The city of Richmond knows itself. We’ve seen it all before — great booms, big busts, the ebb and flow of a diverse community — and learned from our experiences. The only way forward these days is to move with intention in this ever-shrinking world. At East Brother Beer, we take pride in our great city and its storied history and go forward with purpose towards a bright future.
It’s Richmond’s people that steer this ship. An intrepid group of community-builders who are dead-set on a future for Richmond as rich as its past. With Pride and Purpose they build our community and with Pride and Purpose we tell their stories.
Pride & Purpose: Raynard & Russell Lozano of Curbside Kitchen
Raynard and Russell Lozano came up in Richmond and from a young age were entrenched in the food culture of their home and hometown. Born to parents who immigrated from the Philippines and met and married in Richmond, food was the center of their upbringing, and you could say those early years are where the idea, and dream, of Curbside Kitchen began to take shape.
It all started with eggs. When Russell wanted to learn to cook around the age of 7, he’d follow their mom around the kitchen asking what he could do. “Cooking always seems to start with breakfast, so the first thing Mom taught me was scrambled eggs,” says Russell. Once the eggs were dialed in, he was shown the ropes on more complicated dishes and from then on food became a pursuit for Raynard and Russell. The two brothers explored Richmond’s diverse food culture — Southeast Asian, Latino, and other varieties of foods — all forming an experience in their brains that they would one day share with others.
Fast forward to 2012, both Raynard and Russell had graduated from school and were finding success in their respective fields, but couldn’t help notice the food truck boom around town and across the country. “It was a leap of faith," says Raynard, “We just saw more food trucks popping up around town and thought, ‘man, what a cool idea’.” Russell was especially excited by the thought of flexing his creative muscles and cooking his own menu inspired by their upbringing. They figured there was no better place than Richmond to eventually open up shop, as Russell put simply, “It’s always been home and always will be home.” After some time to prepare, and save, the brothers opened up the truck in April 2016.
Today, Curbside Kitchen is churning along; Mom makes the lumpia, Russell mans the kitchen, and Raynard keeps an eye on the business and marketing side. On the menu you’ll find everything from a banh mi, to street tacos, to “Sidewalk Fries” —fries tossed in a spiced tamarind seasoning, topped with tocino (Filipino bacon), melted cheese, specialty house aioli, green onion, and cilantro. They take this rolling menu with them around Richmond and the East Bay and pride themselves on not only serving great food, but serving their community.
Raynard, whose past jobs were at non-profits focused on community building, describes food as a universal language that brings the East Bay’s diverse community together. “The way I see it is it’s building up Richmond through food. It’s satisfying to know we can contribute to this community in some small way, building it one plate at a time.” This means that Curbside Kitchen is regularly found at community events working with small businesses and organizations, like Richmond Main Street Initiative or Richmond Promise, who are also set on improving the future of our hometown. East Brother’s Taproom Manager, Steven Phillips, welcomes Curbside to the taproom weekly and views Raynard and Russell as vital community partners, “The brothers hold a huge pride for Richmond and are very active in charitable community work. Beyond their insanely delicious grub, the two have incredibly great spirits.”
It’s still really all about eggs. The lessons they learned from their Mom at a young age, both in the kitchen and in life, continue to drive Raynard and Russell. “Something our Mom always reminded us of was to live with integrity and to do the most good day in and day out.” To these men, this is what Pride and Purpose and the residents of Richmond are about. And judging by their success, we’d say they’re putting every ounce of integrity they have into each and every plate that passes through their window.
With Pride and Purpose,
East Brother Beer Company