NOVY #WomenOwnedSF

NOVY
Featuring two women owners:
Kristen and Kathryn

This is the first post of my blog and photo series featuring marginalized folks in the food industry including: Womxn, People of Color, and People of the LGTBQ Community.

I am hoping this will not only shed light on local restaurants and businesses who are owned by individuals in these communities, but to also make us knowledgeable consumers who can directly support people who are typically discriminated against in the world of food. I want my work and my money to uplift others. What about you?

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with the two, female, co-owners (who are also sisters!) of NOVY in Noe Valley, San Francisco: Kristen and Kathryn. Their location is in the heart of downtown Noe Valley (hence their restaurant name, NOe ValleY) and NOVY offers up delicious traditional Greek cuisine.

Do you, or someone you know, want to participate in this photo series? Please contact me!

Check out the Instagram post here!

all photos taken by me

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How would you describe yourselves and the identities you two hold most close? 

Kathryn and I are first time business owners and restauranteurs. But, above that, we are sisters and our identity as a family-run restaurant is what makes NOVY special!

Co-owners Kristen (Left) and Kathryn (Right) in front of a mural depicting their hands holding up a grape leaf

What inspired you two to create NOVY and what inspires you two to continue running NOVY?

The history of NOVY is very unique. Our mom and dad ran a restaurant called Panos’ for 20 years (1977-1997) in the exact same space. My sister and I grew up in Noe Valley and both currently reside in Noe Valley. So, we have very deep roots in our neighborhood. When our parents approached us to take over the space for ourselves, we were inspired to create a restaurant where people felt like part of the family – from our staff to our guests – and that is truly what keeps us going every day.

“…We were inspired to create a restaurant where people felt like part of the family – from our staff to our guests – and that is truly what keeps us going every day.”

A mural outside of NOVY featuring Kathryn and Kristen’s late grandfather. The deep familial ties and values are evident throughout NOVY

What difficulties, if any, do you face being women in the food industry? How do you counteract these? 

We constantly have guests, vendors – you name it – who don’t believe we are the owners because we are young women. It’s also been a learning experience managing a staff of 25+ people, the majority of whom are men older than us. With our staff, we’ve earned respect through hard work and not being afraid to get our hands dirty. With our guests, time and experience have helped us to grow more confident and keep our heads held high when someone questions if we are in charge.

“We constantly have guests, vendors – you name it – who don’t believe we are the owners because we are young women… With our staff, we’ve earned respect through hard work and not being afraid to get our hands dirty. With our guests, time and experience have helped us to grow more confident and keep our heads held high when someone questions if we are in charge.”

Lamb Gyro

What are your favorite items on the menu? What are your most popular dishes?

Our favorite items are our Greek dishes that we’ve inherited from our grandparents – our Spanakopita, Dolmas and Moussaka are all hand-made. Our most popular dishes are our Lamb Gyro, NOVY Burger and Cobb Salad.

(Left) Lamb Gyro with Fries (Top) Spanakopita (Right) Moussaka (Bottom) Dolma

Is there anything you want to tell me, or your customers? Any big news or upcoming events?

We recently filmed a commercial for VistaPrint! It was such a fun and interesting process to be a part of and a great way to gain exposure for NOVY and our neighborhood in general. It is airing this week and you can watch it here.

Moussaka (ft. lamb, eggplant, potato, béchamel)–one of my favorites!

You can find Kristen and Kathryn regularly working at NOVY.

Located at 4000 24th St, San Francisco CA on the corner of 24th St and Noe St

Mon-Fri 
Lunch & Dinner: 11:30am – 9pm
(9:30pm on Friday)

Sat & Sun
Brunch: 10am-2:30pm

Sat & Sun
Late Afternoon Menu: 2:30-5pm

Sat & Sun
Dinner: 5pm-9pm

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