Though one might argue that Banana Republic is a local company, owned as they are by Gap Inc., which is headquartered in San Francisco, it’s unlikely that you’d expect to find anything in their stores that was actually manufactured here.
SFMade, a local nonprofit that says they intend “to build and support a vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco, that sustains companies producing locally-made products, encourages entrepreneurship and innovation, and creates employment opportunities for a diverse local workforce,” (I went on their factory tour last year) had its first Banana Republic pop-up during the 2011 holiday season. They returned to the flagship in February 2012.
I missed those first two pop-ups, but when I was at the Grant Ave. store this weekend I saw chocolates, small bags, and dog accessories, all of which were offered by SFMade members.
A high note for me were the Maison de Monaco preserves. According to founder Coco Guilhem, the company creates “gourmet preserves following the same recipes that span generations, as well as new recipes that have I created,” in, says the Chronicle, “a traditional copper kettle and minimal processing to retain natural flavors.”
I tried their peach and lavender preserves and they were so good I’m heading down to buy a bunch more.
The SFMade items are on the street level of the Banana Republic flagship store, near the women’s shoe section. I asked how long Banana Republic would be selling the local products and the sales associate said there is no set end date.
Still though, you might want to hurry down before I buy all the preserves.