There’s a new café in town. But it’s not where you might expect it to be.
Locals and online aficionados alike have enjoyed neve & hawk, an ethical, locally-made clothing store in downtown San Anselmo curated by Kris Galmarini, for three years. But now she’s raised the experience a notch.
After a year-long learning curve of build-outs, permits and inspections, Galmarini has partnered with Lady Falcon Coffee Club of San Francisco to bring an artisan, small-batch coffee shop to the back alcove of neve & hawk.
She opened the flagship, ethical-clothing store in 2016 with a sustainable vision and a collaborative outlook that she determined to continuously amplify.
“I wanted a certain energy, so I thought, ‘Let’s turn the back of the store into a coffee shop,’” Galmarini says.
Finding the right partner was a process. She considered Stumptown Coffee Roasters from Portland but ultimately wanted something closer to home, to match her original, locally made ethic.
“I had a local clothing brand so I wanted the same match in a coffee shop,” she explains of her collaboration with Lady Falcon’s Buffy Maguire.
Named after a San Francisco ladies’ bicycle club from the 1860s, Maguire’s company roasts small batches of coffee in Oakland and offers them in special, vintage-styled pink packages. In keeping with her unique aesthetic, Maguire sells her coffee not only at her Beachside café in San Francisco but also out of a renovated, 1948 GMC bread truck. She transformed the truck into a coffee cart and parks it by Alamo Square near the Painted Ladies.
“Female-owned, passionate and small-crafted coffee made her the perfect fit,” Galmarini says. “I built out the café inside the store and Buffy provided beans, training and support. We opened three weeks ago and had a soft opening on Nov. 1. The lucky part is that it was a pottery place before us so all the plumbing from the sinks was already there.”
Entering the café through the clothing shop both sets expectations for an artisan experience and fulfills that promise.
The many offerings at neve & hawk include Galmarini’s own local-clothing brand, a collection of other, hand-picked local-artisan goods, special books and gifts and now coffee.
“Most are very small, ethical brands,” she says. “It’s a great way to live our dream and have a store and have kids.”
Galmarini didn’t plan to own a clothing store or a café. Originally from West Virginia, she moved to California State University, Northridge, to go to school without having been there before. She double-majored in music and business and worked for Sony after graduating. When she eventually moved to Charleston, South Carolina, and had children, she began working creatively with her husband while the kids slept.
“We didn’t set out to do this,” Galmarini recalls. “We couldn’t afford babysitting, so we just created at night. My husband and I would play music and drink wine and he’d screenprint on clothes I made. I taught myself to sew.
“My daughter was wearing the things we made and someone told us about a trade show I should check out to sell them. We went and a woman stopped me and said, ‘You need to go after this.’ A week later she called me and told me about places in L.A. I could look into for manufacturing.”
For most people the story might stop here, but not for Galmarini, who fearlessly walks down her path one step at a time, figuring it out as she goes. Not knowing how to do something doesn’t stop her, and her children are a huge inspiration.
“Bringing people into the world, it turns out, is a bigger motivator to follow our hearts than anything we’d experienced before. I went ahead and flew to LA, and knocked on doors and moved forward,” she says.
Since then, she and her family moved to the Bay Area where she set about infusing her business with all of her local and sustainability principles. She designs the clothes, which are then manufactured in San Francisco and colored at a dyehouse in Novato.
“We keep all of it in California. We use remnant fabric that would have been thrown away, natural dyes and fibers,” Galmarini says.
She even pays everyone a fair wage, not an easy feat in this area right now. A sweatshirt is still $82.
“I want people to be able to buy our clothes,” she says. “Our goal is to go into sweaters next, potentially working with fair-trade artisans in Oaxaca and Peru. We’re also planning to open a second store in Charleston, South Carolina.”
Opening a locally-owned café in California these days is fraught with additional sustainability issues, from paper cups to plastic straws. But this is just another challenge for Galmarini. With her signature spirit of innovation, she intends to try to solve the cup issue in a brand-new way. She connected with Jessi Hunt and Carl Miller from Project Alive to introduce Marin to the Huskee Cup—an Australian-made, reusable cup made from coffee beans.
The sustainability program embedded into the idea of the cup is already in use down under. It begins with a customer buying the first cup with their coffee, and when returning for coffee, bringing it back and exchanging it for a new one. What’s innovative is that the cup program is available everywhere—not just one café.
Galmarini’s aim is that wherever you get coffee, the cups are available and accepted.
“We decided to try it. The cup itself is aesthetically pleasing, and I’m a design person so I like the look of it,” she says, adding that she hopes to collaborate with the County of Marin to help Huskee Cups go mainstream.
“Marin wants to help towns to become zero-waste,” Galmarini says. “They liked the cup. We’ll see how far the collaboration goes. It will take a while, but with something as important as our environment and our planet, it’s worth it.”
neve & hawk Lady Falcon Coffee Club Launch Party
Neve & hawk invites the public to the launch of its new café. The evening will feature small-batch local designers, including Lindsay Robinson and Encourage Vintage. There will be live music and artisan, hand-crafted coffees available. Buffy Maguire of Lady Falcon Coffee Club will be present to speak about the art of coffee. 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9 at neve & hawk, 641 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo. 415.306.7657. neveandhawk.com.
The first Friday of every month, neve & hawk hosts its First Friday Textile Night from 6–8:30pm, with on-site screen printing by neve & hawk and chain-stitch embroidering by Daisy Hartmann. Bring your clothes to personalize or a shirt to screen print.