|Elk Grove artist Derrell Fleener painted this mural for the Elk Grove Leatherby's.|
The Sacramento-based family-owned ice cream maker and restaurant operator who opened earlier this spring hosted a grand opening celebration attended by numerous local dignitaries including U.S. Congressman Dan Lungren. Speaking before a large audience, Dave Leatherby Jr. recounted his family's business history and their excitement and anxiety of opening in Elk Grove.
"It was very scary to open an ice cream parlor during a recession," Leatherby said. "This was our first opening in 25 years."
Leartherby praised the stores 141 employees most of whom are young adults just entering the work force. "The qualities of these kids is amazing," he said.
In addition to complimenting his employees, Leatherby also noted how the City of Elk Grove helped facilitate the stores opening. "Whatever they could do to help, they did," he noted.
Among the local dignitaries at the opening were Elk Grove City Council members Gary Davis, Steve Detrick and Sophia Schermam. Elk Grove Economic Development Director Randy Starbuck offered a root beer float toast to the Leatherby family and the new store.
The grand opening also served as an unveiling of a mural the Leatherby's commissioned by Elk Grove-based artist Derrell Fleener. The mural depicts a vision of Elk Grove around the turn of the 20th century.
Fleener said he consulted local historian Elizabeth Pinkerton for guidance and used Old Town Elk Grove as the setting. Naturally the mural has a couple of ice cream references placed in it.
One of the dignitaries who spoke was Congressman Dan Lungren who joked he was happy to see the familiar blue and white checkerboard making it easy to find. Lungren also complemented the Leatherby family and their creation of new jobs.
"This is Americana, this is Leatherby's and this is Elk Grove," he said.