331 Cortland Marketplace Celebrates Its First Birthday

Two vendors graduate, two expand, and 331 excitedly searches for new culinary talent.
By: Erin Archuleta
March 31, 2011 - PRLog -- The small business incubator site and culinary marketplace, 331 Cortland is celebrating its first anniversary on Friday, April 22, 2011 with a community celebration starting at 6 PM. Welcoming in the public throughout the April 22nd and 23rd weekend, 331 Cortland customers and visitors can expect demonstrations, classes, and other fun events, like a raffle to benefit the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Community Center’s Senior and Student gardening program. All weekend highlights will be announced through Twitter (@331Cortland) and in-house at 331 Cortland (at Bennington Street) as the dates approach.

331 Cortland is happy to wish both El Porteño Empanadas and ICHI Sushi well with their new endeavors. Both vendors have graduated and will make way for emerging local talent to join anchor tenants, Bernal Cutlery, Paulie’s Pickling, and Spice Hound in the convivial space. El Porteño’s focus on expanding their market presence at both the Ferry Building and Whole Foods Markets and ICHI’s new sushi bar, have moved both vendors out of the incubator stage and closer to their dreams of being self-sustaining family businesses.

Paulie’s Pickling and Bernal Cutlery will be expanding their kiosks, and services. Bernal Cutlery plans to offer a larger inventory, and Paulie’s Pickling will be able to expand their sandwich menu, while featuring other Jewish specialty treats. A stunning transformation in just one year, Bernal Cutlery was able to open its first retail location offering vintage cutlery, specialty knives, community sharpening classes, and drop-off Japanese whetstone sharpening.

Likewise, Paulie’s Pickling’s tiny Jewish deli has taken off. Their sandwich menu featuring the neighborhood-famous “Bernalogna” and beef brisket has grown from four sandwiches to twelve. Paulie’s namesake pickles have also been picked up by the Whole Foods Market on Haight Street, Home Restaurant, Smoke BBQ, Lilah Bell’s, The Liberty Café, and local bars including: The Dogpatch Saloon, Marlena’s, Stray Bar, and Wild Side West. Other sweet treats made by local favorites will be featured with the expansion of Paulie’s Pickling including, cookies from Debbie Does Dinner and rugelach from Black Jet Bakery.

Spice Hound currently carries over 100 spices, blends and herbs at 331 Cortland. They’ve also brought back hot chai for customers, an ever-popular request at the marketplace. Resident Spice Hound, Tammy Tan, will begin offering community spice classes, with a debut on Saturday, April 9th at 2:30 PM: An Introduction to Sea Salt. The class will provide an overview of salt, comparing sea salt and processed salt. The group will then pair different sea salts with food to explore their qualities and best uses. For more information on classes, contact Tammy at info (at) spicehound.com.

The success of bringing together the vendors from farmers’ markets, out of their home-based businesses and out from the street food scene by being in a traditional brick and mortar space has afforded these five businesses the opportunity to build out their clientele and expand their services.

With the graduation of ICHI and El Porteño, 331 is seeking new complementary vendors. Project manager, Debra Resnik will entertain proposals with a strong prepared-foods vendor. This small-meal style of vendor should include in their proposal: a menu, description of how their business will use the kiosk, how the business will be staffed, and how its concept would complement the other vendors. Proposals can be sent electronically to debres (at) mac.com.

All the vendors at 331 are happy to celebrate their first bountiful year with their Bernal neighbors and the Bay Area community. We look forward to a toast with friends, family, and customers who have become friends and family on Friday, April 22nd.

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331 Cortland is a small business incubator space located in San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood. Current vendors include: Bernal Cutlery, El Porteno Empanadas, ICHI Sushi, Paulie's Pickling, and Spice Hound.

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