“We’re a place where people can feel at home while making a living,” says Autumn.
Back to the Roots has a staff of 15 who are working to “undo food”, leading a new wave of food that demands total transparency about ingredient sources of what’s on the table.
“I had lived in this neighborhood for five years before opening Oakland Chop Bar and I really felt we needed a place where people could walk from their homes, have a great meal and just hang out together,” said Pastena.
Outgrowing the living rooms that previously held events, the new space hosts musicians, performances, and literary events, reinterpreting the literary salon to fit the 21st century.
For Noble Brewer, it’s more than just craft beer but creating a unique experience by sharing the story of the homebrewers with friends and family. While stationed in Seattle and then in San Diego, Claude took advantage of the great beer scenes, developing a deeper interest in craft beer.
Luan Stauss, the owner of Laurel Book Store, started her business to build community. She said, “We truly want to be ‘Your Neighborhood Bookstore in Downtown Oakland.’”
Donald Stukes launched his second business, BAS Consulting, in 2009, offering management, scientific, and technical consulting. Currently, some of his clients include CalTrans of Southern California, the Department of Energy, and Battelle. BAS Consulting works with other consultants, bringing as many as six onto one project last year. Helping to connect other entrepreneurs with opportunities is a big part of his business model.
Rosa says, “I opened my business for many reasons, but the most important thing for me was to be able to employ my family.”
The bars were made with wholesome ingredients and designed to give a burst of energy, and people thought they were awesome.
All three entrepreneurs knew that they wanted to run a business that gives back to the community.