City Celebrates the Opening of a New Bakery Through, Open in SF, A Small Business Acceleration Pilot Program

Open In SF

Open in SF has assisted more than 100 food establishments by tackling permit bureaucracy

San Francisco, CA—Today Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Supervisor Katy Tang, Supervisor Norman Yee, and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) together with the community celebrated the grand opening of Noe Valley Bakery, a recipient of the OEWD’s Open in SF program (Small Business Acceleration Program). The pilot program is the first of its kind that provides direct services to entrepreneurs seeking to open small brick and mortar food-based businesses in San Francisco that guides them through the current complex permitting process.

“I am delighted to welcome Noe Valley bakery to the West Portal neighborhood. Small food and restaurant businesses are key to the City’s vibrancy. They generate important employment opportunities and local character for San Francisco neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lee. “The program is key in coordinating with other City services from various departments, helping our small food businesses open their doors more easily and timely.”

The launch of the Open in SF follows a 2015 report prepared by the Office of the Controller, which considered the complexities of the restaurant permitting process and identified the need for a single point of contact to work with small businesses on permitting and licensing across City departments. Open in SF, now in its sixth month, focuses on food and beverage businesses. To date, OEWD has assisted nearly 100 small businesses have been assisted from all over San Francisco and from a variety of referral sources. The program was funded in Mayor’s FY 15-16 budget with support from Supervisor Katy Tang.

“There are so many obstacles to opening a small business including permits, paperwork, fees, and navigating multiple agencies,” said District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang. “Open in SF is already working with businesses and city departments to remove redundancies and barriers, as well as provide one-on-one case management to business owners. This type of customer service is what our small businesses deserve when they are willing to invest so much in our communities.”

“The West Portal community has wanted a bakery for years. Noe Valley Bakery is a perfect fit for this need and we are so grateful that the City’s Small Business Acceleration Program was able to make this a reality for our growing corridor,” stated Supervisor Norman Yee who represents West Portal and District 7.

Open in SF, now in its sixth month, focuses on food and beverage businesses, and is an interagency initiative led by OEWD, in partnership with the Office of Small Business, the Planning Department, the Department of Building Inspection, the Department of Public Health, the Fire Department, the Police Department, Public Works, the Public Utilities Commission, the Department of Environment, the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office, the Entertainment Commission, and the Office of the Assessor- Recorder. For more information on the Small Business Acceleration Program, go to:

“The Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s mission is to grow, start, and keep small businesses in San Francisco a priority. The Open in SF team worked with other city departments to develop the program to help small business owners get through the permitting process so they can get off the ground and open quicker,” said Todd Rufo, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.


“I am really grateful for all the support from City Hall and Open in SF. My wife and I were able to cut through the bureaucracy with this program. The Open in SF team was able to walk us through the process and work closely with us to get the bakery open--helping to reduce the time it takes to open our doors. It made a huge difference and I want to extend my gratitude to the Mayor and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development for their commitment in working with small business owners like ourselves,” said Michael and Mary Gassen, Noe Valley Bakery business owners.

San Francisco is also celebrating its 13th Annual Small Business Week (May 15-20) where the small business community is being recognized for their contribution to the City. During the week, there will be networking events, free workshops, educational courses, and access to many city resources to help small businesses and entrepreneurs start and grow their business. For more information, visit

About the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD)

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development's (OEWD) mission is simple – to create shared prosperity in San Francisco. OEWD provides city-wide leadership for workforce development, business attraction and retention, neighborhood commercial revitalization, international business and development planning. For more information, go to:



Photos by OEWD:


News Category: