Crowdfunding Underway for El Buen Comer, a New Restaurant on Mission

El Buen Comer at Heart_18-1

There’s a crowdfunding campaign underway to open a terrific new restaurant on Mission Street at Kingston in Bernal Heights, and it’s hard not to love.

El Buen Comer is the pride and joy of Isabel Pazos, a budding chef from Mexico who has been honing her craft at local farmer’s markets at at La Cocina, the local incubator for food entrepreneurs. She hopes to raise another $21,000 in the next two weeks, and here’s the story:

Hi, my name is Isabel Pazos. I am the owner of El Buen Comer, a soon-to-be restaurant in Bernal Heights San Francisco. Seven years ago I decided to follow my passion for cooking and turn it into my career as a way to help support my family. I began selling food out of the kitchen in my apartment. Before I knew it the people of my community became my biggest supporters, lining up outside of my apartment door waiting for the day’s offering, and I outgrew my little home kitchen. In a stroke of luck one night while watching television with my family, an old friend of mine from Mexico City appeared on-screen. She was talking about La Cocina and how they were able to guide her with the process of formalizing her food business. After that night, with a little push from my family, I decided to reach out to La Cocina. Fast forward seven years and something I didn’t think I could dream is now a reality.

I am opening my very own restaurant! Sometimes I can’t believe it… Nothing brings me more joy than cooking for people and very soon I will be able to start doing just that. With your contributions to this campaign I will be able to purchase the last key pieces of equipment that I need in order to start feeding my customers. In supporting El Buen Comer you will also be supporting the community around us. When designing our restaurant the most important aspect for us was creating an extension of our family’s dinner table. Our hope is that at El Buen Comer our neighbors will find a vibrant, comfortable and must importantly delicious space that they can visit often.

You can contribute to the campaign here. Still want to learn more? CAUTION: This video will melt your corazón:

PHOTO: Top, Isabel Pazos, founder of El Buen Comer, doing what she loves. Courtesy of La Cocina

29 thoughts on “Crowdfunding Underway for El Buen Comer, a New Restaurant on Mission

  1. I am hoping she will be using only organic ingredients and humanely raised poultry and meats. They are more expensive but well worth it. Most corn products are GMO.

  2. Losing count of how many Mexican restaurants there are on Mission Street; seriously, the neighborhood does not need another one.

    • Weird, right Pamela? It’s almost like there’s a demand for it or something….

      I’m happy to have another option and this looks good!

    • +1

      Everything we eat, with very few exceptions, has been genetically modified. How do people think hybridization works?

      • Hybridizing is NOT GMO!!
        When you are splicing and inserting genes, proteins, bacteria from entirely different species, that is GMO.

      • With all due respect, you don’t know what you are talking about. If you eat food, you eat genetically modified organisms. When agriculture and selective breeding began, so did genetic modification.

        Words have meanings. To genetically modify means to alter an organism’s DNA. Simple. It seems like you just believe that one particular way of interfering with the normal process of cellular replication is okay and another isn’t.

        The perfect Bernal example would be your dog. Every modern breed of dog, without exception, was artificially created by humans from a common ancestor, the wolf. This type of genetic modification is far more drastic, uncontrollable and harmful (see survival rate of inbred litters) than the focused, precise, controlled gene modification done in laboratories on say, a single tomato gene to cause delayed rot.

        Make no mistake: being anti-GMO is exactly equal to being against feeding the world’s malnourished people.

        I don’t expect to change your mind. But it never hurts to try when it’s for a good cause.


  3. Let’s see. She ran an illegal commercial kitchen in her home. Anybody who watches Restaurant Impossible knows that people don’t maintain proper health standards in restaurant kitchens, so one wonders what kind of health standards she maintained at home. Second, SF does not need yet another Mexican restaurant. Third, if she’s so poorly funded that he has to do crowdsourcing, she’s got severe financial problems that are only going to get worse once she opens. A restaurant is a money-suck.

    Liking to cook is NOT a recipe for a successful restaurant. Having restaurant management experience is necessary, not just making meals from one’s kitchen. The best free training I’ve seen is working in fast food. The margins in fast food are so small that everything has to be done efficiently — sanitation, food rotation, scheduling of workers, etc. She needs to go out and get a restaurant job where she can work up to a management or assistant management position and get some hard core management experience or she’s going to fail.

    I’ve been there. I was in the restaurant business for 6 years.

    • La Cocina is a commercial kitchen. Your “yet another Mexican restaurant” comment is ignorant. There is much more to Mexican food than tacos and burritos.

    • Wow, you know EVERYTHING! While I am not a fan of crowdsourcing to start a for-profit business (just rubs me the wrong way) there’s nothing wrong with her doing everything that she can to get a business off of the ground. Good for her if it works!

      I can’t stand when people crap on other people for going for their dream. I started my own business 7 years ago and was told by dozens of people that it would’t work and it has worked. It’s her life and good for her for trying to create something. Wow, she might even create some jobs for people and if her business does well create one of those management or hell, “assistant management” positions that you recommend for her.

      People complain about things becoming to “gentrified” and Bernal losing its soul and here is someone who is pouring her soul (time, money, and herself into her food) into our community and you, David, tell her to go become an assistant manager and question her business plan without reading it or even hearing her pitch. I suspect that a lot of the businesses that you frequent in Bernal were created by people under similar circumstances. America,Bernal or anywhere would be pretty boring if people didn’t go for their dream. I’m all for people creating things instead of regularly bragging about how thrifty or “resourceful” they perceive themselves while constantly reminding us about their rent control apartment. Action is so much more compelling than empty words.

      • I responded because I have restaurant experience and after 6 years lost everything but $200, my clothes, and my Ford van. I came back to SF broke and began hauling trash with my van to get back on my feet financially. And I’d had real world experience before getting into my own business.

        She’s going to do what she’s going to do regardless of what I or anyone else says. Entrepreneurs are like that. It’s also the reason most of them — MOST of them — fail within 3 years. They want to do things their own way, period.

        By the way, I thank Willie from Puerto Alegre for helping me get back on my feet in those days. He fed me for free until I could get it together. I also thank Grant, a customer there, for letting me stay at his place for a month in exchange for helping him move. I was THAT broke from my foray into the restaurant business.

  4. Do we see these kind of comments when higher end restaurants open? My recollection is everyone being supportive of those Supper Club folks and their crowdfunding.

    • Man, so much negativity in the comments here! Seems like some Bernal residents could use a bit more fiber in their diet. Hopefully El Buen Comer will provide for them.

    • For the record, I haven’t expressed support for the opening of ANY new restaurant. We already have plenty of restaurants. If everyone in SF wanted to go out for dinner at the exact same time, not only could they do so, but there’d be plenty of seats left over. The fact that so many restaurants fail is proof that the restaurant sector is overbuilt.

  5. I’m willing to let the “invisible hand of the market” determine whether it will be successful. As much as I like all the new additions (BEL, Old bus tavern, Emmy’s etc.) I was disappointed at the displacement of the Latin restaurants on Mission (oy, I’m still sitting shivah over the loss of El Zocalo!) so it’s nice to see a new Mexican restaurant opening up.

    • In all fairness, the El Zocalo folks retired, as did, I believe, the El Patio family (where Old Bus Tavern is). But I did like them both! And we just ate at Los Panchos last week. At Los Panchos the next generation took over the place and it’s going strong.

  6. Isabel, my husband and I just contributed and hope you have a successful campaign. You’ve worked so hard to realize your dream, bravo! I often wondered what was happening behind the Buddha door and am happy to learn it’s the future home of El Buen Comer. Best of luck to you and your family.

  7. No need to get jealous. When you’ve worked as much as I have and have had as many life experiences as I’ve had, you, too, will have a lot of knowledge about a lot of things.

    • Your vast accumulation of knowledge somehow has you posting all the time on a blog about a neighborhood you don’t even reside in. Sage stuff, no doubt.

      • I spent 9 years living in Bernal. I was involved with the Northwest Bernal Alliance and and their monthly newsletter for a couple years. I frequented Bernal businesses, and still do. I was just at Copy Central Mission a few days ago. Blanca (Art of Hair) cuts my hair, and has for decades. I had a salmon wrap at Progressive Grounds last week. I even eat from time to time at the Hunan (“Hunan Doesn’t Suck”) restaurant. So, I think I qualify as “more Bernal than Bernal”.

      • nope. residency is the one requisite, and you have failed that miserably.

        just kidding.

        but you seem to be pretty harsh on here man. lighten up.

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing El Buen Comer open. I walk past the site every day as I live on Kingston. As more time passes, I’m growing concerned that very little visible progress or construction activity is happening at the site. The interior looks basically identical to how it was when this gofundme video was made almost four months ago. The permits for the restaurant change were approved in November of 2014.

  9. Pingback: Isabel Caudillo’s El Buen Comer Restaurant Opening Soon on Mission | Bernalwood

Comments are closed.