When former Emeryville Poet Laureate Sarah Kobrinsky and her family left Emeryville in 2015, it wasn’t exactly on the best of terms. Kobrinsky’s rent at a duplex owned by a former Emeryville Planning Commissioner was increased nearly 40% leading them to move to Richmond.
Although too late for Kobrinsky and her family, her story and others helped provoke action within the city by adopting Tenant Protections. The city hopes this will curb these massive increases that are causing displacement of non-tech salaried people like Kobrinsky’s family.
Kobrinsky and her family recently announced their triumphant return to Emeryville albeit as commercial tenants. Kobrinsky’s husband Jered Nelson, who founded Jered’s Pottery in 2010, is in the process of moving their Richmond Studio to the former Midsummer Studios space on Horton Street.
The industrial warehouse space can accommodate their production needs and offers the benefit of being closer to their clients in SF. They’re also hopeful their new retail & showroom space will help them showcase their products to new clients in the area.
A large amount of Jered’s Pottery is for high-end restaurants, private clients and hotels. Nelson has earned a reputation as one of the most sought after potters in the region creating dinnerware for world-renowned chefs like Daniel Patterson (Coi, Alta, Haven), Michelin-starred Michael Mina and event designer Stanlee Gatti. In addition to custom dinnerware, he also creates custom tile and lighting enclosures.
Jered opened his first studio on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley in 2010. After signing a multi-year contract with Restoration Hardware to produce a line of custom dinnerware, he moved to a larger studio in Richmond to accommodate their volume. Their Richmond facility was recently acquired sending them hunting for a new space. “I knew this might happen to my business” Nelson says noting how businesses like his get pushed around. “This is why I label my pottery with ‘California’.”
This hunt for a new space, as Kobrinsky and others I’ve spoken to have noted, was hampered by the influx of recreational Marijuana cultivators who are trying to stake their claim in the impending ‘green rush‘. Businesses like Jered’s are competing for the same type of commercial spaces that are being gobbled up by growers backed by wealthy investors. It was a tenuous time for them awaiting final word on being offered this Emeryville space lease.
Kobrinsky is hoping to embed their business in the community and is considering partnering with the EUSD by offering classes and tours to students. “We’ve been involved in this maker community resurgence in the Bay that is actively bringing jobs back to the U.S.” Kobrinsky proudly noted. “We’re hiring locals, paying a fair wage and creating in a socially and environmentally conscious way.” Kobrinsky notes they are even considering starting an internship program. “It’s been a warm welcome for us” Kobrinsky noted saying the city arts community has already reached out to them.
Jered’s Pottery will be opening its showroom and retail space to the public on Saturday, September 2nd at noon and are planning a Grand Opening Celebration later in the month on September 28th.
View their lines of custom, handcrafted pottery on jeredspottery.myshopify.com.
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