July 5, 2012
Sacramento veteran restaurateur honored with Senate resolution
Sacramento restaurant industry players joined friends and family of Eppaminondas “Eppie” Johnson, a noted Sacramento restaurateur and entrepreneur, who was honored by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg with the presentation of a resolution on the Senate floor Monday. The resolution recognized Johnson’s creation of Eppie’s Great Race, an annual summer fundraiser for local charities. The Great Race, known as the “world’s oldest triathlon,” was founded by Johnson in 1974.
Before the race, Johnson was best known for his chain of Eppie’s Restaurants Inc. coffee shops, an empire he built up to 20 locations and sold in the late 1990s.
In his remarks, Steinberg commented on Johnson’s decades of generosity and the indelible mark Eppie has made in the community.
Johnson is still active race, which he founded as a publicity stunt, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. The run, cycle and paddle competition for charity caught on, and now attracts international athletes.
The race features a 5.82-mile run, a 12.5-mile bike and a 6.35-mile paddle held along the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova and Sacramento. The race is the largest paddling event in the United States. The event is presented by the Eppie’s Great Race Foundation and benefits the Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services.
Johnson serves as an emeritus director of California Restaurant Association (CRA) Sacramento chapter board, and is a past chairman of the CRA Board of Directors.