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Alameda business focus: Color Me Mine

Submitted by on 1, January 14, 2011 – 12:03 am2 Comments

Joey Cardenas and Mike Berkowitz

Before Mike Berkowitz became the owner of a Color Me Mine store, he was a customer.

“I remember going in and saying, ‘This is so much fun,'” Berkowitz recalls.

Berkowitz thought running a Color Me Mine would be a fun way to make a living, too. So four and a half years ago, he and his partner, Joey Cardenas, opened for business at Alameda Towne Centre.

“I was looking at, ‘What can I do differently,'” said Berkowitz, who owned a restaurant and a sandwich catering business before opening the Color Me Mine store.

The store offers customers an array of ceramic objects to paint – everything from cabinet knobs to tiles to Elvis busts – and it fires the finished objects in its in-house kilns (which also provide welcome heat on these blustery winter days).

Customers can come in during regular hours and paint their objects for a $10 studio fee ($7 for kids), plus the cost of the item they choose, with prices ranging from less than $5 to more than $100. Available items range from pieces of fruit, which cost around $5, to full chess sets, which start at $95. (Plates, mugs and tiles are top sellers; Berkowitz said the store also just sold a three-foot-tall castle and dragon set.)

The store also hosts an array of special events, including a popular, weekly pajama night (studio fees are just $1 for anyone who arrives in their pajamas after 5 p.m. on Fridays) and a Kids Night Out, which happens one Saturday a month ($20 for the first child and $17 for each sibling). February’s Kids Night Out event, which takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. February 12, celebrates the upcoming Disney flick “Gnomeo & Juliet,” and the store is inviting participants to paint a gnome and photograph it in any part of their home as part of a national contest the chain is hosting. Local entries will be featured on the store’s Facebook page.

“We’ve got six or seven styles of gnomes,” Berkowitz said.

This Monday, January 17, the store is hosting a beach party, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where everyone will win a beach-related prize.

“Everyone’s basically going to win something, a fun pool-type thing or beach-type thing,” he said.

The store also hosts parties; the chain was named a top 10 location for kids birthday parties by Parents Magazine. Packages range from $16 to $32 per painter, with an eight guest minimum (the store also has a “create your own” package for $100, plus the cost of items selected, for as many guests as you bring).

And regular painters can purchase a VIP “paint pass” for a year that offers bearers free studio fees and a 10 percent discount on regularly priced items.

Store hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The store is located at 2205 South Shore Center; phone is 521-8893.


  • Mike B says:

    A Big ‘Thank You’ to The Island. Not shown in the picture is Tom Yip, our partner. We all live here in Alameda and LOVE our Alameda. Thanks for the spotlight!

  • Teddi Baumbach says:

    I was visiting Alameda whe I came across “Color me Mine”. It was a great experience. There was so many choices and the personel was really helpful. I ended up spending nearly a day there…the time really went by quickly.

    Of course, I had to return the next day because I realized that I could be creative….I could personalize ceramics and give them as gifts….all the while, I’m enjoying myself.

    I’m going to invite some of my girlfriends to a luncheon and Color me Mine” ….just the sort of place you can relax and be creative at the same time. Thanks Berkowitz….great idea.

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