Small businesses open during COVID-19
Grab coffee at Red Bay Coffee near Fruitvale Station. Photo courtesy of Red Bay Coffee.
Small businesses across the Bay Area have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since day one. Many of them have had to pivot their business models to include online offerings, takeout and/or delivery services, curbside pickup, and outdoor dining. While the Bay Area is paused in reopening and no end in sight to this pandemic, small businesses need our support more than ever.
Outdoor seating is open at Mission Bowling Club located at 3176 17th St, San Francisco near 16th St Mission Station. Photo courtesy of Mission Bowling Club.
There’s more to Mission Bowling Club, near 16th St Mission Station, besides bowling. Co-owners Sommer Peterson and Molly Bradshaw have brought together a friendly and hip neighborhood alley while offering great food and drinks. While COVID-19 has their bowling lanes currently closed, their kitchen is open for pickup and outdoor dining. Make table reservations online on the outdoor patio for socially distanced drinks or brunch on the weekends.
Virtual yoga or yoga in the park is offered by Satori Yoga Studio. Photo courtesy of Satori Yoga Studio.
An oasis in the middle of San Francisco’s SOMA/Financial District, Satori Yoga Studio was founded in 2004 by Jena Regan and Andrea Stern. With a deep love of yoga and a passion to make a difference in San Francisco’s urban professionals, they stepped away from the corporate life and created a student-centered yoga studio. While the studio is closed, you can still take a class to focus on movement, breath, and meditation through live Zoom classes or they have also been offering outdoor classes at various parks across the city.
The #1 Black Children's Bookstore is located in the Bay Area. Photo courtesy of Ashay by the Bay Books.
Even though Ashay by the Bay is based in Vallejo, their online bookstore has become a huge resource for Bay Area families. Deborah Day is the founder and CEO of Ashay by the Bay and began selling books in 2002. Today, the store is the #1 Black Children’s Bookstore and specializes in reselling African American and multi-cultural children’s books, adult books, and other educational products online.
Superfood juices are a thing and Teranga has them. Photo courtesy of Teranga Juices and Organic Meals.
Nafy Flatley is the founder of Teranga Juices and Organic Meals, headquartered near 24th St Mission Station, where many of the recipes include baobab (a tree that is known as the “tree of life” and grows throughout most of Africa). This essential ingredient in African cuisine and culture is a natural remedy for many ailments and is a superfood. From fully cooked organic meals to juices, you can place your order online for delivery or pickup or check out a list of locations throughout San Francisco that carry their products.
Vegan Mob is located at 500 Lake Park Ave, Oakland, one mile from 19th St/Oakland Station.
The mission of Vegan Mob is to provide nutritious and healthy food with plant-based ingredients. Owner and chef, Toriano Gordon, is from San Francisco’s Fillmore District and brings traditional family soul food recipes and barbecue fusion with a vegan twist. It's highly recommended to order ahead as wait times can be up to two hours. Vegan Mob is located about a mile from 19th St/Oakland Station and you can order online for pickup or delivery is via Caviar.
Get one-of-a-kind pieces from CANDID ART's website. Photo courtesy of CANDID ART.
Established in 2011, Candice Cox is the creative mind and business owner behind Oakland’s CANDID ART. A self-taught jewelry designer, Cox’s handcrafted designs are inspired by African visual culture, indigenous design vernacular, and cosmic geometry. These one-of-a-kind pieces inspire women to celebrate their personal space, unleash their creativity, and influence the world. From jewelry to home décor, and now face masks, you can shop CANDID ART online.
Red Bay Coffee has locations near Fruitvale and 19th St/Oakland stations along with a coffee van that roams around Downtown Oakland. Photo courtesy of Red Bay Coffee.
Red Bay Coffee Roasters was founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur with deep roots in the San Francisco Bay Area specialty coffee and hospitality industry. Headquartered near Fruitvale Station, Red Bay Coffee serves more than a good cup of coffee. It’s a community hub that hosts events, including food popups, concert residencies, magazine releases, panel discussions, and self-care festivals. You can also grab coffee at their Coffee Box on Broadway near 19th St/Oakland Station, from their roaming coffee van, or order online to brew at home.
The Mocha Cheesecake from Reuschelle's can be found on Saturdays at the Castro Valley Farmer's Market. Photo courtesy of Reuschelle's.
Annoyed by all the fights two brothers can have, Victor Harris’s mom took to the kitchen and taught him and his brother the art of baking cheesecakes. Fast forward to now, Harris now owns and operates Reuschelle’s Cheesecakes out of the East Bay. These gourmet cheesecakes come in traditional flavors and specialty flavors including ube (a purple yam originally from the Phillipines) and mocha. While there is no storefront for Reuschelle’s, Harris and his cheesecakes are a staple at the Castro Valley Farmer’s Market at Castro Valley Station on Saturdays from 9am-1pm. You can also order your cheesecakes online for delivery within the East Bay.
Find "Black Girl Magic" at Queen Hippie Gypsy in Downtown Oakland. Photo courtesy of Queen Hippie Gypsy.
Queen Hippie Gypsy is a sanctuary for crystals, spiritual tools, and artisan goods that is in the heart of Downtown Oakland near 12th St/Oakland City Center Station. As a domestic violence awareness advocate and survivor, Queen Hippie Gypsy owner Lilly Ayers used crystals, meditation, and metaphysical tools to heal her from her own traumas. She now shares these tools with the Queen Hippie Gypsy community. While COVID-19 has the shop doors closed, the store is open online for in-store only pickup.
Get authentic Liberian West African cuisine at Kendejah in San Leandro. Photo courtesy of Kendejah.
Dougie Uso opened Kendejah Restaurant, a 10-minute walk from San Leandro Station, to tell the story of Liberia and serves authentic Liberian cuisine. Named after the number one culture center in Liberia, Kendeja, is where artists in the country went to learn their crafts like drumming, dancing, carving, painting, and more. Uso added an ‘H’ to the end of Kendejah for branding purposes but the restaurant still serves traditional and fusion Liberian dishes. From Cassava Leaf, leaves from a Cassava plant, to Fried Okra and Oxtails, the story of Liberia is bound to come out in the food at Kendejah. The restaurant is currently open for takeout and delivery via GrubHub and Door Dash. You can also find the Kendejah Food Truck around Downtown Oakland.