“We will only bring in a whiskey that’s awesome. If we can’t find one that we are happy with, we will wait until we find one.” – Mat Pond
Mat Pond and Holly McDell, owners of The Epicurean Trader, have it dialed in with their customer retail experience. Making sure their customers enjoy shopping at their store is as important as all of the small-batch artisan products (with beautiful packaging) they carry.
The small but mighty Bernal location carries some cultish food brands in a city that worships food. Mat gets his entrepreneurial spirit and love of fine foods from his parents, both of whom tried their hand at winemaking and running a dairy farm. They now breed Arabian thoroughbred horses outside of Sydney, Australia, where Mat’s originally from.
The hard work and tasteful design that goes into every part of the shop reflect the high- quality, hard-to-find products they carry.
Since they opened on Cortland Avenue in 2015, The Epicurean Trader has twice won Best of the Bay for Spirits by San Francisco Magazine. They’ve expanded with new locations on Union Street and Hayes Street. Mat and Holly also have a mutual appreciation with the owners of Tartine Bakery and Bi-Rite. Both brands allow The Epicurean Trader to serve as one of the only retail stores to carry their food. Chad, of Tartine Bakery, delivers fresh bread himself first thing in the morning, still warm out of the oven.
These relationships show the care and high standards Mat and Holly put into every aspect of the shop. They personally vet all products to ensure they are responsibly-sourced with meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. They’re especially fond of their unique wines that represent both the high quality and great value people have to come to expect.
Their Whiskey Club has been featured in a variety of publications from Saveur Magazine to the San Francisco Chronicle. And local store tastings are a neighborhood favorite.
You can find the Epicurean Trader at:
401 Cortland Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94110
1909A Union St,
San Francisco, CA 94123
465 Hayes St
San Francisco, CA 94102
Jen Baxter is a content writer and strategist helping companies creatively craft the story of their business online. You can see more of her work at JenBaxter.com.