S3E17, Part 2: Ray Bair on Small Businesses and Owning Cheese Plus

Storied: San Francisco

May 7 2020 • 30 mins


Businesses often have contingency plans, but few if any could've prepared for COVID-19.

In this podcast, Ray Bair tells the story of how he came to own Cheese Plus, a beloved Russian Hill specialty food store that is open during the COVID-19 shelter-in-place. Leaving the job at Whole Foods that he had for nearly two decades, the store was a natural if difficult transition. In recent days, Ray, his wife, and some friends created the Six Foot Social Club as a way to raise money for small businesses. Ray ends the podcast talking about his hopes and fears for small businesses once the lockdown is lifted.

If you missed Part 1, when Ray told stories from his early days in Kansas, Dallas, and Austin, please go back and listen.

We recorded this podcast on Zoom during quarantine in San Francisco in April 2020.

Photography by Michelle Kilfeather