The Woman Behind the Coolest Surf Club in Northern California

Julie Cox, a professional surfer and former director of the California Surf Museum, launched Traveler in 2017 out of necessity. Even though surfers from around the world have long flocked to the breaks at Linda Mar state beach in Pacifica, the amenities are seriously lacking. Aside from the world’s most scenic Taco Bell and a couple of shops, there was no where for surfers to hang, get dry, get warm and chat.

“It was partly out of a need to get warm after surfing in the cold waters of the Pacific ocean,” Cox said. “Buying a home steps from the beach was not in the cards, so we started to brainstorm on how to create a ‘shareable beach shack’ experience that could work for other city surfers.  The idea for a place to clean up, grab a hot shower and get on to the next activity while connecting with others  was the seed for Traveler Surf Club.”

The Bay Area Gets Its First Shake Shack

The Bay Area’s first-ever Shake Shack, located in the Stanford Shopping Center, is aiming to be open before the end of the year (the official date has yet to be announced), and the menu will feature exclusive items.

The Palo Alto lineup will include a burger dubbed “The Golden State Double,” made with two Richards Grassfed Beef patties, white cheddar cheese, and McVicker Pickles bread and butter pickles all sandwiched between a Tartine Bakery sweet potato bun.

And it will have its very own burger, the Golden State Double.

Oakland gets a new Filipino hot spot

Janice Dulce’s wife, Brandi, had to convince her they needed to set a grand opening date for FOB Kitchen, the duo’s new restaurant in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood.

After talking it over, last week they decided to have a grand opening event on Nov. 16 [and officially opened the week of Nov. 25].

FOB Kitchen has been a popular Bay Area pop-up for years, its longest residency being at Gashead Tavern in the Mission. The menu at the FOB Kitchen brick-and-mortar includes the pork lumpia and pork adobo from the pop-up, but now the dishes are served in a larger format, more meant for family-style sharing.

Cali Gold, a 2017 Chronicle Bar Star, created the restaurant’s cocktail menu, which includes a “Juhu Beach Club” option made with Indian rum, chai, lemon, ginger and cardamom.

Openings, closings and more news from the restaurant world

Black Bakers Rising to top in East Bay

The booming businesses are indicative of the rise – and proliferation – of black-owned bakeries in the East Bay. Collectively, they represent a quiet truth about a few-mile swatch east of San Francisco: It is a hotbed for talented black bakers.

In recent years [a] new generation of black-owned bakeries has sprouted up: PieTisserie, Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts, and Crumble and Whisk, among others, all of which are scattered across the East Bay in various forms.

African American-owned businesses proliferate, offer entree to food world.

Share the Spirit: Richmond center boosts budding businesses

[Rebecca & Noel Shabazian] had been comfortable working together at a hair salon in Berkeley and weren’t looking to become owners themselves. That is, until an industry conference in Long Beach changed their minds. It was the first time they saw their own potential, she said.

[T]hey turned to the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in Richmond, a nonprofit organization with offices around the Bay Area that helps women, people of color, low-income and formerly incarcerated residents own and operate their own businesses. The center doesn’t turn anyone away, but offers low-cost classes and scholarships, said Bret Sweet, the director of the organization’s center in Richmond.

Rebecca Shabazian took the first leap: an introductory course at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. It was a four-week class, once a week covering business basics, she said. But, it was enough to get the ball rolling.

She and her husband [then] enrolled in the next course, this one a bit longer and more focused on retail businesses, she said. The teacher helped them write a business plan, assess the competition, figure out finances and quantify costs.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center helps people launch their own business

Inspiring Business Success, and More, for Bayview Women

Royal Tee’s Custom Designs and Events

Theresa Wallace discovered her passion for making beautiful things after she was diagnosed with Lupus and had to learn how to live with the pain and suffering of that illness and related ailments. When she met Ericka Scott, Program Coordinator of the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center’s Bayview Women program, Theresa learned that her passion could actually become a business: Royal Tee’s Custom Designs and Events.

Designed to serve women where they are, Bayview Women is connecting local residents who can benefit from the opportunity to learn how to start or grow a small business to one another, as well as to the resources they need to generate more income for themselves and their families. Ericka Scott, who Center Director Marcus Tartt has dubbed “The Connector,” is the inspiration behind the program. “This is about more than business planning,” he says. “It’s a peer support group as well, and Ericka really connects with folks.”

How Socola built a successful chocolate company in modern San Francisco.

You’d never know that Lieu was 19 when she started Socola Chocolatier in 2001 with her younger sister, Susan. At the time, she had no idea how to turn a profit or even how to make truffles. She did, however, love chocolate.

She also took a business planning course at Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco, where she learned that wholesale alone wasn’t feasible. She wasn’t selling enough volume, and the demos and samples were a lot of effort. It was her sister’s idea to try corporate sales, putting company logos on chocolates, which sell at a higher volume. Around Valentine’s Day, they finished a 3,500 box order for Samsung.

“Renaissance made me realize that I needed to have production and retail sales out of the same space so I only had to pay one rent,” Lieu says. “Plus, I enjoy interacting with customers, so I knew I wanted the kitchen space to be open.”

2019 James Beard awards go to El Pípila, Bar Agricole and Benu

El Pípila, a family-owned operation led by chef-owner Guadalupe Guerrero and her daughters, Brenda and Alejandra, received an award for Outstanding Restaurant Design.

El Pípila’s win is a change of pace considering the last two San Francisco restaurants to top the category were Michelin-starred fine-dining establishments

San Francisco’s dazzling Mexican restaurant El Pípila and the popular cocktail bastion Bar Agricole were among the stars of Monday’s James Beard Foundation awards ceremony in Chicago, an event the culinary world likens to the Oscars.

SF’s oldest black-owned bar was almost sold, then the community saved it.

Ruth Jordan imagined walking away from the business would be easy. Most of her adult life had been spent operating San Francisco’s oldest black-owned bar, Sam Jordan’s in the Bayview. But lately, with sales seeming to slow down, the work felt like it was coming to an end.

“We’re at this critical point where we have to be more proactive in helping these black-owned businesses by actually going to them,” said Marcus Tartt of the Bayview’s Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. He has worked with the Jordan family in the past and was surprised to see the property for sale.

Jordan said there are still decisions to be made concerning the bar’s future and how to keep it alive moving forward, but for now, she’s content with taking it off the market. “I now see all of these people who support me, support the bar,” she said. “I thought I was finished, I really did. I guess I’m not.”

Beauty Without Waste

What if we didn’t need plastic bottles and toxic ingredients to take care of our hair and skin? This is the premise behind Samudra Skin & Sea, a wild seaweed skincare brand that also cares for the ocean. In this episode we talk with Shilpi Chhotray, an advocate turned entrepreneur who has built Samudra into a thriving, regenerative small business.

Shilpi is a friendly force of nature, and in this episode she shares about the pleasures and challenges of running a values-driven business, about how she leverages the Samudra brand to minimize harm from consumer products and raise awareness on bigger global issues like ocean and plastic pollution, and how she balances it all with her day job.