Last summer Andie Sobrepena, Founder of Foundation Cafe in San Francisco’s Financial District, joined Storefront hoping to connect with emerging artists and retailers to bring a fresh vibe and new use to her available space.
Since that warm day in July, the Foundation Cafe has hosted over 45 pop-ups with local to San Francisco, artisan operations such as Burmabearsf, Ommies, and suitecase supperclub. These pop-up experiences brought new foot traffic to the neighborhood and helped Foundation easily earn over 30k in additional revenue in just 6 months. “All of the visiting companies who have built a pop-up here have surely added to Kearny Street’s long history as one of the first constructed streets established in San Francisco”. (Andie)
Foodie-centric start-ups like Dinner Lab, Feastly, Cozymeal, and EatWith, have built communities that focus on creating unique dining and social experiences. Using Storefront, their Chefs are able to host these dining experiences outside of their homes and in larger, more accommodating venues, like Foundation Cafe. We’re seeing this as a growing trend in cafe’s, restaurant’s, and event spaces nationwide. Pop-up dining is the ultimate exposure for up and coming Chef’s and provides an intimate and new experience for food lovers.
Foundation is a working dream that every big loving family fantasizes about. Andie’s entire family is involved and behind the creativity and consistency that makes this space so amazing. Originally the eldest sister and mother worked together to remodel the space. Three out of the six siblings work in the cafe floor as servers, baristas, and cooks. And everyone acts as valued taste-testers for the menu. Brutally honest feedback between the crew is at the core for their efforts to gain popularity and success.
We had a chat with Andie to get some feel for her experience and some solid advice that we can share with the Storefront community of entrepreneurs.
Storefront: Talk about your key to success. What helps you make the appropriate maneuvers with regards to growing and improving your business?
Andie: We have so many awesome customers that come in daily and we try to build relationships with all of the people that come in. We definitely have a special place in our hearts for all our customers that have been regulars since we opened. We’ve received such amazing support from our customers and hearing feedback from them is very important to helping us improve.
Storefront: Your Storefront experience. We know you’ve been building great relationships with local brands. What else has stood out to you?
Andie: Our experience has been great! The Storefront team has been super easy to work with and never fail to help with any issues/questions that come up. The brands and individuals, that have done pop-ups through Storefront, have been fantastic as well. They’ve all been very respectful of our space and responsive to any input we send their way. It’s been great meeting people who are so passionate about what they do and to see all the creative ways people put their passion out into the world. It’s definitely inspired us to be more appreciative of building a community around our space and to support other small businesses that do too.
Storefront: Why the pop-up shop? What sparked this growth tactic for Foundation?
Andie: We love seeing our space transformed! We’ve had several rentals that have set up beautiful dinners in our space. It’s inspiring just to see people appreciate our space and put their own creative touches to make it their own. It’s also always memorable when we’re taking shots of whiskey or sipping glasses of wine while setting up before the event or during clean up with new friends.
Storefront: So what is next for Foundation? It’s 2015, how about some solid advice to give your peers in the industry?
Andie: Who knows! Although we are coming up on our 2nd birthday in a few months, I feel like we’ve got a very strong following. Now we want to focus on continuing to improve and solidify our operations.
After working with Andie for the last 6 months we can confidently say she is one to always have her ear to the ground. She’s always watching and listening for the subtle signs that allow her to make strong decisions for growing her business’s customer base and sales. “The Foundation Cafe is dedicated to creating lasting impressions with their customers and the community.” (Andie)
We’re proud to work with Andie and many other amazing Founders. We’re always interested in growing our network. So, if you’re in need of a full-size kitchen and a space that can seat 25 at any given time, the Foundation Cafe is the perfect space for you.
Submit your request to book Andie’s space here.