Bay Area businesses honor Oakland's Kamala Harris with ice cream, dishes

Bay Area businesses are finding ways to honor the incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, an East Bay native, with special Inauguration Day treats and menu items.

At Oakland's Jack London Square, the Home of Chicken and Waffles restaurant is doing a special called "the Kamala," a home-style dinner named for their favorite hometown politician. Harris is like a cousin to the restaurant's founder Derreck Johnson, who has known Harris since he was 16 years old.

"It just feels so good. We're just so proud," Johnson said from his hotel room in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

Harris invited Johnson to the inauguration and gave her stamp of approval to the restaurant's Inauguration Day menu.

"She does like greens. She likes collard greens, so I made sure those were in the lasagna cause you know we're Southern soul food," said Johnson.

Soul food he says, honoring a good soul.

"She's a good person," said Johnson, "She's a good friend."

The many ways Harris has touched people through her career is reflected in these tributes.

In San Leandro, Koolfi Creamery also is doing a tribute with a Kamala Blossom ice cream.

"Her name in the Indian language means 'pink lotus.' And my dad told me about a village in India where they would pluck these seeds from a pond," said Priti Rama Narayanan, co-owner and Chief Ice Cream Engineer at KoolFi Creamery.

The Indian-American women owners mixed the rare lotus seeds with rose water and pistachios. It is a tribute to Harris, who is half Indian and who touched the married couple with her LGBTQ advocacy.

"Her taking that stand was just so important to me. It meant a lot to us," said Madhuri "Mads" Irene Anji, co-owner of KoolFi Creamery.

Chef Robert Dorsey, who attended the same elementary school as Harris and was also impacted by her favorite teacher, decided to do "Inauguration Dinners" priced at $46 for the 46th president. His seafood gumbo with crab is intended as a symbol of love and the beauty of mixing different ingredients.

San Francisco-based Smitten Ice Cream also wanted to honor Harris's work to help other women, with their MVP special that stands for Madam Vice President.

"A malted, salted, vanilla with pecan pralines, so there's an 'M', a 'V', a 'P' in there," said Robyn Sue Fisher, CEO and Founder of Smitten Ice Cream.

"A portion of the sales of the flavor go to support women in need," said Fisher.

Money from the ice cream will go to Five Keys Home Free transitional housing for domestic violence survivors.

"It's all about women uplifting women and so that's what we're trying to do here and symbolize with this tribute," said Fisher.

Some of the businesses say they are seeing so much demand, they are considering adding the inauguration specials to their regular menus.

For many people on Inauguration Day, seeing the nation's first woman, first Black, and first Indian-American Vice-President being sworn in, will be a moment in history to savor.

Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Jana at and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or