Lunch or dinner for many. Photo by Lydia Chávez

The Afternoon Report

There’s a lot of mouths to feed, was once a mother’s lament.  Nowadays, it is a new business model for Munchery as it satisfies the Bay Area’s demand for catering and take out.  That model was fully visible Monday afternoon in the line-up of delivery trucks waiting for their meal totes in front of  Munchery’s commercial kitchen at 550 Alabama St. where the 2010 start up is also headquartered.

John, who declined to give his last name,  agreed that it was all going very well. He thought that this might be Munchery’s only commercial kitchen in the Mission. The others, he said, are in on the outskirts of the city.

In its November 4 issue, Forbes writes about the 2010 startup “On the battlefield of food-tech startups, Munchery is among the best funded and is the longest-standing, but rivals such as Sprig, SpoonRocket and Blue Apron are ready to eat it if it gets in the way.”

Good luck Munchery. In the tradition of others including Mission Chinese Food, Munchery appears to be big on food justice and donates a meal for every meal ordered, according to its website.

Coming Soon: retail space for Timbuk2. Photo by Lydia Chávez

Timbuk2, formerly a neighbor on Alabama,  is busy making preparations for opening a retail outlet at its headquarters on Shotwell and 20th where the messenger bag maker has been since 2010. 

Details, according to Bryan Shawley in retail, are still being worked out.

Photo by Lydia Chávez

Meanwhile on Alabama, Volute Inc., a subsidiary of Otherlab, which is based in the old Pipe Organ Company, is developing a conformable gas storage tank.  So far, none are on the market, according to an intern eating lunch on the sidewalk.

Photo by Lydia Chávez

Last tip: the Mélange Market cafe at 17th and Shotwell in ODC’s Theater has fabulous cauliflower/leek soup and one of the loveliest seating areas around.

This has been your Afternoon Report—a new series we’re trying out in which we offer a quickie post-meridian rundown of some minor developments in the always-happening streets of the Mission District. Got ideas or suggestions? Let us know what you think by sending an email to

Lydia Chávez

I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor at Berkeley’s J-school since 1990. My earlier career was at The New York Times working for the business, foreign and city desks. As an old...

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  1. While Munchery may have landed a smart business model and is set to make itself and partners a lot of money, it has FAR outgrown its space on Alabama Street, which is a mixed residential/commercial area, and is operating with little regard to residents and the community. Their refrigerated trucks back so far into the sidewalk and street that passing by on the sidewalk (with more of their dollies and deliveries taking up the rest of the space) has become such a challenge that I see people going into the street to pass – except those same trucks take up half of the street causing a bottleneck during their high delivery hours. Not to mention the constant rumbling sound from the trucks, as well as the constant garbage flowing out of there. It seems to me that a business set to make this money can afford to find a more commercial location that fits their expanding operation to respect the long-term residents.

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