San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Challenge May 2021: can you shop and dine using only small businesses?

Karen Madej
San Francisco Local Artist Christine Weibel

What a fantastic opportunity for small businesses! What an innovative challenge for locals to support their local shops and restaurants! On April 14, Mayor London Breed introduced the challenge to shop and dine at local small businesses.

She is keen for everyone to join in to buy their groceries and essentials locally instead of the big supermarkets. To dine out to boost local cafes and restaurants.

Mayor Breed wants all of San Francisco to recover together. For example, Japantown businesses struggled to find the resources to buy Personal protective equipment (PPP) for their staff. The Mayor arranged for $10M to assist them, on top of the State and Federal payments.

In addition to extra funds for local businesses, Mayor Breed has been on a mission to keep shops in business.

She now has 33 plants, more candles than she knows what to do with, and has a brilliant collection of crystals. She also buys her coffee and groceries locally. And makes up excuses to drop off an item of clothing, with a barely-there stain, at her favourite family-owned dry cleaners.

LOYALESTUDIO, San Francisco, makes kitchen linens, aprons and oven gloves. Unlike big homeware stores, they know and share where their materials originate from.

We source the best quality materials from sustainably run Japanese mills and they’re ethically cut and sewn at a factory based in downtown San Francisco.

JOHNSON LEATHERS founded in 1979 by owner Johnson Tam. He arrived in San Francisco in 1976 and learned how to make leather jackets working for the local garment manufacturer. Forty years later and multiple contracts with Bay Area police departments, the California Highway Patrol, as well as for well-known labels, the company still works out of a small shop. They ask if you are ever in the Nob Hill area, to stop by and say hello.

S FOR SPARKLE's ethically sourced & conflict-free gemstones and precious metals means they offer their customers high-quality pieces for fair prices. I adore their Auralite 23 Necklace, an 8mm spherical auralite amethyst on a choice of three different chains. Gold-filled, 14-carat solid gold or sterling silver. You can find the shop in Dogpatch.

We love hearing from our customers and will work with you to make sure you receive your order on time and you are satisfied with your purchase.

For more San Francisco made products from automated kitchens to truffles and other unusual items please take a look at their directory.

Beauty and grooming are two areas of our personal appearance that took long vacations in the last year. You can show your appreciation for all your local salons and barbershops by booking an appointment for a new style or a shave. They are excited to see their regular customers again. Try Coach's Newbills for the latest hair designs.

Summers AND Falls sell divine soaps and also have a recycling service called Rebloom. You can drop into their shop at 1014 Larkin Street, San Francisco or mail your empty bottles.

committing to a holistic approach to beauty means promising to care for our planet as much as we care for ourselves.

Did you know the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition represents nearly 100 small fitness businesses in San Francisco? They also support more than 800 employees and 26,000 city residents as clients in over a quarter of a million square feet of retail space. They'd love for you all to pull on your workout gear and get back into your fitness routines down at your local gym.

Japantown invites diners to their street food stands and their two 2 Michelin star restaurants for sushi, ramen, mochi and much more. Jtown may have exactly the shopping experience you are looking for.

Anything authentic Japanese that you've dreamed of, some enterprising shop owner has imported from Japan for your pleasure. For Asian skincare check out Buchanan Mall's Bebe Skin Care Threading, Sugar Skincare on Buchanan Street, and Zen Aesthetic on Post Street.
Screenshot by Author from SF LOMA
Locally owned businesses reinvest in the local economy at a 60% higher rate than chain and internet retailers. SF LOMA

I know Amazon makes it so easy to buy stuff but do San Franciscan's ever see any investment from Jeff Bezos in their city? The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) recently published a detailed report on how Amazon is 'stifling competition, eroding jobs, and threatening communities'. Seems like an excellent reason to follow Mayor Breed's example and shop local.


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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.


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