From the Desk of the Executive Director

From the Desk of the Executive Director

This year is going to be a wonderful year for Webster Street. 

On Jan. 25, the Chinese New Year was celebrated as the Year of the Rat.  Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life. Join the West Alameda Business Association (WABA) for our Spring Celebration — a multi-cultural family-friendly festival, Saturday, March 14, at Webster Street and Taylor Avenue, starting at 11 a.m. The event will feature music, artists, dancers, entertainers and a kids’ crafts zone where they can even make their own paper rats!

New Businesses Open
Malaya Botanicals, 1542 Webster, held its grand opening Feb. 8. Malaya Botanicals, a woman and minority-owned cannabidal (CBD) business, is brought to Alameda by Mia Barton, a former triathlete and cannabis industry expert whose aim it is to bring hemp-derived beauty and wellness products to the mainstream. 

The Malaya team has extensive experience in the cannabis industry, having worked with cannabis farmers, regulators and consumers. The Malaya Botanicals storefront will also feature a community wellness and CBD education center for consumers to drop in, chat with a team of industry experts and try new products.

Halalicious, a Middle Eastern eatery, 1606 Webster, opened last week and enjoyed a packed house! For beginners, choose a base of: falafel, chicken shwarma or beef, then pick a style: pita, rice or salad. There is a complete “munchies” menu to share with friends. Halalicious is open every day: from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, staying open until 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 

My Beauty Spa, 1533 Webster, opened several weeks ago. It is a beautiful destination as a premier provider of massage, skincare, waxing and eyelash extension services. Experience a truly state-of-the-art, clean and relaxing environment. Their hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
And finally, the wait is over! Donut Petit, 711 Santa Clara Ave., is enjoying a soft opening, daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are selling out of their delicious specialty donuts every day.

WABA Nets Grants
WABA has received commitments for nearly $73,000 to help support its placemaking efforts in the district. That includes $7,967 from the City of Alameda that generously donated 100 percent of the profits from last year’s Mini Maker Faire to support the cause. WABA is very grateful to Economic Development Manager Amanda Gehrke, for her tireless efforts to support its district and the creative arts scene in Alameda.

So, what’s placemaking? It is a human-centric approach to street design. These funds can go to more bike racks, painted pedestrian plazas or murals along Webster Street. If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to

CAT Opens Feb. 29
The Cross Alameda Trail is now open from Main Street to Webster! Take a cruise down this latest section of protected bikeway that will ultimately connect our district with the Seaplane Lagoon ferry terminal. Join us this Saturday, Feb. 29 for the grand opening celebration and a chance to win some great Webster Street prizes. 

Art Grants Available
Do you have a public art project that is in need of seed funding? The city is currently seeking applications for its small grants pilot program. Applications will be accepted until this Saturday, Feb. 29. Awards will be announced by Thursday, April 30, and funds will be eligible for use for one year, beginning Friday, May 1.

As always, it is a great pleasure to represent and advocate for West Alameda, a neighborhood I call home. I can be reached at linda@westalameda or 523-5955.

Linda Asbury is the executive director of WABA.