Why Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles and The Bread Basket Bakery earned accolades from their hometown.

An ube croissant from The Bread Basket Bakery in Daly City. (Photo courtesy Anthony G./Yelp)

Two Daly City eateries have received the 2021 Mayor’s Business of the Year awards.

Former mayor and current council member Juslyn Manalo named Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles as the 2021 Small Business of the Year, and The Bread Basket Bakery as the 2021 Medium Business of the Year.

“With what has transpired over the course of the pandemic, it was really an opportunity to say thank you to those who have gone above and beyond in their civic duties and volunteerism,” Manalo said in an interview. 

The Bread Basket Bakery has served Daly City since 1977. During the pandemic, the team contributed to a community food drive.

“They stepped up and provided bread for those in need,” Manalo said. “They provided extra bags of bread for families and individuals that were in need at that time.”

“This whole few years, we’ve just been sticking to what we’ve been doing and surviving every day, and feeling good that we still have the support around knowing that we have the capability to make and share what we have with others,” said manager Liza Cavan, who grew up watching her parents in action at the bakery alongside her sisters.

Manalo cited the team’s ensaymada, ube-flavored pastries, breads and more as notable contributions to the greater Bay Area community, bringing Filipino baked goods to markets like Safeway and Lucky.

Now with her husband on board with the bakery team, Cavan said, “We’re trying to keep up the big thing my parents started and put so much heart into. They broke through a lot of barriers in getting Filipino foods to bakeries all across the Bay Area and making a big foundation here, and that’s what we want to keep going.

“It’s nice to hear we have made a difference, and people see we’re trying to help, and we’ve given back to the community. It’s been nice (for the award) to come out of the blue for us and share with all of our folks.”

Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles recently celebrated a significant milestone. Only about half of small businesses make it to five years, and the restaurant recently celebrated that anniversary. 

“We know that’s the standard time frame when you see businesses overcome the five-year mark, and (that) they’ll be here for the long haul,” Manalo said.

A Red Velvet Signature Waffle from Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles in Daly City. (Photo by Sara Hayden)

Manalo enjoys the food at Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles — she says that she started to crave the restaurant’s fried chicken and collard greens when she was pregnant with her second child — and says the hospitality is what makes the business special.

“I think it’s their hospitality and their welcoming atmosphere. You just feel this good energy when you go in there,” Manalo said.

Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles founder Keith Richardson said, “Nobody’s a number … Everybody’s important — everyday customers, everyday people … You’re a person that is helping the society move.” 

Everybody’s connected, he said. “You’re helping the business, the employees and the customers … The best thing I can say to other businesses is to nurture healthy relationships with everyone as much as possible. In the end we all need each other and we should all help each other.”

Manalo also named the nonprofit Northeast Medical Services as the Mayor’s 2021 Large Business of the Year. The community health center targets the medically underserved Asian population, many of whom are underinsured or low-income. Manalo lauded the Daly City clinic location for providing culturally competent and linguistically relevant COVID-19 vaccination opportunities.

At the end of a mayor’s tenure, the outgoing mayor has an opportunity to recognize citizens and organizations that have made an impact on the community and that are central to the city. Awarding these three organizations was one of Manalo’s last duties as mayor.

“That was my last meeting in paying homage (as mayor) to those that truly deserve it,” Manalo said. “Sometimes we’re under the radar, but there’s definitely a lot of things in our community, and a diversity that exhibits the different food and culinary traditions.”

Following two terms as Daly City’s mayor, Manalo’s term as council member runs through November 2024. Rod Daus-Magbual’s term as mayor runs through November 2022.

Keith’s Chicken-N-Waffles // 270 San Pedro Road, Daly City; 415-347-7208

The Bread Basket Bakery // 7099 Mission St., Daly City; 650-994-7741

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