Category Archives: Local business
As Ashby Village marks its fifth anniversary, no one could be more pleased—or surprised—than co-founders Pat Sussman and Shirley Haberfeld. In 2006, Sussman read an article about Beacon Hill Village in Boston, an organization formed by older people who wanted to stay independent as long as possible. Sussman, having worked as a healthcare administrator, hospice director, and staff and board member of Lifelong Medical Care, knew how challenging it could be for older people to stay socially connected, remain in their homes, get the help they might need, and make their own decisions.
“Let’s start a village,” Sussman said to her longtime friend Haberfeld, an educational psychologist. Haberfeld didn’t hesitate. She’d just gone through a frustrating time of trying to find resources in case her mother moved to town. Sussman and Haberfeld bought a how-to manual from the Beacon Hill group, and got to work. … Continue reading »
The 27-year-old bookstore has been described as a “Berkeley institution” by celebrated local poet Robert Hass.
With its all-volunteer staff, and calendar of panel discussions and programs in venues across Berkeley, the radical store sets itself apart from other independent bookstores in the Bay Area by its emphasis on social change. … Continue reading »
The disputed UC Berkeley land next to Albany’s Gill Tract is in contention no more. Last week, the California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the university to build a senior housing development and Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store on San Pablo Avenue in University Village.
Read more on Berkeleyside’s coverage of Occupy the Farm.
The development, on a long-vacant lot next to the Gill Tract research field, has been the site of protests since April 2012 on the part of Occupy the Farm, which has stated that UC Berkeley’s plans would “pave over a rare natural resource” and that the Gill Tract is “public farmland that belongs to the people.”
Stefanie Rawlings, of Occupy the Farm, originally filed a lawsuit against the city of Albany and UC Berkeley that alleged that the city’s approved Environmental Impact Report was deficient. When Rawlings lost the suit, she filed an appeal on the grounds that the report did not lay out appropriate alternatives for the building plan, and that the city did not appropriately consider the alternatives listed. … Continue reading »
PHOENIX GYM OPENING Phoenix Gym opened its doors in West Berkeley this month. Phoenix Gym offers personal training and group bootcamps for all fitness goals and levels of expertise. Owner Kelly Mills plans to add more class times based on neighborhood interest and availability. “Moving into our own space has been nerve-wracking but really fun and exciting,” Mills said. The gym is in soft opening model in preparation for its mid-July grand opening, and is currently available for classes or training sessions. Sign up for personal training or a bootcamp at Phoenix Gym’s website, or by phone: 415-260-1112. Phoenix Gym is located at 1390 10th St., one block south of Gilman Street. … Continue reading »
While grinding through software coding courses at San Francisco programming school Hack Reactor, Albrey Brown, 24, often found himself as one of the few students of color in the room.
Meanwhile Bianca Gandolfo, 26 — like Brown a Hack Reactor alum and former instructor — used to view software engineering as a career path for “a white guy in a basement by himself.”
Instead of ignoring these realities, as some might, the tech-savvy duo decided to do something about it.
Enlisting Hack Reactor as a partner, the pair has launched Berkeley-based Telegraph Academy, a tech coding school that aims to teach software engineering to under-represented minorities and create a network of tech workers of color.
The first class of students, arriving at the Academy’s bustling Shattuck Avenue location from as far away as Honduras and the East Coast, will fire up their computers on June 29. … Continue reading »
The Urban Air Market, a festival for local designers, is hosting its first East Bay event in Berkeley on Saturday June 20. The Berkeley market, which has been in the works for nearly ten months, will set up shop on Allston Way adjacent to the weekly farmers market on Center Street.
Vendors hail from across the Bay Area and are independent artists, designers, and curators who use environmentally friendly and sustainable practices to create their products. Repurposed hardware, vintage-style, even products scavenged from landfills and reworked as high-end sustainable goods and fashion, are all markers of a UAM vendor. … Continue reading »
Workers were still putting the final touches to the store’s exterior Monday morning as both local residents and out-of-town visitors explored the new Books Inc. which opened its doors today in North Berkeley.
Books Inc. shut down its smaller store on Fourth Street to move to 1491 Shattuck Ave., the former location of another independent bookstore, Black Oak Books, which closed in 2009. (Black Oak is now at 2618 San Pablo. Ave.)
“The response from the public so far has been overwhelmingly positive,” said manager Schyler Baker at the store today. “Even as we did construction, passerby would stop and pop their heads in to check if we were open yet.”
“This space is bigger, which is very helpful to us,” Baker said. “It allows us to expand our book and magazine selection, especially children’s books and cookbooks.” … Continue reading »
When a man accidentally dropped a Viagra pill into his glass of cold-brew coffee recently, then wrote about it on Reddit, a certain Berkeley startup got a lucky break. The man wrote that he had to drink the coffee — pill and all — because the cold brew was just too good to throw away. For Kristina Barnes, co-founder of Jittery John’s, the first sign that her brand had had a moment of viral internet fame was when she noticed a sudden spike in online sales.
“People on Reddit asked the guy which brand of cold brew was so good, and after he told them it was Jittery John’s, it led to lots of new customers,” she said a couple of weeks ago at the cold-brew coffee company’s new West Berkeley production facility. “We couldn’t have asked for better free marketing!”
Marketing is not something the young company has done much of so far. Word of mouth has been the main way people have discovered the rich-tasting coffee concentrate that is sold in sturdy glass bottles evocative of those that held tinctures and tonics in days of old. … Continue reading »
Shakespeare & Co., a used bookstore that has been operating on Telegraph Avenue since 1964, closed its doors for good this week.
The owner, Jon Wobber, said the store was not earning enough income for the time he was putting in. He made the decision to shutter yesterday, on June 2, and served his last customer before locking the door for the last time around 8 p.m.
The building that houses Shakespeare & Co., at 2499 Telegraph Ave., on the corner of Dwight Way, was bought last year by Telegraph Partners, LLC, which plans to extensively remodel the building. Telegraph Partners managing member Ito Ripsteen said the company was open to the bookstore remaining, said Wobber. But the store would have had to close for three months, so Wobber thought the time was right to close the business. … Continue reading »
Sunset, the venerable Californian publishing company best known for the monthly Sunset Magazine, is moving its headquarters to Jack London Square in Oakland.
The move, which is set for December, will see the company leave the beautiful Cliff May-designed Menlo Park campus that it has occupied since 1951. That property was sold last year by Sunset’s owners, Time Inc., to Embarcadero Capital Partners, a San Francisco real-estate investment and management company.
Along with the company’s Oakland editorial and business offices, to be designed by San Francisco architects RMW, Sunset will establish an additional presence at Cornerstone in Sonoma. That will include a test garden, outdoor kitchen and live programming.
The new headquarters will be located at 55 Harrison Street, Sunset announced today. The company will be in the same building that will house the Water Street Market, an artisan food marketplace being developed by Carlin Company, the team behind San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. … Continue reading »
If you listen to the big business lobbyists, you might actually hear them claim that the Bay Area’s higher minimum wage laws will have no impact or might even hurt our communities.
But that’s missing the real story: the lives of tens of thousands of workers like me who will benefit.
I have worked for two years at a McDonald’s in Oakland. I took the job to help my mom, who is also a low-wage worker, pay the rent and put … Continue reading »
This is the second in a Berkeleyside series on housing. Read our first story on short term rentals.
The heated economy has pushed Berkeley rental rates significantly higher this past year, a jump of anywhere from 10% to 30.9%, depending on which study you look at, forcing some students to double and triple up in mini-dorm-like situations, and middle-class workers to stretch to meet their rents.
At the same time, technology workers and those in finance or other well-paying professions are snapping up luxury apartments that can cost from $2,500 a month for a studio to $5,400 for a three-bedroom, two-bath pad.
“The problem is that we are an extremely desirable community,” said Mayor Tom Bates. “With high rents in San Francisco a lot of people choose to be here. As a consequence we have huge demand.” … Continue reading »