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Ruby K’s Bagel Café is the recipient of the Los Alamos Rotary Club’s 2009 Sonny Brown Award.
The prestigeous award is given to a creative and successful business that demonstrates strong customer relations and a commitment to community service.
“Ruby K’s was just what we wanted when we began looking for this year’s recipient,” selection committee chair Ralph Damiani said. “This is a business that contributes positively to the community on several levels and we are proud to present them with this award.”
Rotary Club President Paul Frederickson, with other club officers, presented owners Ruby Alexander and Kelly Parker with large bouquets of flowers and balloons, a special plaque and a $500 check.
Alexander and Parker founded the business more than four years ago.
“We had no idea we were receiving this award,” Parker said. “It is a very pleasant surprise.”
Ruby K’s at 1789 Central Ave., Suite 2, evolved from a shared desire by Parker and Alexander for a place where they felt they could hang out and enjoy friends and family.
They wanted a place with good food and friendly staff.
“We talked about the fact that Los Alamos needed another place that was warm and fun, kind of a gathering place,” Parker said.
“We wanted to provide a relaxed, upbeat and comfortable spot where you’re treated very well,” she said.
Selection committee member Donna Schroeder shared her impression of the dynamic women behind Ruby K’s.
“They’re really very entrepreneurial to start something like this and they really have created a special gathering place,” she said. “It’s like if you want to find someone, look at Ruby K’s because they’re all here.”
Schroeder also commended the owners for employing so many area youth.
The restaurant also opens its doors to club meetings, poetry readings and other gatherings.
Rob Metcalf rounded out the selection committee.
“One of my main reasons for choosing Ruby K’s is that I’ve known people in this community who’ve tried to run restaurants and it’s not an easy thing to do and they’ve done a very good job,” he said.
Ruby K’s is a member of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and New Mexico Women in Business.
Parker and Alexander expressed gratitude to the community saying, “The support we receive from Los Alamos residents is phenomenal and we appreciate this support everyday.”
Ruby K’s shares its excess food with regional shelters and food banks and supports local charities and organizations with contributions of gift cards, food and funds.
Ruby K’s also is a generous supporter of the Los Alamos Family YMCA, Los Alamos High School Senior Appreciation Night, Locals Care, Gordon’s Concerts, the Girl Scouts and it invites area schools to bring students in to tour the restaurant, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
The other finalists for the award were Otowi Bookstore and Mountain Air cleaners.
The last local winners were Kim and Ron Selvage, who won two years ago.