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San Francisco Travel Association announces grants for 2014-2016 Neighborhood Partners Program

Businesses in the Fillmore, Western Addition, Richmond, Polk, Chinatown, Mission and Castro districts selected in fifth year of program to extend the power of San Francisco’s #1 industry to more areas of the city.


The Neighborhood Partners Program is sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank.

Businesses in the Fillmore, Western Addition, Richmond, Polk, Chinatown, Mission and Castro districts selected in fifth year of program to extend the power of San Francisco’s #1 industry to more areas of the city.

The San Francisco Travel Association has selected 10 businesses and organizations to receive grants through the Neighborhood Partners Program.   Entering its fifth year, the program strives to extend the economic impact of tourism, San Francisco’s #1 industry, into the city’s diverse neighborhoods and involve more businesses located outside the traditional visitor areas via San Francisco Travel’s programs. 

The 10 recipients were selected for their unique “Only in San Francisco” nature, the potential to attract visitors to their neighborhoods and their commitment to participate fully in the program. 

Each recipient is granted a complimentary two-year San Francisco Travel partnership, including benefits such as listings online and in publications and access to the Convention Calendar.  The grants also include admission to San Francisco Travel events such as the Annual Luncheon, Market Briefings, Outlook Forums and Partner Business Exchanges, often with exclusive one-on-one meetings with the presenters.  The Neighborhood Partners Program participants receive individual mentoring by the association’s professional staff and experienced San Francisco Travel partners. 

“We offer this program to give neighborhood businesses and organizations that support them an in-depth education on how San Francisco’s tourism industry works and how San Francisco Travel can help them succeed and grow,” said San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro.   “At the same time, we help to draw more visitors into the city’s diverse and fascinating areas, providing more reasons for them to stay longer, return sooner and tell their friends.”

The selections were made by a panel representing the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, San Francisco Travel Community Engagement Council and San Francisco Travel staff. 

The 2014 San Francisco Travel Neighborhood Partners Program grant recipients are (alphabetically):

The Bell Tower Restaurant – 1900 Polk St., 415- 567-9596 (Polk)
Trip Advisor gives the Bell Tower a 92 percent recommendation.  Yelpers rave about the pulled pork sandwich, tuna tacos and French onion soup.  Open 365 days a year in a pre-1906 building (with a bell tower, naturally), it’s the quintessential San Francisco neighborhood restaurant, perfect for brunch, watching the game or a late-night bite (open till midnight). 

Belmar Meat Market & Mexicatessen - “La Gallinita” – 2989 24th St., 415-826-4600 (Mission)
For 54 years, Salvador Vazquez has made and sold chicarrones, carnitas, tamales and enchiladas in his corner meat market.  At 100 square feet, it would be easy to miss, but locals and visitors who discover it swear by the “Choice” meats and fresh, authentic Old World homemade Mexican specialties. 

Bumzy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – 1460 Fillmore St., 415.346.3222. (Fillmore)
World famous Bumzy's Cookies were featured in the "Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book 2014" along with noted greats Famous Amos and Mrs. Fields.  This mother-daughter duo uses an 80-year-old recipe handed down three generations.  Their all-natural "jewels" are prepared using the finest ingredients in small batches throughout the day. Bumzy's also offers hand-churned vanilla ice cream, fine teas, coffees and milk selections.   The bakery is a focal point in the Fillmore District, a friendly place to meet, relax, interact and enjoy famous jazz greats.

Chinese Historical Society of America Museum – 965 Clay St., 415-391-1188,  (Chinatown)
The Chinese Historical Society of America Museum is the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the history and contributions of the Chinese in America. Founded in 1963, CHSA presents exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programs in the landmark Julia Morgan-designed Chinatown YWCA building.

Cliff’s Variety Store - 479 Castro St., 415-431-5365, (Castro)
Cliff's Variety is a family owned and operated business that has been serving the Castro community by selling merchandise that is both useful and delightful since 1936.  Fixing up your Victorian?  Throwing a party?  Creating your drag costume?  Cliff’s offers all the necessities.  Visitors to the Castro find a unique retail experience while locals find whatever they need for their projects at home.

Greater Geary Boulevard Merchants and Property Owners Association – West from Divisadero to the ocean, 415-387-1477. 
Founded in 1922, the Greater Geary Boulevard Merchants and Property Owners Association continues to be instrumental in implementing improvements to Geary Boulevard.  Representing 1,450 merchants, the association has members in 40 different categories from Antiques to Sports Supplies throughout the Richmond and San Francisco’s west side.

St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church – 1286 Fillmore St., 415-  (Fillmore)
The “Coltrane Church” is an ambassador of the universal message of Saint John Coltrane’s thesis “A Love Supreme.” It embraces his aspiration for “Peace on Earth” and fosters global brotherhood welcoming people of all faiths to come and be a part of this vanguard form of worship and fellowship. The church was incorporated in 1969 and contains10-ft Byzantine Icons of Saint John Coltrane, Jesus and Mary.

San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society – 762 Fulton St., 415-292-6172, (Western Addition/Fillmore)
Founded in 1955, the Society's mission is to educate African Americans, and the public at large, about the history and culture of San Francisco's African American community.   It offers a wide range of interpretive programs, exhibits, scholarly forums, tours, research projects, cultural performances and publications to approximately 3,000 visitors of all ages and ethnicities annually.  The signature event is the annual Kickoff Celebration of Black History Month at City Hall.

San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations – 415-621-7533,  (Citywide)
For more than 60 years, the Council has drawn together the disparate merchants associations in the neighborhood commercial districts of San Francisco.   Their members represent a variety of local businesses including an eclectic mix of food and drink, salons, spas, healers, shopping, schools, business services, entertainment and more.   Their mission is to protect, preserve, and promote small businesses in San Francisco.

Seedstore – 212 Clement St., 415.386.1600, (Richmond)
Operated by sisters Jennifer and Cynthia Huie, Seedstore™ is a clothing + goods shop for men and women located in the vibrant Inner Richmond neighborhood in San Francisco.  Since 2010, they have stocked a balanced assortment of independent, as well as established heritage brands. Their dream has been to create a shop that speaks to people of all ages, styles and even neighborhoods.