One of the Bay Area's best attributes is its undying devotion to its galaxy of quirky, fun, and awesome small businesses. And you proved that during our third annual Small Business Awards call for nominations, where you told us over 500 times what little Bay Area companies mean the most to you and why.
Now, it's time to vote! From today, May 16 through 5 pm on Tuesday, May 28, you can help your favorite win an amazing integrated marketing package from 7x7 including a print ad, sponsored post, online ad impressions, social media, and presence in our daily e-newsletter (a total value over $5,000!). We'll announce the winner on Wednesday, May 29! (Vote at the end of the post.)
Remember–all the work these little guys do is one of the biggest reasons our region thrives and remains one of the best places on the planet! Bonus: When you vote, you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card to Blackwood on Chestnut! A winner will be chosen at random.
They are a small business that allows other small businesses to have an opportunity to showcase their own goods. It's very affordable, they don't take commission and they attract huge crowds. It's dog- and kid-friendly. The best flea market and event in the Bay Area hands down.
Salon Miel has amazing stylists, a great atmosphere, and is incredibly professional. The owner's vision and constant work to keep the salon fresh and current on trends is great. Patrons love that they support local artists by showcasing different exhibits at the salon. It's an awesome hidden gem that is welcoming to everyone.
This independent bookstore is a San Francisco cultural institution. The store is a maze you can get lost in (with lots of eclectic nooks and crannies!), it boasts long hours, and they treat their customers well. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and their recommended displays are the best. Dinner and an evening at Green Apple is a classic Friday night out. An only-in-SF kind of place, fans think "they are the BEST bookstore in San Francisco -- probably all of California, possibly all of the US, maybe one of the finest in the world."
SFBags makes a superior, reliable product, which they combine with exceptional service to customers, all of whom they treat as friends. Their bags last and last without signs of wear. Their customer service is so good it's shocking (some say it's the best customer service ever received from any company!). From the handwritten notes to the high quality sewing work on each bag, you can't go wrong with SF Bags.
Blue Fog Market
Blue Fog series of gourmet, neighborhood markets that feature sought-after Bay Area brands like Blue Bottle Coffee, Batter Bakery, Poco Dolce, Panorama, SemiFreddi's, Fran's, Carol Ann's, Three Twins, along with delicious sandwiches and salads created by Chef Ryan Scott, as well as a stunning selection of boutique wines and craft beers. They are a gathering place for locals to eat well and hang out with one another.
Secession Art & Design
Secession is a gallery, boutique, and workspace combined, representing over 50 independent artists and designers. They opened their doors in August of 2007, and in 2010 and 2012 Secession was awarded Best Art Gallery by San Francisco Bay Guardian readers, for continuing to push the envelope in exhibitions and wearable art.
DSF Clothing Company
DSF is as San Francisco as it gets. It's hip fashion and cutting-edge art change weekly, they throw fun neighborhood parties, and welcome everyone from the Lower Haight locals from the visiting tourists from all over the world. Trendy clothes, monthly art installs, friendly staff, free drink fridays, monthly berlin ping pong, screen printing, this place has something for everyone.
This shop is truly a small business. Phillip Ma is the owner and he is there day in and day out, making sure each drink, whether it's wine or artisan coffee, comes out perfectly. They also deserve to be recognized for helping revitalize the mid-Market area.
Church Street Flowers
This business is employee owned by three women. They and their dedicated team of roughly five employees produce excellent quality work in the floral world and at a very high volume. They all work in a very small space and love what they do. They make small business look fun while creating amazing works of floral art.
Trainers Bridget and Ray Murphy have created a business that changes lives. Their approach to fitness is about overall health, from nutrition to sleep to taking care of your body and mind, and, of course, exercise. They motivate each and every one of their clients to be the best they can be.
Refined K-9 is an excellent resource for quality personalized dog training in the entire SF Bay Area. Their trainers specialize in rehabilitation for dogs with mild to severe behavioral issues. They understand dogs, their behavior, and successfully apply this to a customized training program designed specifically for each person and his/her dog. The owner, Theophania Brassard, is an active volunteer (and prior adopter) with German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California.
Claire of Clairesquares makes an addictive cookie (which was a NASFT Sofi Award Finalist for Outstanding Cookie in 2012). Claire came out of La Cocina and continues to give back to that community and the community as a whole. She's licensed as a green business and engages at-risk students in internships at her company through Spark. She donates to some profits to charity including Food Runners and has for quite some time–no small feat for the thin margins of an artisan food business.
Over the years, finding affordable art by young creative thinkers in the Bay Area, has been a challenge - Hang Art cultivates a competitive gallery environment, curating with a love-affair for SF art makers. When so many creative businesses have withered during this challenging economic chapter, Hang has found creative, resourceful ways to continue to fund their artists, diversify their offerings, and still produce fresh, sharp shows every season.
Park Life always has something fun and thought-provoking to look at, if not to take home and play with. This little gallery and shop has played a crucial role in revitalizing the east end of Clement Street by helping bring new businesses to the area, along with an upcoming farmers market (a first for the Richmond District), as well as a public parklet.
Vivian Sachs photography is putting out some of the most incredible images seen in the wedding, events, and lifestyle market. The business not only produces great products, but also has wonderful service, a great team, and awesome partnerships. They create great photographs and images for a wide array of events and continue to put efforts in maintaining relationships with everyone they work with. It's a small business that uniquely brightens lives.
Hilside Bags makes truly high quality, durable, reliable and water-resistant bags for all purposes. The owner and creator of Hilside Bags, Hilary Wehlitz, embodies the true spirit of a local entrepreneur turning a hobby into a passion that dates back to her high school days in Marin County. Growing from word of mouth to summer SF street festivals to boutiques and in the past few years a partnership with Banana Republic & SF Made that extended outside of the Bay Area to NY, LA, & Chicago. It provides high quality, environmentally friendly products with affordable prices.
Three Twins sells very high quality ice cream with innovative flavors, while operating there business in a socially- and ecologically-conscious manner. There are REAL ingredients in it, and that's all it consists of. The employees are always enthusiastic about what they have to offer and make suggestions about new flavors to try. They also seem to genuinely enjoy working there!
Flora Grubb Gardens is a Bay Area treasure that has created a magical oasis in a neighborhood that doesn't get much attention. The business embodies the best of what the city has to offer: beauty, sustainability, creativity, commitment, unique style and out of the box thinking. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and the workshops offered are wonderful. It's also an amazing architectural space and a fantastic community gathering spot. The quality, variety, and unusual inventory of nursery plants and the superior aesthetic of their merchandise is unprecedented.
Rebecca is a wonderful and inventive chef and caterer who goes above and beyond just the normal party foods. She takes special care in planning menus appropriate to venue, theme, and dietary needs as well as making everything delicious. The company believes in sustainable resources, buys locally and supporting their neighborhood. This is a great woman-owned business with an eye for detail and fantastic food, and provides top quality service with their professional staff.
SFRAW is the best place to get the best food for your dog or cat (or even yourself). They are committed to continuing education about the healthiest way to not only feed your dog or cat, but overall care for long-term health. Their focus is on natural and sustainable practices trying to focus on providing local food and supplies.SF Raw is professional, responsive and accountable in all aspects of their business.