Tag Archives: Berkeley business news

Audel Davis continues the Arts and Crafts tradition through his coppersmithing art

Audel Davis copper
Print Friendly

In the third part of a series on expert craftspeople in Berkeley, Melati Citrawireja, who was a photography intern with Berkeleyside this summer, visits coppersmith Audel Davis. (Read Citrawireja’s first story on Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher and the Pettingell Book Bindery, and her second on  St. Hieronymus Press, the workspace of David Lance Goines.)

Audel Davis and his wife, Lynne, live in a home tucked down a shady street off University Avenue. Apart from a few pesky crows that terrorize their coi fish by day, they have created a lush and quiet sanctuary, greatly influenced by the philosophy and aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement – a concept that took flight and reached its peak in the 1890s as a reaction to the age of mass production. It emphasized traditional craftsmanship as a way to put integrity and skill back into the design and manufacturing process. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Peets on Domingo
Print Friendly

SOURCE MINI SHUTTERS UNEXPECTEDLY Source Mini, an offshoot of San Francisco’s Source restaurant, opened to great fanfare in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in January 2014. Owner Mitchell Fox said his vegan place was “like a Subway or McDonald’s-esque vegan fast-food menu,” with vegan burgers and sandwiches, gluten-free tacos and quesadillas and dosadillas. Fox shuttered his San Francisco locale in January because of the escalating costs associated with a higher minimum wage; the Berkeley restaurant followed suit last week, apparently because business was slow. Fox left a short note on the restaurant’s Facebook page saying the place closed July 18: “Sorry to say yesterday was our last day in Berkeley, we want to thank everyone for their support.” When fans asked why, he replied: “Wasn’t able to do enough business.” The management of Epicurious Garden has a sign up announcing that a new restaurant will be opening soon. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

A visit with David Goines: Berkeley’s legendary letterpress printer and lithographer

David Goines Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

In the second of a three-part series on expert craftspeople in Berkeley, Melati Citrawireja, a summer 2015 photography intern for Berkeleyside, visits St. Hieronymus Press, the workspace of David Lance Goines. (Read Citrawireja’s first story on Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher and the Pettingell Book Bindery.)

You may recognize David Goines by his distinctive handlebar mustache and deep, chocolatey voice, or you may know him by his letterpress and lithography artwork. Several pieces that have awarded him widespread attention include a collaborative book with Alice Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse, called 30 Recipes Suitable for Framing, and posters for well-known Bay Area spots, like Acme Bread and UC Berkeley.

Curious to meet the man behind these beautiful pieces that I’ve seen my whole life when thumbing through cookbooks in the kitchen, I ask to visit his workspace and Goines politely invites me over. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Nature's Express has closed. Photo: Nature's Express
Print Friendly

VANISHING ACT FOR NATURE’S EXPRESS The vegan eatery Nature’s Express, which has been in flux for two and a half years, has moved out of its location at 1823 Solano Ave. but is promising to return “close by” soon, according to its Facebook page. The store’s last day was July 16. In December 2013, longtime owner Carl Myers announced he was shuttering the healthy fast-food joint. But an outpouring of support let Myers keep the store open. The restaurant still struggled, losing $10,000 to $28,000 a month, and Myers shut it unexpectedly in July 2014. A new management team bought the business and stepped in, raised some cash, and managed to keep the restaurant afloat. “Things at the restaurant are going well,” Josh Levine, the new manager, wrote in a blog post in September 2014. “We have a new lease, food is coming out well, the team is amazing, and we are all having fun! The customers love us again, and though sales have been down since the changeover, morale is up! Because the food is coming out well.” No word on where or when a new Nature’s Express will open. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Crime

Alleged Looking Glass Photo burglar caught on video

Police are looking for information on a burglar who stole items from Looking Glass Photo over the weekend. Photo: Looking Glass
Print Friendly

Police are looking for a man who took cameras and lenses from Looking Glass Photo in West Berkeley over the weekend, and the shop has released video footage of the alleged thief.

Jennifer Waicukauski, owner of Looking Glass, posted surveillance footage from the burglary on her Facebook page on Saturday.

“If anyone recognizes the person in this video please contact the Berkeley police department immediately,” she wrote. (The video appears below.) … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

An afternoon at Pettingell Book Bindery in Berkeley

Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher from Pettingell's Book Bindery. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

In the first of a three-part series on expert craftspeople in Berkeley, Melati Citrawireja, a summer 2015 photo intern for Berkeleyside, visits a Berkeley bookbindery run for the past 21 years by Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher.

As I push open the glass door to Pettingell Book Bindery on Bancroft Avenue, I am greeted with a pleasant quietness, a rare occurrence in the busy hub of downtown Berkeley. The owner and master bookbinder, Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher, greets me warmly and invites me into his workspace.

Rötzscher is a middle-aged tall and slender fellow, wearing a glue-coated apron and wire-rimmed spectacles. The long, narrow room is dimly lit, with quirky artwork and tchotchkes lining the walls. Ribbons, rolls of colorful paper, and old tools fill every nook.

“I designed this place myself, and I am skinny,’ he jokes in his thick German accent as we squeeze through the walkway. “Actually, the bindery was set up this way when I bought it and I just filled it with more crap.” A Javanese wooden puppet dangling from a shelf seems to wink as I pass. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

Localwise offers community-oriented jobs platform

Localwise's two founders and crew of interns are based out of SkyDeck, UC Berkelely's incubator for start-ups. Picture: LocalWise
Print Friendly

If you’re a local business searching for employees, Localwise may be the place for you. If you’re Starbucks, look elsewhere.

Localwise is the creation of UC Berkeley alums Benjamin Hamlin and Maya Tobias. It’s a job board for local businesses in Oakland and Berkeley, but it seeks to be more than that: its website describes it as “the start of the work local movement.”

Since its inception in January, only local businesses, non-profits and households around the Bay Area are eligible to advertise on Localwise. The platform aims to bridge the gap between job seekers and owners of small, local businesses. Jobs advertised on the site range from full-time positions to internships and gigs.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley business

The Sundays on Telegraph street festival runs through Sept. 21 in Berkeley. Photo: Ted Friedman
Print Friendly

TELEGRAPH MERCHANTS MEET NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Members of the Telegraph Business Improvement District (TBID) gathered June 29 to meet their new executive director, Stuart Baker, and to discuss ways to improve the stretch of Telegraph between Bancroft Way and Dwight Way. Baker introduced himself to the group of 15-20 merchants who attended and invited them to get in touch with him with any ideas or concerns regarding TBID. They also announced that Sundays on Telegraph, the weekly summer street festival, will be limited to seven weeks this year. (Last year it ran for 11 weeks). Matthew Taecker of Taecker Planning and Design spoke to the group in a presentation outlining possible steps to make the Telegraph area more pedestrian-friendly and welcoming. Some of the suggestions included raised planters, informational installations describing the history of the area and painting the street, sidewalks, and crosswalks in bright colors. The Telegraph Business Improvement District is a non-profit that sponsors local events and advocates for positive change along Telegraph Avenue.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Phoenix Gym
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , , , ,

Berkeley coding school aims to help close tech race gap

Co-founders Bianca Giandolfo and Albrey Brown from Telegraphy Academy. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , , , , ,

Urban Air Market hops the bay, lands in Berkeley

A crowd at the Urban Air Market. The San Francisco-based festival is branching out to Berkeley and Oakland locations. Photo: Urban Air Market
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , , , ,

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

caption. Photo: PocketMe
Print Friendly

POCKETME STUDIO POPS UP A Berkeley couple opened their startup PocketMe’s first portrait studio in Downtown Berkeley last month. PocketMe offers customers a 3D full body portrait of themselves. The studio uses 72 cameras to take pictures of the subject from all angles, and PocketMe sends the 3D print-out to the customer. According to the website, a PocketMe can replace or complement photos for family portraits, holiday gifts, wedding cake toppers, keepsakes of grandparents, graduation portraits, fashion shoots, video game models and more. The couple is testing the local market for interest and hopes to expand. “We live in Berkeley so we wanted to start up in Berkeley and figure out where to go from here,” said co-founder Allison Saloner. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest so far. A lot of people have stopped in to see what we’re doing, and a lot have ordered their own PocketMe.” The studio is located at 2225 Shattuck Ave. (at Kittredge). It is open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday through Friday by appointment. Schedule an appointment online or by phone at 510-900-1441.Continue reading »

Tagged , , , ,

Jittery John’s cold-brew coffee lands in Berkeley

Judy Schlussel (left), who runs sales for Jittery John's, and co-founder Kristina Barnes at the Berkeley production plant the cold-brew coffee company moved into recently. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , ,