Category Archives: Spotlight on Business

New Concept Convenience Store Thrives in Grapevine

Most people who have driven in Texas by vehicle, whether on long trips or just traveling around town, are likely to be familiar with the concept of the “convenience store.” These are the gas stations that also carry food, drinks, and other necessities for the traveler or hometown resident. Merriam-Webster defines this type of business as, “A small, often franchised, market that is open long hours.” These are the places that are open 12 – 24 hours a day to make sure that customers can get what they need when they need it.

People who want to save time often buy from convenience stores because they’re…convenient. There’s no huge store to walk through, there are many items available, and usually, there’s no big line to wait in. Folks can be in and out in five minutes, depending on their needs and the store’s merchandise. The prices may be a bit higher than bigger stores, but that can be a small price to pay to save a trip to a Big Box store.

The concept of a “mega” convenience store is well-illustrated by Buc-ees’s, which tends to be an automatic stop for those traveling long distances on the highways of Texas, as well as in four other states. When stopping at this mega-store, travelers can count on clean restrooms, plenty of homemade goodies, interesting home décor available for purchase, and tons of gas pumps. They can also count on difficulty finding a parking place, crowded stores, lines for the restrooms, and oftentimes, lines for gasoline.

Almost every convenience store in Grapevine is a regular gas and basic needs station. Some serve up pizza and a small menu of goodies. A new concept convenience store, which opened about a year ago, is giving the “normal” convenience store model a run for its money. Welcome to Texas Best Smokehouse.

Read more from NewsBreak…

Enjoy the gallery below:

Focus on Business: Real News Public Relations in Dallas

A man named Jeff Crilley wanted to make a difference in the news business. He had watched several public relations (PR) firms fail and go away when he was working in the TV news field. He began spending time developing a new way to deliver information to the average consumer when he founded Real News PR in his garage 13 years ago.

Now, he is the CEO and has several suites in the Lincoln Center, featuring offices, several TV/radio broadcasting studios including green screen, an on-site gym, market and is attached to the Hilton Hotel in the building. Real News offers services such as podcasting, live streaming, managed live video, video productions, public relations services, and more.

His vision was to bring on a team of media experts who could “deliver publicity at the speed of news, with the purpose of delivering results instead of promises.”

His website clearly states that “We guarantee success because, unlike other Dallas PR firms, our unique approach is most effective since we speak ‘journalist.’ We work with our clients to develop stories that the media will love and in a language they understand. Paired with the team of journalists, our marketing experts build the brand and awareness that makes an impact.”

As a journalist myself, I am very aware of the failings of TV news, print, Internet, and brick-and-mortar PR firms. I usually have to basically rewrite the press releases I get because many marketing departments are in such a hurry to release information, they don’t think about how the format or content will either help or be a pain to their media destinations.

Another big issue that freelance journalists like me have is trying to find relevant topics to write about that haven’t been covered to death. Crilley personally churns out a newsletter every day called, “The Rundown,” where he posts trending topics/stories and provides contact information for experts that can help journalists. He says he has never missed a day sending “The Rundown” out in 13 years, and now it goes out to 34,000 journalists across the country.

Crilley took time out of his busy day to give me a tour of his offices and studios in Lincoln Center. As we walked and talked, he explained his thoughts on what’s going on with media in general.

“There’s a change coming in the media. Remember how thick the Dallas Morning News used to be?” Crilley asked. “These audiences are shrinking. And then you have this 13-year-old girl on YouTube with three million subscribers, and she’s showing you how to do makeup. What’s wrong with this picture? ‘Traditional’ news sites may only get 900 views, while this [young lady] is beating the CBS Evening News. You can see this division in how people get their news.

“The fact is that fake news is now actually a thing. Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather would be appalled. The news is being a little bit more overt than they ever have. They’re not even trying to be in the middle politically. We know which networks are liberal and which are conservative.

“I liken this to Blockbuster versus Netflix. There was a time when there was still a Blockbuster on every corner. Then, this pesky little bug called Netflix started buzzing around. And all they did was change the [existing] model slightly. They said, ‘If you’re going to have a date night at home on a Friday night, you could go online, rent a movie, we’ll ship it to you overnight, and it’ll be there for Friday’s date night.’ So, they changed the model slightly, making it almost effortless instead of having to drive to a video store and then getting charged for returning it late because the weather is bad or whatever.

“[Blockbuster] should have just bought Netflix and absorbed the technology, but they were very arrogant. They said people will always want to drive through sleet to go to their local Blockbuster and rent a movie. The model was changing, and they didn’t recognize it. And so, I’m saying the model for the way that information gets to consumers is changing. It used to be the CBS Evening News. Now, it’s Twitter,” Crilley said.

The “Oprah” studio

Real News PR has several different studios that can be used for a plethora of situations. The first studio we toured was nicknamed, “The Oprah Room” because of its ability to support commercial television projects. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a car under my chair.

“We can even Skype and Zoom people in from here. And so now this little division that started four years ago makes up more than 50% of our income, and we’re producing 92 different shows for 92 unique clients,” Crilley said.

Real News is equipped to use all kinds of backgrounds for their media productions, including the “real” backdrops through the studio windows. Some of the views are of DFW traffic, some contain a lovely fountain, and some are completely digital. Natural sunrises and sunsets are used as much as possible. Crilley and his staff often change out the contents of a studio to match the incoming guest, such as a sports theme for athletes or a library scene for academics.

“If a person wanted this to be a sports talk show, we could put a Dak Prescott jersey back there or a Cowboys helmet, a football and basketball and now it’s a sports background,” Crilley said.

The Producer Booth

“One of the features that we like is that each producer can be a part of the show, like how Howard Stern has Robin to bounce stuff off of. We could put a camera on the producer, we could put a gel against this wall so it is pretty, and then halfway through the show, I can say, ‘Let’s go to my producer Travis. What do you think about what I said?’ And he could get in a little play fight with me and argue with me. Why? Because it makes the show more entertaining,” Crilley explained.

They also have a studio with a green screen background that could be made into anything.

“If I want the capitol in the background, all I have to do is go to YouTube and search for ‘capitol’ and defocus it so it’s soft in the background. There’s only one thing that can be in focus, which is either the subject or the background. So, if we focus on stuff going on outside the window in real-time, it’s very soft in the background. You see some traffic. You see clouds moving. I could put a little fan in here to make your hair blow…the options are endless. But the focus is always on the interviewer and guest,” Crilley explained.

Crilley in front of the green screen

Of course, Crilley is not the only employee. He has been fortunate enough to recruit a solid, hardworking team of men and women who take care of different parts of Real News. The company is also expanding.

Crilley and I went up to the 7th floor, where we were greeted by plastic wrap on the floor.

“This is just for us,” he said. It wasn’t red, but it still stood for status in my eyes because we were entering the future of Real News PR.

“The reason we like this space upstairs on the 7th floor is that with the perspective up here, the shot gets more majestic,” Crilley said. “And as you can see, there’s tons of more space.”

Once the buildout is done, all of the studios and offices will move from the 2nd to the 7th floor, allowing for much more room for all, as well as more room for expansion.

My thanks go out to CEO Jeff Crilley for taking time out of his busy day to show me around.

For more information about Real News PR, visit

Grapevine’s NewcrestImage gets in on ground floor of ghost kitchen startup taking aim at U.S. hotels

Grapevine-based investment firm NewcrestImage has invested in a ghost kitchen startup called TiffinLabs that it believes has the potential to permanently alter the hotel industry in the U.S.

The total investment figure was not disclosed, but NewcrestImage said it is now the second-largest shareholder in the Singapore-based food tech startup.

TiffinLabs launched in 2019 just before the pandemic set in and accelerated restaurants’ transition to delivery and digital apps. 

Read more from the Dallas Morning News

Software company helps businesses stay efficient during pandemic

With the pandemic seeming to be on an uptick again, many businesses are going back to a model in which employees may work from home or both work from the office a few days a week and then work from home for the rest of the workweek.

The challenge for many business owners, managers, and leads is keeping track of employee productivity and participation, as well as monitoring the use of company hardware and software from afar when they are not in the office. On the technology front, a company called ActiveOps offers some solutions.

O’Leary (photo courtesy of ActiveOps)

“What we’re now facing as we’re going into 2022 is this idea of hybrid work, where you’ve got people who work from home some days a week and in the office as well,” said Spencer O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer of ActiveOps in North America. “It has caused chaos because whenever you want employees to work from home, most people went home with a machine under their arm, and [those machines] are installed in their house.

“Suddenly, you’ve got the age-old task of management, which is life/work balance. ‘Have I got enough time to do the work that needs to be done? Do I have enough work to keep the people busy that are employed?’” he added.

O’Leary has been with ActiveOps for 10 years as an employee and worked with them before that as a partner in the United Kingdom.

“I’ve been in the business of helping organizations better manage their workforce since I was a young man. I did most of it when I was in the UK as a banker by trade. I joined Barclays Bank in England, and then came out of that bank and went into the computer software industry, specializing specifically in this management of the workforce.  So, with my previous company, and then with ActiveOps, I’ve literally traveled the world helping set up our operation,” O’Leary explained.

His endeavors have not been without obstacles, though.

“I moved here in February 2020, literally two weeks before COVID showed up. I arrived at DFW [Airport] on the 18th of February, met my wife, my two children, our two dogs, and our cat. The goods arrived in a shipping container from England literally on the day that the Port closed. So, we find we were just lucky to make it in,” he said.

Being thrown straight into the fire with the pandemic allowed ActiveOps to flex its muscles and test new strategies.

“I’ve run the business for the past couple of years. In early 2020, the act of managing one’s workforce, whether it be a large business or a small business, just got harder. Not only were people working from home, but managers were managing from home,” O’Leary said.

“We’ve really been helping businesses through COVID as far as measuring, managing, motivating, and improving the performance of the workforce when they’re working from home. It’s tough. And it’s not just the employer making sure that the employee keeps on task.

“Organizations have never been great at measuring inputs and outputs, such as, ‘How much effort do I put in every day?’, and outputs, as in, ‘How much work did I get done every day?’ Most humans actually want to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. And when you’re not aware of either how many hours you did, or how much work you got through, it’s not a very rewarding environment. If you’re not equipping the employee and the employer with the right level of technology solutions to enable them to measure inputs and outputs, it can get chaotic, and nobody really knows what’s going on,” O’Leary explained.

The software programs that ActiveOps offers can help management, administration, and employees with efficiency, productivity, work/life balance, and accountability.

“[One of the] biggest worries of most businesses in 2022 is the cost of sickness and attrition caused by workplace stress from not having a sense of well-being. And if organizations don’t start to measure work/life balance and find ways to adjust accordingly, nothing will change. There are ways you can measure it through our software because we recognize the importance of this topic,” O’Leary said.

“Because our software resides on each person’s computer, and it literally measures from the time they log on to the time they log off and how much work they do for their output, that’s where we get those numbers of throughput and production management. The rate of production is quite different when people are working in the office versus when people are working from home.

“We’ve seen trends where productivity was reduced when people work from home. And that’s mainly because of more distractions at home than in the office because they’ve got pets or kids. So, if I’m a business, it’s not as simple as putting people on either business A or B. I probably have departments that work better from home and some in the office.

“It’s all about good, accurate, timely data. If you don’t know who’s working with, and you don’t know who’s doing what, then any decision you make is predominately based on guesswork. So, the first thing [our software] does is provide an automated way of collecting and aggregating data. The second thing that we do is we turn that data into what we call insight which is basically information that tells managers things about what’s working and what’s not, and to do that seamlessly.

“If you were to go talk to one of the managers that that uses our solution and that we’ve trained, the thing that they’ll talk about is most managers, in most businesses large and small, spend their days looking backward. So, they manage a week or look in hindsight to see what they could have done better.

“ActiveOps gives them foresight, to start getting them to think about the future and the future we get them to think about is only at the end of today and tomorrow, maybe the end of this week. It’s no further than that. But it’s people that can have a conversation that says tomorrow, based on history, I’m expecting to get this amount of work. Tomorrow, I’m expecting to have this number of people working these number of hours. Tomorrow, I’m expecting to work at this rate of production. And then with some fairly basic math that we teach them, they can work some numbers and help them understand that tomorrow, I need 12 people, but I’ve only got 11 people. And then I get on teams and make a phone call to some of my colleagues and see if they can lend me somebody,” said O’Leary.

To learn more about ActiveOps’ products and training, visit

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is moving its Silicon Valley HQ to Houston

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will relocate its global headquarters to Spring, Texas from San Jose, California. The headquarters will be located in a new state-of-the-art campus that will open in early 2022, building upon the company’s established presence in the state of Texas. The company’s headquarters relocation to the Houston area holds the potential to add additional jobs to its already robust presence in Texas in the coming years.

HPE already has a significant presence across Texas, with locations in Austin, Plano, and Houston — the latter of which is home to more than 2,600 employees and is the company’s largest employment hub. HPE currently operates major product development, services, manufacturing, and lab facilities in Houston and Austin.

HPE is a global enterprise information technology company that helps customers drive digital transformation by unlocking value from all of their data. Built on decades of re-imagining the future and innovating to advance the way people live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions, with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. The company was founded in 2015 following the separation from HP, Inc. It is currently ranked 109 on the list of Fortune 500 companies.

“We are excited that Hewlett Packard Enterprise has chosen to call Texas home, and I thank them for expanding their investment in the Lone Star State by relocating their headquarters to the Houston region,” said Governor Abbott. “Hewlett Packard Enterprise joins more than 50 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the Lone Star State, including 22 in the Houston area alone. That is because Texas offers the best business climate in the nation. Our low taxes, high quality of life, top-notch workforce, and tier one universities create an environment where innovative companies like HPE can flourish. We look forward to a successful partnership with HPE, as together we build a more prosperous future for Texas.”

“As we look to the future, our business needs, opportunities for cost savings, and team members’ preferences about the future of work, we are excited to relocate HPE’s headquarters to the Houston region,” said Antonio Neri, CEO of HPE. “Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent and where we are currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus. We look forward to continuing to expand our strong presence in the market.”

“HPE’s headquarters relocation is a signature moment for Houston, accelerating the momentum that has been building for the last few years as we position Houston as a leading digital tech hub,” said Bob Harvey, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership, the economic development organization serving the Greater Houston area. “Houston has long been a hub for global innovation and offers leading tech companies a deep bench of digital and corporate talent to drive success. We are excited HPE leadership recognized this and look forward to welcoming the headquarters team to Houston.”

“It’s a smart relocation move for HPE to come to Texas, bringing their Corporate Headquarters to North Harris County! These are great 21st century jobs for Texans,” said Senator Paul Bettencourt.

“As one of the State Representatives for the Spring area, I am elated that Hewlett Packard Enterprise has chosen to relocate their new Global Headquarters to Spring. New business growth such as this is one of the primary economic drivers to look forward to in an area that will see tremendous job creation, providing new innovation and opportunity for our communities. HPE’s “state-of-the-art” facility will add another jewel to the crown that is our community and our home. With the impact this year of COVID on our local businesses, the addition of a world class technology headquarters will be a welcome indication of a brighter future,” said Representative Sam Harless.

In addition, Governor Abbott released a video to celebrate the announcement.

Dallas Transportation business gets real with operating during the COVID quarantine

Many small businesses, even “essential” ones, are on the brink of closing their doors due to the lack of business since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

downloadOne such business is Mercury Transportation, located in Dallas, which is part of a local ride share fleet under the Uber platform, helping the Dallas economy by transporting essential workers during COVID pandemic. For example, Mercury has provided rides for traveling nurses and doctors who are here to help in Texas with the Pandemic Crisis.

“Many of our patrons use the same drivers that they have bonded with previously. Trust is very important,” said Managing Partner and CEO Rafael Aguilar. “We have also helped church volunteers deliver food to their elderly members of their church, since the elderly are more prone to the coronavirus. Our Executive Drivers have helped many Texans who lost their jobs and cars get to where they desperately needed to go for a fresh start or a temporary solution. In these difficult times, our company is making a difference.”

Mercury started off in 2019 with two cars, but quickly became one of the largest Uber fleets in Dallas in less than a year. They were aiming to start expanding to other cities when the pandemic struck. Once the initial shock wore off, Mercury’s ownership and management began researching and calling different potential sources that would lead to a solution. They found a few ways to be one of the few transportation fleets to remain in operation.

They applied for a government Small Business Loan, via a Payment Protection Program (PPP), about a month ago. Unfortunately, the government recently announced that funding for the PPP has run out.

“Faith, unity and resiliency are the three things I am holding onto, so I strongly encourage you all do the same in this crisis,” Aguilar said. “It is very easy to have faith when things are working for you, but when things appear to work against you, it is more important to hold on to your faith. We are all in this together.”

Fortunately, Mercury’s landlord, Nadim Ahmed, who owns Venture X, which is a co-working space near the Galleria, has waived the rent for a number of businesses that have leased from him (if they qualify) until they can get back on their feet. This was a major contributor to Mercury and others to being able to keep their doors open.

“Mercury Transportation offices at a beautiful co-working space at Venture X, located right next to the Galleria,” said Ahmed. He is an entrepreneur himself, and understands the pain and hurdles businesses are currently going through and has worked closely with his members, like Mercury Transportation, to provide resources, flexibility, and rent deferrals to ensure these businesses not only survive, but are able to come out the other side stronger.

“My members aren’t just customers; they are the lifeline and core foundation of my co-working space,” Ahmed said. “Even with the social distancing, we are still a community that help and support each other. Making money in your business is always great, but as it is clear during these times, if others around you aren’t making money, the whole community will slowly fade. Co-working spaces seem like the place to stay away from during these times, but as we get back to ‘living,’ we will need these entrepreneurial communities to work together to make the economy strong again,” Ahmed explained.

“We thank our local nurses, doctors, police officers, retail workers and those who are out there, continuing to work like our executive drivers do, helping the community function. We usually work six days a week and have one day off, but last week, many of our drivers worked seven days because they understand that, in order for our Mercury community to get through this, we all must play our part. Our drivers are doing a fine job seeing the bigger picture. I ask for prayers for our drivers and want to give them personal recognition.Thank you to Kejuan Holmes, Shannon Garner, Josie Cain, Lynn Sullivan, Rodrick Lynn, Damon Avery, Pamela Tyler, Jose Carbajal, Matthew Holiwell, Obaidul Arnob, Paul Binion and Dylan Davis. Also thank you to the administrative team: Rodney Middleton, Mark Priddy and Britt Lloyd.

Rodney Middleton, General Manager of Mercury, says that, “The biggest changes I’ve experienced before COVID-19 was adjusting to the many different variables that come with working in the transportation industry. For example, no two days are the same. On some weekends, I’ve earned over $500 in a single shift, but there have been some weekends where rides were scarce, and it didn’t feel like a Friday or Saturday. After the quarantine started, the biggest change I’ve experienced is how more strategic I’ve had to be in the areas I venture into. This is to ensure that I receive trips, because rides are mainly limited to essential workers and I’m aware that they work designated shifts, so I have to be in the right place at the right time throughout the day.”

Middleton also said that this quarantine has caused him a pay cut “because of the limited amount of ride requests through the Uber app, but luckily being part of the Mercury Transportation Fleet, I have a true, reliable support system and an ownership team that’s doing everything in their power to make sure all drivers are being taken care of, and we continue progressing forward to weather this storm, because the potential for success will be endless after COVID-19 is resolved.”

Mercury is following the quarantine guidelines for essential businesses.

“To protect myself and my clients during this pandemic, I wear a mask, take my vehicle to the car wash daily before I start my shift and I frequently spray Lysol and wipe down the seats and doors in between clients. All items and resources are provided to drivers by Mercury to invest in our health and to keep both drivers and clients safe,” Middleton added.

“Before COVID-19, my clients were mainly an assortment of folks from young adults just entering the workforce to those who’ve worked and retired, but even though they were all different, they all had one thing in common: They enjoyed being in an environment that felt isolated from the issues of world and could experience a genuine laugh and relax during their ride. I try to provide this experience to all clients, which has been a true comfort to my patrons during this pandemic because the world is in a state of panic, and as a driver, I try to bring a bit of positivity to each person I have the pleasure of meeting,” Middleton concluded.

Several of the Mercury fleet drivers had a perspective to add.

Executive Driver Obaidul Arnob said, “We have transport people who work in various fields, from retail, to manufacturing to medical. Mercury stands proud as a surviving small business during this pandemic that can keep the manpower and economy moving, no matter the circumstance.”

“We have been able to help our drivers for the most part, maintain their commission, while also assisting our local economy during this crisis by pivoting our services where it is most needed. Rather than focusing on the nightlife scene that no longer exists, our time is currently spent transporting essential workers,” said Managing Partner John Holt.

“I hear it day in and day out: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Whether the patron’s vehicle has broken down, has been in a wreck or if it’s in the shop, we provide the transportation they need to get to work. We even take truck drivers home after they have made a trip around the country, delivering essential products to us all,” said Shift Supervisor Lyn Sullivan.

“People tell me every day how thankful they are that Mercury is here for them. Many are grateful that we are available after midnight for rides, being that many drivers are not on the road to take a ride. I’m thankful that we offer a service to people who need help just getting from point A to B,” said Executive Driver Paul Binion.

“I am blessed to work for an essential company like Mercury Transportation,” said Executive Driver Matthew Holiwell. “They give us the opportunity and tools that we need day in and day out, not only for our paychecks, but to serve and help the DFW community to keep thriving. I am thankful and so is Dallas for Mercury Transportation.”

“Managing our finance department behind the scenes has been extremely difficult during this time of crisis, due to our revenue being cut almost 60%,” said CFO Perla Morales-Aguilar. “I prioritize our drivers being taken care of before anything else because they are such an essential component of our company and our economy. I am so grateful for their courage and loyalty. That is why, as a minority owner, I am also here in my office doing everything possible to ensure Mercury remains open, and our drivers do not join the many Americans left without a job.”

If you need a ride, make sure to call Uber Fleet Members Mercury Transportation at 888.914.6372 or book a ride in advance HERE.

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Koza’s Inc. awarded contract for 2015 World Series and 2016 Super Bowl Championship headwear


Koza_logoKoza’s Inc. today announced it has been awarded a contract from New Era Cap Co. of Buffalo, New York to produce the 2015” World Series” and 2016 “Super Bowl” championship headwear. All production will be performed in their Pearland, facilities. The scope of work includes decoration, quality control inspection, packing and shipping of more than 200,000 units for each event.

“Koza’s Inc. has worked closely with New Era for more than 20 years,” said Joe Koza, President of Koza’s Inc. “We are pleased to affirm our relationship with New Era and look forward to supporting them in these important projects.”

New Era Cap Co. founded in 1920 is the official on-field cap for Major League Baseball and The National Football League. Koza’s Inc. founded in 1965 serves “Business & Industry” with Quality Decorated Products in Embroidery, Screen Printing and Laser Engraving.

Galveston’s Riondo’s Ristorante Offers Elegant Dining with a Touch of BIKER

The Rally

“Fajita” Mike Ballard, owner of the world’s largest biker bar, has partnered with Jesse James Dupree (Mighty Loud), Arnold Rifkin (Cheyenne), and A. Smith & Co. (Hell’s Kitchen, I Survived A Japanese Gameshow) to solidify a new TV show, ‘FULL THROTTLE SALOON,’ that airs on the Tru Network.

The show centers around Mike Ballard and what it takes to run the world’s largest biker bar – managing 300 employees, including 100 voluptuous bartenders, over nine days to make as much money as possible.

Lone_Star_RallyThey will be pairing with Don McClaugherty and Chef Edgardo “Rico” Caminos, owners of Riondo’s Ristorante in Galveston (2328 Strand St) at the Lone Star Rally this weekend (Nov. 8 and 9) to offer “Fajita” Mike’s World Famous Fajitas.

Located near the center of the Budweiser stage, Riondo’s Rally Full Throttle Saloon tent will offer beef, chicken, shrimp and brisket fajitas for hungry Rally-goers.

As 300,000 people per day are expected, it’s a good thing that “Fajita” Mike is used to serving large crowds on two wheels!

The Ristorante

For a calmer experience, make reservations or walk in to Galveston’s newest elegant dining experience!

logoRiondo’s Ristorante (2328 Strand St.) opened three months ago and has atmosphere and ambience to make any dining experience a pleasure. With its soft lighting, 5-star menu and attentive staff, Riondo’s is the newest place to go for a romantic evening, dinner with friends, have a quiet drink or even hold a wedding reception, holiday party or corporate event in the Historic Hutchings Sealy Building above the restaurant.

The staircase leading to the Hutchings Sealy Building is original and is rumored to be haunted. Event-goers that make it upstairs with or without a fright will soon be delighted by the bar set-up and ample room to host guests.

Riondo’s is Island casual with comfortable favorites of a notable influence from Italy. Riondo’s is a fusion of ideas by proprietors Chef Edgardo “Rico” Caminos and Don McClaugherty. Since Don’s nickname is “Dondo” plus “Rico,” the name Riondo’s was born!

For more information, visit or call (409) 621-9595.

Valet Parking is available at The Tremont House on 2300 Mechanic, which is a short walk to Riondo’s at the corner of 24th and The Strand. Garage parking is in the garage across from Riondo’s. Enter the garage on 25th, then exit onto 24th. Fee is $5.00. Parking is available behind Riondo’s on 24th for $8.00. Please honor the Reserved spaces in the lot.


Spotlight on Business: Tactical Pro CHL Mobile Classes


Alfred Pena, a 10 year licensed Peace Officer and former Marine, is offering a Texas CHL class for $60 per student, with a minimum of 5 students, for a limited time only. If the class is during the week (Mon-Fri), the price is $55 per student. The course can be conducted in your own home for convenience and comfortability, along with friends and family. The class is a total of 5-6 hours. Pena offers a MOBILE SERVICE, so he will travel to your location. Interested parties can text him at 979-417-9170 to set up a class.

      “The Proactive Approach”

Tactical Pro CHL

DPS Instructor

Police Officer

Alfred Pena

*This is a sponsored post

Meet Tami Johnson, Realtor, Volunteer and Retired FBI Agent!

TamiHeadshotMeet Tami Johnson, a Silvercreek resident and Realtor® with RE/MAX Top Realty! There are many Realtors® in the area, so Tami wanted to share what makes her different. She works with clients in Greater Pearland, as well as Houston and its suburbs:

“I’ve been a Silvercreek Homeowner for over 10 years. I previously owned a home in Silverlake for 8 years. For over 18 years, I’ve seen this area develop and prosper! I was initially attracted to Pearland because of the short commuting distance from Houston. Over the years, more services, stores, restaurants and entertainment moved into the area, and my family has enjoyed our lifestyle here.

After 21 years of service with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), I decided to retire, yet I wanted to continue to serve the community. I am now applying my investigative and negotiation skills to assisting clients with their purchase and/or sale of real estate. I also give my clients the personal attention that they deserve. I understand that each client has individual goals to achieve. Each home is “special” and I offer a “Personalized Marketing Strategy,” which includes a Market Analysis, free of charge, to each client. I offer “extreme” customer service and resources to get the deal done for you.

I support many philanthropic interests and am an active volunteer in the Community. I am a member of the Silvercreek HOA Modification Committee and am also an active participant of the Pearland Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association.

If you or anyone you know wants a Realtor® who is committed to serving our community, feel free to call me at (713) 558-2539 or email me at I would love to work for you!”

If you’re buying or selling a home and want a Realtor® who will answer the phone, meet with you on time, be quickly responsive to your needs and who is not afraid to fight for your goals, contact Tami today! You may get more information on her website at

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