In 2012, reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle divided the city into a 49-square mile grid. From there, they went on a mission to find the most iconic food business in every square mile. The winner for Square 29: Guerra Quality Meats. Here are a few of the reasons the business was a natural choice.
The Guerra family has been in the neighborhood for more than 50 years. Brothers Mark and Battista Guerra opened up their butcher shop in 1954. Today, Mark’s sons Paul and Robert carry on the tradition alongside Battista’s son John.
The butchers have adapted with the times. Over the years, the Guerra family added new features including catering, deli meats, and a sandwich counter. They’ve also forged partnerships with sustainable and organic producers, including Marin Sun Farms and Mary's Organic Chicken.
They make cooking as easy as possible Beyond swordfish and prime New York strip steaks, the Guerras assemble ready-to-cook meals that customers can prep at home in 30 minutes or less. Take their pasta meals for example: simply choose a noodle type, a sauce, and an optional meat such as mild pork sausage.
They fill orders fast Customers can place orders online by 1 p.m., then pick up their food between 4 p.m. and closing time the very same day.
Smiling and chitchat are also on the menu The staff here is reportedly very friendly, so feel free to shoot the breeze while a butcher slices up pork chops.
In 1976, two UC Davis graduate students bought 20 acres of land in the highly arable Capay Valley. One of the students, Kathleen Barsotti, was working toward her master's degree in ecology and was determined to grow vegetables and fruits in an eco-friendly way: organically. The organic-food movement hadn't yet entered the public consciousness, and Kathleen worked overtime to convince restaurants, stores, and consumers of the taste-able merits of her process. Over time, given the possible health and environmental benefits of certified organic food, she succeeded. The farm sprouted to 300 acres to accommodate the increased demand. Today, a second generation runs the farm as well as a shop inside San Francisco's Ferry Building. Dubbed Farm Fresh To You, the store furnishes customers' bags or portable cornucopia horns with all sorts of soil-sprouted goods, including heirloom tomatoes, sweet peas, and fresh asparagus. The farm also teams up with fellow Yolo County and Pacific Northwest farms to deliver boxes of seasonal produce to area homes.
As the latest venture of San Francisco Soup Company, Ladle and Leaf boasts a new name, look, and menu items. However, the core commitment of the restaurant remains the same?to make great, healthy food. Every day, Ladle and Leaf?s chefs hand-craft custom-tossed salads, made-to-order sandwiches, and approximately 12 healthy soups from scratch within their kitchen, keeping an eye on sustainability and seasonality. The restaurant's innovative dishes showcase globally-inspired flavors by using organic and locally sourced fresh ingredients, such as cage-free eggs from Glaum Egg Ranch and organic milk from Clover Stornetta. Ladle and Leaf's commitment to conscious dining extends to the nutritional realms: each nutrient-packed recipe comes with nutrition stats, and the menu even designates which soups are gluten-, meat- and dairy-free, and which soup spoons best shield noses from affectionate pinches.
One of the nicest things about Jump Start Coffee & Whole Foods is the way that the smallish shop interacts with its earlybird customers. Locals freshly roused from their homes in the hills, commuters greeting the newness of the day on their walk to the 24th Street BART station; all are welcome inside for a simple sunrise pick-me-up. A notch above the standard first-thing-in-the-morning café – and more full-service than corner stores that sell liquor, cigarettes and sad produce -- Noe Valley's Jump Start is a simple neighborhood classic. It's a deli that caters to the local work-from-home crowd and a coffee shop where ordering an extra shot of espresso won't get you the evil eye from the purist barista. Any day that starts with a bagel and a schmear from this happy-go-lucky spot is going to be just fine.
Nestled amid shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, Opera Plaza Deli & Taqueria is as much grocery store as it is lunch hot spot. Through the windows you can see fully stocked shelves and coolers along with a few tables and chairs, where customers unwrap tacos filled with guac, beans, and meat or dig into plates of Mexican-style steak and fajitas. Traditional dishes include bistec ranchero and pork tamales, but there are also philly cheesesteaks, avocado-topped burgers, and other familiar plates. The deli serves breakfast, too—huevos con chorizo, huevos rancheros, and huevos con jamon.
Real Food Company's mission, since it was founded in the 1960s, has remained unchanged. The grocery store provides its neighborhoods with food that's relatively unprocessed and free of artificial additives, preservatives, and warlock curses. So, what kinds of groceries fall within the bounds of this lofty mission? Lots. The store stocks row after row of fruits and vegetables, which are organic and sustainably raised wherever possible. It also boasts a huge range of natural cleaners and supplements, as well as staples such as snacks, bread, and more.