Alice Waters says she never could have started Chez Panisse without a $10K loan from her folks
Food icon Alice Waters told the San Francisco Business Times that her parents mortgaged their house to get Waters the $10,000 she needed to start Chez Panisse in 1971. Eventually, the business proved successful enough that she managed to buy the Berkeley property for $28,000 (“I should have bought all of Berkeley,” she said). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $10K in 1971 is (after inflation) equivalent to almost $65K today, and $28K would be $181,047.
Valencia Street vandals keep tagging a small ice cream shop
The owners of Xanath Ice Cream (951 Valencia Street) are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a group of men that have allegedly vandalized the shop at least twice. Juan San Mames, the ice cream parlor’s 72-year-old owner, tells Mission Local that three men have been caught on security video tagging his windows with acid, gluing his locks shut, and jamming his door with sealing foam. San Mames says he has no idea why his business has been targeted, as “we are not Starbucks — we are a mom-and-pop operation. It’s just mean and it’s sad.”
Alameda tiki bar Forbidden Island just pulled $10K of cash from its walls
Forbidden Island opened at 1304 Lincoln Avenue in Alameda in 2006, and its (Gold Rush-era) tradition of affixing patron-decorated dollar bills to its ceiling and walls soon followed. Owner Michael Thanos tells Boing Boing that there was no more room for cash on any surfaces, so Forbidden Island’s staff removed the dough: Four full garbage bags full. It turns out there was $10,367 stuck to the building, $8000 of which Thanos donated to local non-profits Building Futures, Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, and Alameda Family Services. The other $2K will go back on the ceiling, where it’ll remain until the next culling.
Rumors of Roxie Food Center’s demise appear to be exaggerated
Roxie Food Center, an unassuming corner store/sandwich shop at 1901 San Jose Avenue, has long been known by locals as one of the sandwich best spots in SF since its opening in 1975. When word that the building it occupies had been placed on the market made it to a neighborhood Facebook group, panic broke out that the shop was closing. Not so, Roxie owner Tony Tannous tells SF Gate, saying that he expects to remain open “for the next 20 years.”
Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi have invested in Miyoko’s Creamery
Miyoko Schinner, the founder of plant-based cheese company Miyoko’s Creamery, has attracted high-profile investors since her company’s launch in 2014, including a $6 million VC-backed funding round in 2017. But now she’s got her boldest-faced backers yet, as the SF Business Times reports that Ellen Degeneres and wife Portia de Rossi have put an undisclosed amount of money into the Petaluma-based business. Once available only in co-ops and smaller groceries, Miyoko’s non-dairy dairy products can now be found on the shelves of artisanal outlets like Walmart, Target, and Trader Joe’s.