Stockton cafe home to community efforts [The Record, Stockton, Calif.]
(Record (Stockton, CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Nov. 02--STOCKTON -- Looking for a place where new ideas are born? Where nonprofit organizations can flourish? Where a new generation of residents are eager to improve their hometown's downtown?
Stop by 235 N. San Joaquin St. and Cafe Coop where a unique collaboration of individuals, startup technology businesses, environmental groups, arts organizations and philanthropic foundations have set up shop.
Some have offices inside, others just use space inside the 1920s-era, two-story brick building. All are committed to thriving in a reinvigorated Stockton.
Esperanza "Espe" Vielma, 45, is the founder and executive director. Cafe Coop opened in January and has 30 members.
The word Cafe also is used as an acronym for Community Assistant Foundation for Empowerment. The second word in the title, Coop, is pronounced like chicken "coop," but has a second meaning as a co-op.
Some of those who call the place home include Friends of the Lower Calaveras River; Frankenmuffin, a web design/social media company; Reaching for the Stars, Jose M. Hernandez's organization devoted to educational opportunities; and Reinvent Stockton.
The restored space has been busy lately.
In mid-October, an iPhone application designed to clean up Stockton graffiti was unveiled by California Application Research Group inside a common room at Cafe Coop.
Last week, horn-playing members -- and one drummer -- of the Jim Ott Brass Ensemble practiced upstairs in an old garage area.
On Friday, Petros Media, a few blocks away at 42 N. Sutter St., used the location to roll out an iPhone puzzle application called FlipSquare. The Stockton event precedes by two months the app's global launch in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"It's a smart game for a smartphone," said Kenny McCann, the three-person company's chief executive officer. "It's our answer to games like Candy Crush Saga."
Developed by London-based King company, Candy Crush became the most popular game on Facebook earlier this year, surpassing FarmVille 2.
McCann, a Lincoln High, San Joaquin Delta College and California State University, Sacramento, graduate, works with John Johnson and Matt Sich in the fledging Petro Media company. McCann and Johnson are in their 30s; Sich is 24.
FlipSquare is their initial application rollout. The app is free, but like most other smartphone and droid games, there is a charge -- an in-app purchase -- required if players need "hints" to advance in the game.
McCann said his company, like the others affiliated with Cafe Coop, is dedicated to making Stockton a better community.
"It is home. I actually care about Stockton," he said. "My family is here, and there is a lot of true potential as opposed to a lot of other Central Valley cities. It is exciting to be a part of small teams of success-minded people committed to the city."
Contact reporter Kevin Parrish at (209) 546-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c)2013 The Record (Stockton, Calif.)
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