One of the most common questions we get at farmer’s markets is “When will the space be ready??” We had originally thought our Valencia Street factory and cafe would be open over a year ago, but the city had other plans. In fact, the lease had been signed in October 2010 and the architectural plans done around the same time, but there were a series of permits we needed before we could begin any work.
Ron, our landlord, originally had an auto repair garage in the space and had to go through the process of converting the building. There are a couple steps in this process: 1) Change of Use permit, 2) Landlord’s work, 3) Our building permit, and 4) Our construction. The first step in this process took over 18 months — basically the Change of Use permit had to wend its way through the city’s process. Then Ron had to add the storefront, put up walls, sprinklers, pipes, and finish the shell of our space. Ron is now done with all of his work and permits. Cam and I stopped by to drop off the signed forms which means we are now at “delivery” and the space is finally ours!
We still have a long road ahead though; our building permit is still waiting on two departments: PUC and health. Once we get those approvals, we can actually start building the interior and hopefully get open in a few months. Thanks everyone for being patient on this journey with us!