerbraten, schnitzel, and dumplings served fresh daily, you can enjoy all the tastes of Europe right here in Concord. You will be greeted warmly in this small but mighty restaurant, and with ice cold German beers on tap, you will soon feel like part of the family too. Don’t miss the true European delights that DJ’s has to offer, and come back again and again for the friendly, family-like atmosphere.

Pick #9: Hunan Restaurant

Hunan Restaurant has been a staple of traditional Chinese restaurants in Concord for decades, and because you can order many dishes to be served family style, you can try a variety in just one visit. The Chinese dumplings, filled with both pork and Chinese cabbage, served with perfectly paired sauces will be enough to bring you back time after time, but we know you will want to give the whole menu a try.

Pick #10: Steamboat

Steamboat is an Asian-fusion restaurant where you can find killer sushi and Chinese cuisine all in one spot. Steamboat is also known for its offering of hot pots, or pots where you cook an assortment of foods (usually with meat) in a heated broth right at your table. This fun atmosphere is perfect to share with a party for a delicious and unforgettable dining experience filled with both camaraderie and delicious entrées. You also won’t want to leave without sampling the macaron ice cream sandwiches that are offered in a variety of exotic flavors and can definitely satisfy even the most extreme sweet tooth.

At Sequoia Signs, we’re proud to serve businesses including restaurants, manufacturers, and more in the Concord, California area. Click here to request a quote today!

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Did You Know This About San Ramon, California?

Trivia and facts about San Ramon, California

California is full of history and interesting facts, and San Ramon is no exception. Even if you’ve lived in the Bay area for years, there are always things to learn right in your own backyard. We’ve got a few suggestions of places to explore and learn just a little bit more about San Ramon, we’ve even thrown some trivia in the mix!

A Muse for Playwrights

Famed playwright, Eugene O’Neill lived in San Ramon for a short period of time, and it was here that he wrote his best known work, The Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize, and is considered one of the best plays written in the 20th century. There’s even an Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site located here, just outside of Danville, where you can tour his home and learn about his prolific works. O’Neill  was drawn to the privacy of the valley and the seclusion that he couldn’t find in bigger cities. Perhaps the gorgeous landscape was the inspiration O’Neill needed to clear his head and create his masterpiece!

A Home to Football Stars (and other sports too!)

Did you know there are five current and former professional NFL football players who have lived in, or are from San Ramon? That’s a pretty high turnout for a city this size! Marv Hubbard played for both the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions, and lived his later years in San Ramon. Tony Stewart of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders has lived in San Ramon, and Austin Hooper currently of the Atlanta Falcons, James Jones, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, and Khalil Mack of the Oakland Raiders have all lived, are from, or currently live in the San Ramon region.

Also from San Ramon? Professional soccer players David Bingham, Andrew Wiedeman, and Olympic gold medal soccer player Tiffany Roberts, as well as NHL hockey player Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Talk about goals!

A Town Rich in History

Before it was settled during colonization, and then later during the Gold Rush, the San Ramon area was home to the Ohlone Native Americans for centuries due to its rich abundance of all sorts of food sources and fresh water, and also because of its geography; Mount Diablo was a sacred space for the Native Americans of the valley, but it was Spanish colonizers who gave the mount its current name. Did you know Mount Diablo can actually be seen from nearly every point in San Ramon?

San Ramon later became grazing lands for the Mission San José during Spanish colonization in the late 1700s due to the level, farmable land, creeks, and the abundance of trees. The area was given the name of San Ramon in honor of Saint Raymond of Penyafort.

After the Gold Rush, the town of San Ramon as we know it today began to develop, led by several influential families. Until very recently, this spot was marked by a row of very old eucalyptus trees.  Forest Homes Farms is a volunteer organization and historic museum run by the city dedicated to preserving the history and homes of these first founding families, allowing visitors to experience life in San Ramon as it was in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a 16-acre farm that has preserved homesteads built by both the Boone and Glass families, who were influential in the development of San Ramon. You can check out the farms and even tour the homes on a weekly basis!

(Cool fact: The farm was given to the city by Ruth Quayle Boone to honor and commemorate her husband’s efforts to develop the city, but after her death, the city expanded the memorial to recognize the contributions she and many other women made for the agriculture of San Ramon. Go Ruth!)

This year, 2017, is actually the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of San Ramon (that’s 150 years!), marked by the founding of a school for the local children. At the time, the school was thought to be “among the neatest and best arranged schoolhouses in the county,” boasting two rooms divided by a partition, a bell tower, and 13-foot ceilings (how impressive!).

The Bartlett Pear

At one point, San Ramon was home to the world’s largest Bartlett pear orchard. Originally owned by Thomas Bishop, the Bishop Brothers Ranch grew to 2000 acres after his death, becoming, for a time, the largest Bartlett pear orchard. What is really cool about this is that what’s left of the orchard (about 9 acres) is harvested during an annual festival and donated to charity. The Moraga Pear Harvest, held in early August each year invites volunteers to come venture the grounds and pick pears to donate to local charities. Each year, the park donates over 10,000 pounds of pears to the less fortunate through the Food Bank at Contra Costa and Solano. That’s a cause we can stand behind! (PS: They also have a summer concert series on the park grounds you won’t want to miss!).

Sequoia Signs is proud to serve the community of San Ramon and the surrounding areas. We provide quality signs, regardless of type or size. Interested in learning what Sequoia Signs can do for you? Click here to request a quote today.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Things About Concord, CA You Might Not Know

5 Things You Should Know About Concord, CA

While not exactly the biggest of the cities located in the Bay Area, Concord, California has plenty of stories and facts that aren’t always well-known. Here are 5 things you might not know about Concord:

An Early Name Change

You may be familiar with the Todos Santos Plaza, but do you know the significance of “Todos Santos”? Concord was once known, if only briefly, as Todos Santos. In 1868 cattle ranchers Don Salvio Pacheco and his son Fernando Pacheco created a new town after the earthquake of 1868, flooding, and fires befell their town carrying their name, Pacheco. It’s name? Todos Santos. In 1869, they offered the town for free to the people of their fallen city, Pacheco. The townspeople, however, had different ideas for the community name. In April of 1869, the Contra Costa Gazette announced the new town under the name Concord – which means “harmony”.

Notable Natives

Northern California as a whole is a hotbed for science, technology and the arts, and our city is no exception. Concord is home to some big names from the arts world – most notably, Tom, Dave and Frank.

Tom Hanks, the academy award winning actor and director who you may know from “Big”, “Castaway”, “The Green Mile”, “Forest Gump”, “Apollo 13”, or a handful of other major motion pictures, was born in Concord in 1956.

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck, one of the best known “cool jazz” musicians was born in Concord in 1920. He co-founded the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951. Dave was known for his experimentation with time signature; recording songs in 7/4, 13/4, and 9/8 time. Some of his more popular work includes “In Your Own Sweet Way”, “The Duke” and possibly most notably, “Take Five” which alongside Paul Desmond (saxophonist, composer, and Brubeck’s longtime partner in jazz) went on to b the first jazz instrumental to sell more than a million copies.

Frank O. Gehry may not have been born in Concord, but he has left a lasting impression on our area. With the 1975 design of the Concord Pavillion. He went on to design the Guggenhiem Museum in Bilibao, Spain; the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Olympic Fish for the Barcelona Olympics, and even the Facebook West Campus in Menlo Park, CA; hailed as a garden roofed fantasyland by Wired Magazine.

Home to Marching Champions

Concord is home to the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, a world class musical marching ensemble that consists of brass and percussion instruments and a color guard. Holding a record 18 Drum Corps International World Championship titles, the Drum and Bugle Corps, whose name gives a nod to their origins – blue for the VFW and devils referring to the Mount Diablo area, holds a record high score with DCI – 99.650. They have finished in the top 5 for the past 40 years.

A Japanese Sister City

Concord became a sister city with Kitikami, Japan in 1974. The Concord Civic Center features a small Japanese garden and sculpture commemorating the relationship. The sculpture, The Communion Bridge, is a two-part piece, with one half in Concord, the other in Kitikami. The cities continue to develop this relationship with exchange students, visits, and tours.

History of Agriculture All Around

While Concord today is more suburban, the area all around was historically agricultural. Grapes, walnuts, almonds, wheat, and hay filled the fields around Concord. During Prohibition, walnut orchards took favor as vineyards were removed. Today, the concord Naval Weapons Station takes the place of what once was miles of wheat, and Napa Valley wine country is a quick drive away, making it an easy day trip for Concord residents and visitors.

Sequoia Signs is proud to be a part of the Concord community. We pride ourselves in bringing cost-effective and attractive signs, vinyl vehicle graphics, advertising and marketing products to the East Bay area. Request a free quote today to bring your business to life with custom signs and graphics!

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Monday, September 18, 2017

One pan chicken with asparagus

Here’s a little gem from Jamie Oliver.  In fact, I’m just going to provide the link.  http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/quick-crispy-chicken-with-tomatoes-asparagus/

The first time I made this, we were guests at my sisters house and I needed something quick but special- this fit the bill perfectly.  I’ve made it several times since- I love to bump up the olive ratio but do what you like.  Unfortunately I was so hungry, I forgot to take a “plated” photo.  You get the picture.



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