What's Your Favorite Small Business in the Bay Area? Vote!
SF Small Business Week, which takes place from May 16 through 21, is an annual celebration of all the small businesses that contribute to our region’s economic prosperity and make the Bay Area one of the most desirable places to live on the planet. Leading up to Small Business Week, Wells Fargo has generously donated a flight of free ATM advertising to the business 7x7 readers crown as "The Bay Area's Favorite Small Business." Additionally, the winning business will receive an advisory session with a panel of representatives from Wells Fargo Business Banking, a forum that will provide the business owner with valuable advice on raising capital and financing their business and equipment, marketing, HR and recommendations on general business practices.
First round voting ends May 1
Voting on the top 7 finalists: May 2-May 10
Inspired by owner/designer Barbie White's dance background, Japanese Weekend Maternity is changing the look and feel in maternity wear, eliminating sloppy and non-functional clothing and transforming maternity style into contemporary, functional and comfortable clothing, made with quality fabrics and solid construction. They've even patented several styles that are innovative and fashionable, including the OkTM Support Waistband, The hugTM Line, and the one-of-a kind MamaCoatTM.
This salon on Union Street delivers makeovers and hair transformations on a daily basis in their modern, Italian-designed environs, thanks to their top city stylists and colorists. Relax on their open-air balcony to get your head back on straight between sessions (especially after one of their excellent scalp massages) and you'll wonder why you ever got your hair cut anywhere else.
Seasoned massage therapist Shelah Barr knows exactly what it takes to make your dog feel whole again. She's certified in Small Animal Massage Therapy as well as in Human Massage Therapy and Bodywork with a deep understanding of how dogs move and play, making her pet services and house calls around San Francisco indispensable to dog owners.
Personalized, patient service and pretty lingerie found in this Nob Hill boutique is what keeps women devoted and coming back for more. At Les Cent Culottes, find pieces that fit all sizes (of women and men, too) in delicate and sexy styles that are straight from Europe and perfect for classing up your underwear drawer.
Everyone's favorite Dolores Park meal, Ike's Place, slathers on the dirty sauce and makes a mean sandwich few can match. After oceans of NIMBY controversy and subsequent move, Ike's is back with new digs right across the street from their old locale, much to the delight of hungry meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Cue the feeding frenzy.
Pedal Revolution is more than just a bike shop. They employ and train at-risk youth to get them off the streets and ready for new lives in the community. For cyclists, its an excellent place to get their bikes, both new and vintage, repaired, as well as a place to score new and used bikes and accessories to help you get around town.
Founded by graphic designer Dee Dee Hunt in 2006 in the Mission, Artdeezine is a one-stop shop for design and branding services, marketing consulting, e-mail marketing, and top quality, affordable printing, all produced with their signature simple, modern, yet timeless design style. Hunt also throws her passion for the design community behind ARTasting, an annual event celebrating design, art and local businesses.
This custom t-shirt design and embroidery shop not only cranks out a quality product for clients around the nation. They help at-risk youth marred by poverty, homelessness and substance abuse by employing and training them to make positive choices for the rest of their lives. At their facilities in the Dogpatch, they produce over a million prints a year on their state-of-the-art equipment.
Based here in tiny San Francisco, R&D Logic is a global leader in financial planning and tracking solutions for the ever-evolving life sciences industry, specifically working with pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies. Ultimately, their work helps these companies reach more and more individuals in need of their services.
This local deli is owned and operated by a family devoted to delivering delicious, quality cheeses, meats, fresh groceries and sandwiches to their neighborhood. With two locations in the city (Glen Park and the Inner Sunset), their employees' experience and friendliness wow customers on a daily basis and gives them a healthy population of regulars consistently raving about their selection and service.
Electric Works is a gallery, fine art press and bookstore, all rolled into one SoMa space. Nurturing budding artists as well as art scene veterans, Electric Works makes creative visions come true, while regularly educating the masses with thought-provoking, mind-bending art on display.
Between their inimitable cheeseburgers and Zilla dogs found at their farmers market stands and their intense artisan butchering and sausage-making classes, Ryan Farr's 4505 Meats is the city's holy grail for meat lovers, or for anyone who wants to learn about meat in general. And they always keep their ingredients local and sustainable to ensure the best flavors imaginable.
The stylists and colorists here take "a London approach to hair", thanks to proprietor Alexander Godson's staunchly British origins and love for edgy, fashion-forward looks. So many testimonials credit Alexander G. in helping turn their self-image around after a simple haircut done with a keen, expert eye, so make the trek to the Outer Richmond, sip their complimentary drip coffee and wait to be transformed.
America is a melting pot, and Ameredia is a media company that specializes in reaching all corners of such a multi-faceted population. They provide media planning, world-class creative design, development and production along with multilingual translation services to build complete, complex ethnic advertising campaigns seen around the world.
When the economy goes sour, companies like Betts Recruiting become more important than ever. When many professionals are out of the job in the Bay Area, they turn to this top-notch recruiting firm full of experts to hook them up with full-time positions that fit all their individual needs.
The talented, passionate group of young guns behind Blow Hair Salon in the Financial District help make this a destination salon. From special events to galas to weddings to Brazilian Blowouts, the team at Blow will change your hair from coarse, brittle and dull to shiny and luxurious, and get you ready to face the world with fabulous hair.
For all your tasty, salty pig part needs, head to Boccalone in the Ferry Building. Their selection of exotic and familiar cured meats like fresh sausages, salumi and pork belly is the kind seasoned foodies go wild for, and if you just can't wait for a taste, stand in line for a hot panini featuring their signature, mouthwatering cuts. And of course, you can ship their products all over the world, or by bike if you live in San Francisco.
A destination for downtown employees on their lunch breaks and with a line outside constantly, the miniscule family-run Cafe Dolci feeds hundreds every day. One of the best meals under $10 in the area, grab a coffee, a roasted pork bánh mi to go for just a few bucks and you'll be set until dinner. Just remember to bring cash.
Responsible for some of the most stylish eateries in San Francisco, such as La Mar, Twenty-Five Lusk, and Perbacco, as well as residences and office buildings, CSS Architecture has its finger on the pulse of cutting-edge architecture in the Bay Area and beyond. The creative minds behind this organization has helped shape the city's design aesthetic in a big way.
A Castro treasure since 1936, this neighborhood shop started by an Italian family of immigrants sells anything you might need on a daily basis, from tools to fabulous feather boas to candy to toys to art supplies to cooking appliances. Through the decades most things around Cliff's have changed, but it's still a one-stop shop full of happy, helpful employees.
Started by Dave Karp in 1959, Cole Hardware has grown from its original Cole Valley outpost to four bustling locations around town and an online shop. Each brick and mortar store is populated by jolly employees who can help even the most clueless customers attempting home improvement projects. Grab a free bag of hot popcorn at the door and shop for everything from paint to gardening supplies to housewares to incense and snacks at SF's premier hardware store.
One of the most decorated plastic surgeons around, Dr. David W. Kim specializes in facial work that changes and improves lives. He's a leading proponent of natural beauty and the unique beauty of each individual, and has taught, published papers, and lectured on the merits of enhancing an individual's features through facial plastic surgery. He believes that cosmetic surgeons must be sensitive to ethnic, cultural, familial variations when guiding and treating patients.
An industry legend hidden away in the Mission, the world-class Different Fur Studios has produced some of the biggest names in music like the work of Brian Eno and the Talking Heads' David Byrne, Neil Young, Flo Rida, The Black Lips, Stevie Wonder, and countless up-and-coming local acts. Owned and operated by a small staff, it's upheld the Bay Area as a prime birthplace of new and exciting music for decades.
These two local watering holes are ground zero for neighbors to meet, mingle, get caffeinated and get work done. Serving quality, locally-roasted coffee like Sightglass and locally-baked goods from Sandbox Bakery, as well as organic produce stamps them as very San Francisco. Both spaces, set on the edges of two of the most popular parks in the city, feel like extensions of the parks themselves, making them perfect hangouts for your daily life.
This wedding planning company helps keep romance alive and well in the Bay Area with their beautiful, tailor-made events for couples in love and looking for the perfect ways to express it. For brides looking for the perfect wedding, Dream A Little Dream also offers choice Dream Bridal Tours, where women can explore the best wedding vendors in the Bay Area and look forward to a champagne brunch to kick off the day.
This local business has evolved from a clothing boutique into a combination boutique and gallery (with a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden) focused on nurturing the Bay Area arts community. Run by Anthony Quintal and Olivia Ongpin, they feature artists working in all mediums, as long as their work is ultra-modern, vibrant, positive and integrates elements of urban culture. Past shows have included local talent such as Brian Barneclo, Jet Martinez and many others.
A design studio that pushes the envelope when it comes to eco-friendly manufacturing, Fibre Arts Design is a paradigm for companies looking to adhere to a "Buy Local & Organic" ethos; they make all their handbags in Northern California, use only fair trade, organic, and bio-degradable textiles, and boast a lifetime warranty on all their bags. Best of all, their designs are dynamic, colorful and sturdy, perfect for the environmentally-minded, outdoorsy culture of the Bay Area.
A haven for film fans in the city located in Bernal Heights, Four Star Video is a neighborhood institution that's been around since 1986. More than just a video store, Four Star is a place where the community around it meets and catches up, as well as a spot to talk about and watch films. Patrons can't get enough of their great deals ($1 Wednesdays anyone?), and the plant store (with the same owners) called Succulence tucked away in the back!
This massive gallery in SoMa is one of the most reverent art spaces in town. Showcasing modern and avant-garde art and installations in all media as well as bolstering the literary community with exhibitions showing awesome new publications, Gallery 16 is one of the most vital spots upholding this city's dynamic arts scene.
This full-service salon in Noe Valley is packed with talented stylists and colorists who draw inspiration from nature, art, and innovation in the fashion world when tending to customers hair. And not only that: they're also committed to being an eco-friendly salon, by using only green products from Aveda and making eco-conscious decisions in their interior design and day-to-day operations.
Haight Street Market
Forget about new kid on the block Whole Foods. Haight Street Market's been feeding the surrounding community for decades with local, organic produce and health-conscious groceries. They've recently expanded to add a deli counter, beer and wine, more fresh meats and fish, and even Blue Bottle Coffee.
Thanks to their hot open mic nights, many a local musician, poets and comedians can look forward to honing their chops at the Hotel Utah Saloon; Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams have even laid claim to its stage in the past. Built in 1908, it's a good old-fashioned saloon, full of regulars drinking, eating and watching Giants games at the bar.
This small Cow Hollow company, started in 2005, is making waves in the local design community with its keen sense for eye-popping, upscale interiors, thanks to its owner Kelly Keiser. In addition to a just-launched line of in-house designed candles and an upcoming collection of hand-blocked fabrics, Keiser's intimate studio on Chestnut street is the ideal place to meet with clients and shoppers and guide them with expert advice.
When he was lured westward from France for good in 1996, chef-owner Laurent Legendre graced this city with his Glen Park corner bistro Le P'tit Laurent. It quickly became a neighborhood institution. Hungry customers are lured by the Neighborhood Menu, a three-course prix-fixe meal that only sets you back $22. For top-notch French food, that's a steal.
One of the most exciting new restaurants to hit the city is Mission Chinese, which is tucked away in Lung Shan Restaurant on a dreary stretch of Mission Street. Inside, you'll find an eatery packed to the gills and bouncing with rap music and whimsical food that'll zing your senses and make you think differently about Chinese take out forever, thanks to chef Danny Bowein and owner Anthony Myint.
This tiny Nob Hill vintage and consignment shop pulls shoppers in with its lovingly curated collection of linens, delicate housewares, and men's and women's clothes and accessories––guys, keep an eye out for their classy cufflink inventory. Each item tells a story, so whether you're giving a gift or simply buying something for yourself, there's a sense of spirit to whatever it may be.
Although Omnivore was opened during the depths of the recession in 2008, that hasn't stopped it from becoming a success. The only book shop in the city dedicated to cuisine, Omnivore speaks directly to San Francisco's vehement obsession with food. It pays off: customers rave about its new and vintage book selection, their regularly sold-out events feature talks by local chefs and food luminaries, and owner Celia Sack is coming out with a cookbook scrapbook, to be published next year.
Parties That Cook stage fun, interactive culinary events that educate and entertain guests with the help of their accomplished team of decorated chefs. Through food and cooking, Parties That Cook connects people, builds camaraderie and helps guests gain confidence in the kitchen.
Poco Dolce Confections
Makers of some of the most sumptuous small-batch chocolate in town, Poco Dolce is run by six people who infuse their confections with unique flavors (olive oil, grey sea salt, pumpkin seeds) by hand. Once you taste their product, you'll know instantly why they're garnering awards from all over the food industry.
This Hayes Valley space has its ear to ground when it comes to local and emerging fashion talent. The RAG (Residents Apparel Gallery) Co-Op showcases only Bay Area-bred designers, who can rent sections of the store and make 70% of the profits. It's an innovative business model that benefits hard-working designers and makes customers feel great about supporting local talent.
In a city of passionate musicians, a guitar and amp service center like SF Guitarworks is a necessity. They'll work with you until you're completely happy with the tone, sound and the way your instrument feels, and offer a lifetime warranty on all their work, whether your guitar is fresh out of the box or a vintage gem.
SF Natural Medicine is full-service clinic with doctors who specialize in primary-care naturopathic medicine. Founded in 1989 by one of California's first licensed naturopathic doctors, Dr. Carl Hangee-Bauer, SF Natural Medicine is one of the largest and most respected naturopathic medical clinics in the state. The staff here does everything from traditional Chinese acupuncture to massage to gynecological exams to detox programs to address a wide array of health needs.
SF Optics knows that eyewear alone can make a fashion statement. Thus, they offer customers edgy and unique styles from top and boutique designers that will light up any face, as well as the expert advice to help you navigate through their selection.
Newly revamped and expanded, Sui Generis is now a go-to vintage and consignment shop for both guys and girls looking to stand out in a crowd. From beautifully worn-in concert tees to high-end vintage pieces from the likes of Alexander McQueen and Versace to new pieces from edgy designers hailing from Latin America, Sui Generis will inject some attitude into your wardrobe.
Near Oakland's Jack London Square, Swarm Gallery is helping to lead the revitalization of the Oakland arts scene with its contemporary and experimental shows featuring artists from around the world, as well as welcoming stimulating sound and video installations. Look for live music, artist talks, experimental film nights, and collector events. Past programs include artist-in-residencies, storefront windows projects and artist studio bike tours.
For cigar and pipe aficionados, family-owned and operated Telford's in Mill Valley is the place to be. In addition to being a pipe and cigar shop with a staggering selection with repair service, it's a cozy spot for people to meet up, chill out, and smoke indoors––a rarity in California.
The Dark Room may be primarily known as the Mission's only true comedian breeding ground, but it's a lot more than that. It also sports recording studio facilities and theater events and hilarious bad movie nights. All in all, it's a place where creative minds can go to hatch ideas and get themselves out there.
Toss Designs, based out of tiny Ross, CA is dedicated to creating chic and quality handbags and accessories that work for a woman on the go. With attention to detail and thoughtful additions like bold bag linings or hidden pockets for all your necessities, Toss bags make weekend getaways or whirlwind day trips that much better.
Many locals start their days at Urban Bread, a neighborhood bakery located in the Castro. Grab a coffee and a bagel or a sticky bun and you'll be good to go, or stop in for a fresh-baked loaf to make sandwiches at home with. Whatever you grab from Urban Bread will keep the ovens hot and the sweet and savory goodness coming out.
Sponsored by Wells Fargo