Posts Tagged ‘made in usa’

Made in the East Bay

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

OneCalifornia Foundation works closely with Oakland Grown, the East Bay Express, Buy Local Berkeley and the Sustainable Business Alliance on a campaign called the Indie Revolution.  Each month offers a different theme with ideas to help revolutionize our economy and celebrate our community with individual choices.  It provides people with ideas and tools to support local indpendent businesses and aritists.  October was Made in the East Bay month, and we thought we’d share it with you.  You might be suprised by what is made right here in our neighborhood!

Brought to you by Buy Local Berkeley, Oakland Grown, Sustainable Business Alliance and the East Bay Express


Dear Indie Revolutionary,


We’ve spent this year exploring many ways to change the world through small personal economic decisions and actions.  Many of these actions involved shopping at locally-owned stores and with local artists.  This month, we focus on items that are actually MADE right here in the East Bay.  

We residents and business owners can extend our impact on the local economy by not only focusing on where we buy, but also where products are made. Buying products made here not only reduces the carbon footprint made in transit to you, but also helps contribute to variety of job types in the East Bay, including jobs that may suit those without a high school or college degree, and or those who are not English proficient.

So… in this October issue, we touch on a few industries and a few interesting manufacturing businesses in our neighborhood.

Industries – Now and Then

Here in the East Bay, we’ve moved from the WWII era of shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing, and canning to scooters, skirts, and raw organic granola. Oakland, once a major exporter of beer, finds a young brewmaster ready to bring that era back.

The East Bay has an illustrious industrial past, as one of the largest ship building regions in the world. during WWII.  An industry that included women, helped start the first HMO (by Henry J. Kaiser), and let to a bustling auto industry in Oakland, once known as the Detroit of the West. 

While the region doesn’t produce cars anymore, and it isn’t centered around building warships, it does still offer a variety of smaller businesses focusing on transportation, and benefitting from being near a larger port.  Several  smaller businesses in the area build smaller boats, boat parts, and aircraft equipment.  And new businesses are cropping up to handle more local and sustainable transportation needs, such as bikes and scooters.

Similarly, the East Bay’s current strength in food production harkens back to that same era when our proximity to agricultural land, orchards, and the port made canning Oakland’s second-most valuable war contribution. 

Many people know that several large corporations like Safeway, Dreyers, Clorox and Cost Plus World Market have corporate headquarters here in the East Bay.  But we thought we’d share a small number of interesting, independent businesses actually producing things in our neighborhood.  And we’ll focus on items you can buy yourself, so when you have a choice, you can choose their products.


The fashion industry in the East Bay is quite bustling, and incorporates a wide variety of jobs, including models, photographers, event planners, promoters, designers, manufacturers/sewing facilities, to name a few. Here are some locally-made fashions you can buy, next time you’re in the market:

Baby and Children’s Clothing 
Biscotti (Malia Obama’s inauguration dress was from Biscotti)
Mariposa Baby
Jasper Hearts Wren

Women’s Clothing
Cari Borja
Says Who
Verrieres & Sako

100% Pure
Just Glam

Haiku Bags
Elbow Grease Designs

Watches & Jewelry
Youngblood Timepieces          

Specifically Sustainable
Blue Sky Biofuels
Lucid Design Group

Technology and Web Businesses 
Livescribe, Inc.           

Home / Furniture     
Jason Lees
Berkeley Mills
Swerve Co
Metro Lighting   
Wooden Duck
Mediums to Masses
Vertical Home Gardens           

Musical Instruments 
DaSilva Ukeleles          
Ervyn Somogyi Guitars
Steven Faulk Guitars

Sporting Goods and Accessories 
TruKid Skincare for the Active Kid
Electric Motor Sport Motorcycles
Fly Scooters
Sheila Moon Athletic Wear
Comet Skateboards


Food, Seeds, and Herbs
Fortune Cookie Factory
Voila Juice
Food Mill Peanut Butter
No Cookie Vegan Cookies
Hodo Soy Beanery
Glow Mama Drink
Premier Organics Nut Butters
Sweet Maria’s home coffee roasting supplies
Blue Bottle, Peerless, Mr. Espresso coffee & machines
Clif Bars
Tofu Yu
Mayway Herbs
Kitsawa Seeds
Gu Energy Gel

For more local foods, and various local Wines and Beers, see last month’s article…

Artisan and Handmade in the East Bay
The list above focused on small to large scale manufactured items.  However, the bay area hosts a huge variety of artisans, home-based businesses making wonderful, unique things, like re-purposed clothing, jewelry, bath and body care, silk screen clothing, hats, housewares, fine art and so much more.  To find some of these, we recommend you check the following sites:

Buy Local Berkeley
Oakland Unwrapped!
Rock Paper Scissors Collective
Feria Urbana
DAI Style Lounge
ProArts Gallery

This Made in the East Bay list is part of the 2009 Indie Revolution - a year-long campaign to support local independent businesses and artists in the East Bay. A collaboration of Oakland Grown, Buy Local Berkeley, East Bay Express, and the Sustainable Business Alliance.

Tell Us About Your Experience in October and Stay Eligible to Win the $5800 Prize
To comment on your participation for these months and be eligible for $5800 in prizes, go to