A Little Help From Our Friends

The alumnae who own these Bay Area businesses could use a boost during recovery from the pandemic.

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Use our custom map to locate alumnae-owned businesses in the Bay Area that could use a post-pandemic boost.

When we were first envisioning the summer 2020 issue of the Quarterly, we wanted to highlight alumnae-owned brick-and-mortar shops near the Mills campus before Reunion rolled around in October—so those coming to town could stop by and support their fellow Millsies. Since then, the six counties of the Bay Area were placed under shelter-in-place orders, effectively shutting down or majorly altering the operations of most businesses, while the ongoing pandemic has canceled this year’s Reunion entirely.

So, while the main point of the article has disappeared into thin air like so many things have this year, we decided to push ahead. All of the businesses listed on these pages need help to recover from unexpected setbacks due to the coronavirus. Whether that’s through purchasing gift cards, ordering takeout, or coming by for a socially distanced visit (depending on the shelter-in-place orders in place by the time you read this), please read on to find out what you can do.

Note: The shops, restaurants, and studios listed here all came from our most recent records, and we know that we likely missed a few. Add yours (whether you’re in the Bay Area or beyond) to our new online alumnae business directory; visit alumnae.mills.edu to learn more. –Allison Rost, Managing Editor

San Francisco

1. Holly Furgason ’06

Blue Sparrow Pilates
1740 Buchanan St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Miss the community feeling of the gym, in addition to the workouts? Blue Sparrow Pilates teaches live group classes online for general conditioning, as well as live private sessions. Founder Holly Furgason ’06 also offers Pilates education workshops through Udemy, for those interested in becoming instructors themselves, and the company’s app Fit Pregnancy outlines safe, effective Pilates for pregnant people.

2. Amanda Michael ’92

Jane the Bakery
1881 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94115

Jane on Larkin
925 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94115

Amanda Michael ’92 owns the three Jane restaurants in San Francisco. While the location on Fillmore is closed for the length of the shelter-in-place order, her two other spots, Jane the Bakery and Jane on Larkin, are still open with the following restrictions: Jane the Bakery, on Geary, offers baked goods, healthy salads, and other comforting meals available for takeout only on Caviar, with free delivery. Jane on Larkin features a more expanded menu of breakfast and lunch favorites from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.

3. Paula Tejada ’08

Chile Lindo Empanadas
2944 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94103

Chile Lindo Empanadas was always intended as a walkup window only, so its basic functionality has remained intact during the shelter-in-place order. Founded by Paula Tejada ’08, Chile Lindo is located in the Mission District, and its South American delicacies are available for takeout Monday through Saturday and for delivery on DoorDash. Orders of more than 12 empanadas or cocktail empanadas can be placed online at chilelindo.com.

4. Elisabeth Kohnke ’02

Outer Orbit
3215 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

Outer Orbit, the historic restaurant-meets-pinball center Elizabeth Kohnke ’02 started with partner Christian Gainsley in 2018, temporarily closed during the shelter-in-place order, but the online shop featuring everything from T-shirts to hot sauce is still up and running. Additionally, patrons can support staff members by sending tips, and gift cards are available for purchase. To support them, visit outerorbitsf.com/shop.

East Bay

5. Malena Lopez-Maggi ’13

The Xocolate Bar
1709 Solano Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707

The Xocolate Bar, owned by Malena Lopex-Maggi ’13, is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm for curbside pickups. Customers can also order chocolate online, with free shipping on orders over $49. In the case of items being out of stock, they will be substituted with similar items of equal or greater value. “I can’t think of a better gift for brightening the spirits of someone sheltering in place, or for thanking someone who works on the front line,” Malena writes on her website.

6. Julia Prentiss Diez ’63

2108 Vine St., Berkeley, CA 94709

Pot-Pourri has been around since the mid-1960s, after Julia Prentiss Diez ’63 and husband Andy took a pottery class together, and were inspired to open a shop centered on ceramics. Since then, their inventory has expanded to include a variety of glass art, jewelry, all kinds of decor, and gifts for any occasion. Though both locations are currently closed, gift cards can be purchased at pot-pourri.com, and customers are able to book appointments to shop at the Burlingame store in-person or via Zoom.

7. Jennifer Lynch ’94

2701 Eighth St., #105, Berkeley, CA 94710

As a catering business, Potliquor has been hit hard by the pandemic, but owner Jennifer Lynch ‘94 remains hopeful and creative. Potliquor is providing a pickup location for produce boxes through F.E.E.D. Sonoma (short for Farmers Exchange of Earthly Delights), largely to provide affordable food to staff members. But the business can be supported financially through those who sign up for their own produce boxes, which can be picked up at Potliquor’s address in Berkeley. Additionally, Lynch suggests restaurantworkerscf.org as a good place to donate.

8. Doris Moscowitz ’90

Moe’s Books
2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704

Though website and curbside sales are available and booming, Moe’s Books in Berkeley (owned by Doris Moscowitz ’90, whose father founded the business) can also be supported through its GoFundMe at tinyurl.com/moes-books. The fundraiser has two important goals: to employ a cohort of 21 people, and to buy vast quantities of books from individuals, libraries, and art museums.

9. Adrienne Rodriguez ’01 & Kristine Vejar ’01

A Verb for Keeping Warm
6328 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA 94608

The yarn and fabric store co-owned by Adrienne Rodriguez ’01 and Kristine Vejar ’01 is still selling gift certificates and its wares online, including the shop’s signature dyed yarns as well as fabric and notions for those looking to keep their hands busy during quarantine. One of A Verb for Keeping Warm’s newest additions, a kit of naturally dyed fabrics to turn into face masks, sold out in a matter of days.

10. Sarah Ryan ’07

Star Meats
3068 Claremont Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705

Star Meats in Berkeley, co-owned by Chez Panisse alumna Sarah Ryan ’07, is offering curbside pickup, which can be arranged over the phone. Though the sandwich counter is not currently operational, Star Meats employees (including Robin Mitchell ’23) are wearing their gloves as usual. They will be open as long as there is meat to sell, though on a reduced schedule—Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

11. Yoshie Akiba, MA ’76

Yoshi’s Restaurant and Jazz Nightclub
510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA 94607

Even one of the most famous nightclubs in the Bay Area is not immune to the coronavirus; the restaurant is closed and all events have been cancelled or postponed. To learn about new future event dates and to purchase gift cards and branded apparel, visit yoshis.com.

12. Jana Rogers Pastena ’07

Chop Bar
190 4th Street, Oakland, CA 94607

2337 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Tribune Tavern
401 13th Street, Oakland, CA 94612

A lawyer by education, Jana Rogers Pastena ’07 is now the co-owner (with her husband Chris) of three restaurants: Chop Bar in Jack London Square; the Oaxacan spot Calavera in uptown Oakland; and a renovated spot, Tribune Tavern, nearby in the old Oakland Tribune Tower. All three are closed for the duration of the shelter-in-place order, but gift cards are available for purchase on each establishment’s website—the main goal of which is to continue health insurance coverage for the staff during the closures. “We can’t wait to reopen!” Jana says.

13. Ann Dyer Cervantes ’80

Mountain Yoga + Wellness
6116 La Salle Ave., Oakland, CA 94611

Online classes have been quite popular at Mountain Yoga + Wellness since the shelter-in-place order took hold, though trying new things is part of the M.O. of studio director Anne Dyer Cervantes ’80. Since taking over in 2010, she’s introduced classes such as sound yoga, incorporating her own background as a former professional jazz singer. (Sound yoga and meditation are two of the virtual offerings.)

Want to boost your business to your fellow alumnae/i? Visit our new alumnae business directory and submit your information!