Oakland's Long History of Entrepreneurship
There is a lot of buzz about Oakland right now. Lot's of articles about how Oakland is an entrepreneur's paradise. Just looking at the food industry alone, according to Yelp, there were over 237 new restaurant openings between 2014 - 2105 in Oakland. Yup! There is no doubt that there is some good stuff happening in Oakland.
For some, this surge seams astonishing as Oakland is still seen, by many, as SF's not-as-glitzy little sister. But one thing that people fail to recognize is that Oakland is no stranger to entrepreneurship or glitz for that matter. The history of Oakland's entrepreneurship begins in the late 1860’s, when the Transcontinental Railway made Oakland the final stop for the Central Pacific Railroad. That's right! When people from the East Coast seeking prosperity arrived in the Bay Area it wasn't San Francisco they first stepped foot in. It was OAKLAND!! The arrival of the railway marked the beginning of the move of The Town's central district away from the waterfront and up Broadway. The prosperity brought by the railway began a cycle of growth for Oakland making what we now refer to as "Old Oakland" The Town's central commercial hub.
During the late 1800s Old Oakland was the place to be. Old Oakland was home to The Town's best hotels, stores and restaurants. The neighborhood offered prime property, grand shops, a thriving fresh-food market, and the most modern amenities. It was this wave that gave way to growth and prosperity for the rest of Oakland.
Oakland may have gone through some changes since Old Oakland's heyday but the entrepreneurial spirit has always remained. Remember that.
Come and meet some of the food entrepreneurs shaping Old Oakland today. Join us once a month as we explore Old Oakland through food and drink and hear directly from the chefs and other business owners why they love Oakland.
Check out our calendar here: seeeatlove.com
Until the next post!
About Raquel and See.Eat.Love.
Raquel Navarro is the founder of See.Eat.Love. a food tour company that offers food lovers intimate culinary strolls through Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods. Raquel takes guests on gourmet adventures to meet the makers behind the scenes, and discover delicious edible treasures one bite and sip at a time. She lives in the Grand Lake District with her husband, two year old son, dog and three chickens, Louise, Gertrude and Agnes.