Bi-Rite Market Turns 75

In an era where evictions and teardowns are still the hot button topics, it’s refreshing to hear about Bi-Rite Market marking its 75th birthday this month. Sam Mogannam, Anne Walker, Calvin Tsay, Kris Hoogerhyde, John Lee, Shakirah Simley, Michael Aldridge, Trac Le, and nearly 300 current staff are all part of a grocery operation that has been holding down the same literal fort on 18th Street since 1940 — Mogannam said today that he started working there in 1974. His father and uncle, Nabil and Jack Mogannam purchased the Market in 1964.

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Next Friday afternoon, the 18th Street institution known for carrying out a mission that celebrates foods that are artisanal, local, seasonal, sustainable and of the farm will rock a family-friendly birthday party (4:30-6:30 p.m.) at 18 Reasons complete with a $5 sundae special: crème fraiche buffalo milk soft serve ice cream made with milk from Petaluma’s Double 8 Dairy. (Yup, I was stumped for a local source of buffalo milk, too). The special sundae will be topped with birthday cake pieces, house-made fudge, and rainbow sprinkles, and can be had at the Bi-Rite Creamery soft serve window, which is where I head often when the regular ice cream window has taken on nightclub like proportions that snake around the block.

Insider tip: while you nosh, stand in front of 18 Reasons and gaze at the Herb Caen cut-out in the window across the way, which is a nice symbol of earlier eras. The 75th fiesta will also sport a photo booth and favors, and the company just completed the process of becoming a B Corporation. 

Bi Rite Community Birthday Party, Friday, Sept. 25, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St. 

Time travel with me: writereadeat (at) gmail and @loquitaladd 

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