Business of the heart

Flapjacks restaurant in Tres Pinos to receive Community Spirit Award by Gavilan College

ORDER UP Flapjacks owner Naomi Ruiz will receive a Community Spirit Award from Gavilan College for her business sponsorship activities at a special ceremony in Hollister next week.

Flapjacks restaurant is a culinary gem in the historic town of Tres Pinos. Serving up American-style breakfast and lunch, the restaurant and owner, Hollister resident Naomi Ruiz, will be honored next week with a Community Spirit Award by Gavilan College.

Presented annually, the commendations honor the people and institutions that contribute to improving the quality of life in each of the communities the college serves: Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister.

The college’s governing board recognized the restaurant’s sponsorship of organizations such as the women’s basketball league in Santa Cruz and donations of gift certificates to Tres Pinos Elementary School for their school fundraisers.

For Ruiz, who bought the long-established restaurant two years ago, running the business has been a worthwhile endeavor.

“I didn’t know what I was getting into at first; it was a steep learning curve for sure,” said Ruiz, who is a first-time business owner. “But it’s an adventure I would not take back at all, it’s been great. I’ve had nothing but a good time—and a little extra grey hairs.”

Like the old motto: the customer is always right, Ruiz said Flapjacks aims to please.

“We try to cater to your needs, however, there is a menu,” she said, smiling. Ruiz sources produce from regional producers when possible. “We hit some stands on [Highway] 25 for strawberries and get produce from Watsonville.”

A resident of Hollister since 1991, Ruiz said she appreciates the city’s family-friendly vibe and tight knit community.

“For as much as it’s a small town, it’s a good one,” she said.

As for operating in Tres Pinos, Ruiz said the once bustling old western locale with a stagecoach stop, railroad hotel and numerous saloons has become a destination location in its own right.

“We are off the beaten track but we are also on it. You just got to turn your head and here we are,” she said.

Flapjacks is at 6881 Airline Highway, Tres Pinos.

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