Re: Your Corner Market - Carriage Market

10/22/06 - posted by Frank Dunnigan

When I bought my first house at 22nd & Pacheco in 1979, I discovered Carriage Market just down the hill at 25th & Noriega. The staff was always very friendly, and would try to carry items that the customers were requesting--their Campbell Soup & Jell-O displays were large and probably contained every single variety that the companies manufactured. For a small store, they had good produce and meat--I especially remember their Italian sausages and butter lettuce as being far superior to Safeway's selection. The store never underwent remodeling, so the produce section still had a variety of sizes of PAPER bags stacked up in bundles beneath the displays. They had electric, but not electronic cash registers, so there were no credit cards or ATM transactions, but they happily accepted personal checks with no ID, as long as you lived within a 5 or 6 block radius of the store, and they were also happy to give you $20 or $25 cash back over the amount of purchase. Since that part of Noriega was designated a "neighborhood" shopping area, the City never installed parking meters on that block, so shoppers did not have to worry about the time while shopping. One of the clerks, Frances, especially remembered if you liked things bagged in a single bag, or dry & cold goods separated into two, or whatever your preference was. She would always ask about your family members, and everyone always inquired about how her mother was doing. Alas, Carriage was yet another victim of change in the Western neighborhoods, and it, too, became a Walgreen's. Handy as that could be on occasion, it was NOT as convenient as a neighborhood grocery store, but then that's one of the many reasons that I moved out of SF in 1997.

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.