Business Buzz – February 2020

(Elana O'Loskey, Photographer)
Orinda Motors’ new general manager Ray Kunz has worked at the full-service auto repair shop for the past 15 years.

New General Manager at Orinda Motors
    Orinda Motors opened in 1920, and current owner, Allen Pennebaker, has been there since 1972.
    “Allen and I have worked together to build his business over the last 15 years, and when the need for a full-time general manager became apparent, we worked out an arrangement beneficial to the business in the long term,” says Ray Kunz.
    Kunz says he is proud of the team he and Pennebaker have built, some of whom have been there 18 years.
    “The training schedule service advisors go through to keep up on how complicated cars get every year is intense,” says Kunz. “They are all trained and certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) technicians who are tested and certified regularly.” He says this ensures they perform to the highest standards in the car repair and service industry.
    Kunz is the general manager, John Vanek is classic car manager and Elaine Hutton is the Orinda Motors manager. Jamie Martin and Tara Lauer are service advisors. Technicians include William Paulos, Victor Cardenas, Guillermo Casteneda, Pedro Corral, Eduardo Ibanez, Vincent Poehnelt and Greg Sisk. Support staff members include Hans Hiller, Viola Loft, Charles Moore and Michele Vasta.
    Orinda Motors offers Bosch Financing Services to help cover repair costs with no interest for six months, rental cars starting at $24.99, 100 miles included, free check engine light scan and report and a free brake inspection. He recommends becoming a “maintenance watchdog” to keep vehicle repair costs down. Examples are obtaining timely oil changes, rotation and air check of tires, cooling system check and fluid checks such as power steering, transmission and brakes.
    The list of the shop’s community support activities is long. The short list includes facilitating car washes benefitting local scouts, schools and churches, Boy Scout and Girl Scout automotive merit badges, and sponsor of Orinda’s Fourth of July parade, Norcal Kid’s Triathlon, OBA Youth Baseball, and the Orinda Classic Car Show.
    Orinda Motors is at 63 Orinda Way and open Mon. – Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 925-241-4574, email or go to

(Elana O'Loskey, Photographer)
Shawn Yee is bringing boba to Orinda later this month with the opening of ShareTea at 41 Moraga Way.

ShareTea Orinda Opens
    Shawn Yee and his team have spent two years getting ShareTea Orinda ready to open its doors. Last month, the owners were finishing up construction and planning a soft opening and grand opening for the second or third week in February.
    Yee promises, “During our grand opening we will offer a buy one, get one free voucher along with lots of games and prizes.” Prizes to win may include free boba, T-shirts and tea cozies; he’s hoping to get a balloon maker so there are activities for the kids.
    “We opened ShareTea Orinda because as someone who grew up in Orinda and attended Miramonte High School, I know there are not a lot of places where kids and young adults in the area can hang out in a fun and safe environment,” says Yee.
    They hope to become a popular destination for local residents of all ages who need to fulfill their boba cravings without leaving town. Yee has numerous nieces and nephews currently attending Orinda schools and says with a grin, “I’ll probably be seeing a lot more of them once we open.”
    Boba tea contains boba balls which are soft jelly-like spheres made primarily of tapioca, derived from the cassava root. Also known as bubbles, tapioca balls, pearls or boba, they range from 5 mm. to 8.5 mm. in size. Said to have originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, the name comes from the chewy tapioca or bubbles (boba if you are on the West Coast) mixed in the tea.
    About 50 options will be offered within several categories. You can choose from fruit teas, milk teas, fresh milk, brewed teas, creama drinks and ice blended. Within those categories are a number of different types of teas and flavors. In the world of boba, having lots of options is the only way to go.
    At ShareTea, customers will be able to order six kinds of brewed tea: classic black tea, classic green tea, classic oolong tea, winter melon tea (hot available, non-caffeinated), honey black / green tea and ginger tea.
    Fruit tea options include mango green tea, winter melon lemonade, strawberry tea, peach tea with aiyu jelly, peach kiwi tea with aiyu jelly, honey lemonade with aloe vera, kiwi fruit tea with aiyu jelly and passionfruit, orange and grapefruit tea.
    Fresh milk (milk alternatives) choices include fresh milk tea (black/green/oolong tea), winter melon with fresh milk, cocoa lover, fresh milk family (pearls, pudding and herb jelly), matcha with fresh milk and handmade taro with fresh milk.
    Milk tea options include classic milk tea (black/green/oolong tea), honey milk tea, classic coffee, ginger milk tea, coffee milk tea, classic pearl milk tea (black/green/oolong tea), Hokkaido pearl milk tea (caramel toffee), Okinawa pearl milk tea (roasted brown sugar), Thai pearl milk tea, taro pearl milk tea, mango green milk tea, QQ happy family milk tea and matcha red bean milk tea.
    Just ask and they will customize the level of ice and sweetness for each drink. Toppings include boba, mini boba, ice cream, pudding, aloe vera, red bean, herb jelly, aiyu jelly, lychee jelly and creama.
    Outside of work, Yee describes himself as a “diehard Cal fan, go Bears!”
    Look for ShareTea Orinda’s official grand opening announcement at and on Snapchat or email ShareTea is at 41 Moraga Way, across from Theatre Square in the newly renovated Mash Petroleum building. Hours are Sun. – Th. 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Fri. – Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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