7 Bay Area Business Owners You Have To Get Acquainted With

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Shopping local is, by far, the most rewarding feeling and giving back to the characters that drive the Bay Area workforce is even better. Whether they own a booming chain or the cutest little shop down the block, meet the movers and shakers that we wanna be friends with ASAP.

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SWAN’S OYSTER DEPOT // 1517 Polk St.

Originally opened shop in 1912 and delivered seafood all over San Francisco, Swan’s Oyster Depot was later bought over in 1946 by Sal and is now run by Sal’s children and grandchildren. Steve owns the iconic Polk street front ringer with his son Kevin. Swan’s is popular among seafood connoisseurs so if you’re itching for a delish oyster, then make this your first stop. — sfswanoysterdepot.com

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NOT JUST FLOWERS // 4109 18th St.

This artisan flower store has been around for over two decades now flaunting the creative and elegant floral designs for the Castro community. Started by Andrei Krylov and Lisa Taylor, who are both renowned San Francisco floral designers, create beautiful floral masterpieces for weddings, photoshoots, and all types of events. — notjustflowerscastro.com

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COOKIE LOVE // 1488 Pine St.

Erica Olson opened her store after quitting her career in the corporate world. She started cookie love in 2014 and is now indulging in her passion for baking cookies and meeting many of the bay’s interesting characters. Cookie Love has a variety of options ranging from healthy oat cookies to cookies topped with marshmallows and sprinkles. All will be served. — cookielovesf.com

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RETRO FIT VINTAGE // 910 Valencia St.

A classic vintage store in Mission with a huge and fascinating collection of apparel and accessories. Has been in business for 2 decades now. Owned and run by Steven Leman. The store has done a great job at providing something for everyone in a fun and professional setting that also showcases their design creativity. The store is also as a great resource for emerging trends and promotes local talent by hosting and sponsoring events to highlight their work. — retrofityourworld.com

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RUBY’S CLAY STUDIO // 552A Noe St.

Ruby’s fabulous art center is the center of promoting appreciation for ceramic arts. Ruby O’Burke (now ran by Reiko Takahashi) was a Northern California ceramic artist and opened it up in 1962 to provide studio facilities for trained potters. After her death in 1983, the studio was turned into a non-profit organization, Ruby’s Community Outreach Services. — rubysclaystudio.org

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THE RIBBONEIRE // 3695 Sacramento St.

Paulette Knight started The Ribboneire when she started bringing back unique ribbons from France while working as a flight attendant with American Airlines. The process eventually turned her into an entrepreneur–She started the business in 1997 and has now grown into a store that houses more than 1000 varieties of ribbons ranging from 10 cents to $48 a yard. — ribbonerie.com

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TIGERLILY PERFUMERY // 973 Valencia St.

Owned and run by Antonia Kohl, Tigerlily Perfumery is dedicated to the aromatic and niche perfumes from all over the world. Antonio believes that smells play a vital role in influencing moods, hence affecting one’s emotions. About 3 years ago, she finally decided to quit her career in interactive design to start up her own business in the Mission district. — tigerlilyperfumery.com


Story by Megha Jain, meet the other Bay Area makers who are changing the way we shop. Check out who made our Best of SF list in 2016. You know you want too.

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