October 18, 2014

This Week In Noe Valley: Orange October, Harvest Fest, And Other Signs of Fall


News from, about and for Noe Valley from around the interwebs:
[Photo: NVSF]

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Noe Valley Bakery kickstarter campaign floored me. They want the neighborhood to pay for their remodel? Gee, we recently completed a remodel of our kitchen. It never even occurred to us to ask our neighbors to pay for it. If others want to pay for a business to remodel, then have at it. But I will support them by continuing to patronize them, writing a positive yelp review if I have a good experience there, and telling my friends when I buy something particularly tasty there.

Noe Valley Bakery is an established business that charges top dollar for their delicious baked goods. If they were a struggling small business and they had a fire or other disaster and needed money to rebuild, I might consider giving them money. But my discretionary money won't go to their remodel so they can make more money. My contributions will continue to go to charities that really need help.

Robert said...

I completely agree. There's also a person who lives on Church St, in what I'm guessing is a multi-million dollar home. They have taken up 3 sections of the sidewalk to plant beautiful plants and landscaping. They've made it a point to put in a "No Dogs" sign in the planters (which I understand) but have requested neighbors to donate to their garden via Bitcoin. I love how all these people/companies with money, can still have the audacity to ask for other peoples money to make their place look better. Entitled people really surprise me. By the way, I'm looking for a new Tesla, will someone pay my car payments?

Anonymous said...

Exactly. totally AGREE. Kickstarter campaigns are nothing more than self-entitled public begging for personal projects.

Noe Valley Bakery also charges VERY high prices for their goods. I'm sure they have ways to fund their own project.

Anonymous said...

Well yes, but the fact is that if you do the math you're basically just giving them a loan for the amount you would spend on bread/coffee anyway...assuming you buy it there. I was totally against it for precisely the reasons above until I did the math (at least at the $25 level!).

On the other hand, I just got asked to contribute funds to a startup accelerator! What do I get in return??? Nothing? What hubris is that?

Anonymous said...

sorry, this smacks of greed and entitlement. and the lack of awareness is astounding. "oh, we went to PARIS and saw these sweet display cases... and now we want you to give us money so we can have them." hey, noe valley bakery, how about you skip the european vacation and take out a small business loan like other businesses do? give me a freakin break. just pathetic.

Jesse said...

In theory I think the way that they are using kickstarter is fairly reasonable because at most of the contribution levels they are offering awards that are basically basically a pre-sale of their merchandise.

That said, in practice I do find it ridiculous that they aren't even offering much of a discount for the contributions. I mean, $30 for 4 loaves of bread that for some reason must be picked up over four consecutive weeks seems pretty lame.

They could have created a campaign that offered a mutually beneficial arrangement between them and their customers/supporters. Instead, you can count me as another customer who agrees that this smacks of entitlement.

Anonymous said...

Now I've seen everything. For shame. I can't remember when I've seen balls this big. Do they even get what a bad idea this is? I'm so turned off that I won't go there anymore. I wonder if they realize how much goodwill they've lost in exchange for a few thousand bucks.

Anonymous said...

The irony of it is that I think the place looked better before the current remodel. I liked that the bakery had a very neighborhood feel. The current digs make it looks like they host raves there at night.

Anonymous said...

This might their response to a new bakery that is moving in nearby (pinging back to link from an earlier post: https://twitter.com/NoeMom/status/521053983968747521) soon. If that's the case, this campaign is probably not the best way to go about dealing with a new bakery entrant.

I personally love Noe Valley Bakery itself as it is very neighborhoody so I hope them lots of success. The new bakery that is opening up seems like just another Le Boulange and big money.

Anonymous said...

And there's absolutely nothing wrong with "like just another LaBoulange and big money".

Whatever that means.

Mary Gassen said...

Hi Noe Valley! This is Mary Gassen from Noe Valley Bakery,
We decided to use crowd funding to raise money for a project at the bakery. It is a new medium for us and we looked at it as raising money from our community by pre-selling rewards like a birthday cake, a cupcake party or a box of Christmas goodies shipped to a loved one. Things that people will be needing anyway - they can buy ahead of time and help us fund our project. We did not see it as begging. Brickmaiden Breads in Pt. Reyes launched one the same day as us to pay for an oven and their community seems to be very supportive.
We certainly did not mean to offend the neighborhood. It was quite the opposite! We LOVE Noe Valley and want to stay in business here for many years to come. We have been trying to keep the place looking good and fresh so the neighborhood can be proud of us!
-Mary

Anonymous said...

So Mary, explain to us why a successful business such as yours cannot just get a business loan for that amount, which is pretty small. And you actually don't have any capital put away for your improvements?

So, the only way is to beg from the public? Just because another bakery does a similar thing means it's ok?

You're cleverly avoiding the comments that virtually ALL of the above people made, meaning we don't like the idea of you begging for your own private business.

Anonymous said...

Greedy and entitled. Do the Gassens get it? Noe neighbors do not want to pay for their new web site or the display case that they saw while on vacation in Paris. How is that going to make us feel "proud"? If the bakery owners need money so badly that they have to ask the neighborhood to pay for things that will help them make more money, then perhaps they should have thought twice before taking an expensive vacation. Their little scheme has backfired. Maybe they'll get their $20k, but they will lose much more than that in goodwill. If they love NV so much, they should show their love and pony up the money themselves.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mary,

Why would anyone feel proud of a bakery that begs for things it doesn't need? Because really, do you NEED a Parisian-inspired display case? No, you just want it. Wanting is fine, but don't put your hand out under the guise of community support.

I run a small business, too, and whether I need or want something, I BUY it with my own money or my own credit cards (you know, they're kind of like *loans*).

I find your actions not only greedy, but repellant.

Also, you're so cash-strapped that you have to beg for a website upgrade? Bullsh*t. The Bay Area is a coding mecca. You could get a college student to build you a new site for free.

As someone said above, go ahead and pocket your money, but say goodbye to any goodwill you've built up over the years. I lived in Noe for 18 years and still visit often. I won't be visiting your business again.

Jesse said...

Mary - Despite all the comments here, I agree with you that pre-selling merchandise to raise funds can be a reasonable approach for raising capital.

The underlying reasons for my adverse reaction to the campaign is that you are looking for people to prepay for merchandise at what seems like a premium rather than a discount. It just doesn't seem like gracious approach to crowdsourcing. And, it's also fair to say that in some cases you ARE requesting free money to improve your business (example: $5 in return for eternal thanks).

I like your bakery and want to see you stay in the neighborhood, but it also doesn't seem like you are in danger of closing based on the trip to Paris. That is why it seems strange to me that you are looking to others to help fund your business. I think the person in the comment above does a decent job of summing up my feelings when they say: "don't put your hand out under the guise of community support."

However, I see that you are halfway to your kickstarter goal so I think the real takeaway is that there clearly are people who want to voluntarily support you in this way so... congratulations! I wish you good luck and will continue to shop with you.

Anonymous said...

The people who are supporting this FOR PROFIT PRIVATE BUSINESS with their donations are gullible and naïve.

It's sad that they are taken in by this request all in the underhanded guise of "being proud" of this bakery.

Pure scam.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's so very important to judge others all the time. This is why we can't have nice things.

Robert H. said...

$19k could be used for so many other things that actually make a difference. Rather than a fancy Parisian style cupcake cabinet; why not raise the money to buy supplies to bake goods for a homeless shelter. There is no lack of people in need in this city.

I found this youtube video of people making a difference. It both gave me hope and caused me sadness. Hopefully the owners will take a look at it and spend the money on better things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fC6RP6tZ1Q#t=172

Anonymous said...

https://twitter.com/noevalleybakery/status/527193473896566784

CharleyZ said...

I enjoy having Noe Valley Bakery in my neighborhood, and I felt that for many of the above-$20 kickstarter "donations" they offered, the compensation given was well worth the price. If you don't agree with it, then don't give! But why get your panties in a twist for the Gassens making a go of this? It's not detracting from anyone else's charitable efforts; it's just a small business trying to improve and thrive. Kickstarter is not just for the non-profits, and if you don't agree, then vote with your wallet.

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to have Noe Valley Bakery in my neighborhood. They support the local schools and organizations with donations.They have always donated to the homeless, which I know because I have seen the pickups for various organizations on my morning walks. It is a mom-pop business that has employed many people over the years and contributed as they could to the communities they live and work in. Maybe the Kickstarter wasn't the best idea but I agree with the comment above. If you don't like it don't donate.

Anonymous said...

Greedy as all hell. I hope they get their $20k and move to another neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

The whole idea of asking for donations so an already thriving for profit business can buy fixtures or equipment just stinks. I guess there will always be those that think they can spin a notion 1000 different ways in order to hook a few people into emptying their pockets. I bought my last scone their a week ago.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many commenters seem to think that the bakery is simply asking for donations? I can't tell if people don't fully grasp the concept of the campaign or whether it is just easier for you to call them donations so that you can justify your anger. For the most part they aren't donations. It's a different way of raising money and, while I think the bakery could have structured the campaign a bit better, they are still offering merchandise for the contributions.

Roger said...

Per an earlier post. Here's the owners tweeting about a celebratory dinner at House of Prime Rib on 10/28. Strange they need the money from the community, yet can afford to eat at one of the most expensive steak houses in the city. It IS a donation when what they are offering is 150-250% markup on their already high prices. Tis the season to be greedy. https://twitter.com/noevalleybakery/status/527193473896566784

Roger said...

At higher than their normal prices.

Anonymous said...

Excellent comments Roger. I agree completely.

And I was going to reiterate the same thing: Remember, people, they are offering you their products for your "donation" not at the wholesale price/cost to make them but at the hugely inflated price of retail.

But yes, it's purely selfish, self entitled and greedy. I hope it fails.

Anonymous said...

Noe Valley Bakery's kickstarter campaign was a success! I think I'll start a campaign of my own to get others to pay for my rent and a brand new big screen TV I saw on my recent trip to France. In return for your donation, you get to watch some Sunday football on my couch. $1 buys you my eternal thanks, $100 buys you 1 game and $1000 buys you the entire season. Ridiculous!

Jessie Polara said...

Reading all these haters toward their tiny local bakery sounds out-of-touch. Look up what Kickstarter really does before complaining about a bakery picking the pockets of Noe Valley customers. Sounds like displaced holiday angst to me.

Anonymous said...

Really! If people don't like the kickstarter, don't contribute.

We've always loved NVB, find it to be one of the "treasures" of 24th St, and would love to see it improve.

While there might be some validity to claims that the kickstarter levels are expensive for the rewards, I was happy to kick to say "thank you" for the breads, cookies, pastries and other tasty goods over the years.

Haters gonna hate.

Anonymous said...

Being offended by NVB's kickstarter campaign does NOT make us Haters. Outraged patrons is more like it. I've been in the neighborhood 27 years, and have not seen anything so egregious in NV since Real Foods disappeared with their 20+ year employees, that fateful Labor Day weekend so many years ago. Not only selfish, entitled and greedy, but not-very-smart marketing: asking for $$ in the same breath as dropping the Paris vacation bit? Puh-leeeez!