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N Judah Business Review: Sakura Store on Irving Street!

IMG_0507.JPGIt's been a while since I've done one of these local business reviews, despite the fact I have a stack of business cards with notes on a number of great locally owned businesses I keep meaning to write. So I'm kicking things off with a review of Irving Street's newest locally owned busines - the Sakura Store af 936 Irving Street between 10th and 11th.

Sakura has been open for just over 2 weeks, opening on May 1st. Owner Michi Hojo found out about the space via a Craigslist ad (another local buisiness! yay Craig!) in January and said that upon viewing it, and the neighborhood, she felt an "immediate attachment" to both and began plans to open up her store. Since then she's really enjoyed meeting people in the neighborhood as they check out what Sakura has to offer.

Sakura offers a wide array of products, mostly from Japan, ranging from instant noodle bowls and Japanese snacks, to household wares, and various other useful supplies. It is simliar in some ways to theDaiso store in Daly City, or Ichiban Kan in Japantown, but on a smaller scale.

And, in these economically crummy times, Sakura offers a big advantage over its larger cousins far away, in that its prices are very low. Right now I'm trying to restock a household after years of living in furnished places, and I've found some great bargains on household items there. They even sell my favorite brand of cheese puffs so now I don't have to hike all the way to Japantown (or even past 19th avenue) should I decide I need a bag.

However, what really makes Sakura such a fun place to shop is the contagious optimsim of Ms. Hojo, who's opened her first store. Her enthusiasm makes you want to return again and again. In times like these when it seems like most news (esp. from City Hall) is so depressing, it's nice to see someone willing to put in the time to do something productive, and turn a vacant storefront into something we can all enjoy. That's the biggest benefit of small business, and why you should stop by sometime when you're walking around Irving Street!

Comments

The japanese ice cream rulez!

I started reading the N Judah Chronicles for news on FAILs, but I keep reading it because of cool posts like this one.

I'll have to check this store out soon.

@makfan: well dude, this is what I want the blog to be about....yes we have fails and yes city hall can be a bitch on wheels, but in the end it's about stuff like this!

so thanks for recognizing that. free beers at the party for you.

I went there for the first time today, and asked the lovely owner if she had rice crackers with frosting. She said she didn't, but that she'd order them soon. She even showed me her wall of customer requests.

I'm so glad to see this business on Irving Street. I was afraid it would become another nail shop or hair salon... but Sakura - and Ms. Hojo - are exactly what the neighborhood needs.

This is the kind of think I like to do...between all the comments I've seen on Twitter + comments here, folks are clearly checking out the store and a little positive energy is being spread..and that's pretty cool if i say so myself!

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