The Beanery, a coffee shop on College Avenue, closed Thursday after 18 years in Berkeley and will be replaced by local salad restaurant Organic Greens.
In addition to The Beanery’s Elmwood location, the company has two shops in San Francisco and one in Alameda, according to co-owner Sima Navaie. Though Navaie and her husband chose to sell the Elmwood location, the locations in San Francisco and Alameda will remain open.
“There’s a variety of different reasons (that we decided to sell),” Navaie said. “We wanted to cut back our work hours, and also we needed to make some changes, such as add-on salads, and that would require more commitment of time from me.”
Additionally, Navaie said concerns about her mother’s health influenced the decision to sell. She added that she and her husband decided that it would be better for a younger person without as many personal obligations to take over the location.
According to Navaie, Organic Greens was chosen to replace The Beanery because its products matched best with the community’s tastes and with the types of changes Navaie would have wanted to implement at The Beanery.
“The Organic Greens buyers seemed to have the kind of idea we wanted to have and what the community kept asking for, salads and such,” Navaie said. “We thought their idea would actually work best in that location.”
Organic Greens has one other location on Kittredge Street in addition to its new location in Elmwood. According to Suren Shrestha, owner of Organic Greens, the new location is an opportunity to expand the business.
“We were fortunate that they wanted to hand their business to a local business,” Shrestha said. “We asked them to give that opportunity to us to bring healthier food to the community at a reasonable price.”
Many of those previously employed at The Beanery’s Elmwood location will be employed at the new Organic Greens, Shrestha added.
The Beanery will provide coffee to the new Organic Greens, according to both Navaie and Shrestha. Organic Greens, however, will use its own name at the new Elmwood location, Navaie added.
Organic Greens is set to open on College Avenue on March 1. According to Shrestha, the coffee shop is still being converted to suit the needs of Organic Greens, including installing a juice, smoothie, sandwich, wheatgrass and salad bar.
Navaie and her husband will continue doing business at The Beanery’s locations in San Francisco and expanding their wholesale business.
“We will miss our employees, number one, and we will miss the community we have made over these 18 years,” Navaie said. “We’ve gotten to know so many people in the neighborhood and community.”