About Us


Oakland is shaped by the independent business leaders, artists, and activists who have planted their flag here. They invest their livelihoods in Oakland, raise their families here, build relationships here, hire and train employees here, pay taxes here, do volunteer work here, and donate to nonprofits here. They grow deep roots in this place they call home. And, they understand that they only succeed in business and in life when you do as well. It's a village.

At Oakland Grown, we celebrate and support these folks who play a critical role in sustaining our economy, curating our local identity, and leading with their values in business practices, environmental care, and innovative spirit.

Here our are Top 10 reasons to join the movement.

Signature Annual Programs

Oakland Small Business Week - 85 workshops across Oakland, 3 awards events, and networking opportunities for thousands of Oakland's small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Plaid Friday Weekend - Hundreds of Oakland's independent businesses, makers, and artists offer special discounts and events during the business holiday shopping days of the year. Started here, now a national phenomenon.

Bacon & Beer Festival - Dozens of craft beer makers from Northern California pair up with local chefs for our annual fundraiser tasting event at the Market Building in Jack London Square. 

Good Money Guide - We breakdown all of the sources of good/mission-driven money (capital) available to local businesses in an easy-to-digest guide. This is the only product of its kind in the country.

Our Story

Oakland Grown was founded in 2008 by a handful of volunteers who believe that the success of our independent businesses and artists is key to the health and happiness of our town as well as towns across the nation.

  • We've represented Oakland at national conferences, given talks around the Bay Area, and met with government leaders to champion the cause.
  • We've helped launch "buy local" groups in cities across North America. 
  • We've marched with Occupy, a movement that shared our vision of supporting Main Street instead of Wall Street.
  • We promoted the Move Your Money campaign, raising awareness about the many benefits of credit unions and community banks.
  • We fostered what became the nation-wide campaign, Plaid Friday, which encourages people to support indie businesses instead of the big box stores on busiest shopping day of the year – in turn, shifting billions of dollars into local economies across the USA.
  • We created the Good Money Guide to help Bay Area businesses find capital to realize their dreams in a more sustainable way, avoiding predatory and less favorable loans.
  • And, we have sold a lot of booze at countless fundraising events to help make it all possible.

That, friends, is how much we love Oakland.

Oakland Grown is 501(c)(6) nonprofit that is funded through the support of its members. Please consider joining or making a donation

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People of Oakland Grown

CEO: Jody Colley | View My Bio
Treasurer: Erin Kilmer-Neel | Deputy Director, Beneficial State Foundation | View My Bio
Secretary: Kerri Johnson | Owner, Marion + Rose Fine Goods
Community Advocate: Kira Pascoe


Consumer Marketing
Jarmain Allen, RTR Digital
Lauren Herpich, Local Food Adventures
Jamie Facciola, Kay Chesterfield
Stephanie Sawyer, Dashe Cellars
Michael Davidson, GrilledCheezGuy

B2B Marketing
Lauren Herpich, Local Food Adventures
Kriss Kokoefer, Kay Chesterfield
Jamie Facciola, Kay Chesterfield
Stu Sweetow, AVConcultants
Ikeena Hardman, Pipespy & Keena's Kitchen
Kendra Benttinen, Bay Bucks

Oakland Makers
Jamie Facciola, Kay Chesterfield
Hiroko Kurihara
Ikeena Hardman, Pipespy & Keena's Kitchen

Advisory Board

Nayeli Maxon, Alliance for Community Development
Kari Goodman, Animal Biome
Stu Sweetow, AVConsultants
Susie Geda, BIBO Salon
Aliza Gallo, City of Oakland
Keira Williams, City of Oakland
Susana Morales, Communities in Collaboration
Helen Wyman, Community Bank of the Bay
Kim Arnone, Cutting Edge Capital
Stephanie Sawyer, Dashe Cellars
Benjamin Zappin, Five Flavors Herbs
Howard Flax, Flax Art + Design
Michael Davidson, Grilled Cheese Guy
Ben Bloom, HomeWatch Healthcare
Erin La Ninfa, Industry Roasters
Jamie Facciola, Kay Chesterfield
Ikeena Hardman, Keena's Kitchen
Paulina Song, Lake Merrit Dental
Lauren Herpich, Local Food Adventures
Engret Yvonne Moore, Oakland Annex
Vicki Macchiavello, Swiss Cheese Collective
Rani Croager, Uptima Bootcamp