Oakland North spotlight: Sacred Wheel
on December 5, 2014
Sacred Wheel, an unpretentious cheese shop in Temescal, offers a funky menu featuring Pabst Blue Ribbon tomato soup, pickled eggs, and a Sriracha-infused sloppy Joe on what the menu calls “the trashiest bun we could find.” The eclectic menu is mirrored in the décor (a toy dinosaur with a chunk of cheese in its jaws presides over the cheese counter), and the staff (nearly all employees have a caricature of themselves on the wall, and the staff are decorated with a variety of tattoos).
Jena Davidson is Sacred Wheel’s owner. According to the shop’s website she’s “a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll, and 100% Oakland foodie.” She says she needed to make this business work because she poured her mother’s life savings into the place. The small business, with families stopping in for favorites, people on laptops and friends meeting for lunch, is indeed thriving. It will celebrate four years of operation in January.
The Temescal neighborhood has blossomed during Sacred Wheel’s tenure there, which is good for business, says Davidson, but she added that she would have chosen this location anyway. Davidson, her mother, and multiple other shop employees—many of whom are her friends and family members—all have a tattoo of the numbers “4935,” the shop’s address on Shattuck Avenue.
Beyond it’s own artisanal creations, Sacred Wheel serves as a platform for promoting other small businesses with inventive products like banana granola, jalapeno mustard, and ginger tonic. When new businesses show Davidson a product, she says, “I’ll give anybody a shot.”
But that’s not the only thing Sacred Wheel helps launch. Referring to her regular customers and their growing families, Davidson says, “We do claim that we make some of the best babies here.”
The Grand Cheese Tour
Sacred Wheel’s resident Cheese Whiz, BJ Hanson, takes us on a tour of their products.
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