For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 29, 2018

Press Contact: Gloria Chan, 415-554-6926, Gloria.Chan@sfgov.org



San Francisco, CA — On Monday, November 26, Paper Tree was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Small Business Commission for the Legacy Business Registry. The Registry recognizes longstanding, community-serving businesses as valuable cultural assets to the city. There are currently 152 small businesses on the Legacy Business Registry.

Paper Tree: 1743 Buchanan Street

Nominated by Supervisor Vallie Brown

Paper Tree is a family-owned and operated retail store in the heart of Japantown celebrating its 50th year in business this year. Paper Tree honors the ancient art form of folding paper, called origami, often associated with Japanese culture. The store sells origami papers, artisan papers, books, art supplies, gifts, and cards. Services include private classes and parties, school field trips, design and creation of artwork and commercial origami for stop motion and film, exhibits, installations and corporate events. Paper Tree was founded in 1968 by Nubuo and Shizuko Mihara, a husband and wife team and second-generation San Franciscans. The Mihara family has long been involved in origami – Tokinobu Mihara published one of the first origami books in English in the 1950s. Prior to opening the store, the Mihara family had owned another Japantown-based publishing and import business called Oriental Culture Book Company in the 1950s and closed. Today, Linda Mihara and Vicky Mihara Avery, daughters of the original owners, are co-owners of the business and are each award-winning origami artists spreading their knowledge through their features in books and shows, and classes held at the store. Over the years, the art of over 50 of the world's best origami artists have been exhibited in the store's many display cases, creating a mini museum of these extravagant hidden treasures within Japantown.

"What a way to celebrate our 50th year in business,” said Linda Mihara, co-owner of Paper Tree. “As one of the few remaining family-run businesses in Japantown, we are deeply honored to become a Legacy Business. We look forward to the future as we continue to serve our community in the city, which we truly love.”

About the Legacy Business Program

A Legacy Business is a for-profit or nonprofit business that has operated in San Francisco for 30 or more years. The business must contribute to the neighborhood's history and/or the identity of a particular neighborhood or community, and it must commit to maintaining the physical features or traditions that define the business, including craft, culinary or art forms.

The registration process for the Legacy Business Program includes nomination by Mayor London Breed or a member of the Board of Supervisors, a written application, an advisory recommendation from the Historical Preservation Commission and approval of the Small Business Commission. Inclusion in the Registry provides Legacy Businesses with recognition and support as an incentive for them to stay in the community.

1 DR. CARLTON B. GOODLETT PLACE, ROOM 110, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94102-4681 (415) 554-6134 / www.sfosb.org / legacybusiness@sfgov.org

The program also provides educational and promotional assistance to encourage their continued viability and success in San Francisco.

For more information about the Legacy Business Program, including a list and map of businesses on the Legacy Business Registry, visit http://sfosb.org/legacy-business.

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