Open Minds and Forward Thinking: Women Impact in the World of Business

Mari and I are proud Oakland Grown members, and for our upcoming Ideal Date Night Contest, we decided to add their Oakland Grown Gift Card (OG GC) in our grand prize package. The OG GC is powered by Hope Commerce Solutions, and it could be used at over 20 Oakland, Bay Area businesses such as Caffe 817, Bay Area Custom Prints and Entrez! Open House.

How Women Entrepreneurs are Making an Impact in the Bay Area’s Economy

All those businesses I just mentioned are women-led and owned. Interestingly, when I sent out a mass email to all the OG members who accept the OG GC to support the contest we are planning, the first four to respond were women. Two weeks later, five more responded, and guess what…. they’re all women!

Words that come to mind when I think of women entrepreneurs are open-minded, and forward-thinking.  The email I sent asked the business owners to collaborate with me by pitching in $10 towards my goal of $300. Since they all accept the OG GC, they stand to benefit the most, and $10 is a small price to pay for an awesome marketing opportunity. Plus, the $10 represents how shifting 10% of your spending from national chains to independent businesses makes a huge impact in our economy.

We’re not surprised though that women entrepreneurs are taking the lead in making an impact in the Bay Area’s local economy because Forbes called 2013 the “year of the female founder.”

Get to know these women entrepreneurs a little bit better and learn more about how they make a positive impact in our local economy in the Q&A below:

Q & A With Caffe 817

Answers provided by Emily Goldenberg

What is your definition of local?

Emily and Scott Goldenberg, founders of Caffe 817

Emily and Scott Goldenberg, owners of Caffe 817. Like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and check their reviews on Yelp!

Local can mean many things to a small business. For us at Caffe 817 it takes on many variations. We have a Farmer’s Market right outside our door every Friday. Talk about local. I buy my fruit for the menu and also for the Homemade Jam that we sell in the restaurant from farms that come to this market. Both farms, Yerena and Twin Girls, are local, organic farms. We use Mr. Espresso coffee which is a small, family run company only about 7 blocks from us. We love the traditional flavor profile of their beans and simply, the way they do business

Another version of “local” has to do with our neighborhood here in Old Oakland. From the businesses, business-owners, residents, and people who work here, we like to be involved and support each other. We like to stay connected to the neighborhood by shopping here, eating here communicating with our neighbors.

Why did you choose oakland as the home of Caffe 817?

Caffe 817 has been is this location here in Old Oakland for 20 years now. A fellow named Sandro Rossi opened it hoping to re-create the convivial atmosphere of the espresso bars that he knew and loved in Italy. We were given the opportunity to take over two years ago and jumped at the chance. We think the Historic neighborhood is a gem, and wanted to be sure that the quaint neighborhood restaurant continued to thrive.

What does caffe 817 contribute to Oakland?

A sense of honesty. Support of local economy. Simple, thoughtful, good food. Lasting relationships.

Q & A with Bay Area Custom Prints

Answers provided by Lili Smith

What is your definition of local?

Lili, 1/2 founder of Bay Area Custom Prints. Like them on Facebook, see their awesome work on Instagram, and check their reviews on Yelp!

Lili, 1/2 founder (Kevin not pictured) of Bay Area Custom Prints. Like them on Facebook, see their awesome work on Instagram, and check their reviews on Yelp!

Local is a company that is tailored primarily to serve residents in the vicinity of the business, contributes financially to the city is in by purchasing materials locally whenever possible, and seeks to partner with other local businesses.

Why did you choose oakland as the home of BACP?

Oakland is where we live and spend our money and time, so it was a natural decision.

What does BACP contribute to Oakland?

We provide low cost, high quality printing services to residents of Oakland, which is very hard to find. We also mentor with local public high schools and provide donated prints to many non-profits across the city.

If you haven’t read it yet, learn about what inspired Shift Local to run the upcoming Ideal Date Night Contest

Shift Local’s first ever interview features another female entrepreneur: Charleen Caabay of Kainbigan

Mark your calendars, the contest is set to begin 10/10/13!

Brought to you by Marc


11 thoughts on “Open Minds and Forward Thinking: Women Impact in the World of Business

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    • You’re welcome Lorna! We’re still looking for small businesses who want to support our upcoming contest by donating prizes and/or helping us publicize. Let us know if you or someone you know would be interested!

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