A group of several people, mostly Asian, plus one white man and one black man, all in white T-shirts, many matching. There is a framed Golden State Warriors jersey and a sign for share tea behind them

Former Golden State Warrior Launches Cornbread Line at Sharetea Hercules

A group of several people, mostly Asian, plus one white man and one black man, all in white T-shirts, many matching. There is a framed Golden State Warriors jersey and a sign for share tea behind them

“It’s a family event,” said Sharetea Hercules co-owner Jeff Todd, second from left in the back row, with his relatives — some of whom are store employees — including his wife and shop co-owner, Bernadette Todd, second from right in the front row.

Story and photos by Joe Porrello

Cornbread, anyone?

An often relatively low-key shopping center sandwiched between San Pablo Avenue and Interstate 80 was anything but on Saturday afternoon. 

Sharetea Hercules — part of an international bubble tea chain — played host to a meet-and-greet with current Golden State Warriors television color commentator and former team member Kelenna Azubuike for the launch of his new product: Kelenna’s Famous Gourmet Cornbread.

Visitors began lining up on the sidewalk in front of the store an hour before the festivities began. By the time doors opened, people were queued up well beyond the stanchions. 

“We’re really excited; this is just unbelievable,” said store co-owner Jeff Todd.


Opening just over five years ago, Sharetea Hercules celebrated its anniversary in December.

Todd runs the business with his wife, Bernadette, who grew up in the Hercules area and has family connections with the Azubuikes.

“We’re very blessed and fortunate; selecting us to launch their business is pretty special,” she said. “Sharetea and cornbread go together really well because we have milk teas, slushies, and hot teas… it’s a good pairing.”

Azubuike noted his mutual happiness with the event and its location.

“To be able to launch here with family — it just felt right,” he said.


Scheduled to end the meet-and-greet at 1 p.m., Azubuike stayed well after until every last fan got to see him. Though not all guests got their hands on Kelenna’s coveted Famous Gourmet Cornbread, as it sold out within two hours.

Hercules City Council member and former Mayor Alex Walker-Griffin said the event lived up to his expectations and provided a positive impact on the city.

“As someone who grew up here and grew up a lifelong Warriors fan — and even played for the Junior Warriors — this is absolutely exciting, not just for me but for our residents,” he said. “It’s really bringing a lot of brand to the city and a lot of recognition that usually this suburban area doesn’t get.”

Part of that acknowledgement came from the Warriors television broadcast mentioning the product launch in both of their previous games, with thousands of viewers watching.


Anyone who purchased the moist and fluffy delicacy or a product T-shirt was able to get an autograph from Azubuike, as well as take a picture and chat with him and his wife, Rona — the brains behind the operation.

“My wife has always been a cornbread connoisseur and she never liked the texture… she knew she could make it better,” said Azubuike. “It sticks, it’s not too breakable, and it’s delicious.”


Rona made him the dish on one of their first dates. 

“I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. This is the best cornbread I’ve ever had. What did you put in this thing?’ “ he said.

Soon thereafter, word spread about the snack.

“We served it to the Warriors players and my co-workers and everybody kept saying, ‘You guys gotta sell this’,” Azubuike said.

And it’s not just your average run of the mill cornbread, as the current flavors are jalapeño, caramel, blueberry white chocolate, and ube salted egg.

“That’s another thing that kind of differentiates us,” said Azubuike.

He noted the brand plans to release additional renditions of the product.

“We’ve got like 50 more flavors we’re going to end up doing,” Azubuike said.


Azubuike says they want to get Kelenna’s Famous Cornbread into more Sharetea locations eventually, and that multiple locations have inquired about adding the product. But with a small team, he wants to first make sure they can meet demands before over-promising.

“We’ll work our way to doing more days and making sure we share this with the world,” he said. “We’re a small business and we’re just having a good time with it.”

Updates on future product locations can be found on the brand’s Instagram page. Currently, Kelenna’s Famous Gourmet Cornbread will be available every Saturday at ShareTea Hercules moving forward; it is open every day 11 a.m. — 9 p.m. at 3700 San Pablo Ave., Ste. 2.

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