In an age where digital creations rule the local economy and most of our physical property is imported from another state or country, it's easy to forget that some of the world's best products, from beer to bags to ceramics, are made right here in San Francisco. That's where SFMade comes in. Founded in 2010, SFMade is a non-profit that aims to draw attention to and develop our city's local manufacturing sector. From May 7-13, the group is teaming up with local manufacturers for SFMade Week, a celebration of products created by San Franciscans, for San Franciscans (and the rest of the world, too). Here's how you can join in:
Take a factory tour. All week long, local artisans are offering behind-the-scenes tours of their factories to the public. Whether it's making bags at Rickshaw and Timbuk2 or latex mattresses at Foamorder, these tours can offer interesting insights into the hidden network of factories and makers throughout the city. And with a ton of food businesses participating, including Anchor Brewing, Tcho, Kika's Treats, Southern Pacific Brewing, and Ritual Coffee Roasters, you might even get a free snack or beverage out of the deal.
Meet with an expert. If you're interested in starting a local manufacturer or just want advice on your existing business, the SFMade organization is hosting a variety of free clinics with the local folks who help businesses get off the ground, including attorneys, banks, and insurance providers. Go here to check out the full list and make an appointment. Not interested in a business of your own? You can still meet the folks behind SFMade and get to know what they do at their open house.
Party with the manufacturing scene. The central event of SFMade Week is Wednesday's Ramp It Up! party at Speakeasy Brewing, which will feature not only the brewery's beers, but gin from Distillery No. 209, vodka from SF Vodka, wine from Cellars 33, Bluxome Street Winery, Sutton Cellars, Bravium, and The Winery, and snacks from Kika's Treats, Humphry Slocombe, and Sinta Gourmet. An interactive showroom will display locally-made products, and Mayor Ed Lee will give a keynote address. Get more info and purchase tickets ($45) here.
Place your bid. Want to throw even more support behind the organization? Consider bidding on one of their cool silent auction items, which include a cocktail party for 15 from Bi-Rite Catering, lunch and a tour at Magnolia Brewery, a Recchiuti chocolate truffle and wine pairing, Giants seats, and a 30-day supply of Tcho chocolate for you and 28 of your friends.
For more details on SFMade, its member businesses, and this week's events, visit the SFMade Week website.