As a skateboarding video played behind him, Sam Worth detailed all the work he’s put in to fix up the old Hooper’s Chocolates building on
Telegraph Avenue and 47th Street. “I repaired it completely,” he said, talking over the movie’s rock soundtrack. “This flooring right here had a lot of water damage, so we put new flooring in, and that was pretty hard on our hands. And we put a projector in and we moved a chandelier. I’ve been dealing with sales representatives from all these companies and it’s really tough.”
“But,” added Worth, a 20-year-old from Orinda, “I really love skateboarding.”
Worth and close friend Brad Cain spent the past six months fixing up what used to be a chocolate store, painting green over pink, and turning it into a skateboarding store. On Friday, Hooper Vintage Skate Shop opens, either at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. (they haven’t decided). At 4 p.m., they’ll be debuting the skate film “Not Another Transworld Video 2011” in the store. A projector and couches are set up, and Worth said he wants to show skate films whenever the store is open. Right now, the plan is to stay open till 6 p.m., but Worth said they’ll probably stay open a little later on the first night because they’ll have a band playing in the afternoon.
The store will sell mostly skateboards and apparel, like shoes and t-shirts, but they’ve also got coffee and, and of course, chocolate. “Because everyone is asking for chocolate,” Worth said.
That may take a while to change. The big, pink building that looks like a house has been a chocolate destination for decades. Hooper’s Chocolate was founded by Gordon Hooper and opened in 1939, and was family owned for much of its history.
This time last year, Worth and Cain were wrestling coaches at their alma mater, Miramonte High (Worth graduated in 2009, Cain in 2008). Worth said he’d been trying to find a good piece of property for a skate shop but wasn’t having any luck. That changed when he met the owner of the Hooper’s property, who happened to be friends with his father. When he decided to go ahead with the store, Worth moved to the Temescal District.
As for the “Vintage” part of the name? It’s more about the look for the store than the products being sold. “I might be taking back styles from the 80s but there’s also new product, like the 2011 line,” he said. “I think ‘Vintage’ is a nice name for an art gallery, or a skate shop.”