There are plans for a new market in the space at Sanchez and 29th St and we're pretty excited.
A longtime local favorite corner store St. Paul's Market closed in March. There was a rumor the rent doubled and a "health situation." It was ultimately confirmed the owner has cancer in the Noe Valley Voice (which is impossible to link to properly). We learned via the Twitter that the owner tried to sell to family but couldn't, and that he wants to live out the rest of his life without the stress of the market. So St. Paul's close for good on April 14th.
Since the closing, there has been a some work done to the facade of the building at 1598 Sanchez, which according to Planning Department records was to settle a complaint and restore the original glass design. But other than that no word on what may go in that space.
And then a couple weeks ago we stumbled across this ad for a general manager at a new store called Little Jug in Noe Valley:
Little Jug offers urban communities convenient access to delicious and healthy food, beverages, and essential housewares–all in a compact, clean and well-organized footprint. Our markets stock hand-selected local and international beer, wine, tea and coffee, prepared foods, limited seasonal produce, fresh cheese, local bread, and an array of home necessities including toiletries, herbal and over-the-counter remedies, and cleaning supplies. Little Jug is opening its first market in Noe Valley in September 2014.We reached out to one of the principals, Shivani Ganguly, to get some more details on what was planned for the space and when:
The co-founders are long-time San Franciscans and food lovers with strong leadership experience in design, food, finance, technology, and operations. We are passionate about taste, quality, neighborhoods, simplicity, honesty, and generosity.
You’re calling the new place Little Jug. How did you land on that as a name?
Little Jug is actually a working name, and we're still finalizing the name that we're going to launch with. Once we've figured it out, we'll let you know!
What made you decide to choose Noe Valley (and that specific spot)?
I'd been looking for a market space in Noe Valley, Bernal Heights, or the Mission for several months. St. Paul's Market was one of the original inspirations for opening a corner market - Alex is a beloved community member, but I couldn't find the kind of products I need on a daily basis there, or healthy and fresh meals and snacks. So when a friend who lives a couple of blocks away let me know that the space was available, I contacted the landlord immediately, and everything fell into place from there! I love the sunny corner location and often do my own errands in that neighborhood (more on that below).
You’re advertising openings for a chef, general manager and a beer and wine manager. Describe what the market will offer … give us a tour.
We aim to offer all the daily essentials for the neighborhood community, and some special treats too. What makes our market stand out from others is our focus on providing fresh, local, and ethical options for both food and home products. Healthy meals, artisanal wine and beer, local produce, and environmentally friendly alternatives for household needs are hard to come by in your typical corner store, and we want to change that.
In terms of the nitty gritty of what we're offering, we'll have an excellent selection of beer and wine, with both local and further afield options at reasonable prices. We'll serve espresso drinks, tea, and a light breakfast in the morning for guests on their way to work or school. At lunchtime, we'll offer delicious salads and sandwiches with a Mediterranean flare. In the evening, we'll have a variety of entrees and sides to assemble into dinner for individuals, family and friends. Guests can grab these prepared foods to go, or eat at our communal table or outdoor seating.
In addition to wine, beer, and prepared foods, we'll offer cheese, charcuterie, pickles, dairy, bread, snacks, limited seasonal produce, flowers, magazines, and other grocery staples. We'll also have an array of home necessities including health and beauty items and cleaning supplies.
Your bio says you’re an entrepreneur and consultant focused on leadership and social enterprises. Tell us some more about yourself and why you want to get into the market business?
To me, access to delicious, healthy, affordable food and staples is a cornerstone of good urban living. I'm excited to have the opportunity to build a business that provides delicious food, beer, wine, and delightful products to the neighborhood while partnering with community organizations and providing good jobs.
I also love traveling, and am inspired by the European approach to shopping for food - picking up great products at affordable prices every day or two rather than stocking up once a week.
In terms of my background, I grew up in an old farm house in Connecticut where we grew much of our own food, and moved out here to go to Stanford in 1995. I've lived in the Bay Area ever since, and have worked in technology startups and nonprofits. I've always been interested in food and community, and in using business as a mechanism for social change. I decided to return to school for an MBA at Presidio Graduate School in 2009 to explore these interests. I also started my consulting firm, Friday Consulting, around that time and have helped build and scale a variety of food and wellness businesses for the past five years, focusing on finance, operations, and human capital management. With good food, health, ethical practices, and community at the core of the market, I'm looking forward to melding my passion for food and social impact with my expertise in building food and health startups to make the market a thriving business for the neighborhood.
Are you opening Little Jug by yourself or with partners - and if there are other partners who are they?
I'm working with friends and consultants. Brook Lane is an amazing designer who's heading up the store design and buildout, and Alli Ball, a former store manager at Bi-Rite Market, is helping us to get up and running operationally. I'm also looking for several key staff members, including a general manager, chef, and a beer and wine manager.
Why open a market now?
I'm a long-time San Francisco resident, and I've lived in the Mission for the last 15 years. (And I'm actually moving to Pacifica in a couple of weeks - I got married recently and though we love San Francisco we aren't able to buy a home here right now.)
I'm opening a market now because I believe that there's a need for urban spaces that bring communities together through food. It's also the right time for me personally to take on this project - I've built a successful consulting firm that I'll continue to run while also having the opportunity to put into practice the methods and principles that I believe in.
What do you think you can do differently than what other markets in the area offer?
In most corner markets, it's difficult to find healthy prepared meals, fresh produce, and environmentally friendly alternatives for household items. We want to make these products available to the neighborhood at affordable prices, fostering a healthy and strong community. We envision the market to be far more than just a place where you buy your groceries; it's a communal space where neighborhood families, friends, and local businesses come together to support one another and share in delicious food and wonderful service.
And a note for early bird and late night shoppers, we're currently planning our hours to be 7am to 11pm.
What other places do you love and frequent in Noe Valley?There's been no work to the interior of the space yet [Update 7/14: work begins today] but Shivani says she hopes to see the new store open by mid October. Here's looking forward to a new fresh, healthy local market on Sanchez.
I often shop at Drewes, Church Produce, Omnivore Books, and the Noe Valley Pet Company. I plan to work with these businesses to provide a complimentary selection of products. I also love La Ciccia (I've celebrated many birthdays there), Hamano Sushi, and Chloe's for a meal in Noe Valley. And my favorite nail place is at Church and 27th Street.
Update (10/1/14): The market will be called Bom Dia and will open in November.
[Photo: composite of Emmy C on Yelp]