During California Small Business Day, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Orange County) and the California State Assembly honored small business owners Lawrence Houser and Joseph Keenan. They are the founders of Bourbon Street Bar and Grill, and have been serving the thriving hospitality industry in the Fullerton area since March of 2008.
“It is my honor to highlight small businesses, like the one owned by Larry and John of Bourbon Street. The hospitality industry is one of service and entertainment, and Larry and John have embraced this ideal,” said Quirk-Silva. “This Small Business of the Year is a great place to dine and spend time, but moreover, they give back to the community. By bringing awareness and resources together for a cause like autism, they show the spirit of community by mixing philanthropy with business.”
Houser and Keenan wanted to bring the flavors of New Orleans to the city they lived in for over 30 years. They were very well-known in the community, and wanted to use their platform in the local hospitality and entertainment for the better. Owner Lawrence Houser’s son Boyd was diagnosed with autism, and Houser and Keenan changed their annual jazz fest into an event called Mardi Gras for Autism. The event attracts over 5,000 people each year, and has over 50 autism-related vendors. The event takes over the entire Fullerton Train Station Parking Lot. Furthermore, they continue to partner with the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, to provide work training for students with special needs.