15 years of Eye Patches and Lard

August 28, 2017

In you lived in SF during the new millenium, you read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggars. It was required reading. And it wasn't just SF residents that devoured it. Heartbreaking was #1 on the New York Times best sellers list and rated the #12 best book of the decade. 

So instead of laughing his way to the bank, Dave Eggars decided to give back. He parntered with a teacher, Nínive Calegari, to start a non-profit to help under-resourced students to develop creative writing skills. 

But there was a problem. Zoinging. 

Our street, Valencia, is zoned for comercial retail. And for good reason. You can't just open up a non-profit or an office or what ever you want (well, you can, but you'd have to go through a Conditional Use process so you'd need the support of the community).

Mission Bicycle Company has taken an active role in the Valencia Merchants Association which helps to protect the character and vibrancy of our street. This zoneing must have seemed like unnessary red tape back in 2002 when they tried to open the non-profit. But it's also what has saved this neighborhood from being taken over by chain stores and start up office spaces. 

So here's how the story goes: In order to utilize the space for thier non-profit, they were going to have to put a sham retail space in the store front. They looked up at the exposed wooden beams on the ceiling and decided on pirate supplies. Of course. 

The pirate supply store has become a neighborhood institution and the non-profit has expanded to other cities. 

There is now a:

All retail sales help enable thousands of student develop writing skills. 

So yesterday was thier 15 year anniversary and the neighborhood came together to help celebrate. It was a block party like you've never seen.

Mission Bicycle Company donated Papel Picado to add a little ambiance. And we set up a "Get a grip!" booth to hook people up with free customized grips

Thanks to the Mission Bicycle Company team that hung Papel Picado, set up, staffed, and broke down our booth. From left to right: Nick, Joe, Jack, Me, and Josh.

Here's Mission Local's report on the party. A good time was had by all.

Here's to another 15!

For more information about 826 Valencia, the work that they do, and how to get the right fit for your eye patch or peg leg, click  here