Carmel “Businesses of Recognition”

In an ongoing effort to acknowledge resident-serving Carmel-by-the-Sea businesses and services, the Carmel Residents Association, from time to time, presents Certificates of Appreciation to those businesses and services.

To be considered, a concern must hold a business license issued by the City of Carmel. This excludes a city agency or non-profit organization.  We encourage our CRA members to support and patronize these long-time businesses and services in our village. Below recent year's recognition highlights is a full roster of awardees for 

2024 - CRA Recognizes New Master's Gallery & Bill Hill - 50 years!

During our June 6, 2024 Annual Meeting our CRA President Graeme Robertson recognized Bill Hill's New Masters Gallery for his unending friendship, curation and contributions to our community, its culture and no doubt the art for our residents and visitors alike for over 50 years in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  Visit this CRA event page for the presentation video and more from June 6th.

Please visit Bill's New Master's Gallery on Dolores between Ocean Avenue and 7th. 
Bill invites our membership to stop by and introduce yourself.

2023 - CRA Recognizes a great Carmel business and our Carmel Public Library

Business Recognition Award 2023 - Congratulations Café Carmel & Sarah Cook

   Originally established as a bakery by the Wishart family in 1952 and located in the heart of Carmel village on Ocean Avenue, Café Carmel keeps alive a tradition in an historic 1920’s building. During the pandemic of 2020, Sarah Cook purchased the longtime and well-loved bakery opening it as Café Carmel.
   But why a bakery/café? Sarah grew up on the South Coast of England, learning to make pastries and other special recipes handed down through her family.  Sarah imagined one day opening a little café in the village where she lived.  
   Then life happened and Sara grew up to become a doctor practicing family medicine.  She envisioned this specialty would provide flexibility as she began her family. Twenty-six years and six children later, plus retiring from her medical practice, Sara’s baking dreams of a village café in the UK became her new reality with Café Carmel.
   But why Carmel?  In 2003, Cook accompanied her husband, banker Brendan Cook, when he took an 18-month assignment in Salinas. The couple enjoyed the area so much that when Brendan’s assignment ended and they returned to England, they came back to Carmel on frequent vacations. One day they stayed. They acquired a rundown property in Carmel Valley, restoring it with the help of friends. It was then that Sarah purchased Café Carmel to fulfill her dream.
   While waiting for their visas to come through, the Cooks worked on physical updates to the café, developed a menu remaining mindful of the crowd favorites Sarah would continue to serve, adding to it her family recipes. While continuing updates to the café, she looked after the two children in college and the four who had come to Carmel. It was then an unexpected and added challenge appeared, along with the usual bumps in the road. The Pandemic descended! Sarah was forced to close her new business, open a temporary parklet in order to survive, and survive she did!
   Café Carmel comes with a Carmel-by-the-Sea provenance. Sarah loves to hear from locals when they say they visited Wishart’s Bakery during their growing up years in Carmel. She assures the memories and traditions continue with Café Carmel – a family-owned and operated business in a warm and welcoming gathering place.   Congratulations!

Lifetime Achievement Award for our Carmel Public Library  

   Our Carmel Public Library plays an essential role in our community’s social infrastructure as a trusted resource and community hub. It serves over 100,000 people, Carmel residents, and way beyond our Village too, with growing collections, modern technology and services, and programs.
   This year, and in years past, the Carmel Public Library received the National Library Journal Star status that recognizes our library’s high usage, and how much our community utilizes our library resources. And with the City’s support, plus the bequests and donations through the Carmel Public Library Foundation, our library achieves this level of excellence – all with enriching community benefits.
   Opening in 1928, the Harrison Memorial Library is where we meet or read in a safe and friendly environment and enjoy a unique forum for social networking, book clubs, and learning groups. We find a great selection of online and physical book collections, business and consumer information, genealogy resources, language instruction, and more.  Plus, the new Gathering Place is a free special meeting place in the library – open to book clubs, nonprofit meetings, student group learning, and more.
    The Henry Meade Williams Local History Room inside the Park Branch houses archives from our Village history.  This is an invaluable resource for:
* anyone writing on the people and history of our Village, and
* long timers who want to reminisce, and
* for new comers who want to learn about the Village they call home.
    The Park Branch Library is dedicated to children and families spending time together and reading and participating in children’s programs. This is a place where our next generation makes new friends. Their reading programs and online books and films help children develop necessary skills. 
    The community enrichment provided to us all is also not just buildings, their services, and programs – but it IS the people.  The staff of our libraries over the years put up with vague requests for books or media, sometimes challenging residents, and visitors – all the while with a smile, and desire to serve – through wars, pandemics, local storms and much more.
    Our amazing Carmel Public Library continues to serve as a community builder, center for learning, and champion of youth. It preserves important historic artifacts, oral and digital history relevant to the community, and serves as a catalyst for addressing social issues.   
With our sincere thanks and appreciation…

Presented in June 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award - for Tony Salameh 


   Anton “Tony” Salameh was born on 1951 in the Philippines, raised in Jerusalem, then graduated from the Hotel School of Lausanne, Switzerland.
   Tony began his near 50-year career in the restaurant and hospitality industry at the Atlas Hotels, Town & Country Hotel in San Diego, CA.  He initially joined the Carmel scene by as the Manager of Quail Lodge.  For 2 years beginning in 1975, Tony joined the Jordon International Hotels.  Then in 1977 he returned to Quail Lodge as the Food & Beverage Director.
   Tony, in 1980, became the owner of Anton & Michel Restaurant in Carmel.  In 1994 he opened The Grill on Ocean Avenue which he sold in 2018.  In 1996, he opened restaurants Porta Bella & Merlot Bistro which he sold in 2015,
   Tony has shared his expertise into this industry through membership in the Monterey County Hospitality Association, Monterey Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Carmel Chamber of Commerce, California Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association, and as an active prior member in international Chef organizations including Les Toques Blanches and Chaine des Rotisseurs.
   Tony also served on many industry Boards including Monterey Peninsula Hotel & Restaurant Association, and Carmel Business Association (now the Carmel Chamber), and both at the local level and at the state level of the California Restaurant Association.
   Tony is married to his wife of forty-two years, Maria, with their two sons, Anton and Stefan, daughters-in-law Mary-Katherine and Michelle and one grandson, Christian.
    Therefore, for his decades of his service far and wide in the hospitality industry and especially in our Village of Carmel, with the respect of his peers and all of us as his long-term customers, Anton “Tony” Salameh is hereby the recipient of our highest honor, the Carmel Residents Association Business Recognition Lifetime Achievement Award on this date June 8, 2022.   

Our Newest Honored Recipient - May 2022!

CRA's President Fred Bologna recognized 5th Avenue Deli and Catering during our CRA Annual Meeting May 19th 2022.

"We are honored to recognize a local business that has been serving our community since 1991 with great food, products, and services – with an ongoing commitment to customer satisfaction. This business serves visitors and especially residents alike often in our frequent daily stops at the Carmel Post Office, with lines running outside their door, especially during lunch hours. We are recognizing the Elpidia & Carlos Herrera of the 5th Avenue Deli as new addition to our 28 previously recognized Carmel-by-the-Sea businesses.  We’ll all enjoy their wares, covering take out breakfast, lunch and dinner menu selections and tonight covering their catering of our finger foods this evening at the conclusion of our program. Thank you, Elpidia & Carlos Herrera, and the 5th Avenue Deli."     

now with their framed Certificate delivered

Both Elpidia and Carlos expressed their thanks along with their love of Carmel-by-the-Sea and their passion for serving residents and visitors alike.  Elpidia shared her story of working since the age of 18 for the two prior owners, to then purchasing business that is their home away from home. Please stop by, congratulate them and learn more about their offerings at   

Our July 2020 Recognition - Kocek Jewelers


Recognition and Thanks to Kocek Jeweler For those of you not familiar with Kocek Jeweler - they are a California corporation listed with Dunn & Bradstreet and rated by the Jewelers Board of Trade that was established in March 1973 – in business for 45 years.  Mr. Kocek has earned nearly every credential possible as a Jewelry Appraiser. And Kirkor began his career in everything jewelry (design, create & manufacture) the young age of 12 in Istanbul, Turkey.  CRA’s President Fred Bologna was honored to present (amidst COVID times) our Annual CRA Certificate of Appreciation to Kocek Jewelers – with masks of course.  Stop by to congratulate the Kocek Jeweler team located San Carlos Street between Ocean and 7th Avenue. Kirkor has many way-back Carmel stories to tell and share.  Congratulations!





Businesses Recognized with CRA Appreciation Awards   (alphabetical)

5th Avenue Deli & Catering
Bruno’s Market
Carmel Bakery
Café Carmel
Carmel Bay Company
Carmel Cleaners
Carmel Coffee House
Carmel Drug
Carmel Pine Cone (The)
Cate Electric Company
Cheese Shop (Kent Torrey)
Brian Congleton - Architect
Copies by the Sea
Cottage of Sweets
Cottage Restaurant
Dametra Café (Bashar & Faisal)
Eco Carmel
Expert Alterations by Tuyen
Gaston Georis (Rio Grill & others)
Kocek Jeweler
Le Bijou Fine Jewelry
Little Swiss Café
Lloyd’s Shoes
New Masters Gallery (Bill Hill)
Nielsen’s Market
Nystrom Automotive Services
Patisserie Boissiere (Magdi Ibrahim)
Pilgrim’s Way Bookstore
SeaView Inn
Thinker Toys  
Whittakers of Carmel  

These sadly closed Carmel Businesses, were also previously recognized. 

Friar Tuck Restaurant
Knapp Hardware 
Pasta Palate
St. Moritz Sweaters 
Surfrider Surfabout