Customers lined around the block for So-so Supermarket’s soft opening Saturday, making its first weekend anything but so-so.
So-so Supermarket, the newest addition to Telegraph Avenue, is a shopping destination featuring products such as vintage clothes, handmade jewelry and unique art from vendors around the Bay Area. While the Telegraph location is its first brick-and-mortar store, So-so Supermarket previously existed as So-so Market, a one-day outdoor vintage market that would appear in several cities, including Berkeley.
“I personally like the idea of being able to offer many people a source of income — for the vendors — so I think it’s really special that all these people have a place to call their own,” said Kat Krueger, vendor and events director of So-so Supermarket. “So-so was created with the idea that we could have vintage shopping accessible to everyone.”
So-so Supermarket founder Mel Willis also owns the Indigo Vintage Cooperative, another vintage store on Telegraph Avenue, but So-so offers more affordable price points, according to Krueger. Willis also decided to open So-so Supermarket as a more permanent location for the community to “hang out,” Krueger said.
So-so Supermarket hosted more than 20 vendors for its opening weekend, with some vendors manning their own booths while others sold their goods with the help of the staff. Although staff only had about two days to set up the store, its opening drew about 1,000 people and had multiple sold-out vendors, according to Krueger.
“Even before we opened, there was a line all the way down the block — it was pretty amazing,” Krueger said. “All day long, we were constantly full in here. We had to monitor how many people were let in because there were so many people.”
Krueger said So-so Supermarket partners with both new businesses and vendors that it has worked with in the past as a one-day market. She added that Willis wanted So-so Supermarket to empower small businesses and offer opportunities to those that may have a hard time gaining a foothold in the market.
Among the vendors selling at So-so Supermarket during its opening weekend was Mac My Day, a small business selling macarons. Jayna Mislang, the owner of the business, said she plans to return in the coming weekends with new macaron designs.
“I’ve been following the So-so Market ever since it really opened, and I always thought it was a really awesome vibe they were trying to create,” Mislang said. “I love the vibe over there, the culture that they bring in and I love how all these small businesses are thriving off of it.”
So-so Supermarket is located at 2333 Telegraph Ave. and is currently running as a three-month-long pop up, according to Krueger. As of press time, it is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.