Picnic on Third

San Francisco, CA

Natalia Bushyager and Leigh Loper found that when your career is in cooking, it’s tough to find work where you can create and control your own hours. Searching for a way to spend more time with their partner and to be inspired by food, together they created Picnic on Third with a clear vision for a different type of culinary cafe.


Natalia, Leigh, and their founding team starting saving two years before they hoped to open, working time and half as private chefs and purchasing equipment on sale as they went. “We wanted to take the time and do it ourselves,” remembers Natalia. “But we couldn’t have crossed the finish line without our loan from Main Street Launch. We used the loan for the furniture, fixtures, and final equipment we needed to get open.”


Picnic on Third opened their doors in November 2014 and now employs 16 people. They specialize in lunch with a menu that changes every day. Their menu features foods with seasonal ingredients that inspire them. If you visit on different days you’ll experience totally different styles of cooking and flavor profiles, making their culinary cafe a favorite destination for neighborhood businesses and residents.


Building the right team of both staff and others (accountants, lawyers, and other experts) was critically important for Natalia. “I recommend shopping around until you find someone you like to do the important legal and financial work for you,” she advises. “It takes more than your in-house team to be successful. We love that everyone who works with us is really part of the business.”
Visit Picnic on Third for lunch and enjoy the incredible food and the welcoming space.