Help build Cafe Suspiro

Dearest friends,

You can help make it happen. The SOMA's only record/book/coffee shop. Here's the story...

After 13 years, Vega Coffee is closing at the end of July. No words can adequately describe the fantastic experience we had serving the SOMA West community - the businesses & friends; our family. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who walked through the door - workers and patrons. Although Vega Coffee will soon become a small business ghost of the past, we have a new vision for the space at 1246 Folsom Street.

We bring you Cafe Suspiro. Named after my grandfather's tiendita in Mexico, we envision a lively shop where coffee, record, and book lovers come together to share, explore, and enjoy our space. A shop that fully supports and promotes local bands, musicians, and writers. A shop that is hospitable, inviting, inclusive and welcoming to all. A live event space for musicians and writers to share their craft. However, for all of this to materialize, we would appreciate your help.

I started as a barista at Vega Coffee 13 years ago. Owners John Quintos and Kirk Harper brought me on board as their first hire. After a year, I left to give the digital advertising world one more try, only to return after four years. As a manager, I kept the shop afloat during the pandemic by shifting our business priorities, re-budgeting, and by listening and catering to those who mattered most to us - our community of neighbors and workers of SOMA West. Their loyalty became our lifeblood. So when the opportunity came to take over the business, I looked within and turned to my customers and friends for advice. I was humbled by the support and was motivated to follow this dream.

Helena Antonowitsch led the decision to open Cafe Suspiro. She believed in me, trusted and encouraged me, and became our initial investor. Thanks to her, the transfer of the business was secured. My gratitude to her is immeasurable. I could not have gotten this far in the process without her. This endeavor is impossible without partners. I am beyond excited to have Kevin Wood as my business partner. His eye for good music will help curate a selection of music unlike any other shop in the city. And with myself at the helm of the coffee shop, this place will be truly magical, successful and fun.

However, to see this vision through, starting capital is needed to build, hire, promote, and grow our small business.

How funds will be used:
  • shop build-out, building materials, and furnishing
  • payroll for new hires - we're employing 3-4 people - giving people jobs!
  • inventory purchase (books and records) - taking donations for records and books too (see below).
  • fees - city, state, and federal permits
  • initial stocking of goods and supplies (coffee shop)
  • pay off balance of business lease
  • marketing and promotion

The neighborhood is headed in a good direction. Offices in the surrounding area are beginning to reopen, and new residential units are popping up all around us. By extending the hours, opening on Saturdays, and carrying a unique collection of records and books - Cafe Suspiro can succeed in the SOMA West. It can become a local gathering spot for the neighborhood and a destination for visitors to enjoy a great-tasting cup of specialty coffee as they browse and discover new up-and-coming local bands and writers! You can help make this happen by donating to the starting capital needed to get this plane off the ground and help rebuild our city's economy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please consider donating, and please share this with people you think may be interested and are capable of supporting our new small business venture and dream.

Our SF business license number is 1136503. Registered CA business as Cafe Suspiro LLC DBA Cafe Suspiro.

Dates to remember!
  • First business day/soft opening as Cafe Suspiro: Monday, August 1, 8am-4pm,
  • New hours: Monday - Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 9am-5pm.
  • Soft Opening Party: Sunday Streets SOMA West. Sunday, August 21, 10am - 4pm. (Bring the kids).
  • Folsom Street Fair: Sunday, September 25, 11am - 6pm. (Don't bring the kids).
  • Grand Opening TBA!

Also: As part of our fund raiser, we are accepting record and book donations. Records should be sellable, book subjects must be related to music or local history. Please feel free to drop off at the store Monday through Friday 8-2pm or contact me for more info.

For updates on build-out and progress follow us on our Instagram page:

Thank you once again!

Mil Gracias.

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Raul Sanchez
San Francisco, CA

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