E’ville Biz Digest: LeapFrog Acquired, Paulding & Co. provides Super Bowl tips, more praise for Shiba

Published On February 6, 2016 | By Rob Arias | Local Business, News & Commentary

Struggling Emeryville company LeapFrog was acquired by rival VTech Holdings of Hong Kong for $72 million it was announced via a Press Release on Friday. LeapFrog produces electronic educational toys for children including the LeapPad series but has struggled to adapt and compete with more full-featured tablets. Tablets that have recently dropped in price and offer inexpensive or even free apps. No immediate information was provided on possible layoffs for the company. Leapfrog employees approximately 500 full-time & part-time people.

As the Bay Area braces for Super Bowl 50 this Sunday, Emeryville hasn’t been completely left out of the festivities. A recent 7 on your side segment features Terry Paulding and offers her Super Bowl party tips. Paulding & Company provides a variety of culinary-based services including corporate team building, private parties and even kids classes. The Paulding & Co kitchen, located on 62nd Street, was used for the inaugural season of Top Chef and Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter with Matt Damon.

The Public Market’s Shiba Ramen has become quite the media darling as of late. KQED already declared it Emeryville’s first destination restaurant this week, now East Bay Express food writer Luke Tsai weighs in on what he writes “better, even, than Ramen Shop’s much-vaunted Meyer lemon shoyu broth.” Shiba recently held its Grand Opening after using January to staff-up and refine their kitchen processes.


7 On Your Side reveals Super Bowl party tips

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By Michael Finney
If you’re getting a group of friends together for the Super Bowl, these simple steps will help you have a great party and enjoy the game, too.

From the Star Spangled Banner to the final snap, your super party can be as good as the hype for the game.

We asked cooking instructor Terry Paulding of Paulding Company in Emeryville to fire off some great easy to use ideas.

“You want to be at your party, so you don’t want to spend your whole time in the kitchen,” she said.

Read more on ABC7News.com →


LeapFrog jumps to be acquired by VTech for $72 million

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By Rex Crumr
LeapFrog Enterprises, the maker of well-known electronic educational toys for children, said Friday it has agreed to be acquired by rival VTech Holdings of Hong Kong for $72 million.

The deal brings together two of the biggest names in the market for tablets and other electronic toys designed primarily for preschool and early elementary school-age children. LeapFrog is probably best known for its LeapPad line of handheld educational devices, which take cartridges that let children play games and activities.

Requests to LeapFrog for comment were not immediately returned. In a statement announcing the acquisition, LeapFrog Chairman Bill Chiasson said the deal “will be instrumental to helping the LeapFrog brand achieve the mission of helping each child achieve their potential. Importantly, too, this transaction also rewards our shareholders with a significant premium from recent trading levels.”

Read More MercuryNews.com →


Shiba Ramen proves that quick, casual ramen can still be tasty

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By Luke Tsai

America’s complicated relationship with Japanese food somehow dictates that the only way to do it justice is to make it extra fancy and expensive. The Bay Area is home to some of the tastiest sushi, ramen, and izakaya-style fare in the United States. You just wouldn’t ever mistake most of it for everyday Japanese cuisine.

Leave it to a couple of industry outsiders, then, to break that mold, at least in the increasingly hip world of ramen. Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura, two former chemists with a love of noodles, wondered why the Bay Area didn’t have ramen shops like the ones in Japan — where, at even the most highly regarded places, the prices tend to be low; the service, blindingly fast; and the setting, usually little more than a bar counter.

Read More on EastBayExpress →

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About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. He can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, riding the greenway to and from the Berkeley Bowl or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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