Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper: Chronicling the Opening of a New Small Business on Valencia Street

Meet Cameo. Cameo is a beekeeper, and she has a business idea. She wants to open a beekeeping shop on Valencia Street. The shop will offer top-quality local honey to local honey lovers, and top-quality beekeeping gear to local beekeepers.

It will be called Her Majesty’s Secret Beekeeper, and Cameo is chronicling the fits and starts of getting a business off the ground on the official company blog. Post number one:

From the very beginning, I wanted the store to be on Valencia street.  I’m a little weird in the way I shop in SF.  I’m still a small-town girl at heart, so I always try to shop within the borders of Castro, 16th, 18th, and Valencia.  And plus, 826 Valencia, Paxton Gate, Four Barrel, Five and Diamond, Ritual… I can go on forever.  Valencia Street is the bomb-diggity.

Read on for more about Cameo’s search for a space, and all the paperwork and junk that follows.

Also of note: Cameo is friends with our old pal Emergency Beekeeper.


Who Wants Some Bees?

Bee Attack!

18 Responses to “Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper: Chronicling the Opening of a New Small Business on Valencia Street”

  1. johnny0 says:

    Honeycomb bikinis are definitely niche enough for Valencia.

    Watch out for Sue Bee, corporate honey overloads — they will want to open a store in the AA space while claiming to treat drones fairly. Even Chicken John will be driven back by their killer bee army.

    Seriously though, HMSB would be cool.

  2. zinzin says:

    good luck to the bee store. may it be the first of many others. other stores opening on valencia i mean. not other bee stores. well, that would be fine too. for the bee store. but not too many. cause that would be chainy.

    but seriously…i hope it goes great, bee store!

  3. misterpharmacist says:

    It goes without saying there’s huge pent up demand for artisanal honey, especially in this down economy. Welcome to the hood.

  4. zinzin says:

    i hate to do it, but i will confess….

    i can’t hear the word “beekeeper” without thinking about this:


  5. kiya says:

    I would seriously be shopping here often..
    This is a great idea that i think would be a welcome addition to the unique stores we’ve already got in the Mission.

  6. Glenparker says:

    Can you really sell enough honey to pay the rent on a Valencia St. store?

  7. wet blanket says:

    i know i’ll bee there! a-o!

  8. Jake says:

    “I’m still a small-town girl at heart, so I always try to shop within the borders of Castro, 16th, 18th, and Valencia. And plus, 826 Valencia, Paxton Gate, Four Barrel, Five and Diamond, Ritual… I can go on forever.”

    True story: I broke every bone in my left hand while silk screening some t-shirts with these totally rad graphics of bird skeletons playing Sega Genesis this weekend (check out my Esty plz you guys). I couldn’t move any of my fingers and there was blood everywhere, just everywhere, but I refused to go to a hospital that wasn’t within the borders of Castro, 16th, 18th, and Valencia. Just when I thought I’d have to lose my hand in order to keep the hood authentic and small town, I remembered Mission Pet Hospital‎ at 18th and Valencia. Long story short, I got my hand patched up AND a bottle full of cat tranquilizers. Best hood ever yall.

  9. [...] biggest cash crop could prove as tempting for pols as a chorizo super burrito, a morning bun, and a tub of homemade honey after a hit of the water pipe. The proposal could, however, hurt the livelihoods of doctors who [...]

  10. olu says:

    I wish her luck establishing valencia street as a mecca for beekeepers, and natural honey seekers (not the shit that comes in the bear), but really, how much more twee can that street get?

  11. zinzin says:

    preamble: i hope that the bee store, and any other store that opens in the hood – valencia or otherwise – sees nothing but staggering success. really. business is better than blight. i hope they all get filthy rich.

    that said, there’s always room for increased twee. a few of these actually sound OK to me…

    the cute hat shop moved, and no twee street is complete without a cute hat shop.

    twee-wise, i think we could also use a store that sells really expensive kid clothing. maybe themed. like…victorian era kid clothing. or depression era / little rascals type. (they could pay the rent on che t-shirts sold to the b&t crowd on saturdays)

    there was a woman who was vocal in the whole AA shenanigan that wanted to open a place that exhibits and sells antique sex toys. which also implies “used” sex toys, but whatever. (not sure how they’d pay the rent, but you know they’d only be open 6 or 10 hours a week anyways).

    how about a steam-punk boutique / tea shop / performance space? (corporate events)

    an exact-replica apothecary out of sherlock holmes? (actually, this could make money…plenty of current products to sell)

    same concept, but 1940′s woolworth counter? 1950′s malt shoppe? (brunch crowds)

    a store specializing in magazines & cigarettes from europe? (probably they’d have to sell illegal substances to make money)

    chocolate store. (chocolate)

    the inevitable “world market” store selling replica buddhas and “hecho a mano” textile from guatemala. (i hope that one never opens).

    there’s a million ways. let’s go, hipster entrepreneurs! 26 vacant spots left….

    • heather says:

      the honey store is a great idea btw.

      there is a twee store for european magazines and cigarettes – it’s called fog city news – on market. for a twee store, it is excellent. folks are very nice.

      then there’s Cafe de la Presse on Grant st.

      These days, between the two, the cigarette and foreign magazine market is pretty much sown up.

      oh, an the spanish storefront church?
      That was NOT a jews for jesus organization. Please! Get some education on Spanish evangelical churches before you spout off.

      the plumbing store is WEAK.

      and yes, Valencia street used to be very shabby. BART construction destroyed it as a business district, and it took about 25 years to get going again.

      it’s not valencia st. per se that offends people, it’s the obnoxious white carpetbaggers who use words like “hood” and can’t extend their little paranoid white bubble beyond people exactly like themselves that’s rude.

  12. olu says:

    zinzin, I know you’re being intentionally snarky, but people (seem to) forget that Valencia has a funereal parlor, an excellent plumbing supply store, that weird Spanish language jews for jesus storefront church…
    What I mean to say is that there are lots of store/business options that go beyond etsy, niche, and upscale.
    I know it destroys the myth of the two-missions, but so be it, reality is ugly.

  13. foon says:

    That plumbing supply store is not excellent. And the Spanish language jews for jesus storefront church is leaving.

  14. Jeremy Hatch says:

    Wow. Now if that isn’t a cool idea. You know, I’m so sick of all these people hating on Valencia. People have described it as shabby, but I know the blocks between 16th and 24th as an awesome street with lots of great bookstores, restaurants, bars, and creative, fun stuff like this. The businesses on the street go well beyond niche stuff, but you know what? The niche stuff is creative and fun. And we need MORE FUN in this world. If she fails, so the fuck what? It’s on her tab, and it’s a beautiful idea. Thanks, Allan.

  15. zinzin says:

    y’all, NO ONE wants this store to fail. EVERYONE has wished this store – and any others that open – nothis but success.

    if we’re poking fun at the twee nature of valencia street (it also has santoro’s), well, that’s the way of the world. it’s a goofy place, and taxidermy mice & beekeeper emporiums are fucking goofy.

    it’s ALL creative & fun, and everyone here LOVES the mission. but if ya can’t have any fun with it…if it all becomes so SERIOUS (like the whole AA shenanigan did), well, that aint the girafa loving mission i know.

    i’ll say it again: i hope the bee store, and any others that open in the hood, whether twee or not, make a bajillion dollars.

  16. Jeremy Hatch says:

    @zinzin: I do recognize friendly teasing when I see it. I didn’t have your post specifically in mind, nor even anybody in this thread, come to think of it. I definitely should have clarified that, and thanks for bringing the confusion to light.

  17. Kate says:

    Finally – a source for excellent local honey for homebrewing excellent local mead in my (excellent, local) kitchen!

  18. K says:

    Does it make life tougher for ATA? As long as the weird is safe, I don’t begrudge whatever else is on the street. If it endangers the weird due to rising rents or whatnot, I will be well pissed.