MEDA’s Strategic Plan 2017-2020 re-envisions its work via five measurable results to be achieved for the San Francisco Mission District community by 2020.
RESULT 5: THE MISSION IS A STRONG AND SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY FOR LATINO RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES AND INSTITUTIONS
MEDA is committed to ensuring the Mission District retains its historic and current identity as a strong Latino community, and a welcoming place for immigrants and the generations of Latino families who have long called the neighborhood home. This means that Latinos of all income levels are able to call the Mission District their permanent home, along with the small businesses and community institutions serving them. We envision a family-friendly community offering affordable retail, restaurants, child care, housing, arts and culture, blue-collar jobs, parks and transit that create a neighborhood of opportunity.
Following is a story of a neighborhood venture representing the type of family-serving business MEDA looks to help thrive.
Owner: Ivan Lopez
Business: Artillery AG
Address: 2751 Mission St.
Type: Cultural Center/Art Gallery
Product: Art and artisanal products
What gave you your idea to start your business?
Artillery AG came about from the desire to create a creative art space that is strong, resilient and economical for people that want to pursue art as a career choice and for those that want to support them.
What has your experience been opening a business in the Mission?
The Mission is a mysterious and magical place to open up a small business. You have to have a very persistent attitude having a business in the Mission — and never give up hope, because there will be times where it will be slow but there are times when it is also incredibly busy. I’ve learned that I can’t give up on the Mission because even though she doesn’t agree with me at times, she has given me everything that I have today. We love the Mission and everything it does for our community.
How does your business/business idea relate to your life?
Artillery AG is all about nature, family, culture — and these are the values that guide my business. Nature is the fundamental driving force behind everything that we do with Artillery AG. One only needs to come in and look at the space to see how nature has inspired everything that we create and share.
Why should potential customers invest in small businesses?
Small businesses that are honest provide diversity and create more resilient economies and communities. The small businesses in a neighborhood are shaped and defined by those it serves. Our small businesses exists because of our patrons and community, and without them neighborhoods become bland and lose the essence of what makes it unique and special. One just need to see the small businesses in the Mission to see how it has defined and created this space as a hub for Latino culture and arts.
Where do you see your business in five years?
I see Artillery AG opening four locations in the future, plus developing ceramic technology that can help transform and provide a more sustainable future for the world. I think that through our work with ceramics and ceramic technology we can strengthen our human relation with nature and provide new awareness to our presence with the ecosystem.
What do you love about the Mission?
Every day in the Mission is magical and sunny. We have found that every day is filled with unique opportunities and filled with new wonderful people to discover and inspire with our shop. Every day is special and things are never redundant with a shop in the Mission. There is a strong sense of community and a welcoming spirit that makes all of this possible.