Exploring Our Favorite Local Spots in San Francisco
In this 8-part series, we are shining a light on small businesses in the cities where we currently operate. With so many communities struggling today, we’re inviting you to join us in standing by local establishments you know and love. Each week we’ll feature a different city, highlighting five gems submitted by our riders and employees, and give away $1,000 worth of gift cards to these spots on our Instagram account.
Week 4: San Francisco
San Francisco is a romantic, picturesque city. One can ascend the steep contours of Russian Hill while hanging off the side of a historic cable car and looking back to the northwest to see the sun setting behind the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. A person can also amble past azaleas and cypresses in the Japanese Tea Garden on their way to the De Young Museum, where they can visit the observation tower and look out at the rolling hills, with the sun glinting off the golden dome of City Hall. Picturesque, indeed.
Sometimes, though, when a city is so dynamic and brimming with such majesty, it’s possible to miss the subtle flavors and nuances which lie therein. In the busy rush of our lives, we can overlook the little stories. On our 10 min break from work, we might pop into our favorite local cafe for a shot of espresso, but do we know how long the cafe has been in existence? Do we know what inspired the owners to open the business? Do we know what hurdles had to be leaped and what roadblocks had to be navigated?
Below are a few stories to add depth, texture, and history to some of your favorite spots. Join us now as we tour our 5 featured San Francisco small businesses. Thank you to our riders and employees for submissions and accompanying reviews!
The Coffee Movement: In life, we’re all looking for that transcendent moment-of-clarity, right? The owner of The Coffee Movement, Bryan Overstreet, had his while working at a cafe in Sydney, Australia. He was struck with a vision to bring the “immersive” and “communal” coffee culture from down under to the US, intentionally moving away from a more common transactional vibe. Bryan’s intuition was spot on, as his Nob Hill hub has been a hit. Wyatt WD calls it a “true neighborhood gem,” and adds, “I always look forward to visiting; they really make an effort to connect with their customers on a personal level. Plus, you’ve gotta try the cocoa cappuccino!” The Coffee Movement is open for take-away service, or you can visit their website for gift cards.
Photos courtesy of The Coffee Movement
Green Apple Books: For some, books are everything. Richard Savoy is one of those people. After a tour in the army and a stint as a radio technician for United Airlines, he leveraged some savings and a credit union loan to open Green Apple Books in 1967! Since its inception, the physical space has expanded to 10x the size of its original dimensions, and ownership has transferred to long-time employees, Kevin Ryan and Pete Mulvihill, but the qualities which endeared it to San Francisco remain. Ezekiel O has been a regular at Green Apple Books since the ’80s. He says, “The thing that makes the shop so special is really the people. If I was just looking for a book, I could easily get it online. But, personally, I’m hungry for community and connection, and Green Apple gives me that, and more.” You can order books or purchase gift cards on their website.
Photos courtesy of Green Apple Books
Senor Sisig: Two buddies from high-school buy a used Chinese food truck from Modesto on Craigslist, adapt an old family recipe, and take the Bay Area by storm, delighting palettes from Fort Mason to the Mission. Sounds like the plot of a heartwarming indie film. Evan Kidera and Gil Payumo have been serving up Sisig — a “highly seasoned mixture of chopped meat” native to the Philippines and considered a “rustic drinking food” — since 2010. They now have a brick and mortar location, on Valencia, to go along with multiple trucks. Bella L calls it her go-to food truck. “I’m always so excited when I see it parked outside of work or at Off The Grid,” she says. “You can’t go wrong with the California Sisig Burrito or the Sisig Fries.” Pick-up, delivery, and gift cards are available on their website.
Photos Courtesy of Senor Sisig
Plant Therapy SF: Click the Team button on Plant Therapy’s website and see the beaming, happy faces of Chai Saechao, Angel Sugondo, Meghan Oddy, and Juan Jo Cuevas, all wearing shirts that read Plants Are Cheaper Than Therapy. The radiance of their smiles indicates that they might be onto something. Founded on the belief that learning how to care for and connect with nature in our own homes increases well-being, Plant Therapy SF offers a personalized shopping experience, including virtual consultations, to help you find the perfect plant for you. Matilda Z can attest to this. “I’d heard about Plant Therapy,” she said. “The ‘healing power’ of plants always seemed a little over-hyped to me, though. That was until I found my Mounted Staghorn Fern. Now, I get what they mean when they say plants are cheaper than therapy!” Find your plant today by visiting their website. Pick-up, delivery, gift cards, and virtual consultations available.
Photos courtesy of Plant Therapy
Devil’s Teeth Bakery: The name alone warrants a visit! With two locations (Outer Sunset and Outer Richmond), this laboratory of deliciousness is famous for its egg sandwiches, which drip with savory cheese and hot sauce. Julia W has danced a time or two with this fresh biscuit favorite, “If you’re a breakfast sandwich fiend like me, look no further than Devil’s Teeth,” she explained. “This quaint, laid-back cafe makes savory breakfast sandwiches on famous house-made biscuits and lathers them in delicious garlic aioli. Even better, their 2 storefronts are located close to the beach, lending itself perfectly to grab a sandwich and walk (or Spin!) to watch the waves.” Try one for yourself today by visiting their website. Gift cards also available.
Photos courtesy of Devil’s Teeth
When you buy from local businesses, a cup of coffee is more than just a cup of coffee, a book is more than just a book, and a plant is more than just a plant. By purchasing these products you are supporting the dreams and passions of fellow members of your community and maintaining the local identity and DNA of your neighborhoods. Thank you for standing by these businesses during this difficult time.
We’ll see you next week when we land in Portland to spotlight more small businesses.