Specialty Food Magazine

WINTER 2015

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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W hen developers approached Jay Esopenko and Melissa Gugni with a location for a second San Francisco shop, the young married couple knew they would be crazy to consider it. They were expecting their first child and fully preoccupied with Little Vine, their petite but highly profitable specialty food store in the city's North Beach neighborhood. They also realized they would be crazy to turn down the offer. Twenty-five prospective tenants were vying for the site, an architecturally appealing former automobile service station in the aff luent Russian Hill neighborhood. But the developers, who were Little Vine customers, wanted Esopenko and Gugni. Although the couple had little retail experience when they opened that first 250-square-foot shop in 2011, they soon demon- strated that the tiny footprint could support a viable business. "We do extremely well," Esopenko says about Little Vine. The new Russian Hill outpost from the folks behind San Francisco's Little Vine specialty food store is a combination restaurant, wine bar, and grocery with a big focus on fine meat and cheese. BY JANET FLETCHER Union Larder PHOTO: 8INC profle 98 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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