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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 29th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 34 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 34

Hobnobbing With Helen


Karen Evangelista (left) and Veronica Forest took a minute to chat before the festivities began at the Guadalupe Salad Bowl Festival Excellence in Agriculture Dinner on Friday, Oct. 18.

Hobnobbing traveled 20 miles on Friday evening, Oct.18. You would have made the trip, too, if you knew that you could have mingled with some of Guadalupe’s delightful citizens and supporters—and that you would have enjoyed flavorful Caribbean cuisine.

The occasion was the Guadalupe Salad Festival’s annual award dinner. For the fourth year in a row, the Guadalupe Salad Festival has recognized a local grower with its annual Excellence in Agriculture Legacy Award.

This year the recipient was Teixeira Farms. Olivia Alvarez, Karen Evangelista, and Veronica Forest led the committee that put together this event.

My eyes went all agog as I entered the historic, salmon-pink Muse Building—it dates from the 1890s—on Guadalupe’s main street.

What a charming scene: White-cloth-covered tables were set with gold charger plates and festooned with seashells and seaside-theme centerpieces. Napkins were azure blue, the color of the ocean in a sunny clime. Each table had the name of an island in the Caribbean. Hobnobbing was at the Bermuda table.

Olivia Alvarez and Andrew Carter chatted before the reception at the Salad Bowl Festival Excellence in Agriculture Legacy Award dinner. Carter is Guadalupe’s new city administrator.

Magician Rich Ferguson, entertainer for the evening, stopped by to remind us that Bermuda also means the Bermuda Triangle, where things, he cautioned, disappeared. To prove his point, he performed a card trick for Karen Cordary and watched her incredulous look as cards did indeed disappear before her very eyes.

Others who witnessed magic during the evening were Richard Quandt of the local growers-shippers association, Ron Estabillo, Perla DeLeon, and Evelyn Teixeira.

Local luminaries from the political world were Guadalupe’s mayor Frances Romero, former mayor Lupe Alvarez, new city administrator Andrew Carter, and City Council member John Lizaldi.

Melinda Aguirre and Dawn Kamiya shared a table with Shirley Boydstun, who is active with the Guadalupe historical society. No wonder Boydstun is so interested in history—her great-grandparents, the Campodonicos, were the original owners of the Muse Building.

Dinner, catered by Joanne and Eddie Plemmons Catering (they are from The Swiss restaurant) had a tropical flavor Jamaican jerk chicken—not too spicy, with a nice zippy tang—accompanied by plump, firm prawns.

The Cuban beans and rice were not like just any old beans and rice, nor was the jicama and corn salad with lime not like just any salad. Dinner included the best-ever cheesecake with a mango chutney topping. Eddie Plemmons, you make one mighty fine dessert.

After Victor Tognazzini introduced Teixeira Farms and with his usual finesse waxed philosophical about the importance of farming, Karen Evangelista and Veronica Forest presented the four Teixeira brothers with the Legacy Award—a crystal bowl that came in an iconic Tiffany’s blue box.

“It will go in our office,” said Norman Teixeira, the eldest of the brothers. Dean, Glen, and Marvin were also on the stage. The fifth brother, Alan, was out of town.

From left to right) Glenn, Marvin, Norman, and Dean Teixeira got together before receiving an award from the Guadalupe Salad Bowl Festival committee. 

Representing our district assemblyman was field representative Doug Coleman, who presented each of the brothers with a certificate of recognition from the California Legislature.

Before dinner, I enjoyed a chat with Pieter de Groot, who owns the Muse Building, and his son-in-law, David Radmacher, a member of the Salad Bowl Committee, who gave me great background info.

Proceeds from the Salad Bowl Festival provide scholarships for Guadalupe’s college-bound students, several of whom have been awarded a total of $6,000 since the festival started.


If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at

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