E’ville Biz: Josephine.com pauses operations, San Pablo Ave McDonald’s rebuild begins, Salsipuedes shutters
Josephine.com, who brought the sharing economy model to home-cooked meals, communicated a “pause” on their operations as they look to work around stringent health code regulations. “In many ways, the one-size-fits-all safeguards established to protect us from industrialized production have evolved to bolster corporations and shut out local micro-enterprises” they noted in an email sent to customers.
Salsipuedes, a restaurant serving cuisine described as “new baja”, opened less than a year ago in an area of North Oakland that might be described as a food desert. The cuisine itself garnered rave reviews and brought a buzz to Oakland’s Longfellow neighborhood. They abruptly shuttered earlier this month but are hoping to keep the space activated.
The abrupt demise of SpoonRocket is detailed in a Oakland Magazine piece after a reported collapse in venture capital funding for food delivery services. SpoonRocket had a main distribution center in Emeryville but were pushed out amid possible code violations and complaints from neighbors about litter and the circulation of their fleet of delivery vehicles.
Ironically, McDonald’s seems to be the only restaurant business in the area that is thriving. The fast food establishment will be providing an expanded and renovated store after demolition of their 6623 San Pablo Avenue location that was built in 1969.
Food startup Josephine pauses East Bay operations
By Kate Williams
In an email sent out to 2,000 East Bay customers last week, Oakland-based food startup Josephine announced that it would be pausing cooking operations in Alameda County. All non-profit partnerships, including Josephine’s partnership with Willard Middle School, have not been affected.
The decision was made after cooks working for the company were recently served with cease-and-desist orders for illegal food sales by environmental health regulators. In the email to customers, CEO Charley Wang said the regulators told the cooks that they were “committing misdemeanors, punishable by jail time.”
Read More on Berkeleyside.com →
Salsipuedes closes in Oakland
By Ethan Fletcher
Less than a year after a much-hyped opening in Oakland’s off-the-beaten-path Longfellow neighborhood, Salsipuedes closed its doors for good on Sunday.
The joint project between restaurateur and San Diego transplant Jay Porter, executive chef Marcus Krauss, and Luis Abundis of Nieves Cinco de Mayo delivered new Baja cuisine, including high-minded surf-and-turf dishes such as beef tongue with sea urchin, octopus melt bao with pork cracklins. Just nine months in, however, the partners decided it was time to cut bait. According to Porter, who spearheaded the restaurant, the concept just never quite gelled.
Read more on InsideScoopSF →
Feature Image: @299792456nelson via Twitter
San Pablo Ave McDonald’s begins expansion plans
The McDonald’s on San Pablo Avenue is in the process of being demolished but will soon be replaced by a larger, remodeled version of the golden arches. Golden Gate residents were involved in a neighborhood fight over the proposed 24 hour drive-thru and the amount of litter in the neighborhood attributed to the popular burger chain.
The plans for the renovated space, approved last year, include the expansion from 3,097 to 4,270 square feet, improved circulation and “more modest signage” that better aligns with the neighborhood. The 60-year-old burger chain is trying to shed its “cafeteria” look and has committed to modernizing their restaurants as part of an effort to update its aging brand and battle competition from more “upscale” fast-food chains.
The City of Oakland Staff Report can be read below:
SpoonRocket Co-founders Anson Tsui and Steven Hsiao (Photo: alumni.berkeley.edu)
Berkeley’s SpoonRocket Ran Through $13 Million in Venture Capital; Meal-Delivery Industry in Steep Decline
By Anneli Rufus
Bloomberg cites the late lamented Berkeley-based meal-delivery startup SpoonRocket — which went belly-up two months ago — as a prime example of industry overexpansion and trend fatigue in a new story on the collapse of meal-delivery venture capital.
“Venture capital is drying up and startups are disappearing. … Gone are the endless discounts and giddy marketing budgets,” Bloomberg proclaims.
Read More on Oakland Magazine →